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Maytag Bravos XL Dryer (MEDB835DW3) clicks but won't run


Premium Member
Jun 29, 2023
Model Number
6-10 years
My Maytag dryer (MEDB835DW3) is broken. I've owned it for somewhere around 6 years? The control panel still powers on and lights up, but when I try to start a cycle it just makes a "click" noise like a relay pulling in. The drum does not spin.

I checked the voltage at the four pin wall plug. It is 120 VAC from either leg to neutral or ground. It is 240 VAC from phase to phase. I have not yet pulled the plate off the back of the dryer to confirm proper voltages there.

I do have an error code F4 E1. I understand this is a "Heater 1 Failure or Connector Problem". The guide suggests this "Indicates no voltage detected at the heater relay." It instructs me to, "Unplug dryer or disconnect power and check that the wires are plugged into the heater element(s) and the relay(s) on the ACU." I have unplugged the dryer and disassembled the front panel. All connections around the heater appear properly connected. I also looked at the main control board. Nothing appears loose or unplugged here, either.

I attempted to run the service tests. It almost immediately went into a display where the following items cycled:
L2, 000, L1, 000, Htr, 000, Air, 003

While I had the front removed, I checked the thermal fuse. It has continuity. I also check the thermistor. It is roughly 9k ~ 10k ohms when cold, and the resistance drops as it is heated. It is marked "R60-2.6K".

I will pull the main control board, and reseat all the connectors next. Any other recommendations?
Found the problem.

I unplugged & reseated all the connectors on the ACU. No change. I also did a thorough inspection of the 4-wire line cord coming into the unit, as that seems to be a common source of faults. Everything appeared in very good condition, with no fraying, corrosion, or other damage to the wiring.

I started following more of the troubleshooting steps in the service guide, starting with the ACU Power Check (Test #1). I verified I had line voltage (118VAC, in my case) at the L1 side of P9 (P9-2). I also confirmed I had line voltage at both of the heater relays (K2 and K3). All looked good. I skipped over the +5VDC sections, as I already knew the front panel (UI) would power up and operate correctly. I also skipped checking for any +12VDC, as I assumed this supply was only to operate the relay coils. I could hear at least one of them clicking in when start was pressed. Next, I went to start a cycle. After hearing the relay click, I was able to confirm line voltage on the other side of both heater relays (K2-VLT and K3-VLT). The motor relay, however, showed nothing on the other pin. I verified this several times.

I fabricated a test jig out of an old wall switch, some quarter inch tab connectors, and three scraps of hookup wire. I do not recommend doing this - you will likely be exposed to live 120VAC. I carefully installed the jig between P9 of the ACU, and the connector that plugs into this location. I plugged the dryer back into the wall, powered it on, selected a cycle, and pressed start. Within a few seconds I flipped the switch on my jig, and the drum began to spin.

I now know that motor relay K1 has failed open. Either its coil is burned out, or the contact faces are damaged. The part number is SANYOU SLA-S-112DMJ-F-30. It appears to be readily available on Amazon for cheap (less than ten bucks). Is it practical to attempt replacing just this relay? I see the ACU has a conformal coating, which I'm concerned may complicate the soldering process. If I'm unable to replace only the K1 motor relay, I'm confident that replacement of the entire ACU will resolve my problem. Is it worth the cost of a new ACU ($200 to $400) for a six year old dryer?


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I wanted to mention the process for removing the console (user interface) to allow access to the ACU. It's not particularly difficult, but there seems to be little guidance on exactly how it's done. The best description I've read merely says you need to push a putty knife under the edge to release the clips. What's missing is exactly WHERE you need to push.

Anyway, a picture is worth a thousand words...


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Is it worth the cost of a new ACU ($200 to $400) for a six year old dryer?

There isn't a lot to go wrong in dryers. Too bad that is the most expensive part. I usually recommend if repair is more than 1/2 the cost of a *comparable* (not just cheapest) replacement, lean toward replacement. Other considerations are if you have a matching set, how well you've liked its functioning, ease of use and performance in the past. It may not be unreasonable to repair.

This dealer offers a $60 rebate upon return of the defective part:

LINK > MEDB835DW3 Electronic Control Board ($60 cash back)

The best description I've read merely says you need to push a putty knife under the edge to release the clips. What's missing is exactly WHERE you need to push.

Yes, it's often taken for granted by servicers. The lid retaining clips on washers and dryers are usually within about 2" from the edge of the cabinet on each side.

Thanks for posting your detailed results for others that come by your message.

Dan O.
I did some research, and apparently these boards are well known for failed K1 relays. When the relay goes, it burns through the circuit board trace. Mine is no different.

I removed the bad relay without too much difficulty. Now I just need to repair the damage to the board. Wish me luck.


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It's all back together. It runs. We shall see how long the repair holds.


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