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Since I migrated from Fedora 17 to Fedora 18 by doing a fresh install (only kept /home) I've been having overheating problems randomly. For absolutely no apparent reason everything heats up and reaches temps like:

> sensors
acpitz-virtual-0
Adapter: Virtual device
temp1:        +73.0°C  (crit = +103.0°C)

coretemp-isa-0000
Adapter: ISA adapter
Physical id 0:  +73.0°C  (high = +86.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 0:         +66.0°C  (high = +86.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)
Core 1:         +65.0°C  (high = +86.0°C, crit = +100.0°C)

asus-isa-0000
Adapter: ISA adapter
temp1:        +73.0°C  

nouveau-pci-0100
Adapter: PCI adapter
temp1:        +60.0°C  (high = +95.0°C, crit = +105.0°C)

at the same time htop shows average cpu usage to be 1% (not sure how to check gpu usage) so I see no reason for the temps to be this high.

Note: I did not have this problem with F17 ( everything was mostly under 50°C )

What's causing this and how can I fix it?

Laptop specs:

Intel® Core™ i5 2450M
4GB RAM
NVIDIA® GeForce® 610M 1GB

more details here

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1  
Please add laptop information as well. It could be that you need some modules specific to your chipset to control your fans better. Also, is there anything else that could have changed, like dust build up, using on a non-flat surface that blocks airways, etc? –  nerdwaller Jan 22 '13 at 19:11
    
@nerdwaller added specs. about the last part, nothing else changed and while using windows it doesn't overheat on the same surfaces –  user1233963 Jan 22 '13 at 19:43
    
Linux has a tendency to work hardware to its limits... –  vonbrand Feb 25 '13 at 2:12

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