Another episode in the Miele W856 saga. The fuse on the control board blew and blew again when replaced. I took a look at the motor and checked the brushes which were almost perfect (this machine is 15 years old, I was amazed). I checked the reversing relay and sure enough there was around 5 Ohms across the pins which were closed contacts. Replaced relay and fuse and all is well. Hopefully I will get many years out of it yet! I am going to keep a spare relay to hand.
I just replaced the shocks on my 12 (or more) Meile W865. The old ones were completely shot and the drum bouncing all over the place. It was pretty straight forward but a socker set with extensions was useful. After replacement I pushed down on the drum and it barely moved. They should have been replaced long ago. Perhaps more modern machines tell you when to replace them, say after X number of cycles. I would certainly reccomend testing your own machine and replacing them if needed.