Compressor was wanting to start, it would kick on by itself and run for about 10 seconds and then shut off again, constantly without me touching any controls. If the compressor is not working, the refrigerator won’t cool. Tip: You may need to clean the coils more frequently if you’ve pets in the house or if the refrigerator is located in a particularly dusty area, for example, a garage. Test the Compressor Relay. The problem is that the air compressor cycles on and off. How to test a refrigerator’s overload or relay-start capacitor with a multi-meter: Begin by ensuring you have unplugged your refrigerator, and then remove the rear panel. You’ll see a device called a starter relay switch, which you should unplug from the compressor. If it's locked up or runs without compressing refrigerant, then … e). 1 problem affects many models and—we’re happy to report—it’s the easiest to fix. When the fridge thermostat requests more cold air, the compressor kicks on and the refrigerant becomes high-pressure, moving through the cooling coils while fans push the cool air into the fridge and freezer compartments. d).