The PlayStation 3 is an amazing piece of technology with almost 30 million having been sold worldwide. But like any machine it is prone to problems. The most common such issue with the PlayStation 3 is the yellow light of death. This happens to be incredibly frustrating, especially if you are in the middle of a game. There are a few causes for the yellow light error, but the main one is overheating.
If you suspect your console of overheating then the first thing you must do is to switch it off for at least an hour to try and let the machine cool down sufficiently for you to continue playing. Once the time has passed turn the ps3 back on and check if you can still see the yellow light error. If you can still see the flashing light then check if a particular side on your console is hotter than the rest. If there is one then it may be worth purchasing a fan, similar to the ones you can get for laptops, and try sitting your ps3 on it and see how this helps.
It is advisable to take a look at the positioning of your console. If it is in the corner of your room this can cause overheating as heat tends to build up in these areas. Also if your console is in an entertainment unit with all your audio visual equipment this will not be helping. All this equipment will emit heat and if the ps3 is just pumping warm air through it then it will never keep cool. If you do keep your console in a unit then it is a good idea to keep the doors open whilst playing.
Check your machine for any build ups of dust particles especially around the vents. If these are clogged up then dust the console with a soft cloth. This should allow air to move more freely throughout the PlayStation 3. It is worthwhile to make this a regular task to prevent the problem happening again.
Is your machine laying flat? I know there is a myth that if your console is vertical then it has trouble reading the discs, but this is untrue as the machine was designed to be positioned vertically. This will help your machine because hot air rises and will be able to escape much more easily.
If after performing these simple maintenance procedures you are still seeing the yellow light of death, then further research may be needed. There is a plethora of information available online if you need more assistance on this matter.