Our Panasonic Genius Prestige microwave door would not latch. I mean it would shut but you had to slam it and when it was shut the controls would act like the door was not shut. Finally I decided to tear into it and take a look. