Whirlpool Oven Not Self-Cleaning

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The self-cleaning feature on modern ovens makes cleaning a lot easier. However, it can stop working for a variety of reasons.

The self-cleaning feature works by heating the oven up to temperatures around 900°F. Because of these dangerous temperatures, the oven will not let the self-cleaning feature start if components are faulty or the door won’t close.

The following models of Whirlpool oven are covered by this guide:

1SF014BEW0

1SF014BEW1

1SF014BEW2

1SF034PEW0

1SF034PEW1

1SF034PEW2

RF263LXTB1

RF263LXTB3

RF263LXTQ1

RF263LXTQ2

RF263LXTS1

RF263LXTS2

RF263LXTS3

RF263LXTT1

RF263LXTT2

RF263LXTT3

RF263LXTW1

RF263LXTW2

YWFE361LVB0

YWFE361LVQ0

YWFE361LVS0

Check the Door Mechanism

The self-cleaning mode will not engage unless the door is completely closed.

If the oven door will not close completely, hot air can escape from inside the oven. You can check if there is a small leak by putting your hand in front of the oven while it is on. If you can feel hot air coming out of the door seal, it is not closing correctly.

The following methods can help you fix this problem:

  • You can add some tension back to your oven door’s hinges by opening the door, placing a washcloth on top of each hinge, and slowly closing the door, trapping the cloths in the hinge. Repeat this several times.
  • Open the door and check the locking mechanism at the top front of the oven frame above the gasket. The locking latch should not be bent or bowed. If it is, you will need to get this replaced.
  • Check for food or other debris that may be caught in the hinges. Remove any food or debris and clean the hinges using a damp cloth and warm water.
  • Reset the oven door hinges. Remove the door by opening it slightly and pulling it up and away from the oven. Place it on the ground and use a wrench to grab the hinge and pull on it. Flip the locking latch down until it fits into the groove, and repeat on the other side before putting the door back on the oven.

Use a Multimeter

The following diagnostic methods will tell you to test components using a multimeter. This device checks that a component is functioning properly by checking to see whether an electrical current can run through the component’s circuits.

To use the multimeter to test for continuity, touch one probe on each terminal of the component. The multimeter will read close to zero if the circuit works – an electric current can flow through. If you get a reading closer to one, electricity cannot flow through the circuit.

If you do not have a multimeter or do not feel comfortable using one, you will need to contact a professional appliance repair technician to diagnose your fault.

Replace the Door Lock Switch

An electronic switch inside the oven turns on when the oven door is closed. The self-cleaning mechanism will not turn off if the switch is off. If the switch is faulty, it won’t turn on even if the door is closed.

Here’s how to test the switch and replace it if necessary:

  1. Turn off the oven at the wall and unplug it.
  2. Take the oven out from the wall so you can access the back.
  3. Use a Phillips-head screwdriver to remove the screws holding the upper access panel on the back of the oven in place. Pull the panel upward to remove it.
  4. Pull the yellow door switch connector wire on the left side to disconnect it.
  5. Use a small flathead screwdriver to depress the locking tabs holding the switch in place, and push the switch through the hole.
  6. Unhook the switch from the actuator rod. Use the multimeter to test the switch for continuity. 
  7. If the switch is faulty order a new one from Whirlpool with the part number 9757262.
  8. Hook the actuator rod through the new switch, and insert the end of the rod into the access hole on the rear of the oven. Make sure the other end comes through the small hole on the front of the oven.
  9. Snap the new switch into place in the access hole, and reconnect the yellow wire.
  10. Replace the back access panel and screw it back in place.
  11. Put your oven back in place and plug it back in.

Replace the Thermal Fuse

The self-cleaning process can either not start or switch off before completion if a thermal fuse in the thermostat is broken. This is the component that protects against overheating by breaking when the temperature is too high, causing the elements to stop heating.

Here’s how to check and replace this component:

  1. Turn off the oven at the wall and unplug it.
  2. Take the oven out from the wall so you can access the back.
  3. Use a Phillips-head screwdriver to remove the screws holding the upper access panel on the back of the oven in place. Pull the panel upward to remove it.
  4. Locate the thermal fuse. It is the small component in the middle of the oven at the bottom of the area behind the panel. It is attached at a diagonal angle and has one blue and one red wire attached to its terminals.
  5. Pull on the wires to detach them from the fuse, and use a Phillips-head screwdriver to remove the mounting screw. Take off the fuse.
  6. Use the multimeter to test the fuse for continuity. If it is faulty, you can order a new component from Whirlpool with the part number 3196548.
  7. Attach the new fuse by screwing in the mounting screw.
  8. Reattach the wires to the fuse terminals.
  9. Replace the back panel, put your oven back in place, and plug it back in.

Replace the Broil Element

If your self-cleaning mode is working but doesn’t get hot enough to function correctly, the bake or broil elements in your oven may be faulty.

Switch the oven off and make sure it’s cold; then simply pull the elements out for inspection.

Check them for breaks, and use a multimeter to test it for continuity. If they are faulty, you can order replacement elements from Whirlpool. Check with them or consult your model’s instruction manual for the correct part number(s).

Hopefully, these methods have helped you to get the self-cleaning function of your Whirlpool oven working again. Sometimes the problem will have a less common root cause. If these methods do not work, contact a professional appliance repair technician for further assistance.

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