Thanks, and another question
Sorry to take so long, but thank you for your reply, richappy.
We tried the extended warranty route as a last resort to avoid buying a new fridge. Repair tech came today and said he would order the parts. After he left, the warranty company called and said the fridge couldn't be repaired, and the condenser tube (?) was corroded besides, so it wouldn't be covered anyway.
I called the repair tech back and asked him about what the warranty rep had said. He told me that the tube runs through the defroster pan, so when it gets a leak, water gets inside it and magnifies the problem. He said the fridges used to be made where the tube does not go through the pan, and the defroster fan would blow on it and evaporate water from it so that this problem wouldn't occur.
My question now, since I have to buy a new fridge after only 3-1/2 years, is:
Are there refrigerators that are made such that they don't have this problem? How can I know which models are less susceptible to these life-ending problems? I can't afford to be buying a new fridge every couple of years.