Modern refrigerators come with a variety of features, like ice/water dispensers, automatic temperature controls, and even WiFi connectivity. However, at the end of the day, all a fridge really needs to do is keep your food cool. If it can’t even do that, then your fridge has a serious problem indeed.
So what can cause a Bosch fridge to stop cooling? There are several reasons, although some are more common than others. Dirty condenser coils are the most common reason why fridges lose their ability to cool, but the cause could also be a bad fan motor, the compressor, or one of the other various electronic components in the fridge.
Today, we’ll be taking a look at all of the issues that can cause your Bosch fridge to stop cooling, and we’ll explain what causes these issues and how to fix them.
Why Bosch Refrigerator Stopped Cooling?
Condenser Coils Is Dirty
To understand what the condenser coils do, it helps to know a little about how a fridge works. Fridges keep themselves cool by circulating refrigerant within themselves. The refrigerant absorbs heat from the air inside the fridge and then passes through several components that remove the heat from the refrigerant; the condenser coils are one of these components.
The condenser coils are located on the outside of the fridge, either on the back or on the underside. Being that they’re exposed to the outside, they tend to collect a lot of dust and debris over time. If enough dust accumulates on the condenser coils, they become unable to dissipate heat from the refrigerant, and the refrigerant is unable to cool the fridge.
To clean your condenser coils, first unplug your fridge and then access the coils. If you don’t have one, you might want to get an appliance brush, as this will help you get all the little bits of dust out of the coils a lot more easily. You should also have a vacuum cleaner on hand.
All you need to do is just brush all of the dust out of the coils and use the vacuum to suck up any loose dust right away. Cleaning your condenser coils shouldn’t take you more than about 15-20 minutes, so no need to worry about the condition of your food while your fridge is unplugged.
Malfunctioned Fans/Fan Motors
There are generally at least two fans inside most fridges, and as such there are almost always at least two fan motors. The first fan is the condenser fan, which moves air over the condenser coils, and the second fan is the evaporator fan, which moves air over the evaporator coils.
If either of these fans fails, the fridge will have a much harder time keeping itself cool. If the problem is being caused by one of your fridge’s fans, it could merely be that something is getting in the way of the fan blades and preventing them from turning, or it could be that the fan motors themselves are starting to wear out.
To determine the source of the problem, open up your fridge so you have access to the fans inside, and try spinning the blades manually. By doing this, you should be able to tell if there’s something in the way of the blades that is preventing them from spinning fully.
When turning the blades by hand, they should turn fairly freely; if not, it means there’s likely a problem with the fan motor. You can also use a multimeter to test the continuity of the motors; if they show no continuity, you’ll have to have the motors replaced.
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The compressor is one of the key components of your fridge’s cooling system since it is essentially the pump that moves the refrigerant throughout the fridge’s various coils. It’s really not very common at all for a fridge’s compressor to fail, but if yours does, your fridge will be totally unable to keep itself cool.
You should check all of the other components of your fridge before checking your compressor, as it’s far more likely that some other part is what’s causing the problem. If you’ve checked the other components and nothing seems to be wrong, then you can try checking your compressor.
To test your compressor, you can once again use a multimeter. Press the probes of the multimeter against the compressor’s electrical pins, and take note if it shows an open or closed circuit. If it shows an open circuit, the compressor is broken and should be replaced.
Replacing a fridge compressor can be pretty expensive, so unless you really want to keep your fridge, you should probably just get a new fridge if your compressor breaks. In addition, you’ll need to hire a licensed technician to change your compressor, since only someone with a license can legally handle and dispose of refrigerant.
Faulty Start Relay
In a fridge, the start relay works along with the start capacitor to get the compressor started. The compressor needs a little bit of a power boost to get itself going, and that’s where the start relay comes in. If the start relay isn’t working correctly, then the compressor might only start some of the time, or fail to start at all.
If the compressor never runs, then the refrigerant will fail to circulate through the cooling system, and the fridge will inevitably get too warm. You can use a multimeter to test the terminal sockets of the relay to see if there’s any continuity. In addition, pay attention to how the relay smells; if it smells burnt, then it is definitely broken and will need to be replaced.
Faulty Start Capacitor
As we’ve mentioned, the start capacitor is the other component in your fridge that helps get the compressor running when it needs to. If the capacitor fails, then the compressor will be unable to start.
As is the case with all of the other electrical components of your fridge, you can test whether or not it’s still working by using a multimeter. If the capacitor is broken, you’ll have to replace it with a new one.
Broken Temperature Control Thermostat
The temperature control thermostat, as the name implies, monitors the temperature inside the fridge and directs power to the fridge’s various components when required. It’s the temperature control thermostat that tells the compressor or the various fan motors to turn on. If this thermostat fails, the cooling system may be unable to run.
To test the status of your temperature control thermostat, open your fridge up so you have access to it, and manually turn the thermostat from its lowest to its highest setting. If the thermostat is working, you should hear a “click” at some point when turning it.
If you don’t hear a click, use a multimeter to test the thermostat’s continuity, and replace it if it displays none.
A thermistor is pretty similar to a thermostat, as both of these devices are used in temperature regulation. However, the purpose of the thermostat is just to keep temperatures at a certain level, while the purpose of a thermistor is more to just measure temperature accurately.
If the thermistor isn’t working, then the fridge will be unable to monitor its own temperature, and will likely fail to run when it needs to. To test the thermistor, you’ll want to use a multimeter to check its resistance.
If the thermistor is working, the resistance reading should change as the temperature changes. If it doesn’t, then the thermistor is broken and should be replaced.
Malfunctioned Control Board
Your fridge likely contains a few control boards that help control its functions. These control boards don’t usually fail, but if they do then your fridge might stop working entirely.
You should only consider the control boards as the source of the problem if you’ve tried testing everything else. If everything else works fine, then use your trusty multimeter to check the continuity of the control boards, and replace them if they don’t have any.
Let’s take a moment to answer some of the questions you might have about maintaining your fridge.
How Often Should I Clean My Condenser Coils?
In most circumstances, you should be fine if you clean your condenser coils every six months to a year. That being sad, if you have a cat, dog, or some other pet that sheds a lot, you’ll probably want to clean your coils more often, since you’ll likely have a bunch of hair accumulating over your coils.
When Should I Replace My Fridge?
Fridges generally last for about 10-20 years, and the older they get, the greater the potential cost will be for any repairs they might need. If your fridge is eight years old or less and it has an issue, it will probably be worth it for you to repair it and keep it for a little longer; if it’s over 10 years old, however, you’re probably better off just replacing it.
What Are the Signs That I Should Replace My Fridge?
It can be a little tricky sometimes to determine when your fridge’s time has come. However, there are several symptoms that a fridge will display when it’s on its last legs:
- The back of the fridge feels particularly hot
- Food keeps spoiling unusually quickly
- Condensation appears on the inside of the fridge
- Frost frequently builds up inside the freezer
- The fridge is either really noisy or completely silent all the time
How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Fridge?
This ultimately depends on what issue you’re trying to fix. If it’s something small like replacing a door gasket, you probably won’t have to spend more than about $75 on replacement parts, but if it’s something big like replacing the compressor, you will likely have to spend at least $500 or more.