Video cards these days don't come with fans that last. They usually start making grinding noises because of bearing failures after a year or two (in my experience). Video card manufacturers may deliberately use fans which fail right at the point the card's warranty period is over, or use crappy fans to increase their profit margin by saving on manufacturing costs. Regardless, I think its funny because of the proprietary nature of VGA coolers. Some are 2-pin, others are 4, and the sizes all vary. This last failure occured on an XFX card, and XFX is the bottom of the barrel of video cards. I took the card out of my case tonight, and the fan was difficult to turn by hand (practically stuck). Then the fan blades fell right off the shaft.
So, I decided to just tie on an 80mm case fan. I'm not sure if I'll leave it this way or order a new one on eBay, but I think I lost count of how many video card fans have failed on me.
Maintenance, installation and repair.
I have had to do something similar myself, more than once.
I know, but then my room would be too quiet and I would start hearing myself think.
More often than not, the fans can be taken apart and the bearings lubricated before irreversible damage.