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Freezer Is Cold But Refrigerator is Warm – What To Check To Fix?

Fridge is not cold? Freezer works? A problem in your refrigerator may cause the FRIDGE PORTION TO NOT GET COOL but the FREEZER IS WORKING. Why is that?

Why does my freezer work but not my fridge? What can I check on my fridge to fix it myself and get the fridge portion to begin cooling again?

Refrigerator is warm but Freezer is workingRefrigerator is warm but Freezer is working

We will list the parts that are most likely causing your fridge is warm but freezer is cold working issue. When the refrigerator freezer is cold but the refrigerator is warm, you will need to check or test each part listed in the order from first part being most likely the cause.

There are many different types of refrigerators on the market today. These parts are mostly universal so if your fridge is not cold but the freezer is, use the list below to find the bad part and fix your refrigerator yourself.


Evaporator Fan – Evaporator Motor For Fan Not Turning

This fan pulls cold air over the evaporator coils. It circulates it into the freezer section. If this fan is not spinning or the motor is bad then the refrigerator will not cool. Turn this fan by hand. It is located in the freezer section at back. If the blades do not move or are difficult to turn then replace the fan and motor assembly. See part to replace below.

Refrigerator Evaporator Fan Motor AssemblyRefrigerator Evaporator Fan Motor Assembly

Evaporator Coils Are Iced Up – Ice Build Up Causing Issue

Your fridge has a part called a defrost heater. This part runs several times a day. It’s purpose is to melt any ice or frost that can build up on the evaporator coils. When the defrost heater goes bad the ice will build up on the evaporator coils. When the coils are iced over the air cannot flow as designed.

This makes it so the fridge will not cool. If the coils are iced over, then you have a defrost issue. Use a meter and test all parts of the defrost system. Most likely you need to replace the defrost heater and your issue will be fixed.

Thermistor – Not monitoring Temperature

This part checks the fridge temp and relays the temperature to the main computer control board. This board will regulate the power to the compressor and evaporator fan. If the thermistor is bad, then all this does not happen and the fridge will not cool.

The compressor will not run or may run too often. Test the thermistor with a multimeter. If the thermistor has no continuity then it needs to be replaced. See part to replace below.

Refrigerator Temperature Sensor ThermistorRefrigerator Temperature Sensor Thermistor

Damper Control – Not Opening Or Broken

There is a part in the fridge called an air damper assembly. This part opens and closes to let in cold air into the fridge portion. When the damper does NOT open, then cold air does not flow properly.

Be sure to visually look at the damper to see if it is stuck closed. If the air damper is broken, replace asap. See part to replace below.

Damper Control for RefrigeratorDamper Control for Refrigerator

Defrost Control Board – Ice builds Up On Coils

This part decides how often to turn on the cycle to defrost. If this part is bad then the fridge cannot turn on the cycle to defrost. Ice will build up on the coils. When the coils get iced up your fridge will try and melt and remove heat.

Your fridge then gets warm and this can also be the result of a fridge being warm and the freezer being cold. Test the defrost board and defrost system with a meter and replace parts as necessary. See part to replace below.

Defrost Control Kit for RefrigeratorDefrost Control Kit for Refrigerator

Temp Control Board – Not Sending Power

This board sends power to the compressor and both fans. When it goes bad it will cease to send power to the compressor and fan motors. Test parts accordingly and replace as needed to fix fridge temp issue. See part to replace below.

Temperature Control BoardTemperature Control Board

Other issues that may be causing the fridge to not get cool is the following parts: Defrost Timer, Defrost Thermostat, and the Main Control Board. Rarely these parts are bad but they could cause the fridge temp issue if bad.

Check the parts from the top of our list and downward for most likely faulty. Use a meter and you will discover which part is making your refrigerator warm and the freezer freezing.

How to fix a warm fridge cold freezer tutorial – Easy Fix

If you know of other parts or reasons a fridge will be warm but the freezer is freezing, or if you have issues with your fridge being warm, please leave a comment below.

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4 thoughts on “Freezer Is Cold But Refrigerator is Warm – What To Check To Fix?”

  1. Bill,
    You are absolutely correct. We appreciate your detailed insights regarding the possible reasons for the issue.

    We understand that if the freezer is adequately cold, it indicates that there is no issue with the refrigeration system, including the evaporator fan and coils. We agree that the problem must lie in the airflow from the freezer to the refrigerator compartment. In such cases, it is likely related to the damper and/or thermistor.

    To cover all bases and provide comprehensive support, we listed additional potential causes to ensure any variation in the problem could be addressed. Our aim is to help identify and resolve any other possible issues that might arise during troubleshooting.

    Thank you again for pointing this out to us and other readers.

  2. You list 6 possible reasons but only 2 are relevant to the question as posed. Obviously, if the freezer is adequately cold
    there is nothing wrong w/ the refrigeration system including evap fan and coils inside the freezer compartment. The problem HAS to be in the airflow from the freezer to refrigerator compartment. Damper and/or thermistor. Right?

  3. One other thing to check once you have access to the fan motor etc, likely from inside the fridge, are the plastic connectors that join all these components. I found that one connecting the temperature thermistor was quite corroded. You could see a green tinge all over the plastic. In pulling it a part, one of the metal tabs was completely corroded away. I cut the wires, and joined them, bypassing the plugs all together, and presto! Love sites like these that at the very least get you to investigate the obvious before making that call. :)

  4. I have a Samsung rs261mdwp/xaa. The freezer stopped working, when I unplugged the unit to try to reset , the fridge also stopped . I replaced the control board and got the lights on the control panel to light up and have tried multiple times to reset the unit , but no success. There is no power going to the compressor.Any suggestions ? Thanks.

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