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  1. I am starting my first refrigerator diagnostics adventure. Yeah me... I have a 23' Kenmore side-by-side refrigerator (model 596 58392 890 - about 10 years old). Recently, the food in the freezer has shown softness. Putting thermometers in the freezer shows it is not cold enough - the temperature is normally 18-20 F during normal operation, but at times (defrost cycle, I believe) it rises to 40 F. Not good. The refrigerator side stays constant around 38 F. I have adjusted the settings to the coldest I can, but no avail. I removed the back cover from the freezer compartment to view the coils. They mostly entirely clean, but there is heavy frost right at the top - where it appears the thermostat is install - the thermostat is encased in frost. The fan does run most of the time (except when I find the freezer in the 40 F state - again, assuming this is defrost). I have vacummed the coils underneath the unit to make sure they are clear and clean. The frost is on the top, end of the coil - the part of the coil that has the thermostat from where the coil starts along the coil past the first and second bend. The frost is just on the coil and isn't built up on the fins or between the fins. I am not clear if this behavior (frost on a small part of the coils & the thermostat) indicates a simple, low cost repair (like replacing the thermostat) or is a sign that this unit likely has a sealed system issue and so needs to be retired. Any suggestions? I have pictures of the coils and thermostat, but I haven't quite determined how to upload them here. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, Tom