Question about Kenmore Elite 45986 Front Load Washer

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When I attempt to start a wash cycle on my HE3t the indicator light on the wash cycle button ( it doesn't matter which one, they all react the same) flashes & the washer will not respond to pushing the start button. Nothing I have tried has worked. I know it must be an error code of some kind but I found no help from the manual.

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  • reeves_craig Aug 03, 2010

    No results from first solution offered. I would think there is a definite problem associated with the flashing of the wash cycle indicator light. The manual says it should "glow" but mine are flashing. I select "normal", the light flashes & the start button has no effect. Push "heavy duty" same results.



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There is indeed a definite problem associated with the flashing of the wash cycle indicator light but it is not described in the user manual or even in the tech sheet. Experience tells that the problem is a stuck key or switch particularly in the Wash Cycle Selector. Check the buttons and switches and make sure it is not stuck closed or shorted. Replace the touch pad/LED assembly if the issue is not addressed. Disconnect power to the washer prior to servicing to avoid the risk of electric shock that may result in physical injury or even death.

Remove the screws attaching the top panel to the rear of the machine then slide it rearwards and off the cabinet. Remove the detergent dispenser drawer by pressing down on the release tab at the back of the drawer and pulling it completely out of the washer.

Once the drawer is removed, remove the screw in the recessed hole next to the drawer opening then release the tab securing the right side of the console to the washer. Open the washer door and place a flat-bladed screwdriver into the slot in the bottom center of the console then push the console up to release center console tab and remove the console.

Remove the cycle selector knob then release the tabs securing the Touch Pad/LED Assembly to the console. Release these tabs in sequence from left to right around the Touch Pad/LED Assembly until all of the tabs are free and the assembly can be lifted from the console.

Unstuck any stuck button or clean the contacts if necessary then take the opportunity to inspect the other keys for any possible short circuit.

You don't have to accept or reject and rate this post to add information or post comments and follow-up questions. Accepting a solution does not stop you from communicating with an expert. You can continue communicating with the expert as long as you need assistance regarding the issue stated herein.

Posted on Aug 04, 2010

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Thanks for using FixYa. If it won’t flash any error code then it might be something wrong with the control. To start with press and hold the DRAIN/SPIN button for 10-15 seconds, this will reset the control panel. If still the issue is not resolved then you’ll have to replace the control panel. Please do accept the solution if the issue is resolved or post a comment for further assistance.


Posted on Aug 03, 2010

  • Rylee Smith
    Rylee Smith Aug 03, 2010

    Thats the reason I said to replace the control panel

  • reeves_craig Aug 03, 2010

    This worked for me ... just thought I'd pass the info along to you.

    "a few times ive seen door issues is caused by the little door actuator nub that got snapped off(possibly while pulling clothes out)

    its about an inch above the square door catch opening (the nub should be sticking out about 1/4 inch if its snapped off it will look as if its stuck in)- see pic

    if you dont want to replalce it a "bandaid" fix is to find a screw that will snugly fit into that hole and it will always hold it in - not recommended if you have little ones running around since it is defeating a safety feature"



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When washing heavily soiled loads, do not overload your washer in order to assure good cleaning results.

To add a forgotten item:
1. Press the Power button.
2. Press the Start/Pause
3. Wait for the door lock light to go out (Immediately).
4. Add the item, close the door, and press the Start/Pause
The door safety state continues for 15 seconds and the cycle is restarted.
ensure thorough cleaning,
Try washing bedding, towels, undergarments,
contact using the ActivFresh
1. Load your washer.
2. Close the door.
Push the laundry into the drum completely to prevent the laundry from being caught in the door or
....... from falling out of the drum.
3. Press the Power button.
4. Add detergent and additives to the dispenser (page 20-21).
5. Select the appropriate cycle and options for the load (page 14-16).
6. Press the Start/Pause
7. The Wash Indicator light will illuminate.
8. The estimated cycle time will appear in the display.
The time may fluctuate to better indicate the time remaining in the cycle.
The actual time required for a cycle may differ from the estimated time in the display depending on the
water pressure, water temperature, detergent, and laundry.
9. Before your washer starts to fill, it will make a series of clicking noises to check the door lock and do a
quick drain.
When the cycle is complete, the door lock light will go out and "End" will appear in the display.

DO NOT attempt to open the door until the door lock light is off. To add a forgotten item, see
"Loading your washer" section (page 13).

When your washer is restarted after a pause, expect a delay of up to 15 seconds before the cycle

Pressing Power button cancels the cycle and stops your washer.

The pre wash, wash, rinse and spin indicator lights will illuminate during those portions of the cycle

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1 Answer

Have a Kenmore Elite HE3T washer. Put appropriate detergent, fabric softener in, selected NORMAL cycle, spin speed, etc. Just sits there. Pressed START button several times. Nothing. Little cycle lights...

I own a 18-year-old Kenmore front-load washer so I'm not sure this will apply, but here goes... My washer requires me to press and HOLD the start button for a few seconds before it will start. At that point the door will lock and the washer goes through its startup phase. I think that is a "safety feature' to keep from accidentally bumping the button and starting the washer. See if that help. Good luck!

Nov 22, 2017 | Kenmore HE3T Washer

1 Answer

How do you get the wash cycle off of ''pause''? I put it on pause to add more clothes, and don't know how to get it started washing again.

Hello and welcome to Fixya.

Starting it again from a "paused" status should just be a matter of pushing and holding for a couple of seconds the start button, provided the door is closed properly.

Hope that answer`s your question. Good luck.

macmarkus :)

May 19, 2010 | Kenmore HE3T Washer

1 Answer

I have a Kenmore HE3t 2002 model washer that the buttons light up but the washer will not start when the start button is pushed. You can select any cycle ad it lights up.

There is a black plastic piece that sticks out from the machine. It is located at about
2 o'clock. You probably broke off the piece as I did with mine. If you have a wooden skewer (or something like it), stick it in and depress the button. You can glue the skewer in place.
That should fix your problem.

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Kenmore elite washing machine spin cycle slow. The clothes are still dripping wet when removed from the washer.

In my HE3T, this was indicative of the water pump going out. In its 8th year, my HE3T is now on its 3rd water pump.

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Kenmore HE3t lights up ,won't start

sounds like a door lock/latch issue, its not recognizing your closing door so its not starting unit

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Well there is one of two control boards that is malfunctioning, most common is the Machine (or Main) control board, there is also a display pc board in the control panel, but i have had few problems with that control. Unfortunately the main board is $300.

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