How to test a dishwasher's wax motor:

Common dishwasher wax motor

Use our step-by-step dishwasher repair guide to learn how to test your wax motor. Once you have diagnosed the problem we have the OEM replacement wax motor that fits your appliance.

Disconnect the power source to your dishwasher before you conduct this or any other test. Either unplug the unit from the wall outlet, remove the appropriate fuse from the fuse box, or flip the appropriate breaker in the circuit breaker panel.

Before you can begin to test your dishwasher's wax motor, you must first locate the device. It is located within the door assembly, in very close proximity to the detergent dispenser cup. You will need to gain access to the inside of the door.

Examine the outside of the appliance. Depending on the model, you will have to remove either the entire internal door panel, or the entire external door panel. In each case, the panel can be removed by removing anywhere from 6 - 10 screws. Be careful to not remove the screws at the very bottom of the door that are actually a part of the hinge assembly. Removing the hinge assembly screws will remove the entire door from the appliance, which is not at all necessary to test the unit's wax motor. With all of the screws removed, the door panel should be easy to lift off of the door assembly. If you have difficulty lifting the panel, look for additional screws you may have missed.

With the door panel removed, locate your dishwasher's detergent dispenser cup and the wax motor assembly.

There are two wires connected to the wax motor. Label them so that you will be able to correctly reconnect them later. Remove each of the two wires from their respective terminals - they are connected with slip-on connectors. When removing the wires, grasp the connectors and pull firmly. Do not pull on the wires themselves. You may want to use a pair of needle-nosed pliers to help you.

Now test for continuity using your multimeter. Set it to the x 1 ohms setting. Take each of the meter's probes and touch them to one terminal each. If you receive a reading of infinity, you should replace the motor.

For more information about dishwasher wax motors: