Frigidaire is considered one of the best kitchen appliance brands around, and for good reason, their fridges are reliable, feature-complete, and energy efficient.
However, no device is perfect. And an issue that can commonly crop up with Frigidaire appliances is that they will suddenly stop cooling.
Needless to say, this is a big problem, and you’re no doubt looking to get it fixed as quickly as possible before your food spoils!
So in this article, we’re going to cover exactly why this problem occurs and share all the best methods to restore your fridge to working order.
Why is your Frigidaire Refrigerator Not Cooling?
The cooling process of a fridge is quite simple.
The compressor pumps coolant through the condenser coils, which causes them to condense. Hot air is expelled from the coolant as it evaporates and is then blown away by the evaporator fan motor.
Usually, if a fridge stops cooling, it means that one or more of the components in that cooling chain has run into trouble. Let’s take a deeper look at what might cause this to happen.
1. The Compressor is Faulty
The compressor acts as the heart of the fridge. Once the temperature gets too hot the compressor gets kicked into action by the start relay, which will then pump the refrigerant through the condenser coils.
So if the motor that runs the compressor fails, then the fridge can’t cool itself.
Most of the time, a compressor issue is caused by age and wear. However, if your fridge is still relatively new, there may be other factors, such as the fridge being loaded with too much food, which causes the compressor to work extra hard to cool everything down.
You can commonly identify this problem by listening for a loud humming sound when the compressor kicks in.
You may also find an excess build-up of ice as the compressor is working extra hard to keep things cool which can sometimes over-cool other parts of the fridge.
2. A Start Relay Problem
Once the fridge becomes too warm and needs to cool, the compressor will be switched on. However, compressors can’t just turn on by themselves, they need a bit of a kickstart.
This is where the start relay comes in. It’s a small device that helps to jump-start the compressor. So even when the compressor’s working just fine, if the start relay fails, the fridge won’t cool.
The start relay has a tendency to just wear out over time. But luckily it’s relatively cheap and easy to replace.
You can test it with a multimeter for continuity and if it’s found to be broken, just swap it out for a new one.
3. The Temperature Control Thermostat is Broken
The thermostat in your fridge is where you set the desired temperature that you’d like to have maintained.
When the temperature exceeds what you’ve set on the thermostat, the fridge will know it’s time to kick on the compressor and cool things down a bit.
However if the thermostat runs into problems your fridge won’t know when it’s time to start cooling, and this often results in the temperature remaining too hot.
The general solution is just to replace the thermostat completely, as these can be challenging to self-repair.
4. The Thermistor isn’t Functioning
The thermistor is essentially a temperature sensor that constantly monitors the internal temperature of the fridge.
Once the temperature exceeds that which you have set on the thermostat, it will notify the fridge’s control board, which in turn will kick on the compressor.
So when the thermistor goes bad your fridge has no way of knowing what the current internal temperature of the fridge is.
You can use a multimeter to check the resistance of the thermistor and if it’s found to be non-functioning then it will just have to be replaced.
5. Clogged-Up Condenser Coils
The condenser coils are a series of tubes located at the back of the fridge which the compressor pumps refrigerant through in order to cool the machine.
As heat is dissipated from the coils it’s then blown away by the evaporator fan.
What commonly happens is these coils will build up a ton of dust and hair that ends up insulating the coils and preventing the heat from dissipating.
This then makes the compressor work extra hard to try and keep things cool, which can usually end up causing other components to freeze over, or the compressor may burn out from overuse.
The condenser coils will need to be cleared out intermittently to ensure the dust doesn’t build up too severely.
6. A Faulty Evaporator Fan Motor
The evaporator fan passes air over the evaporator coil in order to pull the heat away from the fridge.
However, the motor that powers this can fan sometimes fail, meaning the coils can only pull out heat ambiently which dramatically reduces their effectiveness.
This results in the fridge not being able to cool itself properly and can also force other components to work overtime to keep up.
Sometimes a build-up of ice on the evaporator coil can contribute to this in which case defrosting the system can help a lot.
The motor may have also burned out due to age and wear, in which case it will need to be replaced.
7. The Refrigerator Door isn’t Sealed Properly
That plastic/rubber seal, otherwise known as the refrigerator door gasket, is a very important part of the fridge’s cooling system.
