A refrigerator typically has several motors that power different components. Learn how to fix possible problems with a KitchenAid refrigerator motor.
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KitchenAid Fridge Creaks When the Motor Is Running – Quick Fix
If you notice a loud creaking coming from the fridge when it runs, it may be that the fan motor is dirty or faulty. Dirt and debris can obstruct the motor and generate noise when the motor tries to run. Since the fan operates simultaneously with the fridge, it may get louder with each oscillation. Check out this article on a KitchenAid refrigerator making a high-pitched noise to find steps to troubleshoot and fix the problem.
How to Replace the Fan Motor in a KitchenAid Refrigerator
Every refrigerator has two fans: the evaporator fan and the condenser fan. Some models have more than two evaporator fans, but there is usually only one condenser fan. The evaporator fan, also called the freezer fan, is located behind the freezer’s back panel. On the other hand, the condenser fan is at the bottom back of the unit, next to the condenser coils and compressor.
Evaporator Fan Motor
To replace the evaporator fan motor, start by disconnecting the refrigerator from the electric power. You must move the refrigerator to reach the power cord and wall outlet unless you have a built-in model where you cannot reach the outlet. Turn off the breaker for the refrigerator in this case. Doing that prevents electrocution or damage to the refrigerator.
Next, empty the freezer of all items. Remove the foods and drinks, and store them in another refrigerator. You can also leave them stacked on the counter because this repair will not take too long. After that, remove the shelves, bins, and racks to empty the freezer completely. That way, you can easily reach the back panel to remove it.
Now, get a screwdriver and unthread the screws holding the panel. Depending on the model, there may be more than two screws; side-by-side models may have about six screws on the panel. Once the screws are loose, remove them and gently lower the back panel. The evaporator fan may be attached to it by wires, but that is not always the case. Other times, the fan sits in a bracket next to the evaporator coils.
Check the wires connected to the fan and disconnect the wire harnesses. Depress the locking tab on each harness to separate the wires. Next, locate the screws on the fan’s mounting bracket, loosen, and remove them.
Lower the bracket with the fan in it and remove the fan blade from the motor shaft. Unthread the screws from the rear mounting bracket so you can separate the fan motor from the bracket. Discard the old motor and put a new one in its place. Next, secure it to the rear mounting bracket with the screws and put the fan blade on the motor shaft.
Now, fix and secure the front bracket with the four screws and reconnect the wire harness to connect the fan back to the refrigerator. Put the back panel back in place and secure it with the screws, but you must ensure the fan and motor are secure in its bracket and shroud. Finally, reconnect the refrigerator back to the electric power and test the fan.
Condenser Fan Motor
Start by disconnecting the refrigerator from the electric power. Move it to create space at the back so that you can reach the power outlet or use the circuit breaker to turn the appliance off. Next, get a ¼-inch nut driver and remove the screws on the rear bottom access panel. Ensure you keep the panel and screws safe to avoid losing or damaging them.
Once the panel is off, you will see the fan at the bottom back. Use a small flat-head screwdriver to unlock the locking tab on the wire harness connected to the condenser fan motor. Now, locate the screws holding the fan bracket to the refrigerator and remove them with a ¼-inch socket with a ratchet.
Work carefully around this area because of the copper refrigerant lines connected to the compressor. They may be in the way, but you do not want to damage them. Move the plastic water line out of the way and remove the fan assembly after unthreading the screws. Gently but firmly remove the fan blade from the motor shaft and set it aside.
Ensure you clean the blade before putting it back on the new motor. Install the clean blade on the shaft of the new fan motor and put the assembly back onto the bracket. Carefully position the motor so that the connection point for the wire harness faces outward.
Once you properly align the fan in the bracket, reach in and insert the screws into the holes. Secure them with the ¼-inch socket with a ratchet. Ensure they are tight before checking the positioning; spin the fan blade to see if it hits any part of the assembly.
