If you repair the oscillating fan and still have problems, the only solution may be to replace the gears and motor housing. If it's a reasonably new fan, it may be worth the investment to purchase new parts. However, if you've had it for a few years, it may be best just to buy a new oscillating fan.
If the fan has a burning smell, then the gears are stuck and there's a possibility that some wires have burned. Purchase a new oscillating fan.
How to Fix an Oscillating Fan. Oscillating fans are now also available with remote controls making them even more convenient. There are those moments when they don't move as fast as they should or are making strange sounds as they oscillate. Here are a few suggestions on how to fix an oscillating fan.
Unplug the fan before any repairs are made. If the head of the fan doesn't move or makes noise when it moves, it may have loose gears or worn gears on the clutch knob. If you decide not to replace the gears or clutch knobs, the only option is to keep the head stationary.
Take off the grill of the fan. Then remove all nuts, pins or clamps to remove the blade assembly from the motor. Remove the blade assembly.
Check the motor housing, shaft, blades and grill to see if they need to be cleaned. Use a brush, cloth or even the attachments to your vacuum cleaner to remove any debris. Tighten the motor housing.
Check the set screw for any wear or damage. Tighten the set screw if it seems loose. The set screw balances the blades. If the screw is loose, the blades will not move properly.
Check the motor housing and gear assembly. If they feel loose, tighten them. If they are worn and will not tighten, then you need to replace both the motor housing and the gear assembly.
Assemble the fan after tightening the motor housing and gear assembly. Lubricate the shaft of the fan with either household lubricant oil or turbine oil.