Why Kenmore Elite Refrigerator Is Not Cooling

Buying a Kenmore elite refrigerator to have it not working properly can be really stressful. Not only that you run the risk of spoiling all the food that is inside. A refrigerator in general not cooling is a big problem with many reasons behind it.

Since the cooling assembly is rather large and a lot of components play a role in ensuring that your refrigerator provides you the right amount of cooling.

Hence when troubleshooting this problem be aware of all the technical aspects, as well as the not too many technical ones. Let’s dive in and find out why the Kenmore elite refrigerator is not cooling.

Kenmore elite refrigerator not cooling:

Some of the reasons for your Kenmore elite refrigerator not cooling are mentioned down below:

  • Dirty condenser coils
  • Condenser fan motor malfunction
  • Evaporator fan malfunction
  • Thermostat malfunction
  • Compressor malfunction

Now that we have a list of reasons let’s look at them one by one to figure out what may be the cause of the problem.

Dirty condenser coils:

Condenser coils on all refrigerators gather dust and debris. This is the one place that’s exposed to all kinds of dirt and can get dirty fairly quickly.

Hence when your refrigerator stops cooling your first step should always be to look at the condition of the condenser coils. That is because if the condenser coils get clogged and dirty they will have a massive impact on the performance of the cooling unit aka condenser.

If there is a lot of dirt and dust on them a thorough cleaning is needed. For that, you will have to unplug the device and use a brush and vacuum to suck up any debris that lands in inaccessible areas.

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Condenser fan motor malfunction:

Another very critical part of the refrigerator cooling system is the condenser fan motor. You see the condenser fan motor plays a role in passing air from the coils to the compressor that ensures a cool temperature inside your fridge. Hence when dealing with the issue of the refrigerator not cooling properly always consider checking the condenser fan.

This will require you to remove the coils and take a deeper look at the condition of the fans, such as are there any debris or dirt inside the fans that are clogging them and causing them to malfunction. If so, then take a wipe and clean the fans properly.

After that check, if the fan spins smoothly when you give it a spin with your hands. if it does spin and seems to be running fine it’s always best to make sure with the help of a multimeter.

A multimeter will help test the continuity of the fan and will ensure that the fan runs at full speed. if it does not then you may need to get the fan motor unit replaced.

Evaporator fan malfunction:

Some refrigerators come with multiple evaporator fans as it is quite an important part of the cooling assembly. It basically is responsible for circulating cool air throughout the fridge and freezer units.

Hence some of them come with two separate ones for each. However, the diagnostics for the evaporator fan motor and fans are very similar to the condenser fans. You need to take a thorough look at the condition of the fans, clean them up by removing debris and dirt, and make sure they are clean.

The next step would be to spin the fan and see if it spins freely without any obstruction. If that is the case you now need to use the multimeter to see if the continuity of the fans is how it should be.

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Next, you need to check if the fan motor is working correctly. This can be tricky so let us explain as best as we can. For this, you will need tester leads and a digital multimeter.

You will need to replace the leads on the fan windings with tester leads on either side. After that, you can run the test and see if the continuity is accurate. If not then you will have to get your evaporator fan motor replaced.

Thermostat malfunction:

One of the lesser-known problems is thermostat malfunctions. We say lesser-known problems because a thermostat malfunction is caused by a thermistor sensor. Its job is to keep a check on the temperature being maintained by the evaporator of the refrigerator.

Any kind of problem with this device can cause the condenser to either stop working completely or run continuously. This is bad either way for the refrigerator as it takes more power to keep the compressor running without any cooling effect.

Hence use a multimeter to check the resistance and the continuity of the thermistor. If both of these are out of order or even one of them is out of order your thermistor will have to be replaced.

Compressor malfunction:

Compressor malfunctions are a big deal. And sadly if the compressor breaks down there is no other way to fix it than to call in a licensed technician to replace the unit. Or in a worst-case scenario, the refrigerator will have to be replaced. However, to run a quick check on it you can open the back panel and find the compressor.

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Using a multimeter you can check the power supply to the compressor and ensure that there is ample electric current being passed on to the compressor. However, if that is not the case and the problem seems deeper then you may have to replace the entire unit.


Sadly with an appliance like refrigerators, there are not many DIY solutions, as there are a lot of parts involved in the making of the units.

Hence if you run into such an issue, you can run some preliminary tests and check your warranty to see if the manufacturer can support you in any of them. But more often than not you will need the help of a technician who will replace the unit if it’s broken.

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