Kenmore Fridge Not Cooling But Freezer Working

When your Kenmore fridge is not cooling but the freezer is working, it can be a frustrating and concerning issue. This problem can lead to spoiled food and beverages, so it’s crucial to address it promptly. In this guide, we will explore the potential causes and solutions for this common refrigerator problem.

Possible Causes

  1. Blocked Airflow: One of the most common reasons for a warm fridge and a working freezer is blocked airflow between the two compartments. This blockage can be due to food items or ice buildup in the air vents.
  2. Faulty Evaporator Fan: The evaporator fan is responsible for circulating cool air throughout the refrigerator. If it malfunctions, the freezer may continue to work, but the fridge will not receive the cold air it needs.
  3. Damaged Door Gaskets: Damaged or worn-out door gaskets can lead to warm air entering the refrigerator, preventing it from cooling properly.
  4. Thermostat Issues: A malfunctioning thermostat can result in incorrect temperature settings, causing the fridge to remain warm while the freezer maintains its cold temperature.
  5. Refrigerant Leaks: If there’s a refrigerant leak in the cooling system, the freezer may still work, but the fridge won’t cool as it should.

Troubleshooting and Solutions

  1. Check for Airflow Obstructions:

    • Open both the fridge and freezer doors and inspect for any items blocking the air vents or preventing proper circulation.
    • Remove any obstructions you find.
  2. Inspect the Evaporator Fan:

    • Listen for the sound of the evaporator fan running when you open the freezer door.
    • If it’s not running, it may need to be replaced.
  3. Examine Door Gaskets:

    • Inspect the door gaskets for any visible damage or signs of wear.
    • Replace any damaged gaskets to ensure a proper seal.
  4. Test the Thermostat:

    • Use a thermometer to check the temperature inside the fridge. It should be between 35-40°F (1-4°C).
    • Adjust the thermostat settings if necessary, and give it some time to reach the desired temperature.
  5. Look for Refrigerant Leaks:

    • This is a more advanced issue that typically requires professional diagnosis and repair.
    • Signs of a refrigerant leak include hissing sounds, oil spots, or a significant drop in cooling performance
  1. Defrost System Problems:

    • Modern refrigerators have an automatic defrost system that helps prevent ice buildup in the freezer and ensures proper airflow to the refrigerator section. If this system fails, ice can accumulate and block the airflow.
    • Check if there is excessive frost or ice on the evaporator coils in the freezer. If so, the defrost system might be the culprit.
    • The defrost system typically includes a defrost timer, defrost heater, and defrost thermostat. These components may need to be tested and replaced if they are malfunctioning.
  2. Condenser Coils Cleaning:

    • Dirty or clogged condenser coils on the back or underneath the fridge can restrict heat dissipation, making it harder for the refrigerator to cool properly.
    • Unplug the refrigerator and vacuum or brush off any dust or debris from the condenser coils.
    • Ensure proper ventilation around the refrigerator to allow for efficient cooling.
  3. Compressor Issues:

    • If none of the above solutions work, there could be a problem with the compressor, which is the heart of the cooling system. The compressor is responsible for circulating refrigerant and maintaining the desired temperatures.
    • Compressor issues often require professional diagnosis and repair. Common problems include electrical failures, motor issues, or a lack of refrigerant due to a leak.
  4. Age and Condition:

    • The age and overall condition of your Kenmore refrigerator can impact its performance. If it’s an older model that has seen many years of use, some components may naturally wear out, leading to cooling problems.
    • In such cases, you may need to consider whether it’s more cost-effective to repair or replace the refrigerator.
  5. Regular Maintenance:

    • To prevent future cooling problems, consider implementing a regular maintenance schedule. This includes cleaning coils, checking and replacing gaskets, and ensuring proper ventilation around the appliance.
    • Following the manufacturer’s maintenance guidelines can extend the lifespan of your refrigerator and reduce the likelihood of issues.
  6. Consult the Owner’s Manual:

    • Your Kenmore refrigerator’s owner’s manual can be a valuable resource. It often contains specific troubleshooting steps and maintenance recommendations tailored to your model.
  7. Professional Appliance Repair:

    • If you’ve exhausted all troubleshooting steps and your refrigerator still doesn’t cool, it’s advisable to contact a qualified appliance repair technician. They have the expertise and tools to diagnose and fix complex issues, including compressor problems or refrigerant leaks.

