The F51 fault code on your Cabrio washer means that the control board is not sensing the proper drive motor spin. It can either be caused by something simple, like an overloaded washer, or a faulty internal component, such as a defective motor rotor position sensor or a wiring problem within your washer.
To find the cause of the problem and fix it, simply follow our step-by-step guide in this article, and hopefully your Whirlpool Cabrio washer will be working again quickly.
This guide covers all major Whirlpool washer models, including:
Step One – Reset Your Washer
The first step is to reset your washer. Sometimes simply resetting the washer will remove the F51 error code; this is because it allows the capacitors of the control board to discharge and then start to work correctly again.
To reset the washer:
- Try to reset the washer by pressing down the “Pause/Cancel” button.
- If that doesn’t work, unplug the cord or switch off the power and leave the washing machine for a few minutes before turning it back on again.
- Once you’ve turned the washer back on, check to see if the problem has been solved. If not, move on to step two.
Step Two – Check That the Washer Isn’t Overloaded
If a simple reset didn’t solve the problem, the next step is to ensure that your washer isn’t overloaded with too many clothes. When your washer is overloaded, the rotor cannot spin the washer drum around correctly, and an F51 error code will result.
To check if your washer is overloaded, make sure that it isn’t overly full (more than 80% full to the top), and if it is, remove some items and then try to turn your washer on again. If that doesn’t work, move on to step three.
Step Three – Check for Foreign Objects
The next step is to check your washer for any items that are stuck in your washing machine that are preventing your washer from working properly. To do this, you will need to turn the power off, empty your washing machine, and then try to move the drum around by hand. If it rotates around very tightly, this is a good sign that something is blocking between the bottom of the drum and the tank. You will need to find the foreign object and then turn the washer back on and see if the problem has been solved. If not, move on to the next step.
Step Four – Check the Rotor Bolt
If those three steps didn’t solve the problem, then you will have to inspect some of the internal components of your Whirlpool Cabrio washer that might be causing the problem.
The first component to check is the rotor bolt, which helps to secure the rotor in place. When the bolt is loose, your washer might malfunction.
To check the rotor bolt, you need to:
- Turn the power off to the washing machine.
- Disconnect the water hoses.
- Move the washing machine out from the wall.
- Remove the side panels/cover – this usually just involves removing some screws at the back of the washer, and the panels should then pop off.
- Put down some old towels on the floor, and then lay the washer down on its side.
- Locate the rotor unit (consult your manual if necessary).
- Check to see if the bolt that holds the rotor in place is tight, and if not, use a ¼ inch key to tighten it. If the bolt is already tight, move on to step five.
- Once you tighten the bolt, turn the power back on and check if the problem has been solved. If not, move on to the next step.
Step Five – Check for Corrosion
The next step is to check for corrosion within your washing machine drum. The washer drum should be able to rotate around smoothly on its shaft, but sometimes people use too much detergent in their washing machines, and this can cause rust to develop, which stops the drive system from working properly, resulting in the F51 error code appearing.
To check this out, you need to:
- Attempt to spin the drum around manually to see if it rotates smoothly. You can then pull the drum up and down to see if it has enough clearance and doesn’t get stuck.
- If these tests show the drum is getting stuck when rotating, you will need to take the unit apart and check for rust and dirt that might be causing the problem. However, if the drum is rotating correctly, you can move on to the next step.
- Once you’ve removed dirt and rust, put it back together and see if the problem has been solved. If not, you might need to replace the whole unit, or you might decide you’re better off just buying a new washing machine.
Step Six – Check the Wiring
Sometimes the F51 error code can appear if you have a problem with your washing machine’s wiring – specifically when the connection between the motor rotor sensor and the control board is faulty.
To check the wiring, you need to:
- Ensure the power is still turned off to the washer.
- If you haven’t already, you will need to remove the side panels of the washing machine and lay it down on the floor.
- Locate the rotor and stator (check your manual if necessary).
- Remove both components and then inspect the wiring harness that is attached to them for twists and damage. If the wire harness and the wires are ok, move on to the final step. If you find the wires or the wire harness are damaged, the wire harness will need to be fully replaced or, if possible, repaired.
- Once repaired, check to see if the problem has been solved, and if not, move on to the final step.
Step Seven – Replace the Control Board
If you still haven’t found the source of the problem, the last component to check is the control board. However, the control board is very difficult to check, so your best option is to just replace it. The problem is it’s quite an expensive repair to do, so you might be best off purchasing a new washing machine instead of fixing your current one. If you do decide to replace the control board, you should consult a qualified technician first.