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Tyler Z.
Tyler Z., Appliance Doc
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Experience:  9+ years being an appliance technician with factory training.
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I have a 12 year old Maytag Plus refrigerator. It started making

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I have a 12 year old Maytag Plus refrigerator. It started making loud noises then quit working. Does it make any sense to have someone look it for possible repairs, or should I just get a new one?
Hello, and thank you for using this service. I'll be helping you with your problem today.

Is the refrigerator or freezer cooling at all right now?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I believe not. But the refrigerator is at my tenant's house.

OK so whatever the issue is, it will likely be worth fixing unless your compressor is the part that failed, in which case it's time to replace the refrigerator. Here is what I would do:

First, I would go look at the refrigerator and see if the fan motor inside the freezer is running behind the back wall inside the freezer. Also, pull the entire refrigerator out and remove the lower back panel and see if the fan back down by the compressor is running. If neither fan is running, you have a bad thermostat or defrost timer. Now since you mentioned a noise issue, this isn't likely going to be what you see. If both fans are running and neither section is cooling, then you'll want to remove the back panel and make sure the coils behind the back panel inside the freezer aren't completely packed with frost. If they are, then you need to thaw all the frost out because you have a defrost issue.

If only one of the fans is running, remove the blockage stopping the fan that isn't running if there is one, or replace the fan motor.

Now as for the worst case issue, if both fan motors are running but nothing is cooling--this means that your compressor is overloading and cutting out.  It will turn off for a few minutes and then try again over and over.  Pull the refrigerator forward and unplug the refrigerator.  Remove the lower back access panel and locate your large black round compressor.  There is a small plastic box attached to the side of the compressor with several wires going into it.  This is your overload relay.  Pull the overload relay off the compressor and shake it.  If it rattles, then it needs to be replaced.  If it doesn't rattle, then you likely have a bad compressor and you'll need to call a technician in order to replace the compressor.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Okay, you think it might be worth repairing. I'm not gonna do it myself. Do you have a recommendation for who I should call in Santa Cruz, CA?

Unfortunately I'm out of Colorado so I don't have any recommendations in your area, but you can see who is authorized in your area if you want to enter in your zip code into the link below.

That being said, as long as both the refrigerator and freezer are not room temperature but you hear everything running like it's trying to cool, it would most likely still be worth fixing.

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