There are several possible causes when a refrigerator doesn’t keep your milk cold or your ice cream frozen. Before you attempt more complex repairs, try these simple fixes:

  • Be sure the fridge is plugged in and getting power. The light should come on when you open the door.
  • Check the thermostat to make sure it hasn’t been turned way down by mistake.
  • Be sure the vents on the back of the freezer compartment aren’t blocked by boxes of ice cream or frozen vegetables—the vents have to be clear for cold air to circulate.
  • Vacuum the coils under or behind the fridge. Clogged coils can cause poor cooling.
  • Check to make sure nothing is stuck in the condenser fan and that it spins freely (models with coils on the back won’t have a fan). To do this, unplug the fridge and pull it out. Clean the fan blades and spin the fan by hand to see if it’s stuck (Photo 5 shows the condenser fan location). Plug in the fridge and make sure the fan runs when the compressor is running. If the fan doesn’t run, see Photos 5 and 6, which show how to replace it.
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