Most of us don’t think about our PS3 breaking until it actually breaks. The Yellow Light Of Death (YLOD) can happen to any PS3 as it is a general hardware failure, however there are steps that can be taken to prevent your PS3 from breaking.
The first thing to do is make sure your PS3 is above, or around, waist height. The reason for this is that dust settles and gathers closer to the floor after flying through the air. Just from moving around the room you are stirring up dust particles from the floor. Keeping the PS3 above waist height will prevent these particles from clogging up your PS3 and increasing heat internally. Remember your PS3 system resembles a vacuum cleaner as it will pull in and exhaust a ton of air. Also proper maintenance and cleaning using compressed air will help to keep the vents clean.
Replace the Sony compound on the CPU and GPU with arctic silver. Sony mass produces these systems and, as a result, cheap thermal compound was used to remove heat from the chips. Arctic Silver will provide much better heat transfer from the Cell and RSX chips to the heat sinks. Check out our YLOD guide to see the breakdown of the PS3 to the motherboard to see how to reapply new thermal compound.
If you have a 15 blade fan in your PS3, replace it with the 19 blade fan. The extra blades will help move more air in the same amount of time and will also be much quieter!
Check the heat of your power supply. In some cases the power supply can get ultra hot and can heat up a ps3 board causing it to yellow light over time. You can check how hot your power supply is by leaving the top casing off of your PS3 and let your PS3 run for about an hour. After an hour check to see how hot your power supply is by resting your hand on top. If it is scalding hot and you can’t keep your hand on it for more than a few seconds, odds are its time for a new power supply. Remember that power supply is sitting right on top of your motherboard so heat will transfer very easily.
These tips will help to keep the yellow light away from your PS3. If you do your best to keep your PS3 clean and make the appropriate modifications, your PS3 will last you a long time.