Do you have a Frigidaire refrigerator, and is it making a concerning grinding noise? This may sound like an expensive problem to fix, but is there a way to determine what’s causing the noise before calling a technician?
A Frigidaire refrigerator’s grinding noise is from the freezer’s recirculation fan. You can fix it by removing the auger motor, disconnecting the motor and connectors, and unthreading the recirculation screws. Remove the fan, clean it and reassemble the icebox.
This may seem like a difficult job to do, but it’s fairly simple as long as you have a few basic tools. It may even be as easy as removing ice buildup. In the rest of this article, I will explain the steps in further detail so you can knock this project out and fix your Frigidaire refrigerator.
1. Disassemble The Ice Maker
You need to have access to the refrigerator’s back panel to start fixing the recirculation fan. To do this, you need to disassemble the ice maker and the parts connecting to it.
You will need a Phillips head screwdriver and a socket wrench to complete this job. However, if you don’t have either of these tools, consider buying the DEKOPRO 192-Piece Mechanics Tool Set from Amazon.
This toolset includes all the socket attachments you could ever need, along with 6 different screwdrivers and different attachments. In this kit, you also have several wrenches, various Allen wrenches, and other pieces.
After you’ve gathered the necessary tools, you can disassemble the ice maker by following these steps:
- Locate and unread the screws holding the ice bucket and the front ice panel.
- Grab a socket driver to unthread the screw holding the ice maker’s harness cover and locate the wires within.
- Disconnect the wire connectors that should be visible and gently move them to the side.
- Remove the shelf next to the ice bucket. There should not be any screws holding the shelves, and you should be able to pop the shelf up and remove it from the refrigerator.
- Disassemble the ice maker and disconnect the three mounting screws located on the left side and the upper part of the bucket housing. Be cautious as you unthread the last screw, as the housing is very heavy and could harm you or the fridge.
2. Locate and Remove the Auger Motor
After disassembling the ice maker, you should now have a clear view of the auger motor cover. However, before removing it, ensure that the wires are moved away from the motor housing.
Once the wires are out of the way, here’s how to remove the auger motor:
- Grab a socket screwdriver and remove the outside screws connected to the rear panel.
- Slide out the motor housing and locate the wire connector that connects the housing to the rear panel.
- Before you pull the connector out, there are two tabs you must press to release the connector and the housing. If you were to pull out the connector, you could possibly break the wires that connect to the rest of the fridge, and you could have a bigger problem than you have now.
- Ensure you have a good grip on the housing and very carefully set the housing on a flat surface. The auger motor itself is very heavy, and you may need another person to assist you.
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3. Remove the Recirculation Fan
You can now remove the recirculation fan, which is located to the rear of the motor’s housing. Take a Phillips head screwdriver and unthread the two screws on the fan, and then pry the fan out with a flat-edge tool.
Be cautious when prying out the recirculation fan because you don’t want to break it if there is nothing wrong with the fan itself.
The next step is simple yet very important and will fix the annoying grinding noise you’re hearing inside your refrigerator.
4. Inspect the Fan
This step is simple; the only tool you need is your eyes. The reason your Frigidaire refrigerator is making a horrible grinding noise is likely because there is excess water or ice buildup.
This can happen when the icemaker itself is overflowing and gets too close to the cooling fan. The fan is always spinning on its axle and will continue hitting the ice until it breaks off. If there is enough damage, the fan won’t be able to operate normally.
5. Repair the Fan
Ice build-up is normal, and the easiest way to fix it is while the fan is removed. Here’s how to do it:
- Very carefully remove the ice that is in between the blades with a screwdriver.
- Replace the fan and screw the mounting screws back inside the fan.
- If there is no ice buildup, you could have a bad bearing inside the fan, or the fan might be worn out. If it is the bearing, you should replace the fan if your refrigerator is older.
If you need to replace the fan entirely, then look to the manufacturer’s guide and order the part based on the model you have. If you have a warranty, contact the manufacturer and try to get your new fan through them.
Going through the manufacturer is beneficial because you’ll get the exact part you need, and you do not have to guess which fan is the correct one for your Frigidaire refrigerator.
6. Reassemble The Icebox
If you don’t need to order a new fan, then you can reassemble the icebox back to its original state. You will want to use this order when reassembling the refrigerator:
- Reattach the fan motor screws to the fan.
- Insert the fan back inside the auger motor panel.
- Lift the auger motor panel up to the rear panel, but do not push it back in place.
- Connect the rear panel connector back to the auger motor.
- Screw the motor panel back into the rear panel.
- Lift the icemaker housing back.
- Feed the wires through the opening in the back.
- Screw the mounting screws back to secure the housing.
- Align the icemaker back in its original position and push back until it locks.
- Reconnect the connectors we disconnected at the beginning.
- Reinstall the wire cover and screw it back in.
- Insert the front cover and screw it back into place.
- Insert the ice bucket.
Some people are visual learners, so if this sounds like you and you want like a step-by-step video on how to reassemble the refrigerator, this video is from youtube, and the creator will take you step-by-step on how to reinstall these parts back into place.
Here is a link to the instructional video:
If you have other refrigerator problems, such as your freezer not keeping your frozen food cold, check out our other article about what the problem could be and how you can fix it.
If your Frigidaire refrigerator is making a grinding noise, it’s likely a problem with the recirculation fan. You can check this by removing the panels and housing and inspecting it. The best-case scenario is ice build-up on the fan blades; all you need to do is remove it.
However, if the fan bearing or the fan itself is damaged, you should contact your manufacturer if the refrigerator is still under warranty and obtain the necessary parts.