If it does, remove and reinstall it on the shaft until it spins freely. But if everything is in place, reconnect the wire harness and ensure it snaps and locks. Rearrange the water line if you previously moved it out of the way. Use the opportunity to clean the fan, compressor, and water inlet valve area.
Also, clean the coils if they are visible from the back. Next, put the access panel in place and secure it with the screws removed earlier. Lastly, reconnect the refrigerator to the electric power and test the fan to ensure it works. Also, check the cooling function to see that it is running.
Here is a video showing how to remove and replace the condenser fan motor in a side-by-side refrigerator…
Note: There may be slight variations in these replacement instructions for individual models. Therefore, follow the specific steps that apply to your KitchenAid refrigerator model to replace the evaporator or condenser fan motor if these ones do not exactly apply.
Check out these other articles…
KitchenAid Refrigerator Dispenser Motor Running Continuously – Solved
If the dispenser seems to dispense ice all the time, even when you turn off the ice maker, there may be a problem with the dispenser auger drive motor. There may also be a control board malfunction because the main control board governs how the dispenser functions. Try resetting the board to see if the motor corrects itself.
Turn off the refrigerator by unplugging it from the wall outlet or powering down the breaker for the appliance. Leave it off for five to ten minutes before turning it on again. This gives the motor and control board time to reset and reboot. Ensure the off time is more than five minutes; anything less will not provide enough time for the memory chip to reboot.
Afterward, turn the refrigerator on by reconnecting it to the electric power. Wait for the control board to power the dispenser and see how it functions. If the constant running stops, the problem is solved. However, if it persists, you may have a control board problem. Consider replacing the control board or have a technician check the dispenser auger drive motor and replace it if necessary.
Ice Dispenser Not Working on KitchenAid Refrigerator – Already Replaced Motor
If you have a problem with your KitchenAid refrigerator ice dispenser and have already replaced the dispenser auger drive motor, there are several other parts to check. The auger drive motor is not the only part that can keep the dispenser from working when faulty. Ensure the ice maker produces ice. The dispenser cannot work without ice from the ice maker.
Also, check the doors of the refrigerator; they must be fully shut before the ice dispenser can work. Ensure the control lock is not active because the dispenser features become disabled, and you cannot use it if the lock is active. Inspect the ice storage bin and ice chute. The bin may have ice clumps that need removing before the ice maker dumps ice. If that is not the case, ensure you correctly and fully insert it under the ice maker. Otherwise, the dispenser does not work.
The ice chute may have fragments that prevent the free flow of new ice from the dispenser. But if that is not the case, there may be faulty dispenser parts. Check the dispenser switches, ice chute door, dispenser actuator, and the auger in the ice bin. Check out this article on a KitchenAid refrigerator ice dispenser not working for useful resources to troubleshoot further and fix the problem.
Water Dripping from the Damper Motor Vent in a KitchenAid Refrigerator – What to Do
Check to see if there is ice in or around the damper vent in the refrigerator. The damper is usually between the fresh food and freezer, on the top back or center wall separating both sections. Too much cold air can cause frost or ice to form around the damper, and water drips from the vent when the frost melts.
Inspect the damper to see if it opens and closes. It should regulate the amount of cold air coming into the refrigerator from the freezer to prevent freezing in the fresh food section. If it appears stuck, the problem may be with ice obstructing the movement of the vents. Turn off the refrigerator and use a hari dryer to clear the ice from that area if applicable.
There may also be frost on the evaporator coils; when it melts, the water melts and drips down the vents. Turn off the refrigerator and empty the freezer. Next, remove the screws on the back panel inside the freezer and inspect the coils. Note the frost pattern on the coils; frosting on only one side indicates a sealed system leak. But an even frosting means the defrost system is not working, or there is high humidity, and insufficient defrost cycles.
If it is not a sealed system leak, manually defrost the refrigerator by leaving it off for a few hours. Alternatively, use a hair dryer or heat gun and set it at moderate heat to melt the ice. However, if you suspect a leak, keep the refrigerator off and call for professional assistance.
