Troubleshooting/ Testing Tips:
1. Don’t become a circuit (Click Here For More Safety Information!)
3. The most common cause of any Cabrio washer control failure is corrosion on the connectors. Always check for a good electrical connection first! Also look for broken or looses wires, bad terminals, or wires not pressed onto connectors far enough before replacing any Cabrio washing machine parts.
(Note: Click on a Cabrio part image for pricing information. Because of minor differences from one washer model to another, you will need to use your washing machine’s full model number when searching tor repair parts.)
User Interface | Control Board | Water Level Sensor | Lid Lock | Water Valve | Drive Motor Agitator/ Impeller | Recirculation Pump | Drain Pump Tub & Suspension
Like most electronically controlled appliances, Whirlpool Cabrio washing machines use a part called the user interface which is a thin panel of switches placed directly behind the skin of the washer’s control console and also a switch called the encoder that identifies the position of the rotary cycle selection knob.
These switches receive your every laundering wish and carry them to a control board inside the washer’s console for further processing. The most common problem that can occur with this part of the washing machine is a switch sticking in the open or closed position, not allowing you to enter cycle selections and options, or the encoder not correctly registering the cycle knob’s position.
The relationship between the Cabrio washer’s user interface, encoder, and the control board are so close it can sometimes be difficult to determine which parts is responsible for programming problems, fortunately diagnostic tests built into this style of washer can be used to help identify the troublesome washer part for it’s quick removal and replacement.
Cabrio washing machines use a control board to process commands entered into the user interface and send the proper amount of electricity to a particular washer component at the correct time to perform some function, such as opening a particular water valve solenoid, operating the motor, energizing the recirculation pump, drain pump or lid lock. If the washing machine were a body the control board is the brain behind all of the washer’s operations.
The Cabrio control board is also used to interpret information being sent from various sensors in the washing machine, like the inlet/ dispenser valve thermostat or the motor’s Rotary Positioning Sensor (RPS). Most problems that occur with the Whirlpool Cabrio washing machines are control board related. However, you never want to replace the control board without first checking all other possibilities through the diagnostic testing process.
Note: Return policies rarely cover expensive misdiagnosed control boards, so before you click the “Buy Now” button you need to be pretty sure.
The water level sensor is actually a part of the washing machine’s control board but because it has a very important purpose I will treat it like a separate part in this troubleshooting guide. The pressure sensor monitors water levels through a small clear tube that is attached to the bottom of the washer’s outer washtub.
As the water level rises, air pressure inside the Cabrio’s pressure switch tube increases because of the water’s weight. When the desired water level is reached, the pressure switch inside the Cabrio washer’s control board cuts electricity to the water valves and turns on the recirculation pump, for the wash portion of the cycle. Any pinching or holes in this pressure tube and the pressure sensor will not be able to detect the Cabrio’s water level. This will cause the washer to stop and display an error code such as LF, which means “Long Fill” or other error codes. You can also calibrate the water level sensor through the manual diagnostic mode.
In the old days people were occasionally scalped or dismembered while doing the laundry because of loose hair or clothing that happened to get caught in some moving washing machine part. All that blood was difficult to clean off clothing, so something had to be done. One benefit of our overly aggressive legal system is that safety devices such as lid locks have been installed on all modern appliances allowing you to safely use your washing machine without the fear of having something you love ripped off.
Many of the complaints regarding the Cabrio washing machines are about the lid lock. Some people have said they hate needing to wait for the lid to unlock to add a few more clothes. Thank you Whirlpool for forcing us to practice some much needed patience in this
“I want it yesterday” world. While this is slightly inconvenient and most people have enough common sense to not reach into a moving washer tub that has the ability to rip your arm off, some don’t, and we want them to keep their hands too.
The lid lock on Cabrio washing machines is a two-part mechanism. It has a magnetic switch that senses when the lid is in the closed position; it also has a locking tab that must be extended in the locked position to allow the washer to continue with any of its washing functions. The lid lock is responsible for three possible error codes: “dU” (Door/Lid cannot unlock), “dL” (Door/Lid cannot lock) and “lid“(Lid Opened) The lid lock can be checked for resistance in it’s various states with a voltmeter at the washing machine control board.
Note: For more detailed information about door lock related error codes and diagnostic testing procedures click on the error code link.
Correct Cabrio Lid Lock Resistances
Control Contacts to Measure
Lid Closed = 0Ω
WATER INLET/ DISPENSER VALVE ASSEMBLY
The Whirlpool Cabrio water supply valve is a very large assembly of six solenoids that direct water through the detergent, bleach, and fabric softener dispensing cups as well as directly into the washer’s tub through the “fresh fill” inlet valve. The valve assembly also contains an Auto Temperature Control “ATC” thermostat that detects water temperature and adjusts the amount of hot or cold water entering the tub for optimum energy efficiency and detergent performance. Even though the water inlet/ dispenser valve assembly on the Cabrio washing machines looks complicated it is actually a fairly simple mechanism that is rare to fail.
