Our Dead KitchenAid Stove

Six years ago we were forced to renovate our kitchen in the middle of the winter after water flowed in from the roof as a result of tremendous ice build-up that February. We used the opportunity to purchase a new stove and we decided to spend more than was necessary to get a higher-end convection oven in a model from KitchenAid:

Our Ailing Stove

We bought this stove from Sears in the spring of 2001, and we’ve always been very happy with it. Until last month, when it slowly stopped working. The stove-top elements have no problems. But the digital clock stopped displaying the time, and refused to allow itself to be set. Then the electronic touch controls that are used to drive the oven stopped working. First it was just some of the time, now it’s almost all the time.

Catherine had our excellent appliance man in to take a look, and his diagnosis was a problem with the wiring for the controls. It wasn’t something he could repair, either: we needed a whole new set of electronics. And the cost? $465.

With installation, that’s as much as it would cost, almost, to replace the stove entirely. And we could certainly get a slightly more modest stove and have money left over.

So now we’re faced with a decision: do we fork out the $600 and repair this stove, which will prevent the stove from ending up in the landfill and is the “green” thing to do. But in another 6 years might require we fork out the same amount again when the next set of controls fry. Or do we buy a whole new stove — probably not from KitchenAid! — and junk the old one — perhaps the more “sensible” thing to do.



Isaac's picture
Isaac on April 18, 2007 - 17:18 Permalink

When we bought our stove a couple of years ago I asked the sale person to see the models without digital controls for the oven — all I got in response was a weird look and a “why would anyone want that”. Apparently they no longer exist — I wasn’t opposed to having the clock/timer/etc as digital controls, but I wanted an analog dial to turn on the oven and set the temperature. My fear has been justified to some degree by the death of your oven.

I have a feeling most oven’s controls die well before the oven itself with these digital controls — presenting the monetary conundrum you’re currently in.

I’m by no means a luddite, I have upgrade and technology fever as bad as the next web geek, but I live in fear of crappy digital controls in place of simple analog ones on devices like volume controls and oven temperature setting.

Johnny's picture
Johnny on April 18, 2007 - 17:55 Permalink

Based upon a recent stove purchase of my own, I suspect it would cost about $1000 to replace your stove with an equivalent model. I say do the repair and save the stove from the landfill. Alternately, if you hanker for a new stove, offer up your old one for free to a handy electrician/applicance repair guru for reconditioning and repurposing.

DerekMac's picture
DerekMac on April 18, 2007 - 18:36 Permalink

If you are planning to get a new stove and don’t want a Kitchen Aid, you should make sure that it is not made by the same company. Kitchen Aid stoves are made by Whirlpool’s Canadian subsidiary Inglis Canada, who also make Inglis, Whirlpool, Roper, Admiral, and Sears Kenmore.

Camco make GE, Hotpoint, Moffat, McClarey, Concept II, and Sears Kenmore (too).

White Consolidated Industries make Frigidaire, Frigidaire Gallery, White-Westinghouse, Kelvinator, Tappan, Gibson, General and Roy, as well as Coldspot and (you guessed it) Kenmore.

You might see if you can find a stove from the Whirlpool family with similar electronics that is being junked by an appliance vendor, and retrieve the control module (assuming it did not suffer the same fate).

Dan's picture
Dan on April 18, 2007 - 18:47 Permalink

Why don’t you get a new stove and put the old one in the vestibule for anonymous pick-up?

Alan's picture
Alan on April 18, 2007 - 21:35 Permalink

Get a propane stove. Works when the power goes out if you have a match. Get a magnetic oven thermometre for inside to make sure it is heating true. Explosive gaseous petroleum products and magnetics defeat digital everytime.

Charles's picture
Charles on April 18, 2007 - 22:52 Permalink

It’s funny, my mother had the same problem with her stove (a Kenmore wall unit) and I was floored when I heard it would cost $300 just for the part. My own stove broke last night (just a busted lower element, will probably cost $100 to get fixed) so I checked Future Shop to see what a new one would cost. A basic unit goes for $500, so I’d say buy new and then sell/give your old one to MacArthur’s Appliances or some other trade in place. Why spend all that money as a kludge for shoddy workmanship?

I seem to remember Slashdot or Fark had an article a while back where someone did a study saying you were better of buying the cheap models of high ticket electronics and replacing them, rather than buying the name brands and paying for repairs. I’m sure appliances are the same.

Ann's picture
Ann on April 18, 2007 - 23:55 Permalink

Who’s better off? Not the environment, surely.

Where do the old ones go?

I assume the manufacturers don’t want people to get them fixed — they can sell you a new one. Get it fixed and write a strongly worded letter of complaint.

piperpilot's picture
piperpilot on October 6, 2009 - 05:04 Permalink

Hi, I have a new *3 month old Architect II Series Kitchenaid stove. It looks super. The ceran top cleans much better than my last one and I have no issue wih the burning elements on the stove…but the oven??? I set it to self-clean on Friday night and now the digital display is completely dead and the oven door is permanently locked! I am just afraid that this wwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwlill be an on-going expensive problem. How do I cover myself—from just outliving the warranty and then perpetually having service calls/?

Jack's picture
Jack on January 27, 2010 - 01:55 Permalink

My Kitchenaid Superba electric stove’s front large burner will occasionally go on full heat without notice. I purchased a replacement temperature control unit but now cannot find out how to access the old one. Does anyone know how to get at it?

ogie's picture
ogie on January 22, 2013 - 01:13 Permalink

We have a kitchenaid range with a blurry timer and clock can it be taken out and the plastic cleaned soft plastic touch keys can anyone help?

Jim's picture
Jim on November 12, 2013 - 22:42 Permalink

I know this is a bit late but might help someone someday…

The circuit breaker should be off first of course for any of the following.

The stove top burner control is accessed behind the control panel, on my 2002ish Superba slide in range that meant flipping open a top plastic cover to expose the fluorescent light tube, remove light tube to expose two screws, remove screws and now the entire front of the control panel hinges down towards the stove top. That gives access to the rear of the controls.

You can wipe down the inside of the display, you’ll have to do as above to gain access to the rear of the controls then remove the control board. On my stove the control board and display are easiest to remove if you remove it all as a unit, it is held in by the screws holding the two burner control screws plus all the wire connectors going to the control board. Once complete unit removed you can remove the control board from the metal frame by bending back the metal tabs plus removing two screws. Now you can get to the back of the front panel to clean.

Apparently these stoves can also suffer from intermittent displays too, often a bad solder joint on the control board, re-solder bad joints to fix.

My stove just had an F2E0 error code pop up after some steamy baking. F2E0 is a stuck key on the control panel. On mine the problem couldn’t be repaired as the control board and key panel are not available and isn’t repairable. However I fixed mine by peeling off the front panel overlay to expose the printed carbon switch contacts and cleaning with alcohol, could see the problem area on two switches where the carbon material had run together after getting moist over time. The front overlay was able to be stuck back in place with enough stick left. Works great again!