A defective thermostat can make it impossible for your Kenmore refrigerator to hold the proper temperature. If the thermostat fails completely, the compressor may not turn on at all, leading to wasted money as the food inside spoils. Make sure the condenser coils are getting enough air before taking apart your refrigerator. If the rear of the refrigerator is too close to the wall or the coils are blocked by debris, its internal parts may overheat and fail.
Unplug the refrigerator or turn off the breaker switch for the kitchen to cut off power while you are working.
Look for the thermostat, using your owner's manual as a reference, if necessary. If you have a side-by-side refrigerator, the thermostat will probably be near the back of the inside of the freezer compartment. If you have a refrigerator with the freezer on top, the thermostat may be either in the interior of the freezer or beneath the refrigerator's floor panel. Remove the ice-maker bin and set it aside if it interferes with your access to the thermostat.
Open the thermostat access panel by removing the retention clips or screws. Use needle-nose pliers to remove the electrical wires from the thermostat's terminals. Loosen any screws or clips holding the thermostat in place. Take the old thermostat out of the refrigerator and discard it. Some refrigerators have a clamp holding the thermostat onto the evaporative tube that also must be removed.
Put the new thermostat in the same location as the old part had been. Tighten the screws to hold it in place. Attach the ends of the electrical wires to the thermostat's terminals.
Adjust the refrigerator's temperature setting so that it is colder than the current temperature inside the compartment. Plug the refrigerator into the wall outlet and turn on any breaker switches you turned off in Step 1. You should now hear the compressor turn on and cool the refrigerator to the temperature you set. Call a repairman if this still does not fix the refrigerator. Replacing the refrigerator's major components is too difficult a task for most do-it-yourselfers.