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Xenophon

Siemens Washing Machine Problem...in India

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I am the at the moment the not so proud owner of a Siemens WM16S460FG/14 washing machine, purchased in Belgium 3 years ago, right before moving to India for my job. Reasoning at the time was that Siemens has an international repair service and is established there too. Nothing can happen, right?.....WRONG!

3 weeks ago my machine failed with errors F:61 and F:34, the door had to be opened using the emergency procedure. I called BSH India, who do the repairs. Well, the model is not available in India and they had absolutely no clue what the error messages mean. I called up Belgium, they told me both messages were related to the door lock safety. Ordering a replacement piece via Siemens India would have taken 3 months (!) so with the help of a friend I FedEx-ed one and called BSH again. The installed the piece correctly but unfortunately the F61 and F34 messages still pop up.

What happens when starting a program: water starts going in, then after one to two minutes the machine beeps, shows the errors and pumps the water out. If you put it on a normal spinning cycle, everything works.

The technician thinks the machine does not detect water coming in and suspects it's a small part that failed...or a failure in the electronic control box. As they don't sell the machine in India they have to order the parts which brings us back to the 3 months mantra. If it's the control unit they guess the cost to replace it will be about 250 EUR (or about 1/3 rd the price of the machine). Trouble is they will only order the piece if I pay ahead as they will be unable to use it since my machine model is not on the local market. Paying it is nothing but I'd like to be sure that the bloody thing will work thereafter.

Does anyone here have some insight as to what the problem could be? What do the errors mean? I cannot find a detailed description anywhere.

Plan B is that I just trek to the store, get myself an el cheapo 400 EUR washing machine made by LG or something and hope that one will not break down. My Siemens will then serve as expensive paperweight until we get back to Europe in 2 years. Frankly I'm disappointed, expected better quality and service from them.

Many thanks for any tips!

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Book washing machine & appliance repairs Buy appliance spare parts

Note: The links above are needed to help keep this site running, please consider using them.

Although your thinking was logical, unfortunately manufacturers sell different products in different markets, which can cause problems with repairs. Taking a white goods appliance to another country often causes problems when it needs repairing. It seems crazy that they would have totally different error codes though.

Siemens are a good make, but appear to be one of the appliance manufacturers where technical information isn't readily available to the independent trade, which in my opinion is a reason to consider carefully before buying one. I have an "engineers bible" of error codes compiled over many years and contributed to by many engineers all over the UK and yet there is only one entry for Siemens error codes covering just a handful of codes. This means most independent engineers are unable to decipher Siemens error codes resulting in the manufacturer and its agents having an unfair advantage and shouldering out competition.

I wouldn't pursue a repair under the conditions you describe. The engineers are only able to guess, and if the parts do not cure the fault you will still have to pay all the costs.

My blog article on the pros and cons of error codes - error codes, friend or foe?


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Thanks for your answer, it more or less confirms what I was fearing already. Guess I'll buy a local machine (invariably low quality) and hope that keeps working for the next 2 years I've still got to do here. When I think I left a perfectly good (but at that time 8 years old) Miele with friends in Belgium because Miele didn't have customer support in India and got this Siemens model that transformed into an 88 kg heavy paperweight after just 3 years :( ......

No more Siemens for me, I don't care if it's generally a good make. Not happy about how they implement the 'international warranty and repair' part and shafted me here.

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Your logic was good and you were right to consider the availability of after-sales service over there. It's just unlucky the way it's worked out.

The standard of after-sales service, the availability of spare parts and their cost, plus the availability of a healthy competitive repair service where independent engineers can get technical information and spares at a decent price are one of the most important aspects to consider when making a purchasing decision. On white goods appliances, which are amongst the least reliable of our purchases, repairs once out of guarantee are a serious consideration than many people neglect or simply have no information about. I will be writing more on this subject on Whitegoodshelp


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Warning:  Read this before attempting any diy repairsNo representations or warranties are made (express or implied) as to the reliability, accuracy or completeness of advice. I can't be held liable for any loss arising directly or indirectly from the use of, or any action taken in reliance on, any information on this website, which is given free of charge and in good faith.

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Just posting this as follow-up for the sake of completeness: the issue has been resolved.

After three weeks, 4 visits from Siemens technicians and the purchase of a cheap washing machine (Haier) we came to the conclusion that there never was a problem with the machine in the first place.

Upon delivery of the Haier it was installed and plugged in by a technician..only to fail with a fault saying 'Motor failure'. Clearly something was not right as this was a brand new machine, just out of the box. Then it dawned on me that the machine failed at exactly the same point as the Siemens: after taking in some water and just when the drum had to start revolving. I asked the tech to check the power (there didn't appear to be any problem there, display was lighted etc). He measured the voltage, which was OK. Still not convinced, I helped him to lug the new machine to another power outlet / another tap and connected it there. Lo and behold, everything worked.

I dragged the Siemens to the other outlet, plugged it in and....everything functioned. What had apparently happened was that in the outlet a component had failed (pretty common occurrence here, it's hard to find good quality stuff) and while it allowed enough current to pass for lighting the display etc, it caused some sparking and apparently there was not enough power going through to drive the motor. The Haier reacts with a 'motor failure' fault, the Siemens with F34 (Door lock error) and F61 (implausible door signal).

So here the story ends...but it does show how it's elementary to check absolutely every possible external factor before starting on the machine itself and not to put too much stock in fault messages. Anyway, I have 2 washing machines now, should be able to stick it out until 2013.

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Many thanks for the update. That's what I would call a very bizarre fault and as you say, it goes to show how you cannot put too much confidence in error codes as I described in a Blog article on error codes. I've now linked to this thread from there under the section headed "Some error codes are simply totally wrong" - Appliance Error codes – What You Need to Know

Earth faults in the appliance or wall socket can cause false error codes to be displayed so always check the earth on the appliance and wall socket.


Need an engineer, or to buy appliance spare parts? Please use my affiliate links to support this forum.

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Warning:  Read this before attempting any diy repairsNo representations or warranties are made (express or implied) as to the reliability, accuracy or completeness of advice. I can't be held liable for any loss arising directly or indirectly from the use of, or any action taken in reliance on, any information on this website, which is given free of charge and in good faith.

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