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Troubleshooting Kenmore Refrigerators: Diagnostic Mode

Kenmore Refrigerators, Most home appliances have a diagnostic mode that will allow you to test the appliance’s functionality at its most basic level before going through any additional steps.

This handy feature will enable you to pinpoint the exact issue with your device. Below is how to enter diagnostic mode in your new Kenmore refrigerator.

Does Kenmore refrigerator have diagnostic mode?

Kenmore Refrigerators

Kenmore is famous for its industry-leading fridges. This means that the company has tens, if not hundreds, of refrigerator models. As a result, not all the models have diagnostic mode.

However, the feature is pretty standard in modern models, so yours will likely have it. Some have a dedicated “test mode” button, while others require you to press a sequence of buttons to toggle diagnostic mode.

How to put Kenmore refrigerator in diagnostic mode

If your Kenmore refrigerator has diagnostic mode, it’s probably in the user manual. However, it’s still easy to enter if you don’t have the manual. If you have a smart model, it will have a dedicated function for test mode. For most other models, you can follow these general steps:

Press and hold the Lock button on the control for around three seconds. Press and hold the fridge and freezer buttons while pressing the Acela ice button five times. The digital display will show how long the device has been running in minutes. Press the freezer button six times to go through temperature sensor tests.

The display will show the duration until the next water filter change. Press the freezer button again to see error codes. If the system doesn’t detect any problems, it will just show operating time. If an error code appears, note it down and continue pressing the freezer button to see more. Check your user manual to see what the error codes mean. Fixing the problems will automatically remove the error codes.

The error codes vary significantly from one Kenmore refrigerator to another. It’s therefore essential to confirm your model number before looking them up on the company’s website.

Troubleshooting Kenmore refrigerators

Although Kenmore refrigerators are known for their durability and quality, they still have their fair share of shortcomings. Here are some of the most reported Kenmore refrigerator problems.

Kenmore fridge is not cooling, but the freezer is working

If your fridge is not cooling, but the freezer is working, there might be a problem with your defrost system. The defrost heater assembly turns several times to melt any ice or frost on the evaporator coils.

If the system has a problem, frost will accumulate on the coils, and the refrigerator will stop cooling. Here’s the solution:

Faulty evaporator fan motor

The evaporator coils get cold, and the evaporator fans circulate the air all over the freezer and fridge. If the fan motors fail, the cold air might not reach the refrigerator. A noisy vibration from the fans is an indication of a faulty motor.

You can also try rotating the fan by hand. If you feel any resistance, you probably need to change it.

Defective damper control assembly

 The damper control assembly supplies cold air from the freezer to cool the refrigerator. If it is damaged, blocked, or has other problems, it will not receive the cool air. Inspect it to confirm it is opening and closing properly. If not, you will need to replace it.

Faulty thermistor

A thermistor monitors the refrigerator’s temperature and reports the information to the main control board. If the temperature gets too hot or cold, the main control board turns the compressor on or off accordingly. If the thermistor is broken, the main control board will not control the temperature in the refrigerator. You can test the thermistor for current with a multimeter and install a new one if needed.

Defrost control board issues

The control board regulates the temperatures that prevent the evaporator coils from frosting. If the board has a problem, your refrigerator will remain warm.

Kenmore coldspot ice maker is not dispensing ice

If your ice maker is making ice but not dispensing it, the appliance might have an electrical or mechanical problem. Here’s how to troubleshoot it:

l Inspect the dispenser arm. Sometimes it gets stuck if you hold it in for too long. Release the arm, then wait a few minutes for its motor to reset before using it again.

A defective dispenser control board will not power the ice dispensing system, requiring replacing.

l A defective dispenser switch will not send voltage to the dispenser, preventing it from functioning.

The ice blade in the dispenser can freeze and prevent the ice from coming out. You can defrost it by blowing hot air near the dispenser.

The icemaker is frozen

If your ice maker freezes, you can take these simple steps to melt it down:

l Switch off the refrigerator and unplug it. Remove the bin from the freezer and clean it out.

l Locate the waterline. This white, rubber-like hose supplies the ice maker with water.

l Blow hot air using a hairdryer over the water line to melt any stuck ice. Hold the hair dryer at least six inches away from the water line to avoid melting any plastic parts. You can also melt the ice in the water line by dipping it into warm water.

l Remove the ice maker and set it aside until it thaws out.

l Reassemble everything and turn the refrigerator back on.

Is there a reset button on the Kenmore refrigerator?

Kenmore Refrigerators

Most Kenmore refrigerators don’t have a dedicated reset button. However, you can follow a few steps to reset your refrigerator after a power surge or glitch.

  1. Find the power cord at the back of the refrigerator.
  2. Turn off the refrigerator and disconnect the power cord from the socket.
  3. Set both the refrigerator and freezer controls to “off” or “0.”
  4. Readjust the controls in the desired setting.
  5. Let the fridge adjust to a stable temperature for a day or so.
  6. Connect the power cord and switch on the refrigerator.


The diagnostic mode is a way of figuring out the problem with your refrigerator, so you can see exactly how to fix it. It can be really helpful if you want to get the problem fixed as soon as possible. However, if you don’t fully understand the problem, it’s always important to let a professional check it out.