If certain ceiling fan speeds are not working, there are a few things that could be the problem. Luckily, finding out the source of the problem is not all that difficult. Essentially, we’ll use process of elimination to get to the root of the problem.
The first thing to try is to clean and lubricate the ball bearings. You probably don’t know what those are, so let us help with this. See below for picture of what ball bearings look like:
As with all problems where the fan won’t turn at all, won’t turn on certain speeds, etc. you need to look at what could be causing enough friction – to the point where it impedes the fan from turning. The enemy of all ceiling fans is friction – too much, and the fan won’t turn properly. Not only do you want to clean the ball bearings, but lubricating them with some oil is a good idea too. WD-40 or a similar variant will typically do the trick. Be careful not to use thick grease or something that gets stuck or sticky – again, remember – we want to avoid friction. WD-40 is a good example of a good lubricant or variant because it’s very thin and pretty much dissolves right away.
Check screws and that there is nothing impeding the blades from turning
Do a visibility check – make sure you can turn the blades yourself without hinderance. Is there anything blocking the blades from turning? Is there a hesitation for the blades to turn, just from attempting to turn the blades yourself? If so, try to find where the source of the problem is. Is there a loose screw – or perhaps one tightened so tight, it’s causing additional friction or resistance?
Check the Ceiling Fan Capacitor
The next thing we need to troubleshoot is the capacitor. There’s an easy way to troubleshoot the capacitor and the motor – we listen for a humming. If the fan will run on a slow speed, but not on higher speeds, and you’ve checked all the fore mentioned items, then we need to consider the capacitor and potentially the motor next. Replacing the capacitor is generally cheap, so we’d recommend trying that next.