Japanese repairman says gamers should do one small thing to stop a common problem. 

Since the Nintendo Switch was released back in March 2017, we’ve been keeping fit with Ring Fit Adventure, playing with Pokémon hair in Pocket Monsters Let’s Go! Pikachu · Let’s Go! Eevee, and attending Japanese festivals in Animal Crossing.

With all those hours of gameplay, though, comes the possibility of problems arising with the console, and while we’ve seen batteries mysteriously draining at record speeds in the past, today we’re looking at another problem that’s reportedly been on the rise lately: unexplained overheating.

The issue of Switches overheating recently came to everyone’s attention in Japan via a video from Nara-based Asuka Repair Hall Co., Ltd. The company owner uploaded a video showing him repairing an affected console, saying he’s seen a marked increase in overheating cases not caused by faulty fans or a problem with the CPU.

It’s a problem that can be prevented, though, and Asuka Repair is here to show us how to do just that with the video below.

The video starts with Asuka Repair explaining the problem at hand, saying the Switch he’s working on becomes too hot and shuts down with an error code. This particular problem is something the repairman previously discussed in an earlier video, but at that time, it involved a device with a bad fan — a problem commonly found on Switches with circuit boards marked “CPU-21”. In that case, the problem could be fixed by skipping the diode chip, but now more and more overheating cases are appearing on models with working fans.

▼ This Switch has no problem with the fan and is marked CPU-20, but it still overheats.

To explain the source of the problem, Asuka Repair shows us the temperature across the entire Switch, which doesn’t register anything out of the ordinary until it hits the bottom right-hand side of the console. The temperature here skyrockets to above 70 degrees Celsius (158 degrees Fahrenheit), reaching as high as 79.4 degrees Celsius (175 degrees Fahrenheit) in the white area.

Asuka Repair says it’s so hot in that corner he can barely touch it, and at one point he hastily turns the power off when he sees smoke coming out of the problem area.

After leaving it to cool for a bit, Asuka Repair opens the unit up and removes the metal rail on the affected side, replacing it with a new one. He admits it’s not a difficult repair on his part, but it makes all the difference as a temperature reading after the replacement has been fitted shows it’s now come down to around 41 degrees Celsius (105 degrees Fahrenheit), almost half the temperature it was before.  

So what caused the problem in the first place, and more importantly, how can it be prevented? According to Asuka Repair, the rail is where the Joy-Con controllers are slid in and out, and so this area needs some extra attention from owners.

Asuka Repair says the slider rail can collect dust and debris, causing a short circuit and overheating. In order to prevent this problem from occurring, Switch owners are advised to clean the slider rail pockets by blowing air into the area and gently brushing them with a dry toothbrush.

If the Switch starts to feel hot in both hands anytime you’re using it, Asuka Repair says you should take it to a repair store immediately.

With regular maintenance to the slider rail pockets, though, you’ll be able to keep your Switch running in top condition and avoid a visit to the repair store for as long as possible. It’s good advice to follow from a professional who’s worked on a lot of Switches in his time, and one we’ll add to our list of things to be aware of, along with this advice from Nintendo on how to keep our Switches from dying after extended lack of use.

Source: YouTube/あすか修繕堂 via Hachima Kikou
Images: YouTube/あすか修繕堂 
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