It creates an air tight seal that not only keeps the cold air in but also stops warm outside air from coming in and causing the temperature to fluctuate.
So if this seal isn’t working it can cause all kinds of problems with the cooling system.
You should inspect the seal carefully for cracks or any food build-up that may cause a slight air gap.
8. The Fridge is Overloaded
For optimal refrigerator performance, the fridge shouldn’t be any more than 75% full at any one time. This is so the cool air can be adequately distributed around all of the items inside the fridge.
When it’s too full, the air won’t make it all the way around which will cause some items to be overly cooled, while others may still be warm.
Try to re-arrange the fridge better or transfer some items to a cooler basket for better performance.
How to Fix a Frigidaire Refrigerator Not Cooling
As we can see if any of the components in the cooling cycle run into problems it can have a knock-on effect which causes the whole fridge to not cool itself.
Let’s look at how to fix these problems to get your fridge back in working order.
1. Replace the Compressor
If the compressor has failed the only solution is to replace it.
However, compressors can be quite expensive components. So if your fridge is relatively cheap the cost of simply buying a new fridge may work out cheaper than the cost of purchasing a new compressor.
If you have a more expensive fridge then the best option is to contact Frigidaire who will help set you up with a replacement compressor and have a qualified technician come out and replace it for you.
We do not recommend trying to replace this component by yourself as it’s too complicated of a job if you are not adequately trained.
2. Replace the Start Relay
Start relays on the other hand are much easier to replace. If yours has failed you should refer to your user manual to find the exact model of relay your fridge uses and order a replacement.
Make sure you order the exact model number for your particular fridge.
Then we’ll need to get it installed:
- Start by unplugging the fridge from the power supply.
- Remove the access panel, usually located at the back of the fridge near the bottom.
- Identify the start relay cap and remove it, this is a small shell that hides the start relay. Refer to your user manual if you are unsure of its exact location.
- Remove all the wires that connect to the start relay. It’s a good idea to take a picture of the wire configuration so that when you install the new one you have a reference of how it should be wired in.
- Remove the old relay and discard it, and set the new relay in its place.
- Reconnect the wires in the same way and then reinstall the cap.
- Re-attach the back panel and plug the fridge back in.
3. Replace the Broken Temperature Thermostat
If the temperature thermostat has been tested and found to be faulty it too will need to be replaced.
You’ll first need to order a replacement from Frigidaire.
Once you have that you can simply unscrew the old thermostat and screw the new one in its place. Remember to power down the fridge and unplug it first.
4. Repair the Thermistor
Sometimes when a thermistor temperature sensor isn’t working it may be due to something blocking it. Try giving it a wipe down with a soft cloth, you can also use a little warm water to help it, but don’t use any strong cleaning solutions as it may damage the sensor.
If this doesn’t help then it may have failed and need to be replaced. A replacement thermistor can be sourced from Frigidaire directly.
5. Clean out the Condenser Coil
If the condenser coil gets clogged up the fridge won’t be able to expel the heat, so we need to get them cleaned out.
To do this you’ll need a brush and ideally a vacuum. All you need to do is brush in between the coils to dislodge the built-up dust, hair, and dirt.
Hold your vacuum nozzle nearby to suck up as much of the dislodged dust as possible to prevent your kitchen from getting too dusty.
6. Replace the Condenser Fan Motor
If the condenser fan motor has failed it will need to be replaced with a new one.
Once you have sourced a new one from Frigidaire, it’s a fairly easy component to replace and just involves unscrewing the old one and mounting the new one in its place.
If you are not confident in doing this yourself again, we recommend contacting Frigidaire support for assistance from a trained technician.
7. Fix or Replace the Fridge Door Seal
If the fridge door seal is compromised the fridge will struggle to cool.
Start by cleaning the fridge and freezer gaskets with a cloth and an all-purpose cleaner to remove any stains or dirt that might be impeding their ability to seal.
If significant cracks or damage is located then the whole gasket will need to be replaced. Fortunately, it just pulls right out and you can insert the new one by hand.
8. Re-arrange the Fridge
A fridge with too many items inside it will struggle to cool. Frigidaire recommends not filling your fridge more than 75% full at any one time.
If yours is too full consider re-arranging the items to improve airflow a bit. Or a better solution, if you are able to, is to remove some items to create a bit more space inside the fridge for the air to circulate properly.