The water inlet valve can fail in three ways.
1. The valve screens become clogged with debris and restrict water from entering the valve assembly.
2. One of the six magnetic solenoids that are responsible for opening an internal gate fails to operate when the control board energizes it, or fails to close completely when the control board stops the supply of electricity. (Valve solenoids should measure between 700-900 Ω Ohms.
3. The imbedded thermostat or “ATC” fails to properly detect water temperatures flowing through the valve assembly, giving the control board a false reading.
Note: one other common problem is related to “flood stop” water supply hoses closing internally, blocking water from reaching the washer’s valve. To correct this problem, turn off the water supply valves, disconnect the hoses from the washing machine and valves to reset the internal diaphragms.
Correct Cabrio Valve Thermostat Resistances
50º F (10ºC)
100º F (38ºC)
60º F (16ºC)
110º F (44ºC)
70º F (21ºC)
120º F (49ºC)
80º F (27ºC)
130º F (55ºC)
90º F (32ºC)
Note: For water to flow through a dispensing cup or into the washing machine’s tub two valve solenoids must be energized at a time, the primary hot and/ or cold-water inlet valves and one secondary valve. (Detergent dispenser, fabric softener dispenser, bleach dispenser, or fresh fill) “Water Valve Diagnostic Tests”
The drive motor on the Whirlpool Cabrio washing machines is two part system made of a stator which generates a rotating magnetic field and a rotor with strong permanent magnets embedded around it’s inner wall allowing it to levitate over the stator. When the control board energizes the fixed position stator the rotor begins to rotate, attempting to equalize in the moving magnetic field. This style of motor operates with almost zero mechanical friction, and can accelerate, stop, and reverse direction faster than you can say, “mama needs a new washer”.
The Rotary Position Sensor or “RPS” monitors the motor’s direction and rotation speed, then relays the information to the washer’s control board. This is an extremely reliable motor design and most problems that happen are control related. Some of the first Cabrio washers had an invisible coating on the motor’s RPS connection remaining from production that would block communication from the RPS to the control board causing RPS related error codes. Unplugging and reconnecting the RPS connection plug several times to clean off the coating for better contact would easily fix the problem. To test the motor windings for resistance disconnect the wire connector from the drive motor terminals, and measure across any two of the three drive motor terminals. Resistance should be about 16 Ω for each one of the three stator motor coils. You can also measure from the wires connected to the P5 terminal of the washing machines control board.
Note: if an abnormal reading is measured from the P5 control board of the washing machine be sure to test the motor directly before drawing a conclusion, this will eliminate the wiring harness as a possible problem.
Fun Fact: This style of washing machine motor can also be used to create a windmill or water mill electricity generator! (This will probably void your washing machine’s warranty.)
You could always buy a new stator and rotor from AppliancePartsPros.com through the stator and rotor image links above so that I can feed my family. : )
Impeller Definition: The rotating part or a pump, compressor, or other machine designed to move fluid by rotation.
Click For Agitator Repair Parts
Agitator Definition: An apparatus for stirring liquid.
The Whirlpool Cabrio come in two basic flavors, one with an agitator and the other with an impeller. The impeller or agitator is directly attached to the motor rotor by a short drive shaft that is embedded with a bearing through the bottom of the outer tub. The rotor will turn the agitator or impeller causing the clothing to move through the wash water in one direction. Because the inner tub is floating in the wash water it will begin to move in the same direction due to the friction generated by the motion of water or clothing. The rotor will then change direction causing the impeller to also change direction and spin beneath the clothing like a super gentle washboard. (This action may be a little on the weak side leading to less than satisfactory washing results.)
The agitator style will pause for a moment while the drive shaft spins in the counter clockwise direction, because of a ratcheting system inside the agitator that will only allow it to be driven in one direction. When the rotor reverses direction four “roller cams” inside the agitator retract releasing it from the drive shaft until it again changes direction for the clockwise stroke. (This washing machine style requires more water to operate, is less gentle on clothing, and has reduced capacity because of space taken up by the agitator. However, many people prefer this style to the impeller models because of better washing results.)
Note: The Impeller or agitator can be removed from the washing machine by pulling the top cap off of the impeller or agitator and removing the 7/16″ bolt that is hidden underneath. This will allow you to examine and replace the agitator roller cams or lift the inner wash basket out to access the outer tub, tub sump, and lint filter for cleaning.
The recirculation pump is the key to the Whirlpool Cabrio water sipping efficiency. Instead of completely filling the washing machine’s tub like most top loading washing machines, only enough water is added to cover the washer’s wash plate and float the inner tub allowing it to lift off the basket hub. Once the washing machine has finished adding water to the washtub the recirculation pump jumps into action recycling wash water back on top of the clothing.
