How to Repair a Malfunctioning Microwave Instead of Buying a New One

Fleet Appliance
August 16, 2019
Microwave Repair

From quickly warming up leftovers to cooking an entire meal in minutes, it’s safe to say most households benefit from the convenience of a microwave. Unfortunately, like any hardworking appliance, microwave malfunctions are bound to occur. While you may think buying a new microwave is easier than fixing your old one, you may be surprised to find how painless and inexpensive repairing the most common microwave malfunctions really is. Two components that frequently break in a microwave are the turntable motor and the door latch. If you’re dealing with one of these common issues, take a look at the repair guides below before heading to the store to buy a new microwave.

Appliance Repair Safety Tips

  • To avoid electrocution, always unplug your appliance before you start repairing it, or switch it off at the circuit breaker.
  • Protect your eyes and hands by wearing safety goggles and work gloves.
  • If you feel uneasy about the repair, and you’re not sure you can finish it safely, please contact an appliance repair specialist.

The Turntable Motor

In order to cook food evenly, a Whirlpool microwave model WMH53521HV is equipped with a round glass turntable that sits on-top of a roller guide and a motor-driven coupler. If the motor rotating the coupler fails, the turntable in your appliance will no longer spin. Replacing the motor is the only way to get the turntable rotating and your food cooking evenly again.

How to Replace the Turntable Motor in Your Whirlpool Microwave

  1. Open your microwave door and take out the glass turntable. Then, remove the coupler from the motor shaft by pulling it straight up.
  2. Using a Phillips head screwdriver, take out the screws that hold the bottom panel to the microwave.
  3. Now that the bottom panel is mostly out of the way, you can start uninstalling the faulty motor. To do so, take off the terminal cover protecting the wires that run to the turntable motor. Then, disconnect the wires from the motor. Before you go any further, detach the opposite wire ends from the microwave. This allows you to swing the bottom panel all the way back, which then grants you full access to the turntable motor.
  4. Unthread the mounting screws that hold the motor to the underside of your microwave. Then, simply pull the motor off your appliance.
  5. Before you start installing the new motor, take the motor seal off the old motor and slide it onto the new motor shaft. Once that’s done, line up the screw hole on the motor mounting plate with the screw hole on the underside of your microwave. Then, rethread the mounting screw that secures the motor to your appliance.
  6. To finish up installing the motor, reconnect the wire harness to your microwave and the wire ends to the motor terminals. Then, replace the terminal cover.
  7. Close up the bottom of your microwave by reinstalling the bottom panel. Then, open the microwave door and push the coupler onto the new motor shaft. Finally, replace the glass turntable and close your appliance door.

The Door Latch

When you close your microwave door, the door latch fits into the door switch holder in the microwave frame. When the latch hooks onto the switch, it prompts the switch to send power to the microwave controls. If the latch is broken, it won’t adhere to the door switch, meaning the microwave door won’t close properly and your appliance won’t start. To replace your microwave’s broken door latch, follow the repair guide below.

How to Replace the Door Latch in Your Whirlpool Microwave

  1. Open your microwave door, and unthread the screws holding the top grill to the appliance. Tilt the top of the grill down to disengage its locking mechanism, and then pull the part off your microwave.
  2. With the door still open, disconnect the wire harness door connector from the upper, left-hand corner of your microwave.
  3. Using a Flathead screwdriver, pull out the small access plug beneath the top door hinge. Then, to detach the door from the microwave, lift it up and off its hinges.
  4. Move the microwave door to a flat, sturdy surface and lay it down, backside up. Expose the screws holding the inner and outer door panels together by removing the small round plugs covering them. Then, unthread all 4 screws with a Phillips head screwdriver. To pull the panels apart, insert a putty knife in-between them, and slowly work your way around the entire door until you can separate the two pieces.
  5. Now flip the inner door panel over, and use your putty knife to disengage the tabs holding the top frame to the inner panel. You only need to separate the area near the broken door latch. Lift the panel out of the frame and unthread the screw holding the faulty door latch to the inner door. Then, remove the latch from the panel.
  6. Snap the new door latch onto the inner door panel, and then replace the latch’s mounting screw. Next, push the inner door panel and frame together to engage their locking tabs.
  7. At this point, you can start reassembling your microwave. To begin, place the inner door panel on-top of the outer door panel, and push down to snap them together. Next, rethread the four screws that hold the inner and outer doors together and replace the small round plugs to cover up the top of the screws.
  8. Carry the door assembly to your microwave and line up the pins on the microwave door with the holes in the microwave hinges. Then, insert the pins into the holes.
  9. With the door resting on its hinges, replace the access plug, and reattach the wire harness door connector. Then, position the grill on-top of your microwave and rethread the screws that hold it in place.
  10. To complete your repair, plug your microwave back in, and place some food in the center of the glass turntable. Then, punch in a time and hit start. If the appliance turns on, your door latch repair was a success.

If you have questions about an appliance in your home, please contact us today and we’ll be happy to help you.


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