Kenmore Elite HE3 Washing Machine Repair

The Kenmore Elite HE3 is a washing machine by Kenmore.

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F11 code error on kenmore he3

i never had a problem w/ my kenmore he3 until last wk (i had it for six yrs). FDL kept showing and my cycle would not complete. i ordered a door lock online for this mode,replaced it and my problem went away, anyway, i thought it did. after about 6 loads of wash, F11 now shows. should i just junk the machine because now it has become agrivating.

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My washer well tell me to add garment after about 10 min cycle. But if on cold water it runs straight threw

by joycelong61

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The F11 code is from a communication break in the serial link from the CCU (Central Control Unit) to the MCU (Motor Control Unit)(from the brains to the washer motor controller). Stay with me here!

There are three blue wires that go to the MCU from the CCU. Most of the problems probably occur during the final spin when the machine spins fastest and longest to extract all of the water.

Hence, the most vibrations cause the connectors to shake until there is a break in communication!

Take the top of the machine off (three #20 torx screws on the top back) to gain access into the machine. The CCU is top center back and has the spaghetti of wire going to it. You will see white wires on the far right of the CCU. Then going left they turn to black. The black set (3 wires) left of the row of white wires if for the Door Lock/Unlock. It IS a problem for the F/DL error. It is not making a good connection. Next the blue wire on the LHS of the CCU, last set (back) there are three blue wires. These 3 go to the MCU and are the serial communication lines. Tighten all these wires to make sure they are making good connections. Make sure your machine is level with all the feet on the floor. You do have a 24 month warranty one the machine so call a tech if within that period. To insure that this may be the problem, take a ride and sit on it during the final spin ;-) If it works then you know it's probably the wiring, if it doesn't buck you off first.

You really don't want to replace these parts because the MCU is $230 and the CCU is $175 -- a lot to pay for some loose wires. If you must buy parts, here they are: http://www.repairclinic.com/Shop-For-Par...

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I was able to get rid of this same problem by removing the CCU (pretty easy), desoldering the 3 relays on the board and soldering them back into place. I also opened up the two white ones and cleaned them inside, but the fix actually came after desoldering and resoldering the black relay. 8 loads so far - no issues. Prior to that it would stop working about every other load. If you need any help let me know. Good luck! eye-play-golf@g-mail.co-m. Delete all the dashes.

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+ Great solution, it didn't occur to me that the vibration might break loose the solder joints.

by mayer

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The F11 fault was killing my wife's well oiled household machine and it's my fault?

I found the round cracks around 6 of the soldered pins on the backside of the CCU board. I just touched up all the solder joints for the Black Relays like the fellas above stated. My wife is ecstatic that the machine went past the magic 11 minutes to go barrier she had been fighting for the last week. All I can say, is that you guys are AWESOME.

OBTW: I found that numbering all the connectors and matching the numbers on the CCU case made it a snap to reassemble. Just a thought.

Greg

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I found that my excessive vibration is due to there only being two springs holding the barrel as opposed to four, which it was designed for. The springs have stretched out and doesn't have enough support.

I tightend the connectors on the CCU and replaced the springs and haven't had a problem for 5 loads now.

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Same problem with my 6 year old machine. Replaced k1 and k4 relay on ccu board. Now 3 weeks later all is still working fine. Problem looks like design error. When door latch opens the latch coil generates a voltage spike that arcs cross the relay and eventually the contacts don,t hold, especially at the vibrations generated during the final spin cycle. F11 error is just a bad diagnostic.

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Fantastic tip! I just checked all the wires and contacts and checked for cold solder joints and nothing. After the 10th read through all the tips i finally noticed the contacts have a problem staying closed when vibrated. The final test was to apply 12v to close the contacts and bump the relay on the table. One relay stayed closed through some pretty violent bumps easily 50g or more. The other one a minor tap opened the contact. I could get readings over 40Ω during the bump. Took off the relay cap and sure enough contact burnt to !@#$. I should be able to source some new relays at DigiKey. Wow. $1.26 each. Ok so found matching pinout 16a models for about $2.30 each. I'll be upgrading.

by awr

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I too had this issue and thanks to Mayer and Chris Campbells post went straight to the problem. I looked at the solder points on the under side of the board for the relays. With the naked eye, nothing looked out of the ordinary; however, under a microscope at the office, was able to see the solder was broken in a circular shape at the base of the pin. Again, it wasnt clearly visible even under the scope until you moved the relay on the other side and then you could clearly see the pin coming in and out of contact with the traces. I had my technician remove the old solder and resolder which after reinstallation has completely solved the issue. For those who dont have a technician available to them, any local electronics repair house could do this for you. Good luck.

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I work in the Electronics Industry, these are called ring cracks. I found several of them on my computer board as well. Its a wonder it worked as well as it did. I have found similar cracks on my TV circuit boards as well. Thanks for the info.

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all you need to do is solder the broken connections on the relays on the boards.

Look at them with a mag glass and you will see they are broken.