KitchenAid Refrigerator Auger Motor for Ice Will Not Work – Fixed
If it stops working, you may have to replace the auger motor for the ice dispenser. But before doing that, remove the ice bucket from under the ice maker and turn the auger with your hand. If the auger is stiff, it is time to replace it. But if it turns freely, get a multimeter and test the motor to check for continuity. Replace the auger motor if you find no continuity or the motor receives power but does not run.
How to Replace a KitchenAid Refrigerator Ice Dispenser Door Motor [Model WPW10205979]
Disconnect the refrigerator from the electric power and put pieces of painter’s tape below and on one side of the ice dispenser’s front panel. The tape protects the refrigerator’s finish when you pry the front panel loose. Get two putty knives and insert one into the left side and the other under the front panel. Gently pry the panel loose with the knife until you can lower it. You will see wires connected with harnesses to the panel.
Next, disconnect all five wire harnesses to release the front panel so you can remove it. Set the panel aside and unhook the wires from the retaining hook. Use a ¼-inch nut driver to unthread the screws holding the ice dispenser door to the sub-panel. Now, detach the wire harness for the ice dispenser door motor and gently pull the door assembly from the top to remove it from the dispenser.
Next, get a Phillips head screwdriver to unthread the screws holding the door motor to the assembly. Discard the old motor and get the new one. Align the shaft with the door flap and secure it with the screws removed earlier. Align the door in the dispenser and ensure the lower tabs fit into their slots. Snap the door into place and secure it with the screws.
Reconnect the door motor wire to the dispenser wire harness and push the wires behind the retaining hook. Fix the wire harnesses to the dispenser’s front panel and secure them with the retaining clips. Align the upper tabs on the panel into their slots and snap the panel into the dispenser. Once secure, remove the tape around the dispenser panel, reconnect the refrigerator to electric power, and test the new ice door motor.
Watch this video for a clear demonstration of replacing the ice door motor for your refrigerator…
Any Way to Quiet a Noisy KitchenAid Refrigerator Motor?
You can try cleaning the noisy motor if it bothers you. Typically, a noisy refrigerator motor does not always mean it is no longer working. It may simply indicate that the motor is dirty. Debris caught in a fan motor, or flapper motor can cause it to make some noise. Therefore, cleaning and removing the dirt solves the noise problem.
However, you may consider replacing the noisy motor if dirt is not the problem. If the noisy motor is the compressor, speak with KitchenAid Service Center for replacement parts or hire an independent technician for further assistance.
KitchenAid Refrigerator Evaporator Fan Motor Not Working – Quick Fix
If you find that the motor on the evaporator fan or cooling fan in your KitchenAid refrigerator is not working, the best repair is to replace it. But before doing that, test the motor to ensure it is no longer working. To do that, turn off the refrigerator and empty the freezer. Next, remove the inside back panel and unthread the screws holding the fan motor bracket in place.
Lower the fan and run a continuity test on it using a multimeter. Use the refrigerator’s tech sheet to determine the resistance value for the fan motor. Find the sheet taped to the front bottom grill or in the top hinge for the right door. Next, set the multimeter to Ohms or resistance to enable you to use it for the test.
Place the multimeter’s probes on the fan motor’s terminals and check the reading. It should be in the range of 100 ohms or less. So, if it exceeds this range or the reading shows infinity, the motor is defective and needs a replacement. An alternative to running this test yourself is to hire an appliance technician for further assistance.
Ice Maker Not Working in a KitchenAid Refrigerator – Already Replaced Motor
If you have already replaced the auger motor in your KitchenAid ice maker assembly, but the ice maker does not work, check the power supply to the machine. Also, check to ensure the freezer or refrigerator temperature setting is low enough to produce ice.
