How to Fix a Freezer Fan

G.K. Bayne

Freezer fans that are located in the refrigerator. Freezer fans circulate the air in the enclosed space which removes the heat from items that will be frozen. Without this circulation fan, the items will get cold but since the air is stagnating, items may not become fully frozen and may soon become spoiled.

You can fix or replace that locked up freezer fan.

  1. Remove the items from the freezer and place them in the ice chest cooler. You will want as much room as possible for gaining access to the fan in the rear wall of the freezer compartment.

  2. Switch the freezer control to “off” so the fan does not attempt to start as you are working on that part.

  3. Use the Philips screwdriver and remove the plastic or metal cage that surrounds the freezer fan. Generally there are two screws on opposite diagonal corners that hold the cage to the wall of the freezer.

  4. Use you fingers and see if you can turn the fan freely. If you cannot, then the fan is frozen in place. Remove the fan by removing the two holding screws that hold the fan to the frame of the freezer.

  5. Pull the motor from the opening and an electrical connector should appear on the end of the wires. Pull the connector apart to disconnect it. If the connector is already loose that could be the problem with the fan.

  6. Push the connector together and lay the fan on the bottom of the freezer. Turn the freezer on. If the fan runs. Assemble the fan and cage back into the opening. If the fan is still stuck or does not operate proceed to step 6.

  7. Remove the fan from the compartment and allow it to come to room temperature. There may have been some frozen water in the bearings. Add penetrating oil to the bearings to aid in freeing up the fan. You may have to gently work the blade back and forth to loosen the motor shaft. If the motor and fan does begin to turn freely, reinstall the fan into the freezer opening as in step 5 and test the motor as described in step 6. If the fan still does not operate then the motor will have to be replaced.


Never consume any food item that have not been properly frozen from a non operating freezer fan. As the old saying goes, “When in doubt throw it out”.