Problem with Kitchen Aide Built-in Refridgerator

My 15 year old Kitchen Aid refrigerator slowly stopped. This unit has been trouble from day one. In 2000 it was a new compressor, twice .... the 1st new one quit after a week or 2. Anyway, it has been ok until last week. I first noticed the refrigerator side was not cooling enough .... then I noticed the ice cream in the freezer was a little softer than usual. And finally, the ice cubes started getting clearer. The 1st observation was that there was no air flow from the freezer side to the frig .... none! However, I did clean the condenser coils because, from past experience, this thing will slow down with only a minor amount of dirt on the coils. Anyway, the whole thing eventually got warm, so it was shut off and the food transferred to the other freezer, neighbor's frig and to the RV frig,which happened to be on the driveway instead of the paid-for storage place.
The authorized KA service came out today and said, "oh, you should have left it on!" I shut it off because I didn't want to be blamed for "breaking" it. So, he said it would be $1500 to put in a new compressor and evaporator. BTW, we priced new built-ins for about $4K-5K. Anyway, I turned it on and low and behold, there is now airflow to the fridge. I left it run since this morning and it is now working, fridge at 39 degrees and freezer at 5 degrees. Anyone have any ideas of what could have happened? I would think that maybe the cool air fan might have stopped, however, in the freezer, it seemed to be moving air. Keep in mind, the freezer eventually didn't work either. So, I'm baffled!
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Art Todesco wrote:

Barely read your post, but it sounds like the evaporator/freezer coil iced up blocking the airflow, When you left it unplugged it thawed the ice and therefore it worked worked again.
Check to see if the evaporator fan is blowing by holding door button in while frig is running. Defrost timer could be bad, etc. Find the problem or it will eventually ice up again. - udarrell
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