Try these PS3 troubleshooting techniques before you think about sending your console back to Sony or taking apart your PS3 to fix it yourself. If your PS3 has the dreaded Yellow Light of Death then the causes could have many but is many times simply caused by excessive heat. The advanced chips and graphics processors used with the Sony PlayStation 3 produce an awful amount of heat, especially if you have the high def settings turned all the way up. Here are a few tips on how to fix PS3 overheating problems without having to send the unit back to Sony and pay $ 150 – $ 300 and wait 4 to 6 weeks.
Cooling It Down:
1) Do not place your PS3 console in the corners of a room. Heat gets easily trapped in corners and can add to the overheating problem. The PS3 ™ already produces a massive amount of heat, and the trapped heat will overheat it much more quickly.
2) Try placing your PlayStation 3 console on an open shelf away from any other electronics. Do not close the doors on your entertainment system when you are playing. You want to get as much air flowing to the unit as possible
3) Turn off your PS3 and wait for half an hour to let it fully cool. After you have moved it to a less heat intensive environment turn it on again an let it run for a while to see if this fixes your PS3.
4) Try placing your PS3 console near an air conditioning vent. Before you buy any additional cooling units try to use your already-in-place air conditioning system. It's already blowing cold air through your house, so let it blow on the PS3 also.
5) Leave your console running for a little while, and then check the sides of the walls of the shelving. If any one side is hot to the touch, then you need to look at purchasing and installing fans specifically for PS3 consoles to cool the hot side of the console. There are plenty of third-party manufacturers that produce fans for all sides of the system, and you can find them at any gaming retailer or online gaming shops. Just do a quick search for "PS3 cooling fans".
6) This step is sort of a last resort but can sometimes help. Purchase a laptop cooling pad for the console to sit on. You can buy these at any computer accessory retailer like Best Buy, and you will be amazed at how quickly these electronic pads will cool down your PS3 console.
7) Here is one final step to fixing PS3 game systems. Change your high definition settings to try to cool things down. Either turn off the high resolution setting or lower the resolution. This can help since the graphics processor produce much of the heat.
Try any or all of the above tips to cool down your system and get rid of the yellow light of death. These fixes do not require any configurations to your PS3 and their success rate variies. They are however very simple to complete and their cost is minimal. If these steps do not fix the PS3 permanently then you may have to send the unit back to Sony or choose to fix it yourself. I found a great instantly downloadable PS3 repair guide and fixed mine myself in about an hour and a half and it was actually pretty simple and did not require any special tools or equipment. The guide included how to videos and clearly written step by step instructions with lots of pictures.