Question about Kenmore 15864/15862 Top Load Washer

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Spins and then does not spin, I have to coax it by moving the drum???

Kenmore 80 Series MODEL # 16852500

I need help with my kenmore.  it is 2 years old and this is a very frustrating problem.  Here is the scenarios...


1.  During the spin cycle, it does not move...but motor is running.  There isn't a smell or weird sound.


2.  With a little half turn spin, it begins to spin at less than half speed (on normal or delicate).


3.  With a little turn, it does not spin at all (after 20 mins of trying option 2)


I am willing to call sears to have repaired...but I want to know what I am getting into before I get surprised with a bill exceeding replacement.  Also....if you hard is it to fix for a technically able person?

Posted by beccashonne on

  • beccashonne Oct 17, 2007

    It is defintely not the timer.  It does have the required pause as you described.  Any thoughts for labor costs for repair if indeed the transmission is still under warranty?  Thanks again.



1 Answer

Tracy Farrell

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Becca, your washer has a "delay" built into the timer in the final spin cycle. This is called a "neutral drain" setup. Here's the scenario...

The drive motor has 2 directions, forward and reverse. This affects the transmission the same way...forward= Agitate, reverse= Spin. However! On yours, when it goes into spin, the transmission doesn't engage immediately. (This gives the machine time to drain the water out before it spins. Water is heavy... 8.6 lb's/gal. When you have 20 gal's of water in the tub that's 172 Lb's! That's alot of weight for the motor to spin up, so they designed it to get rid of all that weight first.)

The way the washer does the neutral drain is a combination of two things. Here's how;  The timer will get to the spin cycle (reversing the motor, engaging the water pump, and placing the transmission into "neutral" [<---I'll get to that in a minute]. Then after 8 or 9 minutes draining, the timer will PAUSE for about 5 seconds, then re-engage. This "pause" feature shifts the transmission from "neutral" to "reverse" so it will spin the clothes.

Your problem could be one of the two. Timer not "pausing". OR transmission not shifting out of neutral.

The timer is out of warranty if it's over a year old. Runs about $200 for replacement (or around $130 if you do it yourself). If the transmission is the cause, it's under warranty for 5 years.

The problem you're facing is getting an accurate diagnosis as to which of the 2 components is the cause. The symptoms you describe would lead me to the transmission first. The neutral pawl in the tranny has failed and is not engaging the reverse gear would be my first impression.

Test this... place the washer timer at the very beginning of the Spin/Drain cycle on the "Heavy" cycle. Pull the knob and let it run. Monitor it closely with your ears. About 8 minutes into the drain, the timer should pause for a 5 seconds or so, then start up again. Listen for the "pause" (machine stops completely, no noise). If it does, the timer is OK. If it pauses, restarts and the transmission doesn't engage? It's a failed transmission..

I know this is probably not what you wanted to hear, but if I'm accurate in my blind diagnosis would you please rate my response?

BTW, if it turns out to be the timer, I can walk you through the replacement of it.

Posted on Oct 15, 2007

  • Tracy Farrell
    Tracy Farrell Oct 17, 2007

    Becca, you stated that the machine is 2 years old. So, yes, the transmission is still under warranty.

    What you'll need to do is contact Sears warranty and provide them with the full model number (it will start with 3 digits then a decimal point then more digits --> xxx.xxxxxxx) and serial number of the unit. You can find this by lifting the lid. There's a data tag in the center, between the lid and the top panel.

    The labor charge for replacing a transmission varies by geographic area. I'm in central Texas, around here the price runs around $150.00.



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