Question about Kenmore Elite 45986 Front Load Washer

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Lid lock does not work - Kenmore Elite 45986 Front Load Washer

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This advice is for Kenmore Elite and Whirlpool Duet model front loading washers. If you experience a problem where the door becomes jammed and will not unlock or open, here's an easy way to gain access inside your washer WITHOUT calling the repairman.
1. Remove the lower panel under the door by loosening the three screws under the bottom edge on the front of the washer. HINT: If you prop up the front feet of the washer with some small blocks of wood, this will make access to the screws much easier.
2. With the screws removed, the lower panel should drop down then come off. If the panel sticks, a light tap on either side will knock it loose.
3. Reach your hand up inside the washer behind the front casing on the right-hand side. This is where the door latch assembly is located.
4. At the bottom of the door latch assembly is a small pull tab. This is the manual release for the door. Pull the tab straight down and the door will come open.
Sometimes these doors will not unlock for whatever reason. If there are no error codes being generated, this could have just been a momentary glitch. If you see "Fdl" "DLE" or "Fdu" error codes, these are usually indications of a failed door latch assembly and will require replacement.


1. Unplug washer.
2. Remove the outer portion of the door bellow. This is the gray rubber boot around the door. Feel around the edge of the door bellow where it attaches to the front of the washer. You will find a wire retaining hoop in the seam between the rubber and the front case. Follow this wire hoop to the bottom of the door bellow and you will find a tension spring. Carefully, stretch this spring apart and remove the wire hoop.
3. Pull the rubber bellow from the door facing on the front of the washer being careful not to rip or tear it. Once removed, fold the rubber backwards inside the drum so you can access behind the front panel. DO NOT remove the rubber bellow from the wash tub.
4. The door latch assembly is located behind the front panel of the washer on the right hand side. Locate and remove the three screws on the washer front that hold the door latch assembly in place. The whole assembly should come free from the washer front and be held by a plastic mounting bracket and several wire connectors.
5. Carefully remove the latch assembly from the plastic mounting bracket BEFORE attempting to unplug any wires. It makes it much easier to access if you do.
6. Unplug the wire connectors using care not to break any of the wires. You may want to write them down, but I believe they will only plug into their respective slots.
7. Remove the old door latch and install the new one in the reverse order of the steps I just presented to you. Plug the wires back in first, then place the whole assembly back into the plastic mounting bracket, and then reattach to the front of the washer.
8. Now, when you get the reinstalling the rubber door boot, you may want to get the assistance of a second pair of hands as it can be difficult sometimes to manipulate the wire retainer back into place. Carefully reattach the rubber bellow to the door facing on the front of the washer first.
9. Starting at the top of the door bellow at the 12 o'clock position begin inserting the wire hoop back into the groove. Work your way around with both hands to the 4 and 8 o'clock positions. (This is where you could use those second pair of hands). While holding a slight downward tension on the wire hoop to keep it in place, pull the tension spring apart enough to snap the remaining part of the hoop into place at the bottom. Once you've completed these steps make sure the door closes and latches properly. NEVER slam a door with an electronic latch. They can break easily.
Now plug the washer back in and test operate. NOTE: You can run diagnostics on these washers by referring to the tech sheet provided by the manufacturer. The tech sheet is located behind the lower panel under the door, or along the interior cabinet walls. Included, are instructions on how to run diagnostics and troubleshooting tips associated with the list of fault codes. It is recommended that this tech sheet remain inside the washer to prevent it from being lost.

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Posted on Sep 14, 2010

  • 2 more comments 
  • HHK1945 Sep 18, 2010

    Thank-you for making this information available. I would like some pictures. I purchased my washer 2nd hand, and I do not have a manual. I appreciate this information.

  • blueextc3221
    blueextc3221 Sep 18, 2010

    http://media.fotki.com/1_p,wkkrqtwwwgtsg...

  • blueextc3221
    blueextc3221 Sep 18, 2010
  • HHK1945 Sep 20, 2010

    This is FABULOUS! Thank-you very much. This will be saved under 'FAVORITES."

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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