My apartment's fridge just stopped working (the light didn't even come on), after showing some signs of struggling in the last day or two (vibrating in sync with light flickering). The landlady asked what setting I had it at - it was at 3/9, with 9 being the coldest. (This is the setting yielding a reasonable temperature through most of the fridge, with only some parts freezing lightly.) She immediately told me that was too low a setting, that it'd overload with it set that low, that I should set it higher (colder) and it'd come back on.
I did play along, and the light and compressor came back on almost immediately after I changed the setting. I'd also pulled it away from the wall as soon as I realized it'd stopped working, though it didn't feel terribly warm anywhere on the back. But of course, correlation doesn't imply causality, and this sounds a bit odd to me - surely keeping the fridge colder puts more load on the compressor. Am I crazy?
(I suppose the more general question is: what should I do about a refrigerator that I know is flaky but is not going to get repaired or replaced terribly quickly?)
Edit: it turns out to be an electrical problem outside the fridge but I'm still interested in the answer!