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Refrigerator Not Cooling? All the Easy Fixes You Need to Know

Refrigerator Not Cooling? All the Easy Fixes You Need to Know

If the food in your fridge isn't as cold as it should be, it's time to start troubleshooting. If there's nothing blocking the air vents, our friends at Sears PartsDirect have some tips on how you can get your fridge to chill out.

Potential Fixes

Replace the Thermistor

A thermistor monitors temperature changes, sending signals to the control board. This key component gives temperature information to the thermostat, meaning a broken thermistor will give incorrect readings.

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Refrigerator Thermistor

Learn more about replacing a refrigerator thermistor from 
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Refrigerator Condenser Fan

Replace the Condenser Fan

The condenser fan is located next to the compressor and blows air across the condenser coils, which cools hot refrigerant from the compressor. A faulty fan increases the cabinet temperature, which can also overheat the compressor. This causes the compressor to eventually break down if the condenser fan isn't fixed.

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Learn more about how to replace a condenser fan motor from Sears PartsDirect.

Replace the Electronic Control Board

Also commonly known as the power control board (PCB), this controls the compressor and defrost cycle. It senses when the refrigerator needs to be cooled, sending power to the compressor and fans. It also works with the sensor to maintain temperature in the fridge and freezer, which controls a proper defrost cycle. Run a diagnostic test to check if the electronic control board is malfunctioning. Tests can vary by make or model, so check your owner's manual or tech sheet for more information.

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refrigerator electronic control board

Learn more about replacing a refrigerator electronic control board from Sears PartsDirect.

Refrigerator Start Relay

Replace the Compressor's Start Relay

This component energizes the start windings of a compressor motor during an initial startup. The PTC (positive temperature coefficient) start relay shuts down voltage to the start windings after the compressor starts, allowing it to run using the motor's run windings. If a broken start relay is the culprit, replace it so the compressor can have the necessary voltage to operate. You should also check the start relay's wiring. 

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Replace the Temperature Control Board

This part is found next to the compressor in the machine compartment, which is behind a panel on the back of your fridge. Much like the electronic control board, you should run a diagnostic test to see if the temperature control board is working properly. Consult your owner's manual or tech sheet for further instructions.  

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Refrigerator Temperature Control Board

Learn more about replacing a refrigerator temperature control board from Sears PartsDirect.

Refrigerator Temperature Controls Thermostat

Replace the Temperature Control Thermostat

Also known as the cold-control thermostat, this part is found in the control housing and features an attached sensor tube. The sensor detects and helps control the temperature inside the fridge by turning the compressor on or off. Replace this part when it no longer senses temperature or won't cycle the compressor properly.

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Learn more about replacing a refrigerator temperature control thermostat from Sears PartsDirect.

Replace the Defrost Timer

The defrost timer controls the intervals between automatic defrost cycles. It makes sure the compressor is off before turning on the defrost heater to melt frost off the evaporator fins, which allows for an efficient exchange of heat. Once the defrost cycle ends, the timer turns the defrost heater off to continue regular cooling. When this part isn't working properly, the defrost heater will run constantly or not run at all.

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Refrigerator Defrost Timer

Refrigerator Compressor

Replace the Refrigerator Compressor

The compressor moves refrigerant throughout the entire system. If the compressor looks functional but isn't starting, replace the start device and/or overload. If it's locked up or runs without compressing refrigerant, then the entire part needs to be replaced. In this case, it's recommended that you call a service technician, as the job will require the recovery and recharge of refrigerant.

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Learn more about troubleshooting a refrigerator that's not cooling from Sears PartsDirect.