How to Fix Kenmore Refrigerator not Cooling

When you are faced with a power outage, you might begin to experience issues such as your Kenmore Refrigerator not cooling since it is very prevalent among Kenmore users.

This doesn’t affect the fact that Kenmore is a durable refrigerator since it rarely comes with a major repair during your first 5 years of usage. However, the price is on the high side when you decided to pay for it once.

Now that you are here looking for a solution to your Kenmore refrigerator not cooling, let’s break down some of the reasons why you are experiencing this before we delve into the troubleshooting procedures.

Why is your Kenmore refrigerator not cooling

There are several reasons why your Kenmore refrigerator isn’t cooling ranging from simple reasons such as an improperly closed door to issues as complicated as a faulty compressor which requires disassembling the refrigerator.

That said, here are the reason why your Kenmore refrigerator isn’t cooling

  • Issues with the control board
  • Faulty Condenser Fan motor
  • The condenser coils are dirty
  • Broken evaporator fan motor
  • A failed compressor start relay
  • Faulty Thermostat
  • Overstuffed fridge
  • Improperly closed door

How to troubleshoot your Kenmore refrigerator not cooling

If your Kenmore refrigerator isn’t cooling or the freezer compartment isn’t cooling as it is supposed to, you should go through these troubleshooting steps to self-diagnose it.

While some steps listed below are easy to self-diagnose, some will require the services of a repairman. However, if you are going to do it on your own, ensure the power outlet to the refrigerator is always unplugged when disassembling your Kenmore refrigerator.

1. Improperly Closed Door

improperly closed door

While this might sound like a no-brainer, it is an issue you should always check when your refrigerator isn’t cooling. In some scenarios, the rubber gasket is worn out or damaged and this could cause the door not to close properly.

Luckily for you, you can easily troubleshoot this by checking through the door gasket to see if there is any particle stopping the door from closing properly. If there isn’t, then you should try out the next troubleshooting step below

2. Check the Condenser Fan

check the condenser fan

The condenser fan is located in the back compartment of your fridge right under the blades. Once you locate the condenser fans, you should check for dirt particles or debris to be double sure nothing is blocking your condenser from working optimally.

Now use your hand to spin it and see if it would move freely, if it doesn’t move freely, the fan is broken and would require a replacement. However, if it does, try restarting your Kenmore refrigerator to check if your Kenmore refrigerator is now cooling.

If there are no changes after doing this, you should proceed to the next step

3. Check Condenser Coils for Dirt

check the condenser coil

Just around the same compartment where the condenser fan is, you would see the condenser coils located right on top. Once you’ve located the condenser coil, check if there is any dirt or debris around it or check if it is frozen, since dirt particles or a frozen coil makes it harder for the movement of cool air to the fridge.

If there is, use a brush or any appropriate cleaning materials to clean it off

After doing that try restarting the Kenmore refrigerator to see if there are any differences. If there isn’t, and you are still stuck with your Kenmore refrigerator not cooling then you should proceed to the next troubleshooting step

 4. Check the Air Damper

The Damper control controls the amount of air that comes from the freezer compartment to the fridge to make it cooler. And this might affect your freezer from getting cooled as it is supposed to.

The air damper is located between the freezer and fresh food compartment. In a scenario where your air damper gets stuck, it will hinder the circulation and release of cold air into the fridge.

Over here all you have to do is check your Air damper to see if it isn’t stuck. If it is, you should remove the component and clean off anything blocking the air damper. However, a more effective cure is to get a new one if you can.

If after cleaning the air damper you are still stuck with your Kenmore refrigerator not cooling, you should try out the next step

5. Compressor Start Relay Failed

The job of a compressor is to compress refrigerant vapors while pushing them into the fridge’s coils. The pressure created during this process creates heat while creating a gas which is cooled down.

And one of the easy pointers of a failed compressor relay is a burning smell. 

So, If your start relay isn’t working, it will stop the compressor from starting and the compressor works to cool the items in the fridge. 

If you are not sure whether the compressor is working or not, you can check this by using a multimeter to test for continuity between run and start terminal sockets.

If there is no continuity then you need to get a replacement for the compressor start relay

6. Check for Burned Thermostat

In a scenario where your thermometer is turned off, the condenser will turn on and warm up the rear of your refrigerator while also melting the ice that has formed on the thermometer.

This alone can result in your Kenmore refrigerator not cooling. Now, if you are faced with this, you can use a voltmeter or a multimeter to test for continuity. All you have to do is to contact the end of the thermostat wire with that of the multimeter and check for continuity.

If there is no continuity, it means the Thermostat is faulty and needs to b replaced

If after trying out all the steps listed above you are still stuck with your Kenmore refrigerator not cooling, in that case, you should contact Kenmore customer support or any available repairman to get it fixed for you

Kenmore Fridge not Cooling but Freezer working

Kenmore fridge not cooling but freezer working

If your Kenmore fridge is not cooling but the freezer is working there are different reasons why this is happening. However, some of the most common reasons for these are these:

Failing Thermistor

If you are faced with a scenario where you have a failing thermistor, it won’t be able to alert the fridge compressor to start cooling the fridge down when it starts getting warm so it could be a major bottleneck when you are faced with this issue

Broken Damper Control

If the damper control is faulty air won’t be able to move properly from the freezer to the fridge since the damper control controls the amount of air that is passed to the fridge depending on the chosen temperature.

If you are unsure if the damper control is faulty, you can examine it by decreasing the temperature and then use your hand to cover the interior light switch to signify to the fridge that the door is closed.

Now, place your hand on the damper vent to inspect for any form of air coming out. if no air is coming then the damper assembly might be faulty

Frozen Evaporator Coil

Another common issue why you might be experiencing this is a frozen evaporator coil. The evaporator coil is the place where the air goes in the fridge compartment to cool down. In a scenario where the evaporator coil is frozen, air won’t be able to pass through the coils which in turn results in a warm fridge.

If you noticed this issue, you can use any heating device like a hair dryer to heat the evaporator coil. But you also have to figure out the root cause of this to avoid having to deal with the coils again.


This might not be a common issue but you have to ensure the damp vent and any components inside the fridge that releases air aren’t blocked by overstuffing the fridge, since an overstuffed fridge would result in the cold air not spread evenly across the fridge making some section warm while some cold.

Kenmore Elite Refrigerator not Cooling Enough

If you have a Kenmore elite refrigerator, there might be a slight difference in the troubleshooting steps when compared to a simple Kenmore refrigerator. So check here for some tailored troubleshooting steps for your Kenmore elite refrigerator when it isn’t cooling as it used to.

Kenmore Elite refrigerator Reset

If you are unsure of how to reset your Kenmore Elite refrigerator, then you should follow the steps below. 

  • Firstly, open one among the door of the Kenmore fridge.
  • Hold down the “home” and “Ultra ice” buttons together for 5 seconds.
  • Unplug the power cord of the refrigerator from the outlet.
  • Finally, Insert the plug into the power outlet to reset the fridge.


By now you should have figured out the reason behind your Kenmore refrigerator not cooling and the appropriate steps you should take to resolve it. That being said, you want to ensure that the refrigerator is always unplugged anytime you are dealing with any of the electrical components.

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