Fixing a inop control panel on a dishwasher. (with update)
Random lights come on but won't respond to any button commands. Seems frozen in time.
TURN OFF POWER
My latest update at the end
You will need a screwdriver bit like a torx bit to remove the control panel. There are 6 screws. One on each corner and 2 around the latch hold area. This will allow the control panel to flop over. I went ahead and removed the entire door panel also (just below the control panel) not knowing they were separate units. This will also give you more room to mess with the wiring. But you won't need to do that.
You will see, inside the control panel, a grey box with all the wiring going to it. My problem was the green flat ribbon cable sliding into the left side of that gray box. To get to it, there are 2 white clips (same side as the cable entry) which are just -molded keepers -easily forced out of place with a small flat screwdriver. Don't break them, but pressure them to the outside direction until they release the box. The other end of the box just tucks/slides under a holder which is part of the casing and not removable.
YOU DON'T NEED TO DO THIS BUT I went ahead and removed all the wiring. The 3 big plugs just pull out, I can't remember if they had keepers or not so look around before pulling something loose. The little ones going into the back side, have keepers also. The box is labeled for these by color. You really won't need to remove these to get the box and cable out.
I have been in there a couple of times since and now I just remove the 6 screws on the top and roll it over to get access. (2 on each side and the 2 at the latch point)
The ribbon cable slides into a black plug "adapter" then that adapter, which now the new end of the cable, plugs (slides) into the box. The plug itself is the problem. Nothing makes the connection of the cable to the plug permanent. It wobbles around and is too loose to make a good permanent connection. First time I just wobbled it around to make a connection cleaning move but it was still loose. That worked for about a month then reoccurred.
New info: Problem reappeared. The problem is definitely that the ribbon cable connector head is loose on the cable. The black plastic end of the cable where it slides into the pins on the box as described earlier. Evidently this looseness is the problem, So I heard of someone taking the end off and soldering directly to the pins on the box...I will try to avoid that. This time I took slip joint pliers (the regular house hold pliers) and gently reclamped the black end piece so there is no looseness in the connecton. You are just gently applying clamping pressure over and over again to get the plastic to bite better on the cable. Turning the pliers to the other side will get all areas on the plastic. I will see if this is good enough. If I don't correct this then it was OK.
If this doesn't do the trick you may have more problems electronic inside. You can further open the box to look for burned spots or other obvious problems. Several keepers along the edge of the box. It will open up showing a printed circuit board. Keepers also hold the PCB in place...so look around before prying ...if it isn't pretty easy to lift or remove anything...a keeper still has it.
You can test the washer now without putting it all back together. If you removed any wiring, just put all the wires back and hold it up and test it. All the buttons should be responsive now.
Sears parts has the best price for replacement. I found the entire control panel (without the box) for $115. The box was $112.
Don't panic...you can do this.
Latest update: (May 13,2015) After about 3 months of intermittent operation I got crazy and opened her up again and tried to do some soldering on it. Those ribbon lines are so thin a soldering iron will destroy the line before the solder melts. No luck. Broke down and ordered a new panel for $93 shipped from universalapplianceparts.com. It has an updated part replacement number and I hope is a better build of the cabling. Still cheaper than a new washer.
on Feb 16, 2015 | Maytag Dishwasher