The plastic housing on the outermost part of the door is broken at the bottom. What is the name of this part? I would like to order a replacement but I am really unsure what I need to ask for.
Also, where is the best place to take it to get fixed in the St. Louis area?
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You have to remove the outer cover, the plastic lift levers are behind the door open button / lever. Caution!, panasonic discontinued a lot of those and getting a replacement part can be hard at times. Dont waste your time trying to glue it. After watching people try to glue or epoxy those cheap plastic parts for so many years. I have to warn folks to not waste your time trying. .It will not hold!!!! Look online and try to find a replacement part somewhere. It will be one of two parts. the door open button you push, or the door open lever that the front button pushes against. If you unplug the unit and remove the outer cover simply look behind the front control panel and when you push the button to open the door you will see where it is supposed to lift to open the door. The broke part is your problem, may be a piece laying in the bottom.
I have a similar unit and I removed the outside of the door by loosening two flat head screws on the narrow where the handle is located. There are several screws yet holding the outside plastic housing too. Once these are removed the plastic door will come off. Then the handle will be accessible. The same issue started with my oven too and I replaced the original handle with larger screws and using a high quality plastic glue. This held for a while. The plastic door cover seemed to have changed dimensions during its life and warped. I ordered a new door and it lasted a short while. I then asked for a new door under warranty. Bottom line they wouldn't sent a new cover but they returned my money. Apparently the doors all had crappy plastic issues. Currently we are using the microwave with out the door front. It still works like new after 10 years though.
If you can lift the plastic door latch catches with no resistance, it is most likely the spring/plastic connector. I removed the inside black plastic bevel with a jewelers flat screw driver, prying from the latch side's external edge. Once it was started, I could pull it off with a gentle lift, watch the bottom and inside edge (Thanks Lukas Patterson). I took out the black plastic latch, drilled a hole near the broken piece and all was good. Updating, as my original fix wore out. I ordered a replacement latch prior to repairing the existing latch, same directions to gain access, just use the spring on the new latch and press on the plastic cover to re-seat.
I had this problem. The spring inside the door which pushes the the latches down had broken (plastic peg had broken off).
I managed to fix it by attaching the broken end of the spring to the door frame using a small nylon cable tie using the small hole in the plastic fingers which was already there. Note you need to remove the inside door surround.
See the following link to remove the plastic cover on the door
There're some half a dozen or so small screws securing that frame to the door face. These screws must be removed. Then, the frame can be pried out by releasing the plastic snappers (with a flat screwdriver) while in the same time gently helping the frame to detach from these snappers' hold and the door face. It's a tidious, somewhat annoying task. The snappers may and will even likely break in the process, but aren't needed for the frame to be resecured to the door face after the handle is replaced. Note that the broken ends of the handle must be held with a pair of pliers or a flat screwdriver needs to be inserted bewteen each of them and the hole, or the ends will turn with the screws. This is because the metal screws' grip of the plastic handle broken ends is very strong and will otherwise won't get separated.Once the above is accomplished, reassembling the door is a brease.
P.S.: The dual end latch may interfere somewhat with the job and can be removed for the prtocess to be undertaken without it disturbing. It's easy to remove and replace that latch, including its spring.
The plastic cover on the inside of the door is purely push fit.
To force it off I used 2 strong stainless steel dinner knives.
By easing one knife between the internal glass and the plastic cover I managed to spring one corner by using the other knife on the external bottom edge of the plastic cover.
Try concentrating on one end and once this springs out it is easy to free the rest without having to take it off completely.
The hook is simple to do but be careful with the spring.
All in all it took 3 minutes!
Im sorry to say, but the housing will have to come off to unlatch the door from the inside.Not difficult ,Unplug the unit and remove all of the screws around the top of the housing cover if any,also rear and both sides will have to come out.When they have all been removed, lift the rear of the top housing cover and pull back.You will be able to see where the two door latches are locked in place.With a screwdriver,you can push up on the bottom latch and the door will open. All this can be done without spilling the milk inside.Just slide the microwave around slowly to get to the screws.The broken part inside should be able to be replaced.Contact repair parts center.
In most cases this is due to a broken door opening lever or loose or broken door latch / hook parts.
They can only be accessed and examined if the cover is removed from the microwave.
In many over the range models, you can access the door parts by removing the control panel assembly.
Sometimes you may be able to get it open by pushing up gently on the bottom of the door while pushing the button, in case you need to empty it.