Why My 12V Refrigerator Is Not Cooling?


12V refrigerators are a popular choice for camping, road trips, and other outdoor activities. They are designed to run on a 12V power supply, which can be provided by a car battery or a portable power station. However, it can be frustrating when your 12V refrigerator stops cooling, especially when you are in the middle of a trip.

In this article, we will explore some of the reasons why your 12V refrigerator may not be cooling and what you can do to fix it.

Reasons why your 12V refrigerator may not be cooling

 There are several reasons why your 12V refrigerator may not be cooling, including insufficient power supply, dirty condenser coils, blocked air vents, faulty compressor, low refrigerant level, and malfunctioning thermostat.

Insufficient power supply:

One of the most common reasons why a 12V refrigerator may not be cooling is insufficient power supply. If the battery or power source is not providing enough power, the refrigerator will not be able to cool properly. You can check the power supply by using a multimeter to measure the voltage.

Dirty condenser coils:

Condenser coils are responsible for dissipating heat from the refrigerator. If they are dirty, they will not be able to perform their function properly, resulting in poor cooling performance. You can clean the condenser coils using a soft brush or a vacuum cleaner.

Blocked air vents:

Air vents are responsible for circulating air inside the refrigerator. If they are blocked, the air will not circulate properly, resulting in poor cooling performance. You can clear the air vents using a soft brush or compressed air.

Faulty compressor:

The compressor is responsible for compressing the refrigerant and circulating it through the refrigerator. If it is faulty, the refrigerant will not circulate properly, resulting in poor cooling performance. You can check the compressor by listening for unusual noises or vibrations.

Other factors that may affect the cooling of a 12V refrigerator:

Ambient temperature, overloading, and door seal can also affect the cooling of a 12V refrigerator. High ambient temperatures can cause the refrigerator to work harder, while overloading can cause poor air circulation. A faulty door seal can also cause warm air to enter the refrigerator, affecting its cooling performance.

Troubleshooting steps to fix a 12V refrigerator that is not cooling

Check the Power Supply

The first thing to check is the power supply. Make sure your fridge is properly connected to a power source and that the power source is working correctly. You can test the power source by plugging in another device to see if it works.

Check the Temperature Settings

Next, check the temperature settings on your fridge. Make sure it's set to the correct temperature and that the thermostat is working properly. If the thermostat is faulty, it may need to be replaced.

Clean the Condenser Coils

    One of the most common causes of a fridge not cooling is dirty or clogged condenser coils. The condenser coils are located on the back or bottom of the fridge and can be cleaned with a vacuum or brush. Make sure to unplug the fridge before cleaning the coils.

    Check the Evaporator Fan

      The evaporator fan circulates air throughout the fridge and can sometimes become blocked or malfunction. Check the fan blades for any obstructions and make sure the fan is spinning freely. If the fan is not working properly, it may need to be replaced.

      Inspect the Door Seals

        A damaged or faulty door seal can cause cool air to escape from the fridge, making it harder to cool. Check the door seals for any cracks, tears or wear and tear. If the seal is damaged, it may need to be replaced.

        Add Insulation

          If your fridge is not cooling properly, adding extra insulation can help. You can use foam insulation or reflective insulation to help keep cool air inside the fridge.

          Call a Professional

            If you've tried all of the above tips and your fridge still isn't cooling, it may be time to call in a professional (service). A qualified technician can diagnose and fix any problems with your fridge, and may be able to suggest other ways to improve its performance.


            Regular maintenance, proper storage, and proper ventilation can help ensure that your 12V refrigerator functions optimally. Regular maintenance includes cleaning the condenser coils, checking the power supply, and checking the compressor and refrigerant level. Proper storage involves storing the refrigerator in a cool and dry place, while proper ventilation involves ensuring that the air vents are not blocked. 12V refrigerator functions optimally, providing you with cool and fresh food and drinks on your outdoor adventures.


            How often should I clean my 12V refrigerator's condenser coils?

            • It is recommended to clean the condenser coils of your 12V refrigerator every three to six months, depending on usage. If you use the refrigerator frequently or in dusty environments, you may need to clean the coils more often.

            How can I prevent my 12V refrigerator's air vents from getting blocked?

            • To prevent the air vents of your 12V refrigerator from getting blocked, you should ensure that there is enough space around the refrigerator for proper ventilation. Avoid placing items on top of or in front of the refrigerator that can obstruct the air vents. Regularly clean the air vents to remove any dirt or debris that may accumulate.
            How long should a 12V refrigerator's compressor last?
            • The lifespan of a 12V refrigerator's compressor depends on several factors, including usage, maintenance, and environmental conditions.


            Josh Cole

            Josh Cole

            I would like to know why my emails are being ignored? I have repeatedly send you emails and got not response. I feel like you just don’t want to hold up the warranty. Your website says i will be contacted within 24hrs and it has been well over a week now. Please contact me back at losttreeriver@gmail.com or



            How do I find a professional to check out my refrigerator unit and fix it? I live in San Diego, CA.

            Camille Sanders

            Camille Sanders

            There is power to the unit, the wifi connection has power, but the cooler control panel doesn’t come in, it was working in the truck and working at home, but now, it isn’t . We are camping and have no cooler. We just bought it and this is our first time to use it.

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