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I have a fridge that I believe to be 20 to 25 years old. (It came with the house.) Not always, but sometimes when it finishes its cooling cycle, it makes a loud rattle-like sound, almost like three or four shots of a machine gun. It's quite loud when it does it, especially when I'm trying to sleep.

The fridge itself is cool inside. I've checked it for level, and it's perfect side to side, a hair low in the front. There is no ice maker.

Is there anything else that can cause a fridge to make a rattling sound? Is it possible the fridge is on its last legs?

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Yea there is definitely something wrong with it. It is possible the compressor is back firing when powering down. Something must have worn out- the loud shots could be compressed air/gas- just not certain if its within the cooling system or not. Maybe its time for an upgrade? – ppumkin Aug 15 '12 at 20:20
That fridge is old an inefficient. Either pop for a new one, or if that fridge has sentimental value, you can get a compressor kit to retrofit it with modern components. – RQDQ Aug 15 '12 at 20:40
It sounds like "time for a new one" LOL...... Sorry – shirlock homes Aug 15 '12 at 22:31
Maybe something got in between the compressor and the chassis or between the fridge and the wall and knocks in there. Also old fridges often have compressors mounted on suspension instead of directly to the chassis and it might be that one of the suspension elements detached and this causes the compressor to swing on start. I suggest that you inspect it carefully for such mechanical issues by watching the compressor and the surroundings when it starts. – sharptooth Aug 16 '12 at 8:49
Yea - Just don't look to closely or wear some riot gear just in case... – ppumkin Aug 17 '12 at 11:40

There may be an accumulation of dust and debris behind the unit and near the compressor. Also the bolts or fasteners that hold it all together there may need a little tightening- give it a good cleaning and look for accumulated dust on the fan and fan blades.

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Our old one did this just as it was powering down - we traced it to one of the supports for the compressor being loose, allowing the compressor to vibrate, and as it spun down it went through a particular resonant frequency which induced a wobble giving it a few bashes off a metal guide - sounded just like you describe.

We connected another spring to the support on that side and all was well.

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Thanks. I'll have a look. – dangowans Nov 1 '12 at 16:02

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