Having trouble getting your Freezer to start even though it keeps clicking? It’s frustrating when you know your freezer should be turned on but it just gives you a false noise instead. I dug deep into the answer and have some really helpful tips below.

When your freezer clicks but won’t start, it is due to a faulty overload capacitor, relay capacitor, temperature control, electronic control board, condenser, or compressor. You can fix most of these issues yourself before needing to call a professional.

Ready to get your freezer working again? Let’s dive straight in.

Why Your Freezer Clicks, But Won’t Start

Your freezer clicks because the compressor is turning on or off constantly.

The compressor helps to cool the refrigerant gas when a cooling cycle turns on. This is what makes your freezer so cold. When the compressor is having trouble you’ll hear it clicking a lot. It’s automatically turning itself off and on.

This would be normal if you only heard the clicking every so often. This is because the cooling cycle can take a while to get the freezer back to the same ideal temperature. As soon as the freezer hits the ideal temp, the compressor will turn off again. You’ll hear a clicking noise when this happens.

When your compressor is overloaded though, it will keep turning off and on trying to reach ideal temperatures. When you have a faulty piece of  equipment in your freezer, the compressor will never be able to reach its perfect temp. That means it gets stuck in an endless loop of turning off and on again.

I did some research and found the most common issues of your freezer malfunctioning and what you can do to fix it.

Read below on all the ways you can help your freezer get back to working properly again.

How to Fix a Clicking Freezer

When you keep hearing a clicking noise you will need to check your capacitors, temp controls, electronic control board, condenser, and compressor.

#1 Check the Overload or Relay Start Capacitor

The overload, or relay, the capacitor is connected to your compressor. It helps the compressor by acting as a sensor when the power comes in through the compressor motor windings.

It basically helps the motor keep running on the compressor. The compressor can take some time to get up to speed. The relay capacitor connects the starting capacitor to the motor windings.

If you feel this could be the problem, you’ll need a multi-meter to check to see if the capacitor is able to receive electricity or if it’s burned out.

Usually, the overload and relay capacitor are located together right near the compressor at the back of the freezer. The relay capacitor could overheat or be damaged and will need to be replaced. You can simply buy a new piece and replace the old equipment.

If this doesn’t solve your problem, try one of the other methods below before calling a service technician.

#2 Look at the Cold Control/Temperature Control

When you check your freezer and the fans are not working it could be your temperature control that is malfunctioning. The temperature control does exactly what you think it would. It regulates the temperature in your freezer.

When the temp reaches the ideal level, the temp control switches off the fans and compressor. The compressor is what makes your freezer cold by cooling the refrigerant gas.

When the temp dips below the ideal temp, your temp control will tell the fans and compressor to turn on. You can probably guess then that if the temp control switch isn’t working, your freezer won’t turn on.

You can test this easily by changing the temperature in your freezer using the temp control knob.

freezer temperature control knob
Freezer thermostat knob

If you make your freezer colder but it still doesn’t turn on, then you know something is wrong. Your only option is to take apart the temp control box which houses the temp control switch.

Remove the terminal leads from your temp control switch and use a multimeter to check its status.

If the temp control isn’t working, you’ll need to replace the part. You can do this yourself but if you aren’t feeling up to a challenge, you’ll need to contact a technician.

#3 Check the Electronic Control Board

This step really only applies to newer freezers that come with an electronic board on them. The electronic board is the main place where all the action is happening in your freezer and fridge. It tells all the other parts to function and controls the functionality of your appliance.

If something is wrong with your electronic control board, it can cause the entire freezer to stop working. Take a look at your control board but be very cautious not to cause any further damage. You want to look for any wires that are burned, deteriorated, or arching.

If there is a problem you notice, it’s best not to fix it yourself. The control board is complicated and often requires someone with a lot of electrical experience to fix it.

#4 Take a Look at the Condenser Coils

There could still be some cold air in the freezer even though it won’t reach ideal temps. If you do feel some cold air but the freezer isn’t working properly, check the condenser coils.

The coils are located in the back of your freezer. They typically don’t get cleaned very often so they accumulate a ton of dust. When there is too much dust and debris on your condenser coils, they will cause the compressor to overload.

coils are located at the back of the freezer
View of freezer backside with compressor condenser, corroded copper pipes and electrical wiring

Shutting off the cool air before your freezer has a chance to fully work. It will, however, leave a bit of cold air in the freezer.

So if you open up your freezer door and feel a cool draft, you know it has something to do with the coils. Give your compressor coils a good wipe-down before turning on your freezer again. There are brushes you can buy at some specialty stores that are made specifically to clean condenser coils.

#5 Fix a Faulty Compressor

Go through all the previous steps before considering the issue of your compressor. The reason being, the compressor is the hardest to fix and you won’t be able to do this yourself. So, you want to try everything you can to get your freezer working again before having to call a professional technician.

Your compressor usually fails because of overheating or overload of power. This can be caused by a light never turning off to blocked air vents that cause overheating.

What Are the Signs of a Bad Fridge Compressor?

Sometimes it can take a while to realize your compressor is faulty. That’s because the compressor can still partially cool your freezer if it isn’t fully broken.

You’ll notice temperatures start fluctuating pretty drastically when your compressor starts to falter.

Look for signs of ice that melted and then refroze again. This will let you know the temps are regulated normally. After a while, your freezer will completely stop working and you’ll notice a smell emanating from the freezer of spoiled food.

spoiled food in the freezer
A young lady holding her nose caused by the spoiled food in the freezer

Since you’re here you probably noticed one of the major signs your compressor isn’t working. It’s clicking constantly but never actually changing the temperature.

How to Maintain Your Freezer

  • You should ideally be cleaning your condenser coils about once a year. You can do this with a vacuum or you can use the condenser coil brush from a specialty store.
  • You’ll also want to defrost and clean the freezer every so often to make sure there isn’t too much buildup of debris and frost.
  • Take a look at your freezer seal every few months to make sure it’s probably holding the temperature inside.

Following these tips should ensure a working freezer for years to come.

Fixing a Clicking Freezer

Having a freezer that won’t start even though it’s clicking can be a real pain. Making sure you don’t have spoiled food means you need a solution fast. Just remember to check your different freezer parts first before wasting money on a technician to come in. Thanks for reading and if you still have questions, check out all the related articles below.

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Is your freezer clicking but won’t actually start? Read this in-depth guide to why it’s happening and how to fix it.