Question about Kenmore Elite 45986 Front Load Washer

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Door lock failure on Kenmore Elite He3

The washer would not start because it said DLF. We figured out it was the door lock failure. My husband played with the door and all of a sudden the door is lock and the door is open and the washer will not close. HELP!!!

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  • danaandcraig Feb 04, 2009

    The door lock seems to be broken on the inside. The latch on the door looks fine but it won't lock. Can I fix this myself?

  • karensenders Feb 04, 2009

    The dL F is flashing and will not allow the cycle to run. How can this be fixed?

  • Anonymous Apr 22, 2009

    My washer would not start as it I am gettign FDL code. Sometime it works all of sudden or waiting after 12+ hours. Now all i hear is clocking noise to lock the door but is not able to do so and I getting F DL code. Any idea on how to open front panel and how to check door switch & lock mechanism ?



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Remember to unplug the machine and to exercise caution when working with water and electricity.
There is a diagnostic mode that is possible to run, it can't run though if you have a door lock error since it will sense that first and not complete the diagnostics.

To start the diagnostic mode:
From machine off.
Press the Drain/Spin button once.
Press the Spin Speed button until No Speed is selected.
Press any of the buttons under Options four times, the same button will need to be pressed each of the times. I use the Prewash button.

Unlocking and locking the door manually:

Front panel below door 3 screws on bottom of panel.
Reach up on right side of drum.
If you pull the tab, ths is manual unlock.
If you close the door, it remains unlocked.
This tab is black, you can't see this unless it is removed.
The black tab pulls on a white slider to unlock, pushing the tab to lock does nothing, you will reach up along the black tab and feel a corner of the white tab, this pushes up easily when the door is closed or if the latch is engaged.
If you engaged the latch and it is closed but not on the door, you will need to pull the black tab down. Then use something sturdy to loop around the white hook inside the latch. I used a black clip that is commonly used for clipping paper or sacks closed, the ones with the chrome loops, just angle it around and pull firmly, remember to have the black tab pulled, but not hard.

To describe the door lock mechanism:

Access to it:
From bottom for manual unlock and lock.
See above on access details.
From top for removal and installation.
The top panel comes off by three screws from the back.
It then slides back a few inches and then is able to be lift.

Removal and installation:

Three screws from door side holds it in place.
There are three plug-ins to this mechanism, the two white/clear plugs have one press tab each to unhook it and the longer black clip has two on the same side (facing the rear of the machine).
You will move the mechanism into the washer so the close button and the latch area are clear of the face of washer.
There is a cream plastic harness support on the inside that is held by two posts from the mechanism.
The mechanism slides up then out from the harness support.
You need to be careful not to damage the drum seal.
It is out.
Installation is the reverse of removal.

Describing how it works:

You will notice that the mechanism is quite long.
The top part where the wire connector with two wires connected is solitary from the rest, it is just a button to sense whether the door is open or closed.
If the mechanism was opened you will see that the black button has a little tab that pushes a little red button on a rectangular unit when the door is open to keep the connection and is away from it when the door is closed to break the connection.
This should have continuity when the button is in the position of the door being open.

The next set of wires (three of them) power either of two coils of wire to move a metal rod that pulls the white slider up or down.
This slider can only move all the way up if the latch is in the closed position. This is because there is a long metal piece that is spring loaded to block it, when the latch is closed, it allows the white slider to move up. This metal piece is also a guide for the lock mechanism and brings the latch to a metal pin that catches the back end of the latch to hold it in position. The white slider blocks the metal tab when the slider is up, from allowing it full movement of moving the latch away from the pin. If the the black tab or white slider was moved down, it allows room for the metal piece to pivot, move the latch away from catching the pin and when the latch is pulled, to unlock.

The next set of wires (four of them) check whether the slider is up or down. How it works is that if the slider is up, then the top two terminals are bridged on the inside and the bottom two are bridged on the inside, giving you continuity when completely locked. When the slider is down and the latch is able to move freely, then none of the terminals are bridged and there will be no continuity.

I am unaware of how much resistance you need in the door sensor or the electromagnet to slide the rod.
I can say though that you need continuity where described.
If you get no continuity on the upper two or lower two of the four terminals grouped together when the latch is locked and slider up, then there is your problem.
If you have no continuity at the door sensor's two terminals when door is in open position, this may be your problem, but you will need to know the range of ohms and test for this to confirm.
For the electromagnet, you will need continuity from the middle terminal to the bottom terminal and from the middle terminal to the top terminal, if there is none, it will not be able to energize and move the slider. You will need to know the ohms to verify if this is faulty or not.

I am sorry that I do not know the ohms needed.

Remember to have the machine unplugged when opening or working on it.
This information is from my own attempt at figuring out what could be wrong and it may be different than your machine and may not be entirely accurate or complete since I don't have any manuals.
I have not been trained to work on these or any other machines, but I am highly mechanically inclined, but give no warranties to this information. If you decide to work on your machine based on this information, you do it knowing this and I can not be held responsible for any damages or injuries.

Posted on Feb 07, 2010

  • gerschel Feb 07, 2010

    Your problem is most likely the ccu or relays. Give it a tap when trying to start it and see if that helps. It is the big cream/white box on the top in the back and tap it near the connector with dl3 above it.


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WD-40 oil all aroung the lock mechanism. Use liberally. I used it when I kept getting the dl error code. Fixed me right up. Jeve

Posted on Aug 10, 2008

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I know this is an old post but for those who still face this problem from time to time replacement of the door lock mechanism which on the Kennmore HE3 is part #8182634. Model 110 The part can be ordered from sears and even picked up the part at a sears service center and installed it on the same day. I found the how to in a video on youtube. Awesome technology we have these days. Especially for us fix it yourselfers.

Posted on Feb 28, 2013

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Try these sites for spares:

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