Short answer: Make sure it is properly plugged in and the power is on. Check the thermostat settings to make sure they’re set correctly. Inspect the vents and coils for dust and debris.

KitchenAid, a renowned name in kitchen appliances, boasts a line of high-quality refrigerators designed to keep food fresh and beverages chilled. However, like all appliances, they’re not immune to occasional malfunctions. One of the most commonly reported issues is the refrigerator failing to cool properly. This problem not only compromises the freshness of stored food but also raises concerns about energy efficiency and safety. Identifying the cause and resolving the issue quickly is crucial to avoid further complications and potential food spoilage.

Possible Reasons Why A Kitchenaid Refrigerator Not Cooling

Why Is My Fridge Not Cooling and How Can I Fix It
KitchenAid Refrigerator Not Cooling

Fridge Improperly Located:

If a refrigerator is placed directly in sunlight or near heat sources like ovens or heaters, it might struggle to maintain a cold internal temperature. Adequate air circulation around the fridge is essential to dissipate the heat it emits.

Overloaded Fridge:

When a refrigerator is packed too tightly with items, it can restrict airflow, making it harder for the appliance to cool all areas evenly. This can lead to some sections not being cooled adequately.

Defective Compressor:

The compressor is the heart of a refrigerator’s cooling system. If it’s defective, the refrigerator will not cool. It’s responsible for circulating refrigerant between the evaporator and condenser coils.

Dirty Condenser Coils:

Over time, dust and debris can accumulate on the condenser coils, which are typically located on the back or underneath the fridge. Dirty coils reduce the fridge’s efficiency and its ability to cool.

Leak in the Refrigerator Door Seal:

KitchenAid Refrigerator leaking water
KitchenAid Refrigerator Repair – Replacing the Door Gasket

The door seal (or gasket) ensures the cold air remains inside the fridge. A damaged or leaky seal can allow cold air to escape and warm air to enter, affecting the internal temperature.

Frosted Evaporator:

A frost buildup on the evaporator coils can disrupt airflow and impair the cooling capacity. This typically results from issues with the defrost system.

Broken Evaporator Fan Motor:

This fan circulates cold air from the evaporator coils throughout the fridge and freezer compartments. If it’s malfunctioning, cold air won’t be distributed properly.

Low Refrigerant Level:

Refrigerant is the substance that absorbs and releases heat, providing cooling. If its levels drop due to leaks or other issues, the cooling efficiency will be compromised.

Defective Thermistor:

The thermistor monitors the refrigerator’s internal temperature and sends readings to the control board, which then regulates power to the compressor and evaporator fan. A faulty thermistor can lead to temperature imbalances.

Start Relay:

This is a device that helps start the compressor. If defective, the compressor might not run, leading to the refrigerator not cooling.

Fault in Main Control Board:

Fault in Main Control Board
Fault in Main Control Board

The main control board governs the majority of the functions in a refrigerator. Faults here can affect various components, leading to cooling issues and other malfunctions.

What To Do If Your Kitchenaid Refrigerator Not Cooling?

fixing refregirator
Checking the refrigerator settings

Organize the Food:

Ensure food and containers aren’t blocking the vents. Avoid overstuffing, as it can impede airflow and affect the appliance’s cooling capacity.

Clean the Condenser Coils:

Located either at the back or underneath the refrigerator, condenser coils can accumulate dust and dirt. Use a brush or vacuum to clean them periodically for optimal performance.

Check the Condenser Fan:

Ensure it’s not blocked by debris and turns freely. Listen for unusual noises, which might indicate issues.

Make Sure the Evaporator Fan is Working:

This fan circulates cold air inside the fridge and freezer compartments. If you can’t hear it running or feel air movement, it might be faulty.

Check the Temperature Control Thermostat:

Rotate the thermostat from the lowest to the highest setting. You should hear a click if it’s working. If not, it might be faulty and require replacement.

Check the Start Capacitor:

If the compressor doesn’t start, the start capacitor could be the issue. A multimeter can be used for testing, but if unsure, consult with a technician.

Replace the Main Control Board:

If other solutions don’t resolve the issue, the main control board might be faulty. Replacing it can be complex; consider hiring a professional.

Check the Compressor is Working:

The compressor circulates refrigerant and is essential for cooling. If you hear buzzing or humming but it doesn’t start, the compressor may have an issue.

Reset the Water Filter Indicator:

After changing the water filter, ensure you reset the indicator. Though not directly related to cooling, it ensures the fridge operates efficiently.

Repair the Refrigerator Door Gasket:

Check the seal/gasket around the doors. If it’s damaged, cold air might escape, affecting cooling. Replace or repair as needed.

Level the Fridge:

Ensure the fridge is level. This aids in proper door closure and overall operational efficiency. Adjust the feet or use shims to level the unit.

Checking the Compressor:

  • Remove the back cover of the refrigerator.
  • Touch the compressor to check if it’s overheating. If it’s not running and overheating, this indicates a malfunction.
  • Listen to the sounds it makes; humming or clicking noises can indicate issues related to the relay.

