Replacing motor brushes on a Miele W930 washing machine

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Introduction

This page (and the associated photos) explains how to change the motor brushes on a Miele W930 front loading washing machine. Changing these is relatively easy, and if yours need replacing, doing it yourself will save you quite a bit of money (as well as leaving you with a rosy glow of having achieved something yourself).

Last updated: 16 February 2013

Before you begin

Why change the brushes?

The motor brushes are spring-loaded carbon bars that transfer the electrical current to the spinning motor, by rubbing against copper contacts on the armature (the rotating part of the motor). As the carbon wears down, the spring has less and less compression, and therefore doesn't press the brush as strongly against the copper contacts.

The main symptom seems to be that the motor won't rotate as fast, so spinning in particular may get less and less effective as the brushes near the end of their life.

Buying brushes

You can either buy the genuine Miele brushes, or aftermarket brushes. Since my machine is 16 years old, I figured that the aftermarket brushes were likely to see it to the end of its days.

I got mine from First Stop Spares in the UK, via eBay, for less than $40 AUD.

Service manual

There's a PDF workshop manual circulating on the web for Miele machines W1113, W1119, W1203, W1213 and W1215 machines. While it's not completely accurate for the W930, it's near enough - I recommend looking at it.

Tools

You don't need much for this work. I used:

  • Torx screwdriver (#4 size???)
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • knife, for prising off plastic caps covering screws
  • 10mm socket wrench
  • needle-nosed pliers
  • electrician's screwdriver.

Instructions

Open the front of the machine

There are a few steps to this.

First, remove the powder drawer (using the little red clip at the back). You'll see 3 Torx screws to be removed. Note that the bottom left screw is deeply recessed - I had to trim some plastic off the socket on my Torx screw driver.

http://i1285.photobucket.com/albums/a585/captstrada/ScrewsBehindPowderDrawer_zps0563fdd3.jpg

Second, remove the 3 10mm bolts around the drum.

http://i1285.photobucket.com/albums/a585/captstrada/FrontShowing3Bolts_zps66af6cac.jpg

Now, remove the kickboard at the bottom of the machine. Use a knife to lever the plastic caps off the screws (on on each side), remove the screws, then remove the kickboard. In the picture, you can also see the catch that holds the front closed.

http://i1285.photobucket.com/albums/a585/captstrada/ScrewOnKickPlate_zps695593ed.jpg

Next, I removed the top (check to see whether you need to do this - it may not be necessary). Lever the plastic caps off the screw at the front on either side, and undo the screws. The top then slides back to remove.

http://i1285.photobucket.com/albums/a585/captstrada/RetainingScrewForTop_zps788b22d0.jpg http://i1285.photobucket.com/albums/a585/captstrada/TopShowingScrewAndBracket_zpscb466063.jpg

Pull down on the catch under the bottom left of the front, and you should be able to start to open the front (it's hinged at the right hand side - very nicely engineered :) ). Once you've opened it a few centimetres, you'll find that the T-piece on the end of the drain hose stops it opening any further. Unclip the T-piece from the drain cover, and you should be able to open the front right up

http://i1285.photobucket.com/albums/a585/captstrada/DoorClipAndDrainHose2_zps8dce0ad2.jpg

Here's what it looks like with the front open.

http://i1285.photobucket.com/albums/a585/captstrada/FrontOpened_zpsd3ec5d96.jpg

Remove the motor cover

At the bottom right, under the drum, is the motor.

http://i1285.photobucket.com/albums/a585/captstrada/MotorCover_zps2aa93a0d.jpg

Undo the 2 screws on the motor cover (the grey plastic piece), and unclip the 3 cable connectors.

You need to remove the cable clip from the motor cover to free the cables from the cover, but I found that it's easier to do that when the cover is half out (because then you can squeeze the spring-loaded clip from behind). Here's what it looks like when it's disconnected.

http://i1285.photobucket.com/albums/a585/captstrada/CableConnectorsAndClip2_zps4a3ddd2d.jpg

To remove the motor cover, put your fingers behind the very back left of the cover where there is a clip pushed into a rubber bush (?) - see the removed motor cover below for details. Pull the cover and the clip forwards to remove.

http://i1285.photobucket.com/albums/a585/captstrada/MotorCoverRemoved_zpsf98af072.jpg

Here's what it looks like with the cable clip removed.

http://i1285.photobucket.com/albums/a585/captstrada/MotorCoverWithCablesRemoved_zps8d469a82.jpg

Remove the brush module

The white plastic brush module has to be removed. Remove the 4 screws and pull it off. As you withdraw it, you'll hear clicks as the brushes pull off the end of the armature. Don't worry about this - you're replacing the brushes.

http://i1285.photobucket.com/albums/a585/captstrada/MotorModuleFitted_zps90a2700d.jpg

Here's the front of the removed brush module.

http://i1285.photobucket.com/albums/a585/captstrada/MotorModuleFront_zps202d8256.jpg

Replace the brushes

Turn over the brush module, and you'll see the 2 brushes. Note the way the carbon brushes are angled, so that they sit flush against the armature.

http://i1285.photobucket.com/albums/a585/captstrada/MotorModuleRearAsRemoved_zpsbb1975ec.jpg

To remove each brush, squeeze the retaining clips together with pliers, and lift off the brush cap. Then undo the connector for the brush cable, and pull out the brush and its rubber retainer.

http://i1285.photobucket.com/albums/a585/captstrada/MotorModuleWith1NewBrush_zps81c37b4c.jpg

On the aftermarket brushes I bought, the rubber retainer didn't match the motor module. So I just cut off the supplied retainers, and used the original ones.

IMPORTANT NOTE: When you get the new brushes, they're retracted - a clip within the brush stops them from extending. You have to install them retracted - only once the brush module is replaced (and the brushes are next to the armature) will you extend them.

http://i1285.photobucket.com/albums/a585/captstrada/NewBrushes_zpseaa057ef.jpg

Replace the brush caps, and ensure the brush cables are attached and that the brushes are the right way round.

Refit the brush module

Note the 4 spade connectors on the brush module, and the mating connectors on the motor. Press the brush module back onto the motor, making sure that the connectors mate properly. Replace the screws.

Now, with a small electrician's screwdriver, reach around behind each side of the brush module in turn, and press in the end of the brush. You'll hear a click - this is the brush extending to contact the armature.

Wrapping up

Refit the motor cover, ensuring that the clip at the back left is correctly pressed in. Reattach the cables and the cable clip.

Now just replace and reassemble everything in the reverse order to the disassembly, and test out your handiwork.