PS3 YLOD Permanent Fix

Updated on September 23, 2014
The Yellow Light of Death (YLOD)
The Yellow Light of Death (YLOD)

Playstation 3 Yellow Light of Death (PS3 YLOD)

The PS3 YLOD (or yellow light of death) is when your beloved console shines or blinks a yellow light on its front end, indicating that something serious is wrong.

There are two lights that sit beside each other, but the one closest to the edge is the one we're talking about. When you see the yellow light (which may also flash red), you know something is wrong.

Your experience of the YLOD normally comes during intense gameplay when the whole console just freezes up, the game crashes, and you can do nothing to remedy the problem. Along with the console freeze, your Playstation 3 gives an audible alert that something is terribly wrong by giving a few short beeps.

This article will explain what the YLOD is, what causes it, what steps you can take to prevent it from happening, and what you can do to fix the problem yourself.

Yellow or Red Light Blinking on my PS3: What's the Problem?

So why is it that one of today's most expensive game consoles freezes or crashes during gameplay or just flatly refuses to start in the first place? What does that yellow light and its accompanying beeps really mean to you?

In a word, my friend, it means your console is overheating. When your Playstation overheats, it may be a temporary situation where you just need to give it time to cool down, but it might also mean total hardware failure.

The higher the temperature and duration of overheating, the more permanent the possible damage. The unit is made up of the mainboard, GPU, CPU, and other hardware components. Because these components are all adhered to their respective hardware boards with solder, and because solder is nothing more than a drop of a solid metallic stuff, if you let it get too hot or cool too quickly, the solder starts to break down and get brittle and the components disjoin: thus, the YLOD.

Red flashing light of death on Playstation 3
Red flashing light of death on Playstation 3

What to Do if Your Playstation 3 Is Overheating

The first thing to do is this:

  • Shut down, turn off, and unplug your console.
  • Leave the console off for 20-30 minutes and allow it to cool down completely.
  • Check all the wiring between the console and other accessories (television, audio equipment, etc.)
  • Remove the PS3 hard drive from the console. One of the common causes of the YLOD is the connection between the hard drive and the console itself becoming loose due to heat expansion. Take it out and put it back in to see that fixes the problem.

This will only work if there hasn't been permanent damage done to the console, so if you've only seen the YLOD once or twice, it is definitely worth trying.

If the YLOD continues, take these steps:

  • Make sure you place your device on a hard, cold surface (a shelf or a table) rather than on an insulating material or situation (a rug, an electronic device, inside a very small and enclosed space).
  • Raise it up to make sure the air can flow around it too keep it cool.
  • Make sure the vents and fan of your PS3 are not blocked by dust or any other obstacles. You should check these once a month to make sure no dust has accumulated.
  • Plug it into a UPS with Voltage Regulation capability to ensure that it's getting the voltage it needs to run properly.

PS3 YLOD Permanent Fix—Is There One?

If none of the above seems to fix the problem, then the chances are something inside the console is bricked (broken). Your options are:

  1. Send the console to Sony, pay them upward of $150 to repair it, and wait around 6 weeks to get it back in working condition.
  2. Send your console to a local repair centre. You will probably get it back faster this way but still expect to pay upward of $100 for the privilege.
  3. You can fix the problem yourself using a phillips head screwdriver, a lint-free cloth, thermal paste, rubbing alcohol, and a heat gun capable of heating to 177ºC (350ºF). You could have the console working again in as fast as an hour. For step-by-step instructions, watch the video below.

Fixing your Playstation 3 YLOD at Home

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Questions & Answers


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      • profile image

        Ant 3 years ago

        It actually worked. Thank you very much. At first it did the yellow light and after I turned it on and off a few more times it has turned off at all which has never done that before.

        Thank you

      • Graham Garrett profile image

        Graham Garrett 3 years ago

        Solder melting at 450 degrees C is plumbers solder.

        60/40 solder as used in electronics melts at 183 degrees C.

        A good heat gun is used to 'soften' not melt the solder.

        Overheating for periods of time causes 'dry joints'. The heat gun method with soften the joints back. The slower the cooling period the better, we don't want to shock shrink the joint back to where it was by fast cooling.

      • profile image

        Mark 3 years ago

        I downloaded a guide and it's working perfectly fine for me. Even my PS3 is like 5 years old still working like a charm. It's step by step so it's a no brainer even for me that i see two cables with diferent colors and i start panicking like i have a bomb on my hands. Lol. You should give it a try.

      • profile image

        Giovanni Niglio 3 years ago

        How lond can you leave the latest PS3 version on for?

      • profile image

        Joe Josephi 3 years ago

        @Console Repair while it is true that you need 450 degrees to melt solder, high temperatures can cause it to go in to some sort of a mold and disjoint parts. While not fully melting it, the solder would still mold into different shapes, possibly causing harm to your PS3.

      • profile image

        Console Repair 4 years ago

        Rubbish. No consumer electronics device can heat up enough to melt solder. 450 degrees for a period of 2 minutes is needed to melt solder. All the plastic casing would have melted before solder would. This is a scam e-book with mostly misleading info. waste of money and time. check ebay for a reputable repair company. 39.99 to 49.99 can fix this problem.

      • profile image

        saad rashid 5 years ago

        how to fix ps3 man!!!!!!!!!! i just by 3 days ago black ops 2

        ....My brother was playing pes 2013 suddenly come aylod how to fic please help me please plzzzzzzzzzzzzz