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Has your refrigerator display been failing, and now it straight out died on you?
You’re not alone! Modern refrigerators are full of features and technology, which makes them great for many reasons. However, the more complex the refrigerator, the more prone it is to fail.
I know how frustrating it can be to have your refrigerator display die on you – especially if you just bought it or paid a hefty amount for it.
But don’t worry; you’ve come to the right place for answers. Below, you’ll find a list including 6 common reasons why your refrigerator’s display is acting up and some fixes you can try.
When your refrigerator display has died on you, it’s likely because the child lock is engaged, the display isn’t getting enough voltage, or there’s a wiring issue. Water damage and other mechanical failures can also be to blame in some cases.
Read on to get your refrigerator display working again!
Craig has helped thousands of other homeowners repair their appliances since 2016.
Andy is one of our resident appliance repair experts with over a decade of experience. He currently runs his appliance repair company with a team of trusted technicians.
Why Your Refrigerator Display Died on You
Refrigerator displays have several components that make them work, so it is very difficult to tell which one has caused the failure without delving deeper into the problem.
To make your job easier, here are some things I recommend you try.
#1 Check the Child Lock
In my experience, the most common mistake people make regarding their refrigerator is leaving the child lock engaged accidentally, leading them to think their display is failing.
The child lock on your refrigerator is a great feature as it helps prevent curious children from dialing in settings that can damage your appliance or cause your food to freeze/thaw. However, it can be easy to miss when the feature is enabled, confusing adults and children.
If the display is not showing anything, the issue lies elsewhere. However, if you can see icons on the display but can’t seem to get them to respond, the child lock is likely to blame.
Solution: Look for indications that the child lock is engaged, such as signs that read “Loc”, “CL”, or a small, red lock symbol on the display.
If you spot any of the signs mentioned above, check your User Manual to understand how to disable the child lock and get your display working again. If you don’t have the manual handy, please refer to our free resource below.
#2 Check the Control Board’s Voltage
When I see a refrigerator display that seems to have died, the next thing I check after removing the child lock is that the Control Board and User Interface are getting enough voltage to work properly.
A strong sign that there’s something wrong with your appliance’s voltage is that the User Interface isn’t lighting up. From what I’ve seen, the issue can happen either due to the display itself being faulty or to loose wires and connections behind the Control Board that are not supplying power as they should.
Solution: If you have a multimeter and know how to disassemble your refrigerator to gain access to the control board for voltage testing, more power to you. Check that the display is getting at least 5 volts to rule out a power supply issue.
Provided you don’t feel comfortable testing your Control Board’s voltage yourself, you can also call a professional to look at the refrigerator and pinpoint the source of the problem.
#3 Check the Wiring
If you have already determined that the display is okay, the next thing I recommend you check is your refrigerator’s wiring, as there could be loose cables causing the problem.
Refrigerator displays have several cables responsible for taking the commands you input and communicating them to the rest of the unit to apply them. Modern appliances typically undergo strict quality checks before being released; however, certain defects can still arise over time.
If you moved recently, that could also have caused some of the wires in your refrigerator to disconnect or break during the process.
Solution: Repeat the process from the previous point to closely look for anything that seems detached or frayed. If you have a multimeter, carefully test voltages and ohms to determine whether all cables work properly.
Assuming you notice nothing out of the ordinary, let’s keep moving.
#4 Check for Water Damage
Water damage can also explain why your refrigerator display died on you.
Your refrigerator’s design plays a key role in how certain components behave, how long they last, and how prone they are to sustaining damage from various elements. If your appliance’s display is close to the water dispenser, it’s likely that some water damage has caused corrosion, short circuits, and other malfunctions within it.
Solution: My usual advice since you already opened your refrigerator for the previous 2 points is to look for any signs of rust or burning that might have arisen from a short circuit. If you notice any signs that indicate there’s been water damage, you will likely need a new Control Board.
Since the issue often appears due to poor product design and under normal use, you can call the manufacturer and tell them about the situation if you’re still under warranty coverage. In most cases, they’ll send a technician in for repairs and provide you with any necessary components free of charge.
#5 Consider Mechanical Failures
Another possible reason why your refrigerator display died on you is that, over time, the touch panel has degraded over time, making the buttons and options unresponsive.
If your appliance is brand new or not too old, a worn-out display is likely not your problem unless there’s a factory defect behind the situation. However, if your refrigerator is coming up on the 5 to 10-year mark, I’ve found that touch panel problems are not that uncommon.
A telltale sign of a worn-out, faulty control panel is buttons that appear to remain pressed continuously, even when you’re not even near the display.
Solution: In case your touch panel is faulty and worn out, my usual advice is to look for a new touch panel, which, sadly, isn’t budget-friendly in most cases. Your typical refrigerator display replacement will run you about $300 or more if your appliance is a high-end model.
#6 Call a Professional
Lastly, when all else fails, and your refrigerator display is still dead, even after trying all the potential solutions provided above, my last recommendation is to call a professional and have them take an in-depth look at the problem.
Certified refrigerator technicians have specialized tools to diagnose the issue much faster and more accurately and have deals with vendors and manufacturers, which can save you some money when buying replacement parts.
Also, many technicians will offer a discount on their labor costs if they misdiagnose a problem and do the wrong repairs.
Getting Your Refrigerator Display Working Again
That about covers it!
When your refrigerator’s display dies on you, you are left unable to dial in the settings you want and also in a position where the potential cost of repairs is concerning.
Luckily, as I hope this piece has helped you better understand, addressing the most common causes behind a refrigerator with a dead display is often easy. More often than not, something simple, like reconnecting a loose wire in the back of the control board, will do the trick.
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Have a wonderful week!