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How to Repair a Projector Color Wheel

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Suppose you’re experiencing spotty images or distorted colors from your projector. In that case, you probably need to know how to repair a projector wheel. While some LCD projectors have a color wheel, you can find them in almost all single-chip DLP projectors. The best projectors should have excellent colors and sharp contrasts, but that will be hard to do with a broken color wheel. Read on to learn how to get your projector color wheel back in order.


  • Begin by removing all the screws on the outside of your projector.
  • Once inside, locate the color wheel and disconnect it from the projector.
  • If you’re unsure about working on electronics, contact a repair professional.

What is a Color Wheel?

A color wheel is a small spinning disc attached to a variable speed motor inside all single and dual-chip DLP (direct light processing) projectors. The spinning color wheel adds color and sharpness to the image. Before troubleshooting color wheel issues, check out how to fix the color on a projector, and it might save you a bit of time and effort. That said, if you’re experiencing uneven brightness, you need to investigate what gain is for a projector instead.

Other issues you’ll want to troubleshoot include the projector turning off repeatedly and what to do when a projector says “no signal.” With regular maintenance, you won’t need to call a professional to repair your projector

Insider Tip

Make sure to test your color wheel before replacing it.

How to Fix Your Projector Color Wheel

The fix to any color wheel issue requires simple tools and a possible replacement for your broken color wheel. In addition, the process of getting to your bad wheel will vary from model to model.

STEP 1 Unplug the Projector and Begin Deconstructing the Projector

Unplug your projector before opening it to avoid electrical shock. Locate any screws on the projector’s bottom, top, and sides and remove them with a screwdriver.

STEP 2 Remove Any Metal Covers

Underneath the main plastic cover, there is sometimes a metal layer protecting the insides of the projector. Remove this metal cover and make sure there aren’t any wires connected to it. Then, if applicable, remove those wires.

STEP 3 Locate the Projector Color Wheel

On most projector models, the spinning color wheel is behind the projector’s lens. Once you locate it, be careful not to touch it. You may not need to remove the wheel to fix the issue.

STEP 3a Try Dusting the Color Wheel Sensor

Use compressed air or a lens brush to clear any dust away from the color wheel sensor. A blocked sensor will cause your color wheel to malfunction.

STEP 3b Try to Spin the Color Wheel

Use a Q-Tip to try to spin the color wheel. If it won’t turn, the variable motor is probably loaded with dust and dirt particles.

STEP 4 Remove the Bad Color Wheel

If the previous tests proved okay, your color wheel is insufficient. Remove the assembly and wires holding the color wheel in place.

STEP 5 Install the Replacement Color Wheel

Install your new color wheel, but be sure not to touch or knick the wheel with your fingers or screwdriver.

STEP 6 Test Your Work

Once your new color wheel and all the wires are back in place, plug in your projector. Do not touch the inside while it runs. If your image is satisfactory, move on to the next step.

STEP 7 Reconstruct Your Projector

Follow the previous steps in reverse and put your projector’s cover back on. Finally, unplug your projector before replacing all screws and wires.


Never operate on your projector unless you unplug it first.


Can a projector be repaired?

A projector is a fixable product. That said, you may need to contact your manufacturer for projector wheel parts. In addition, some repairs are pretty complex, so you may want to find a destination for tech repair.

How much is a replacement projector color wheel?

You can purchase a replacement for your lousy color wheel for about $30 to $100. The cost depends on the brand name and overall quality. Call customer service for help if you qualify for a warranty exchange and have the original packaging.

Why is my projector so loud?

If your projector is dusty, chances are your fans are, too. Fan motors have to work harder if the fans are gummed up with dirt and dust. In addition, a failing motor will cause a bad color wheel noise as it struggles to spin.

STAT: Three chips make up a DLP Cinema projection system, each with its own color wheel to generate 35 trillion colors. (source)

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