Create enough space around the ice maker to prevent items from pushing the shut-off arm to the off position, keeping the machine from producing ice. You may also want to check the fill tube and ice maker water line. The water filter must not be clogged to supply water to the machine.
Furthermore, check the water inlet valve; it should run and open to supply water to the ice maker. Additionally, check the water pressure from the main source to the refrigerator; low water pressure prevents a full ice mold, which prevents the ice maker from working. Read this article on a KitchenAid refrigerator ice maker not working to find resources to fix your ice maker.
KitchenAid Refrigerator Auger Motor Testing
Open the freezer door and remove the ice storage bin. You must carefully remove it because the bin may be full, especially if the ice maker just made and dumped a batch of ice. Turn off the ice maker using the shut-off arm to stop it from making more ice while the storage is out.
If the dispenser on your refrigerator uses the same lever for both ice and water, press the ice button on the control panel and push the light switch for the freezer. Hold the switch until it releases the dispenser to drop ice while the door is open.
But if there is a separate lever for the ice dispenser, press it and monitor the auger motor at the freezer’s interior rear wall. Doing this should get the motor to turn and run, but if it only jumps, there may be an ice buildup problem.
Unthread and remove the screws securing the motor to the assembly inside the freezer, disconnect the wire harness, and pull the motor out of the freezer. Lay it on a towel and allow it to thaw if there is ice on it. Afterward, try turning the shaft of the motor by hand. If it does not turn, the motor is defective and needs a replacement.
KitchenAid Refrigerator Auger Motor Connector Sparking – Quick Fix
Turning off the ice maker to stop the sparks from flying is crucial if the auger motor connector inside your refrigerator is causing sparks. There may be a friction issue, but detecting it may be difficult if you do not know where to look.
Therefore, contact the KitchenAid Service Center to report the issue and request service or hire an independent appliance technician for further assistance. Ensure the ice maker remains off while you get professional assistance. You may also want to turn off the refrigerator to eliminate a fire hazard.
How to Open the Damper Motor in a KitchenAid Refrigerator
Disconnect the refrigerator from electric power and remove all the shelves in the refrigerator section. The damper is in the refrigerating section, usually on the back wall, which connects it to the freezer and refrigerator.
Therefore, you must empty the section to reach the damper. Also, remove the drawer glides on either side of the refrigerator for models with removable glides. This makes removing the entire back panel easy. Next, open the filter cover and unthread the screws holding the upper panel in place using a ¼-inch nut driver.
Pull the panel down and disconnect the LED light wire harness to remove the panel fully. Some models have an air-tower assembly; if yours does, use a flat-head screwdriver to release the retaining tabs and remove the assembly.
Now, use a ¼-inch nut driver to remove the screws holding the cover on the damper to remove it. Detach the retaining tab to release the cover on the thermistor and remove the sensor from the damper cover. Lift the cover off, remove the polystyrene insulation if applicable, and open the damper with its motor.
If the damper motor, also called the air baffle motor, flutters, it is time to remove and replace it. Some of these steps may vary by model, so follow the instructions in the user manual for your specific refrigerator model to locate and open the damper motor.
How to Replace the Auger Motor on a KitchenAid Refrigerator [Model KSCS25FVMS02]
Turn off the refrigerator by unplugging it from the wall outlet. Open the freezer door and remove the ice bucket from under the ice maker. Next, remove the screws holding the ice chute cover in place and set them aside. Lift the ice chute out and follow it with the drive shaft.
Get a magnetized nut driver and use it to remove the screws holding the auger motor to the housing. Lift the motor out of the housing and disconnect the wire connector to remove it fully from the refrigerator. Next, get a new motor and connect the wire connector to it. Secure it to the housing with the four screws you removed earlier.
Insert the drive shaft into the motor and align the ice chute so that the screw holes align with the housing. Secure it with the screws and put the ice storage bin into the refrigerator; snap it in to secure it. Finally, reconnect the refrigerator to the electric power and check how well the motor functions.
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