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Chances are you have a failing magnetron. But to allow us to help you effectively (at no charge), please post a NEW problem to FixYa, and please
include your brand name and the full model number from the tag in or on
the unit, your symptoms, "Microwave only runs for about 3 seconds then stops and the timer goes
back to the clock mode.After several attempts then it will work.Problem
Unplug the microwave for at least 3 minutes, then plug it back in, and BEFORE SETTING THE CLOCK, press and hold power level and start for three seconds. This should flash "demo mode off". Set the clock as normal. Enjoy!
The problem is most likely the magtube, it takes aprox 3 sec for the tube to energize and then it kills the microwave. If you drop the control panel away and start the microwave 90% of the time it will cook fine.