I've got a Kenmore 8.8cuft chest freezer, a model they still currently sell (253.16949102), that for the last few weeks has been acting flaky. I can get the compressor to start if I open up the panel that contains both the cooling vents for the compressor and the thermostat, and basically tapping the face of the starter relay and jiggling the wiring harness a bit, but not to the point where I've been able to identify a loose or intermittent connection in any of the connnections. I've unplugged and replugged the Molex connector, the connections on the starter relay, and the capacitor, as well as checking to make sure both ground connections are tight. The problem has gotten progressively worse.
It started out that the unit would run until it got down to its assigned temperature, and then refuse to restart on the next cycle. Now it's to where the thing will spin up, run and cool for maybe 10-15 seconds, then click off. Sometimes it won't respond at all.
I have a new cap and a new starter relay on the way, but it doesn't appear to actually have a separate overload relay. Is that plausible? Is the overload integrated into the starter relay on the newer units? The compressor is a Panasonic, no guess who actually manufactured the unit for Sears. I cannot find any mention of a separate overload/cutoff relay on Sears' own parts diagrams.
If swapping out the starter relay and cap doesn't fix it, I'm hosed and will probably junk it and replace it.