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Yes, that is all that i had to do. I touched up three broken solder joints on the two black relays on the board at rear of unit. Good advice.

by Raymond

You will need a good magnifying glass and a bright light to see the ring cracks on the relay pins. Quick fix once you can see the cracked solder joints.

by Raymond

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There is a guy on ebay who fixes your computer board in your Sears HE3t washer for F11 errors. We suffered for 3 years of F11 errors. Tried wiggling wires on computer board and sometimes it helped. In the end, I sent my computer board to the guy who fixes these on EBAY and two years later, the machine still runs great. $60 bucks well invested. Search for "Kenmore HE3T Whirlpool Duet Board Repair For F11 Code".

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i too just started getting a F-11 code on my kenmore he3.it is also 6 years old.no issues until now.but before i start to take it apart(is there any photos/ that will help me to dismantle?).thanks to Mayer for your feedback.i dont know how to nor want to try to do any thing with the curcuit board but i can sure try for any loose wires.what is the connection with the door lock and f-11 code?whold it deff. be the board?

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robert, get the service manual from here, it should help you with your washer. One other thing I recommend is that you try the diagnostic program the see what answer you get. It is in the service manual, listing the codes as well as the error codes.

by oldturkey03

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Thanks for all the posts. Saved me some serious cash. I had the same issue my 8 year old HE4 washer so I did the solder trick, installed new shocks and springs and now it works perfect again!

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The he3 is a great machine, made by Bosch in Germany for Whirlpool and sold as a Kenmore. You can't get this quality anymore in a washer so it warrants repair. I have had one since 2004 with no problems whatsoever. Recently I started getting the F11 error message from time to time near the end of the spin cycle. To open the door, you unplug the machine for 5 min., then replug and it will reboot.

I have a service contract with Sears and they replaced the MCU (motor control) circuit board first. I still got the F11. They replaced the CCU (central control) circuit board today so we'll see what happens. These two replacements would have cost close to $500 without a service contract.

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So how much have you spent on service contracts for the last 9 years?

by mayer

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solved my problem first with the help of this websight then my own research.I LOOKED OVER MINE SEVERAL TIMES AND TO MY UN TRAINED EYE COULD NOT SEE ANY BROKEN connections..i sent my ccu unit to CIRCUIT BOARD MEDICS.COM in Greer,SC..for $80.00 and 6 days later i had it back.works great..this f-11 code ,i found out is very commen.this should deffinatly be a recall on all the circuit boards and be some kind of class action to be fixed by the company.clearly it is poor soldering from the factory.whomever made those boards.

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I was receiving the F11 error and I replaced the MCU and it did not fix my problem. I went through and checked all the wires and when I went to pull the large wire harness from the motor all the black wires popped out. Luckily the wires stayed in the correct order so I re-spliced the wires hooked everything back together and the machine started working again.

The vibration had - over time - weakened the wires and the connection.

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Thank you for this answer, I took off the top of the washer, the wiring was not exactly as explained, but I vacuumed some dust, pushed all the wires up into their contacts, turned on the power and it works!!!! Thank you so much for this info, it save me from having my husband yell at me and it also saved me $$$$$

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Thank you ! thank you ! thank you ! The repairman just left after telling me to get a new washer. I bought this in 2004 and no problems until this F11 error that started this past week. He (the repairman) changed a motor on the pumb but still got the same code. He said not to bother since it was probably the Computer. Get a new one, is what he said. I jumped on the computer and found this website, read all your posts and explained to my husband what to do. What have we got to loose : he said. To our surprise it was quite easy, the first post explains clearly what to do. Check to wires, with a magnifying glass if you need to. One of them is not in correctly. Tighthen all the connectors. My husbands notice one was loose, pushed it in and VOILA it works. Thanks again !

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Glad I could help. Shame on the repairman.

by mayer

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The F11 code is caused by either a CCU failure or an MCU failure...here's how to tell:

If your machine starts a cycle and the water fills but the drum NEVER turns, your MCU is bad...it's most cost effective to buy a refurbished one and you can get them on eBay for $99 all day long.

If your machine makes it most of the way through a cycle but throws an F11 code during the rinse or spin, your CCU has the relay solder / vibration problem...

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I get the F11 code about 30 seconds in when I start a load. The door locks, the water starts and then a few more seconds - F11. I tried just doing a drain/spin and get the same error. I checked out the connections and they seemed okay - but still getting the error. I get the error in each of the cycles in the test diagnostic - after a few seconds in C01 also if I skip through the other diagnostics C02, C03, CO4... I keep getting F11 error. Anyone have a similar experience with F11 error pretty quickly not until later in the load? Any advice.

I don't think I'd want to try to solder anything as I've never done it before although I do have a soldering tool plus solder wire? It seems like it would be pretty easy to mess up. I'm comfortable with mechanical type activities - no problem - taking the CCU out and reinstalling a few times but I was hesitant to mess with the board - worried about grounding ...

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I replaced the two relays on the CCU. Since the CCU is right at the top, I would suggest this to verify the relays are the problem: get a cycle started and knock on the CCU while running; when i tested the relays with an ohm meter while out of the unit they tested fine but it dawned on me to try while it's being shaken around; when i tapped on the relay while measuring with ohm meter, one of the relays opened that was closed (the contact inside opened from the vibration). If you can reproduce a problem like that, it's for sure the relays.

by awr

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I just replaced the MCU and the wiring harness that runs from the MCU to the motor and it still throws an F11 code within 30 seconds of starting a cycle. Any ideas?

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sue will be eternally grateful.

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