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Apple Hardware Test - Error Code PPF003

Hey there,

I bought a used MacBook Air 11’ 2013 (Intel Core i5 1,3 Ghz, 4 GB RAM, 128 GB SSD) off of eBay at the beginning of this year.

The seller had indicated that the Air runs slowly, which I thought I might be able to fix so I bit the bullet, since the asking price was 150€.

During the past months I noticed to particular issues:

  1. The fans of the air are constantly spinning. While the noise is audible it’s not comparable to the jet engine like sound seen and heard on other MacBook Airs in YouTube Videos.
  2. The Air runs extremely slowly in battery mode at times, with applications taking several times longer than usual to load or update information. This behavior does not appear, when the Air is plugged into power.

I ran several programs (EtreCheck, SMC Fan Control, Apple Hardware Test) and got the following results.

  • The Apple Hardware Test completes with the error PPF003 indicating that the fan is not working properly.
  • EtreCheck completes with the “Minor Issues”: High battery cycle count & Heavy I/O usage.
  • SMC Fan Control indicates, that the fan is not spinning (000 rpm).

I did a clean install of macOS Mojave 10.14.5, but the issue persists. Upon opening the case in order to clean the fan and renew the thermal paste I noticed, that the fan connector on the motherboard looks damaged.

I don’t believe this to be a software issue, since CPU usage doesn’t seem to be particularly high.

I’m happy for any input or further tests I could run.

Thanks in advance!

Peter

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Beantwoord! Bekijk het antwoord Dit probleem heb ik ook

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Well you’re fan connector was damaged by the previous owner or the person who last serviced the system. Your logic board will need repair someone with the proper skills should be able to replace it. Here’s an image on what the connector should look like

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Vs your connector

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The clamp latch is missing and it appears someone tried glueing it down which is not the correct fix.

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Hey Dan,

thank you so much for your answer. The mechanical function of the fan connector doesn’t seem to be impaired, since I was able to remove and reattach the fan cable using the remainder of the clamp latch.

I will make sure to see how much having the connector on my logic board would run me. In case it gets too expensive, I will make sure to stay close to an outlet at all times, since this isn’t my primary machine.

Best,

Peter

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The design is a clamp which applied presser onto the ribbon cable pressing it down onto the contacts. I don't see the left side so its likely only part of the connector is clamping.

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This makes complete sense given that the fan still works, but no data is transmitted to the operating system.

Given that I have been quoted between 250€ and 495€ for the repair, this clamp will mist likely remain in this condition.

Thanks for your input.

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Just had a MBPR 13” 2015 come in for repair with the same issue. After trying a replacement fan with no success I looked under the clamp latch and noticed a small amount of corrosion. After cleaning that off I reinserted the ribbon cable from the fan and noticed the clamp latch was not completely inserted on the connector properly. After closing the latch on the ribbon cable I put a small amount of pressure on the latch to push it into the connector all the way and when I turned the computer back on I was now getting an rpm reading and the Apple Hardware Test was no longer giving an error code.

Hope this helps!

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Thanks for posting. I’m having the same error message/issue.

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I am having this same issue, except my fan clamp and connector are fine. I recently swapped out a i5, 4gb ram logic board for an i7,8gb logic board. Everything is working perfectly the computer never seems hot, but the fan is constantly running. I am wondering if thermal paste will help, but I don’t really know why if it’s not actually hot? Any insight would be helpful!

Update (08/29/2020)

Thank you. Sorry, I had other screen shots to post before I changed the fan and tried the second logic board and added the 256gb ssd.

as of this morning, this is what is happening and this is basically regardless of whether or not I have anything running or not. The RPM stays the same (7000) and the temp goes between 98-150f, but doesn’t usually stay up there. Lives around 117-127f.


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So, I put in the original logic board that came with the computer, the i5, 4gb ram one and the fan is back to normal. The temp still runs high, actually higher than the other, but the exhaust is much lower, and this is actually hotter to the touch. I just think it’s interesting the fan doesn’t run constantly with the i5, but I think ultimately you might be right about the screen. I decided against replacing it and just returned the various upgraded computer parts and bought a newer MacBook Air with the amount of memory I need and processing speed, so… but I learned a lot from this and thank you for your help!

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If you didn't reapply thermal paste during the board swap, that is where I would start, given that your fan connector is in good shape. Also worth noting that the fan will kick on and stay running under certain usage conditions to keep temps down.

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Thanks so much, I will get some today. I didn’t remove the heat sink when installing the logic board, I assumed it was all set, but I guess that’s what I get for assuming. Here’s hoping this does the trick; currently the fan is on full blast when there’s nothing at all running, or just the regular things running in the background. Thanks again for the reply!

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How about running the onboard diagnostics to see if an error or two is generated. Restart your system pressing the D key. And/or run TG Pro to see what sensors are failing or running hot. Post a screenshot of all of the sensors and fans for us to see Adding images to an existing question

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I reapplied new thermal compound to the “new” logic board, and it’s definitely taken the temp down according to macs fan control (it was 127-150, now it’s down to 96-102, which I know is still high); I don’t have anything going, just whatever is going in the background when I start up, and the fan is still going pretty strong. Wondering if I somehow didn’t reseat the fan correctly… Not sure…

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Thanks to everyone who has responded. I now have tried a different logic board with the exact same specs, a new fan AND I've installed a new 256 SSD, put new thermal compound on the SECOND logic board I've installed, and this error still persists. Is there any way it could be some different connector that is causing this or has to do with the fan? I only see the one connector and both currently are completely different and i am still having this issue. Is there anyway it could be something to do with this model and the i7 logic board? Also, when I installed the new fan with the first i7 logic board, the RPMs dropped significantly (down to 6200), but currently it's at 117F/7396 RPM. Nothing feels particularly hot, but this is much warmer than with the other logic board--the first i7. I hope this makes legible sense. Cheers.

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I experienced the same problem on a 2019 iMac Retina 27”: Fans always on at full speed, SMC and NVRAM resets didn’t fix it. Booting with D key pressed into diagnostics tool came up with the message indicating I might have a fan problem (ah really?) and error code PPF003.

Reading your description I realized the connector might be the issue. So I just took my flat hand and tapped several times on the back of the iMac. Problem solved - no more fan noise! Thanks so much, you saved me from having to send it back to an Apple Store !

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Peter Griffin zal eeuwig dankbaar zijn.
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