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.
My GE spacesaver did the same thing. It was the magnatron leaking. The tech had me remove the control panel screws and tilt it out. It ran fine, but would then flicker and quit as I moved it back to the normal position. Part was under warranty. Cost about $50 labor when i took it to the tech.
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Re: Microwave shuts off after 2-5seconds
That means the power to the whole microwave or to the control panel is being interrupted.
Most models have a wiring diagram inside the cover which shows you the path taken by the power.
I would suggest you look over my important safety and disassmebly texts by searching on Yahoo.com (not Google) for
microwave circuit repair safety.txt
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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!