Intro: Miele W3203 Washing Machine Shock Absorber Replacement
Our 10+ year old Miele W3203 had never needed any attention but was starting to vibrate and get noisy when on the spin cycles. The wash cycle was as quiet as ever so I decided that new shock absorbers would be a good idea. After trawling the net I couldn't find any guide to how to do it on this machine but did see guides for other models. The biggest problem at first is finding your way in and the W3203 was different to all the others I'd seen on the net.
- 10mm + 13mm socket spanners
- 12" extension bar for the sockets
- 13mm ring spanner (preferably flat)
- T20 star drive
- Circlip pliers
- 2 new shock absorbers - I used DREHFLEX® - 120 N - 8mm holes - By Suspa - For 4500826
Isolate the washer from the power supply. The washer can be left in position under the worktop.
If I'd known at the start of the job what I know now it would have taken a maximum of 60 minutes. As it was I wasted time pulling the machine from under the worktop and removing the top of the machine and the soap tray (advice that related to different models) and it took me just over 2 hours.
Step 1: Remove the Kick Plate
Remove the kick plate by depressing the two catches sited about 1/8th of the way in from each side.
It's a good idea to open the filter cover at this stage and note the slot that the orange emergency door release feeds through. You'll need to replace it in the same place later.
Step 2: Remove the Front Panel
The front panel is held in place by lugs which drop down from the chassis just below the control panel, four screws and one bolt. It is also attached to the door seal which is held in place by a circular wire tensioned by a spring.
- Remove the two T20 head screws at the outer ends of the base of the front panel (i.e. just the outer one on each side)
Remove the two T20 head screws holding in the door catch
Using circlip pliers extend the spring under the bottom of the door seal (see photo) and remove the retaining wire. The door seal will then easily peel away from the front panel.
Remove the 10mm bolt under the drum.
- Drop the front panel down for about 10mm and it will come out of the lugs at the top and can be removed.
Step 3: Shock Absorber Replacement
There is a shock absorber each side of the drum - you can see the RHS one in the photo. They are held in place by M8 nuts and bolts which have been Loctited in place. They are tight! I broke a 1/4" extension drive on one of them.
I'd recommend using a 12" extension 3/8" drive and 13mm socket so you can work from outside the case and a flat 13mm ring spanner for the head of the bolt. The LHS shocker is a little harder to get to but even so I didn't think it was too bad.
Replace both shockers (with the barrel uppermost) and Loctite the nuts in place.
Step 4: Finishing the Job
Reverse the dismantling procedure.
When replacing the front panel make sure that the orange emergency door release feeds back through the slot behind the filter door. And be careful not to trap the grey tube which runs close to the RHS side (as you look at it) of the chassis.
I detected some Loctite on the 10mm bolt which fits under the drum and Loctited that bolt back in place for security.
Have a test run and check for leaks. Even with big towels our machine now has a smooth, quiet spin. Hope you have the same luck!
These varied in price from around £90 to £20 for the pair. I bought the DREHFLEX® - Miele replacement parts - Shock absorbers - 120 N - 8mm holes - Set of 2 - By Suspa - For 4500826 from Amazing Parts UG for about £24 delivered. The new parts were almost identical to the ones I took off, even to the extent of having the same casting number. So I'm pretty confident they will be the same quality. Photo shows the old one at the top; you can just see fluid which had escaped from the damper glistening at the end of the black bar.