I have a Kenmore 796-4116 front load washing machine. It's <2 years old. It powers on and there are no error codes or indicators of trouble on the display.

I turn the knob to select a wash cycle and press Start/Pause to begin but it never starts the cycle. The door latches as it always has and there are no broken parts on the door or on the machine where the latch goes. I see no obvious physical damage of any kind anywhere on the machine.

I have power cycled the machine, unplugged and replugged from the wall. The manual's troubleshooting section does not have an entry for this issue. The chime works and I can turn the knob to designate any of the wash cycles but none of them will start.

  • Does it think it starts? Meaning does it start the timer and count down. Does it do anything other than lock the door, and how long after it locks the door, does it unlock the door. Could be that the door sensor is not working right, or lock sensor. Could be any number of things. It should give an error code of some sort to indicate what it failed to do. – Jeff Cates Feb 1 '17 at 21:06
  • The door does not lock so the cycle never begins, the timer does not count down. The door latches shut but pressing the start button does not start the cycle which should then lock the door. – Pangea Feb 2 '17 at 5:49
  • Without seeing the machine, I would guess the first place to look is the door latch switch and lock mechanism. It sounds like it doesn't think the door is shut, therefore not allowing it to start a cycle. – Jeff Cates Feb 2 '17 at 23:09
  • Door Lock Motor and Switch Assembly If the washer door won't lock the lock and switch assembly might be defective. This is a very common problem. The lock and switch assembly can fail either mechanically or electrically. Test any electrical switches with an Ohm meter for continuity. The switches should have continuity according to their design. Main Control Board If the washer door won't lock, the problem might be the main control board. This is not common. Normally the problem is with the lock mechanism. – Jeff Cates Feb 2 '17 at 23:13
  • Also, can you change any of the settings? Load size, water temp, wash type? If none of that will change, it could be the main control board. You might be able to find a machine reset procedure to reset it back to manufacturer defaults. This is one that may work: Press and hold in the select and start/pause buttons together until def appears in the window. That will reset the machine to the factory settings. – Jeff Cates Feb 2 '17 at 23:17

It's possible the door switch has gone bad. Next possible is a bad panel. My money is on the door switch. Occasionally slamming the door will make it work once or twice. If this works, it's definitely the door switch. There are videos to show how to replace the switch. Be sure to unplug the machine before attempting any repairs !

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