It seems the auto defrost kicks on by itself on the third day after the refrigerator has been plugged in/turned on. Its not freezing up and theres no ice build up, so why would the auto defrost process begin? Note: I can always tell when the auto defrost begins because of a very distinct dry smell comes from the refrigerator. What can be causing this?
This is a manual defrost unit. There is a push in button on the thermostat knob which puts the unit in defrost mode. Its probably stock in the on position, which is why the unit doesnt cool when it does this. You might have to take the knob apart, or replace the whole assemble if all checked out fine physically.
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At this point I am assuming the refrigerator portion is working. It sounds like it may be a thermostat or a low refrigerant charge. If you cannot find it with the links I have attached you should contact a servace tec but also it possibly is in warrenty so start where you purchased the unit.
Could be the back of the freezer is not defrosting and is packed up with ice. The cold air then can't circulate to the fridge part as the fan is frozen solid in ice. Had this happen due to a faulty transducer that tells the defrost system the freezer is iced up and to go into defrost mode. Also it could be the fan that blows cold air down into the fridge from the freezer compartment.
You should not have to manually defrost. Your auto defrost system is not working. Check the timer usuall in the frig compartment near the thermostat ( a small hole, use a screwdrive flat tip 1/4" to rotate the timer till it clicks starting the defrost cycle) check freezer in 10-15 min should be defrosted if not you will need to check the heater and thermostat located behind the rear or bottom panel of the freezer.
The defrost timer could be under the box in the front behind kick panel or in the rear by the compressor.
It sounds like the defrost timer may be bad,or you might want to ohm out the heater itself. And the only othe part is the terminator witch sounds like you replaced that allready. I would check the heater and if that is good replace the timer itself. Hope this helps