Inspecting the Relay and Run Capacitor:

  • Remove the clip that holds the relay in place.
  • Wiggle out the relay and the run capacitor.
  • Disconnect the harness from the relay.
  • Remove the run capacitor from the relay.
  • The run capacitor should read 12 microfarads (UF). Test it using a multimeter set to read microfarads. If the reading is within the range of 12 ± 5 UF, the capacitor is functioning well.

Replacing the Relay with a Universal Run Capacitor:

  • Order a universal run capacitor suitable for a 120-volt compressor.
  • If you receive the wrong relay (without terminals), you can modify it by cutting the red and white wires and attaching new terminals.
  • Use the diagram provided with the relay for reference.
  • If your refrigerator originally had a run capacitor, make sure you reinstall it. Otherwise, it can damage the new relay.


  • Identify the power lines coming from the refrigerator to the relay.
  • Cut the old terminals and strip the wires.
  • Connect the stripped wires to the relay using wire nuts.
  • Based on the diagram or reference from this guide, connect the wires to the compressor. Typically: black at the bottom, red on the left, and white on the right.
  • Secure the relay in a position where it won’t be disturbed or damaged. Secure any wire nuts with electrical tape to prevent loosening from vibration.
  • For best performance and compatibility, consider using the original (OEM) run capacitor.

Testing the Repair:

  • Push the refrigerator back into place and plug it in.
  • Listen for the compressor to start.
  • Use a tester to measure the amperage. A reading between 1.0 and 1.5 indicates the compressor is functioning correctly.
  • Check the water line in the back to ensure it’s not kinked, ensuring good water flow.


  • Ensure the refrigerator cools properly. If issues persist, you may need to check the compressor windings or other related components.
  • Always refer to expert guides or professional help if uncertain.

Shelves and Drawers Removal:

  • Remove the top shelves by pulling them up and then out.
  • Remove the crisper drawers by pushing the small plastic hook towards the front and pulling it up.
  • Remove the glass and the entire crisper assembly.
  • Remove the glass from the chef’s pantry and the large drawer.

Cross Piece Removal:

  • Remove the glass of the three-door unit.
  • Use a flat-blade screwdriver to remove the wire harness cover on the chef’s pantry.
  • Unplug the wire from the harness.
  • Slide the cross piece to the left and ensure the wire trunk is removed.

Evaporator Access:

  • Remove the two long screws from the filter assembly at the top of the refrigerator.
  • Open the water housing and remove the filter.
  • Pry the plastic facade down from the water housing system.
  • Remove the wire harness from the lights.
  • Separate every single harness between the water tower and ice maker.
  • Remove the water line that goes from the water tower to the ice maker.
  • Pry out the ice maker’s front facade and disconnect the small wire harness.
  • Remove the two screws holding the ice maker in its housing.
  • Remove the screws holding the evaporator panel on.
  • Remove the air tower.

Evaporator System Check:

Dirty compressor
Fixing KitchenAid refrigerator not cooling
  • Check the fan for proper operation.
  • If the fan doesn’t work, inspect the harness connection.
  • Check the thermistor on the evaporator.
  • If defective, replace the fan and thermistor kit.

Evaporator Fan and Thermistor Replacement:

  • Remove the evaporator fan from the rubber pegs.
  • Replace with the new fan and thermistor kit.
  • Move the thermistor to the flat piece of the black evaporator system.
  • Reinstall the fan with the new pegs.

Drain Line Cleanup:

Check the drain line hole and clear any debris using curved needle nose pliers or a bottle of water with a plastic line.


What should I check if I hear a grinding noise from the back wall of the refrigerator?

This noise may be the evaporator fan struggling against ice buildup. Inspect the fan and surrounding area for excessive ice.

My refrigerator’s fan isn’t running. What should I do?

Check the harness connection that powers the fan and thermostats. If there’s any corrosion, clean it. If the fan still doesn’t work, consider replacing it.

How do I know if the thermistor on the evaporator is malfunctioning?

The thermistor reads the temperature of the evaporator system. If it’s defective, it might incorrectly signal the fridge that the cabinet is defrosted too early, leading to ice buildup.

Are there any diagnostic modes on the KitchenAid refrigerator to help troubleshoot?

Yes, by pressing specific buttons on your door’s interface, you can enter diagnostics mode and test various components like the evaporator fan.

Can the defrost mode be changed on the KitchenAid refrigerator?

Yes, you can switch the refrigerator from dynamic defrosting to a forced eight-hour defrost mode to ensure more frequent defrosting.

Where can I find the right replacement parts for my KitchenAid refrigerator?

It’s recommended to input your model number on the KitchenAid official website or consult authorized dealers to get the appropriate replacement parts.


When a KitchenAid refrigerator is not cooling, the reasons can vary from simple to complex. These can range from airflow obstructions and faulty thermistors to more intricate issues within the evaporator system. Regular maintenance and early detection of problems can help ensure that the appliance functions optimally. However, if faced with persistent cooling issues, it’s always wise to consult with a professional technician. While DIY solutions might work temporarily, an expert’s insight ensures the longevity and efficiency of your KitchenAid refrigerator. Remember, investing in timely repairs can prevent costlier breakdowns in the future.

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