PS3 Flashing Red Light – How to Fix RLOD in Easy Steps

PS3 Flashing (blinking) red light ( also called RLOD ) simply put, is a warning before the actual storm hits up. The term RLOD is referred to “Red light of Death” by the community. If your ps3 is blinking red light after it starts, it means something is wrong or something is broken which still can be fixed. If the situation is not fixed and left it as it is, it could grow into a YLOD ( you guessed it , “Yellow light of death” ). Once that happens, your ps3 would be dead for good and you can’t even boot it up. Sounds scary ? Well mentioned in this article are some fixes around the ps3 blinking red light problem.

Why does the PS3 blink red light ?

The normal boot up sequence of a ps3 goes like this : you turn on your ps3 and see a green light blink and then the console boots up just as regular. But this right light came out of nowhere and you don’t even know why. Well there are some pretty straight forward reasons for your ps3 blinking red light. The primary known cause for this issue is heating issue. 
Your system might be over heating because of the dusty fan that needs cleaning. Or the ps3 is kept in such a way that it can’t dissipate heat. Other reasons leading to a RLOD are dying disk drive or failing power supply. Or simply because the ps3 isn’t receiving the right amount of power it needs. Based on all of that information, we now know where to look for solutions to this problem.

Must Read: PS4 Keeps ejecting disc – Fix

How to fix PS3 flashing red light problem

Here are some quick and home fixes that you can do to fix your ps3

1. Check if the PS3 is overheating

As we mentioned above, poor ventilation and less airflow for the device means greater heat building up inside of it. And it means more troubles for you. One of the main causes for heat building up in the device is the dirty fan that has been collecting dust for so long and now needs some cleaning. Not only with ps3, a dirty fan can cause issues with even a laptop and desktop computer. Let’s see how to clean the fan.

  • Firstly disconnect your ps3 from the power source and unplug all wires.
  • Hold the power button for about 20 seconds to discharge any charges held in the motherboard capacitors of the device.
  • Remove the HDD cover using a screw driver and pull the HDD out. Keep it somewhere safe.
  • Remove the top panel by removing the screws that hold the plate into place.

This will require you to take apart a lot of stuff. We recommend taking the ps3 to authorized sony repair center. But if you want to DIY it, here is the order of the stuff in which you need to take it apart.

  1. Shell will be removed by unclipping 2 tabs
  2. Then comes the HDD
  3. Power suppy
  4. Network Card
  5. Motherboard and power reset board

Then there comes the fan, screwed into place with three screws. Just remove the screws and take out the fan.

Clean the fan using a vacuum pump or even a hair dryer would work just fine. Make sure it is dust free before you put it back in. Also while you are at it, clean your ps3’s other components like the HDD and internal cabling or any other areas that you find to be dusty.

2. Checking if the HDD is working alright

Now while your ps3 is still opened up, you might want to take a moment here and check if your HDD is working at all. To do this,

  • Remove the ribbon cable of the hard drive and free the hard drive off the motherboard
  • Plug the HDD into a regular PC to see if it’s working
  • You will need to connect the HDD into the SATA port of the PC

Now see if the HDD shows up in the PC. If the HDD doesn’t show up then it is the reason why your ps3 is blinking red light of death. Get rid of the hdd and buy a new one.

3. Apply some new thermal paste on the CPU and the GPU

For instance, we have put up this image showing the CPU and the GPU of a PS3. You need to remove the existing thermal paste and re apply your own .

Old thermal pastes ( especially the ones older than 2014 ) weren’t that good when longevity is concerned. They wear our pretty quickly. You can pick thermal goo from amazon for very cheap and do the thermal re-pasting by your self. Reapplying the thermal paste will allow the CPU and the GPU to dissipate head more efficiently and hopefully fix all issues with your ps3 heating .

  • First make sure you remove the insulating pads from the motherboard VRMs
  • Now remove the existing thermal paste by using rubbing alcohol or acetone.
  • Make sure the CPU and GPU are clean and dust free ( very important )
  • Apply a little amount of thermal paste on the CPU and the GPU and spread it evenly using the applicator tool provided in the thermal paste package
  • You should look like this.

Once the ps3 is cleaned to your liking, you need to put every thing back to to place. Boot it up. If your ps3 had any life left in it, it would work and live up for another few months for you ! If nothing works for you, you can take the ps3 to a sony service center. That’s your last resort.

Final verdict

Thermal repasting and cleaning the fans have fixed the blinking red light if death issue in PS3 for a lot of users. Hopefully it worked for you as well. Share your thoughts about this method and your own methods in the comment section. Peace !

Also Read: How to do PS4 Port Forwarding 

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