KitchenAid Microwave Fan Not Working

Fred's Appliance Academy
February 8, 2021
Microwave Training

KitchenAid makes high-quality microwaves that draw on the company’s long experience with manufacturing home appliances. But sometimes machines do break, and when that happens, it helps to know what’s causing the problem and how to repair it. 

If your KitchenAid microwave fan is not working, it could be one of many things. Check out our extensive list of possible causes below, and hopefully, you’ll be able to find the culprit and fix it up.

Popular models of KitchenAid microwaves that this guide covers include






















Fan Motor

One of the biggest causes of a microwave fan not working is a problem with the microwave fan motor. 

The exhaust fan on your microwave may not be working because of an issue with the fan motor.

This is how to test a microwave fan motor with a multimeter:

  1. Turn the microwave off, and remove it from the wall or the cabinet it sits in.
  2. Remove the microwave casing / cabinet, and locate the fan motor – which is at the back of the microwave.
  3. Attempt to manually rotate the fan around. If you can’t rotate it around, this means it is faulty and will need to be replaced.
  4. If you can rotate it around manually, you’ll then need to use a multimeter to test it for continuity (which is shown by a reading of 0).
  5. If it is shown to have continuity, then it is not the cause of your fan not working, so put it back in and close your microwave up again.

Check the Charcoal Filter

If you have an over-the-range microwave, then you should check that the charcoal filter isn’t clogged up. Over time the filter absorbs all sorts of pollutants and will eventually need to be replaced. As part of regular maintenance, you should replace the filter regularly to ensure your KitchenAid microwave operates at its full capacity.

Here’s how to inspect your charcoal filter:

  1. Make sure the microwave is turned off.
  2. You can locate the charcoal filter behind the exhaust air outlet grill. You will have to remove the grill so that you can access the charcoal filter. Each KitchenAid model has a slightly different way to remove the grill, so you should consult the manual for the specific model you have.
  3. Once you have removed the grill, you can remove the filter and inspect it for any damage or buildup of debris that is blocking it up.
  4. If you can confirm it is damaged, is blocked, or has been in use for longer than the manufacturer recommends, you should replace the charcoal filter. You can find replacement filters at all major retailers – just make sure you get the correct one for your microwave model.

Check the Grease Filter

If your microwave fan isn’t working, it might be because of a clogged grease filter. The grease filter protects the exhaust system clear by trapping oils and fats from the food you heat in the microwave.

Here’s how to inspect your microwave’s grease filter:

  1. Make sure the microwave is turned off.
  2. You can locate the grease filter at the bottom of the microwave; it is held in place with spring clips.
  3. Once you have located your grease filter, remove it.
  4. Give it a thorough inspection to see if it is damaged or clogged up with debris or grease.
  5. If your filter is clogged up, give it a clean with soap and water and put it back into its place.
  6. If it is too clogged up or is damaged, you will need to replace it. You can find replacement filters at all major retailers – just make sure you get the correct one for your microwave model.

Check the Damper Assembly

Another reason your microwave fan is not working is that it might have a faulty damper assembly. The function of the damper is to prevent exterior air from entering through the microwave fan. It is a flap that is made of either metal or plastic and is usually spring-loaded.

Here’s how to check if your microwave damper assembly is faulty or not:

  1. IMPORTANT: Make sure the microwave is turned off before doing any repairs.
  2. Remove your microwave from the wall or the wall cabinet it’s in, and remove the microwave case / cabinet so you can access the damper assembly.
  3. Look for any signs that the damper has been obstructed from opening and closing, any signs of damage, or any signs of wear and tear.
  4. If you find any problem with it, you’ll need to replace the damper assembly, which you can find at all major retailers that sell home appliance parts.

Check the Thermostat

The role of the thermostat in your microwave is to monitor the air temperature and then turn the fan on if required. When the thermostat stops working, it will prevent the microwave fan from working as well.

Here’s how to check it:

  1. Make sure that the microwave is turned off.
  2. Check the thermostat by using a multimeter. The multimeter tells you if the thermostat has continuity and if not, you’ll need to replace it.

Check the Main Control Board

If all else fails, you may need to replace the main control board. But this should be the absolute last fix that you apply to the problem. Before replacing the main control board, you should first check the exhaust fan motor and the wiring that powers it. If the motor is not getting power, then this might be because of a faulty main control board.

Hopefully, this article has helped you to fix your microwave fan and it is now working like new.

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