The Dangerous Truth About the Xbox 360 Towel Trick

Like many gamers before you, I assume that you are reading this article because your beloved Xbox 360 has developed the 3 red light error. As you probably know by now, your Xbox will not work again until a fix is applied. The good news is that you do have some options open to you before resorting to throwing it in the bin and buying a new one.

Of course, if your console is still under guarantee you could send it back to Microsoft and they will repair it but this can take a few weeks to complete. Another option is to fix it yourself and, as we shall see this makes a lot of sense. However, you have another option, the so called Xbox 360 Towel Trick, that is being shown around the internet. This trick involves wrapping your Xbox in a heavy duty towel and allowing it to severely overheat. The problem is that the fix is temporary at best, and at worst could actually be lethal.

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The Xbox 360 red light error is the result of overheating within the console’s case. This causes damage to the solder tracks connecting the CPU and GPU, among other things. The logic behind the Xbox 360 Towel Trick is that by making the console dangerously overheat that somehow you will cause the solder to re-flow this fixing the bad connections and making the machine work again. If you are lucky you might just make it work.

However, the original problem, the reason your Xbox 360 overheats in the first place will still be there and its only a matter of time before your console will fail again. The real danger is that you can quite easily set the console, the towel, and even yourself on fire. Deliberately causing electronic components to overheat is a very dangerous process and the risks from fire as well as the fumes emitted when components melt is significant.

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A far better, and more reliable method than the Xbox 360 Towel trick is to get yourself a good DIY repair guide and follow its instructions. Using only some basic tools and the information you will get from the guide you can repair a broken console within an hour. Safer, pretty much guaranteed to work and your towels can be used for what they were intended – now why take a risk.


by Dave Simpson