Kenmore Washer Code LE – Troubleshooting Guide

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When you’re all set to do a load of laundry, the last thing you want to see on the display screen is an error code of any kind.  Suppose, in this case, the letters LE appear.  Just seeing those code letters won’t directly tell you what’s happening (or not happening) with your washer.

The Kenmore washing machine error code “LE” occurs on front-loading washers and indicates that the washer will only run at a lower speed or not run at all because the drive motor has locked up. 

Knowing what this code means will help you determine if you can fix the problem yourself or if it’s time to call a repairman.  Check out this handy guide for more information if you’re getting the LE error on your Kenmore washer.

What Does Error Code LE Mean?

The Kenmore washing machine error code LE means that the washer cannot run at its normal speed.  When you press the start button, you will find that the washer acts sluggishly and barely rotates or does not move at all.

How Do You Enter Diagnostic Mode to Check for Codes?

Some washing machines can perform a self-diagnostics test when they show an error code.  Follow these steps to put your Kenmore washer into diagnostic mode:

  1. Turn the dial to Drain/Spin.
  2. Press Pause/Cancel to turn off the control.
  3. In the next 5 seconds, press and hold Pause/Cancel at the same you press and hold Options.  The LED display will start moving rapidly.
  4. To check each of the washer’s components (water valves, door lock, and motor), rotate the control dial clockwise one click.  This will be 8 clicks in all.
  5. In the 9th position, you will see the last recorded error code.  
  6. To exit diagnostic mode, unplug the washing machine.

Safety Tip:  The machine door can still be opened when the washer is in diagnostics test mode.  Do not open the door and reach inside because the basket will be spinning and this could cause injury.

Why Does Error Code LE Happen?

A Kenmore washing machine may display the error code LE for any of the following reasons:

  • Overloading the washer
  • Using too much laundry detergent
  • A blockage in the drive system
  • Loose wiring
  • Failure of the drive motor 

Read: Kenmore Washer Code UE – Troubleshooting Guide

How Can Error Code LE Be Fixed and Cleared?

To fix and clear an LE error code, you must first determine which of these possible issues is causing the malfunction.  Start with the most obvious and work your way down the list to the possibilities that involve more technical troubleshooting skills.

Too Many Items

Open the washing machine door to see if the machine has too much in the drum.  Take out some items and try starting the wash cycle again.  Be careful not to overload the washer in the future.

Read: Washing Machine Load Capacity Guide

Too Much Detergent

You will know you’ve used too much laundry detergent if you notice an overabundance of soapsuds in the drum.  Stop using the washer for at least 30 minutes so that the soap levels can go down.

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Start a Drain/Spin cycle which will allow the sudsy water to flow out of the machine.  Continue with the current load by starting a new wash cycle without adding more detergent.  This will wash and rinse your items.

A Blockage in the Drive System

Once you’ve determined that the washer isn’t overloaded and the appropriate amount of detergent was used, it’s time to check for obstructions in the machine’s drive system.

Drain water from the machine

  1. Cancel the wash cycle and remove any items left inside.
  2. Run a Drain/Spin cycle but choose No Spin to drain out any remaining water in the machine.
  3. If there is still water in the machine, you will have to drain it manually.  Unplug the washer and use a wet/dry shop vacuum to suck out the water through the drain hose.

Confirm Blockage

Manually spin the washer’s drum to check for unexpected resistance or evidence of binding.  There could be an object caught between the spin basket and the outer tub that is causing the drum to not rotate smoothly.

A damaged spin bearing can also cause resistance.  If this is the case, you should call a repairman because the washing machine must be dismantled entirely to fix the problem.

Drive Motor Failure

Once you’ve ruled out other causes, it’s time to consider the possibility that the drive motor has failed.  Follow these steps:

  1. Unplug the washing machine, and remove the top and back panels.
  2. Find the rotor mounting bolt and take it off.
  3. Lift out the rotor.
  4. There will be magnets inside the rotor’s edge.  Inspect them for damage.  If you find damaged magnets, you will need to replace the rotor.
  5. The electronic control board is connected to the drive motor as well as the tachometer with wire harness connections. Tighten or reconnect loose wires.  Replace the wire harness if it’s damaged.

If the magnets and wire harness appear to be in good working order, the problem may be with the rotor motor sensor.

Replacing the Rotor Motor Sensor

For those who lack the time or expertise to take on this repair, it’s time to call a repairman.  However, for confident DIYers, replacing the rotor motor sensor is a straightforward task:

  1. Unplug the washing machine.
  2. Remove the back panel.
  3. Rotate the rotor clockwise.  Use the appropriate socket wrench to remove the mounting bolt and washer.
  4. Pull the rotor off the washing machine.
  5. Remove all screws and bolts that hold the stator in place and pull the stator off the tub.
  6. Disconnect the wire harness and release the locking tab that holds the sensor using a small flathead screwdriver.
  7. Install a new sensor by aligning it on the tabs and snapping it into place.
  8. Reconnect the wire harness and replace the stator on the tub.
  9. Secure the stator and wires before reinstalling the rotor and back panel. 

How Can Error Code LE Be Prevented?

A few simple tips can significantly reduce the chance of your Kenmore washer showing the LE code:

  • Don’t overload or over-soap the washer.  
  • Check the pockets on all clothing to avoid introducing solid foreign objects into the machine, as they can become stuck between the spin basket and the outer tub.
  • Check internal wiring connections yearly, as they can loosen over time with the repeated motion and speed of the spin cycle.

Conclusion

Seeing error code LE on a Kenmore washing machine doesn’t automatically mean a new washer is in your future.  With this guide, a little patience, and possibly a new part, your machine will be spinning again in no time.  

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