The dreaded compressor failure is, unfortunately, one possibility if the refrigerator won’t run and keeps trying to start and then shuts off. If your GE Profile is still in warranty, you're in luck because the repairs on this part are very expensive. If your warranty has expired, you may even choose to replace the entire appliance instead of spending the hundreds of dollars necessary to replace this vital component. The compressor is the part that compresses the refrigerant and makes expansion and cooling possible, so you can’t go without it. This isn’t a common problem, though, and there are other possibilities to investigate before concluding that this repair is needed.
The condenser coils on your GE Profile are located at the rear bottom of your appliance. These coils circulate the compressed gas and help to release the heat from the gas while carrying it toward the expansion chamber. Since they are on the outside of the refrigerator, they can sometimes get dirty and dusty. If these coils get too dirty, they can't transfer the proper amount of heat from the coils, which may cause a thermal overload in the compressor. When the compressor senses this, it will shut down. The refrigerator will stop running and may cycle back on when it cools off, only to heat back up and shut down again. Maintaining clean condenser coils will stop this problem.
One possible reason the refrigerator will cycle on and off is because of a voltage problem. Inspect the electrical cords, the outlet and the circuit breakers or fuses to ensure that the correct amount of voltage is reaching the appliance. Too much or too little voltage can cause the refrigerator not to run or make the system turn on and off randomly.
A component located next to the compressor, called the start relay, is the part that makes the powerful compressor motor kick on. If the relay is faulty, it can't start the compressor. It clicks when the cooling cycle begins, but, if it is faulty, it may not get the compressor to cycle on, and it will continue trying every few minutes. You can usually tell if the relay is bad by unplugging it from the compressor and shaking it. If it rattles inside, it needs to be replaced; if it does not, the compressor itself may be the problem.