Bought this new in 2001 and have experienced ALL the problems possible:
1) refrigerator too cold because upper baffle/flap fails - replaced it 3 times
2) freezing water line - we let it thaw out on its own for several years before I installed the extra insulation kit
3) produce freezing in "Custom Cool" drawer because lower baffle/flaps fail. I replaced them.
4) ice auger motor died
Except for the first upper baffle replacement (which was done under warranty) I have been able to do all the work myself - with grateful appreciation for forums like this.
For many months now (at least 12, maybe 24) we have been living with the short, hollow, metallic thump that happens when the compressor shuts off. When the compressor was running there was noticeable noise. Research led me to believe the thump was caused by a weak or broken spring/mount in the compressor. Some people reported living with the thump for months or even years before total failure. So we were mentally prepared for its ultimate demise. Four days ago water was running out of the freezer from melting ice, freezer temp was showing 28 and refrigerator side was 48. The compressor was not running, but fan came on when freezer door was opened and the temperature panel was displaying normally. Since we had been expecting a failure I did not run any diagnostics.
We packed as much as possible into ice chests, did more on-line research and ordered a new refrigerator (LG LFX31925) which is scheduled for delivery in 4 days.
The refrigerator was "dead" for 3 days with the refrigerator temp up to 62 and the freezer nearing 50. This morning we opened the refrigerator and it was 37 degrees, the freezer was 10 and falling. Everything is back to normal now - 0 - 35 (custom cool drawer) - 37 and I've heard several batches of ice drop into the hopper.
I found a couple of references to GE refrigerators coming back to life after 24 hours due to a known motherboard problem - apparently related to the defrost cycle - and GE issued a fixed motherboard back in 2004 or so.
Here's the conundrum though: since it has come back to life the compressor is completely silent - I can only hear it running when I put my ear up against the side. Also, I have not heard any thumps at all today.
Our main concern is reliability and I have no qualms about replacing the motherboard since there is a good chance it is the main suspect in this NDE (near-death-experience). HOWEVER, I don't know how to evaluate the current quiet operation of the compressor after months of operational noise and thumps.
Is there any way a flakey motherboard (or other sensor/valve/switch) could have been causing the compressor noise and thump?
Will a new motherboard just be giving me a false sense of security before the 13 year old compressor dies completely?
Is there anything specific I should be paying attention to when I run diagnostics later today or tomorrow?
Given this failure - is there any other component that should be proactively checked or replaced along with the motherboard?
My wife and I have had many "discussions" about this - she wants the shiny new LG - I'm inclined to keep the GE (with a new motherboard) now that I've fixed the known problems - she replys with "... but it has a 13 year old failing compressor." Any recommendations would be appreciated. (Just on old GE vs. new - NOT specific brand recommendations. I get the newsletter and have 3rd edition of recommendations - Great Stuff BTW.)