The recirculation pump is located at the left rear of the washing machine mounted directly to the outer washtub with three 5/16″ hex-head screws. Like all washing machines it is important to check your pockets for loose change and put smaller items such as baby socks and lingerie into a mesh laundry bag to keep them from finding their way into the washer’s recirculation pump or drain pump.
Note: Don’t wash floor rugs with rubber backing in your fancy washing machine!
If the recirculation pump motor becomes clogged it can often be cleared of the object and reinstalled. However, motor damage can occur if the motor is allowed to operate that way for a long period of time. The pump motor windings should have a resistance value between 30-38 Ω and can be tested for resistance directly at the pump or by testing the wires connected to the pump after disconnecting them from the P4 connection on the washer’s control board.
Note: if a resistance problem is detected at the P4 control board connection, be sure to check the recirculation pump directly before ordering a new pump, this will eliminate possible problems with the wiring harness. Also be sure to check all of the connected hoses and the tub sump area for blockages.
Note: The Recirculation pump can be manually tested with the diagnostic tests.
The Drain pump of a Whirlpool Cabrio washing machine is essentially the same as the recirculation pump except it’s purpose is to remove dirty wash water from the washing machine’s tub and send it packing down stream. Because the water level is being monitored by the pressure sensor built into the washing machine’s control board, if the washer takes to long to drain an “Ld” meaning “Long Drain” error code will appear on the washer’s display. Another common drain related error code is “Sd” meaning “Suds Detection” (For more information about troubleshooting these error codes click on the code link) Like all washing machines it is important to check your pockets for loose change and put smaller items such as baby socks and lingerie into a mesh laundry bag to keep them from finding their way into the drain pump or recirculation pump.
Note: Don’t wash floor rugs with a rubber backing in your fancy washing machine!
If the drain pump motor becomes clogged it can often be cleared of an object and reinstalled. However, motor damage can occur if the motor is allowed to operate that way for a long period of time. The pump motor windings should have a resistance value between 10.5-14 Ω and can be tested for resistance directly at the pump or by testing the wires connected to the pump after disconnecting them from the P4 connection on the washer’s control board.
Note: if a resistance problem is detected at the P4 control board connection, be sure to check the drain pump directly before ordering a new pump, this will eliminate possible problems with the wiring harness. Also be sure to check all of the connected hoses and the tub sump area for blockages.
Like most washing machines the Whirlpool Cabrio have two tubs, an outer tub to contain the wash water and an inner tub or “basket” that contains the articles to be washed. Most washing machines have an inner basket that is directly attached to the drive system at all times. With the Cabrio washing machines this is not the case. As the water level inside the washing machine rises the inner tub will float, lifting it up and off of a part called the “basket hub”.When this happens the inner tub is centered by the drive shaft but is allowed to turn freely in both the clockwise and counterclockwise directions. Because the inner basket is free floating it will tend to rotate with the water and clothing it contains which the agitator or impeller is turning. This catch up then slow down movement creates an additional wash action used to free dirt from clothing.
The basket hub is a two-part component. The smaller part slides onto the drive shaft and receives the larger half that is attached to the inner basket, which slowly sinks as the wash water is pumped out.
The suspension system on the Cabrio washing machines is about as simple as it gets. The outer tub is suspended on four spring-loaded suspension rods. This design enables the washer tub to absorb a great deal of vibration and shock by using the weight of the tub as a counterbalance. This engineering concept was developed by the Japanese thousands of years ago to protect their temples and pagodas from earthquake damage by absorbing the earth’s movement. “Bend like the reed or break like the oak.” It has also been recently used in modern skyscrapers for the same purpose. (Because these washing machines have an extremely fast final spin, out of balance loads are a common complaint, and most often the result of user error. Early versions of this washer style had a problem with the tub suspension springs. In later versions a top receiver cup was added to the suspension rod kit to allow for easier movement at the top mounting point on the washing machine’s frame. Consistent out of balance loads can often be corrected by replacing the suspension kit with the new suspension kit part #W10189077.
Balance Tip: Fitted sheets can sometimes turn into a large heavy ball as they collect other items inside themselves during the wash cycle; this ball is nearly impossible to balance at 1000 RPM. Solution…don’t wash fitted sheets with heavy items like towels or blankets, and stay close while the cycle is active so you can stop the cycle and readjust the load if necessary. As a general rule towels should only be washed with other towels and heavy items that can be properly balanced. If you wash a bunch of shirts with on big towel the load will go off balance almost every time.
Note: The Impeller or agitator can be removed from the washing machine by pulling the top cap off of the impeller or agitator and removing the 7/16″ bolt that is hidden underneath. This will allow the inner tub to be lifted out and access to the outer tub, tub sump, and lint filter for cleaning.