Fridge Compressor Running But Not Cooling

If your fridge compressor is running, but the fridge isn’t cooling, you’re not alone. In this article, we’ll show you how to fix the problem.

Diagnosing a Fridge Running but Not Cooling

If your fridge’s compressor is running, but the fridge isn’t getting cold, you have a few things to check.

Start by checking the thermostat. Is it turned to the correct temperature? If it is, double-check to ensure that the compressor is running. You can do this by opening the fridge and checking to see if the fan is on. If the compressor isn’t running, there’s probably a problem with the motor or capacitor.

If everything is in order, but your fridge is still not cooling, you may need to call a technician.

Check the Condenser Coils

If the compressor is running but the fridge isn’t cooling, you should check the condenser coils first.

The condenser coils are located on the back or bottom of the fridge, and they need to be cleaned for the fridge to cool properly. If they’re dirty, it can cause the compressor to overwork and eventually fail.

You’ll need a vacuum cleaner and a brush to clean the coils. Vacuum off any dirt or debris, then use the brush to scrub off any remaining dirt or build-up.

Why Is the Compressor Running and Not Cooling?

There are a few reasons your fridge compressor might be running but not cooling. One common culprit is a dirty filter. The compressor needs clean air to work properly, and if the filter is clogged, it can’t do its job.

Another possibility is that the refrigerant lines are blocked. This can be caused by some things, including insects, dirt, or even a kink in the line. If there’s no airflow, the compressor won’t be able to cool the fridge.

Finally, it’s also possible that the compressor itself is defective. If this is the case, you’ll need to replace it.

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Cleaning Clogged Air Vents

Now it may be the case that your compressor is running, but your fridge isn’t cooling. This could be because the air vents are clogged and need to be cleaned. Air must flow freely for the refrigerator to work properly and cool your food.

The first step is to remove the bottom kick plate from the lower front of the unit to access the air vent. Once done, use a vacuum cleaner or soft brush to clear out any lint or dust around the fan motor and air filters. You can also use canned air to blow out any stubborn dirt or debris.

Finally, clean off any dirt or grime from around the compressor’s coils, making sure not to damage them. Then put everything back together, and your fridge should be cooling again – problem solved!

Refrigerant Leaks

A refrigerant leak is the fifth possible reason your compressor may be running but not cooling. Refrigerant is the liquid that circulates through your refrigerator’s coils to cool it down. If there’s any break in the coils, then the refrigerant could be leaking, thus causing your compressor to run but not be able to cool down anything.

You’ll need an electronic leak detector to check for a refrigerant leak. These detectors can detect even the smallest leaks and pinpoint exactly where they are. If you find a leak, you’ll need to have it repaired by a professional technician. Be aware that this repair is quite costly, so shop and get a few quotes before deciding on a technician.

Replacing the Compressor

If you’ve ruled out all the other possible causes and your compressor is still not working properly, it’s time to replace it. Before attempting this, however, you should ensure that the fridge’s power is completely disconnected and that the new compressor is compatible with your fridge model.

You can replace the faulty compressor as soon as you have all the necessary parts and tools. Firstly, disconnect the wires connecting the old compressor to all other components in the system. Then, remove any brackets or supports holding it in place and carefully lift it out of its housing. Make sure not to bend any of its internal coils when doing so.

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Once these steps are completed, install the new compressor into its housing and secure it using nuts and bolts or any other components prescribed in your repair manual. Reconnect hoses and wires as needed before re-energizing power to your fridge and testing for cooling.


When your fridge compressor is running but not cooling, it’s important to take action fast. Often, this problem is caused by a need for refrigerant. If your fridge is under warranty, you can call a technician to come and fix the issue.

If your fridge is not under warranty, you can try to fix the problem yourself. The first step is to identify the issue. Once you’ve identified the issue, you can purchase a kit to fix the problem. If you are uncomfortable fixing the problem yourself, you can call a technician to do it for you.

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