Common Causes

CauseDescriptionTroubleshooting StepsEstimated Repair Cost ($)DIY Fix?
Thermostat IssuesMalfunctioning thermostat can disrupt cooling.Check and replace if faulty$50 – $150Yes
Evaporator Fan FailureFaulty fan can hinder air circulation.Replace fan motor$100 – $200Yes
Dirty Condenser CoilsDust and dirt on coils reduce heat exchange.Clean coils$20 – $50Yes
Refrigerant LeakLow refrigerant levels affect cooling.Locate and repair leak$150 – $500No
Defrost Timer MalfunctionIf it fails, ice buildup can block airflow.Replace defrost timer$50 – $100Yes
Damaged Door SealsLeaky seals allow warm air in.Replace door gaskets$20 – $50Yes
Faulty CompressorThe heart of the cooling system.Replace compressor$300 – $600No
Blocked Air VentsObstructed vents can disrupt airflow.Clear vents and ductsFreeYes
Power Supply IssuesElectrical problems can affect cooling.Check power supplyVariableYes
Age and WearOlder fridges may suffer from wear and tear.Consider replacementVariesNo


SymptomDescriptionPossible CausesSeverity (1-5)Recommended Action
Warm Fridge, Cold FreezerFridge not cooling, but freezer is cold.Thermostat, Fan, or Coils4Troubleshoot and repair.
Ice Buildup in FreezerAccumulation of ice on freezer walls.Defrost Timer or Fan3Defrost, repair components.
Fridge Runs ConstantlyFridge compressor never shuts off.Thermostat or Compressor4Investigate and fix issue.
Water Dripping Inside FridgeCondensation or water pooling in the fridge.Damaged Seals or Clogged Drain2Replace seals, clear drain.
Noisy OperationUnusual or loud noises during fridge operation.Fan, Compressor, or Coils3Diagnose and address noise.

Troubleshooting Steps

ProblemTroubleshooting Steps
Fridge Not Cooling1. Check thermostat settings.
2. Clean condenser coils.
3. Inspect evaporator fan.
4. Examine door seals for damage.
5. Ensure proper ventilation around the fridge.
Ice Buildup in Freezer1. Test the defrost timer.
2. Check the defrost heater.
3. Inspect the defrost thermostat.
4. Clear any blockages in the drain.
Fridge Runs Constantly1. Verify thermostat settings.
2. Check for obstructions in airflow.
3. Inspect the thermostat for accuracy.
Water Dripping Inside Fridge1. Replace damaged door seals.
2. Clear the clogged drain.
3. Ensure the fridge is level.
Noisy Operation1. Examine the evaporator fan for obstructions.
2. Investigate any unusual compressor noises.
3. Check for loose or vibrating parts.

DIY Fix Possibility

ProblemDIY Fix?
Fridge Not CoolingYes
Ice Buildup in FreezerYes
Fridge Runs ConstantlyYes
Water Dripping Inside FridgeYes
Noisy OperationYes

Estimated Repair Cost

ProblemEstimated Repair Cost ($)
Fridge Not Cooling$20 – $600
Ice Buildup in Freezer$50 – $200
Fridge Runs Constantly$50 – $300
Water Dripping Inside Fridge$20 – $100
Noisy Operation$50 – $300


A Kenmore fridge not cooling while the freezer is working can be caused by various factors, including issues with airflow, the evaporator fan, door gaskets, the thermostat, refrigerant levels, the defrost system, or the compressor. Thoroughly troubleshooting these potential problems, along with regular maintenance, can often resolve the issue. However, if the problem persists, especially with older appliances, professional repair services may be necessary to ensure your refrigerator continues to function efficiently and prevent food spoilage.


Kenmore Fridge Not Cooling But Freezer Working

Leave a Comment