Does the control panel (where the touch buttons are) come as separate components or is it the whole big plastic piece and overlays, etc? My panel seems to not want to do the START sequence, though other lights on said panel WILL come on, so I followed some advice I saw, and heated up the touch pad with an electric hair dryer while rubbing hard across the start button (with power shut off) for a couple of minutes, then flipped the breaker on and was able to start the wash cycle after a few pushes of the START button :) . The button never lit up, but it did follow through with a full wash cycle. Can you tell me WHY this worked in the first place? And, whether I must buy the entire panel assembly versus just the touch pad circuit board? Thanks so much!
Answer Hello Dick,
The control panel 8542350 comes as a complete assembly since this is how the manufacturer decided to make it. To understand how the membrane switch works, imagine three layers of plastic stacked on top of one another. The two outer layers have electrical traces on them and the center piece has holes in them where the buttons are located. When a button is pressed, it actually makes two traces contact one another to complete the circuit activating that cycle. When a membrane switch fails, heating it can sometimes make it reshape enough to operate normally, at least for a short time. It is not a good practice since it can malform a layer and cause a button to make connection all the time, setting a fault code and rendering the unit inoperative.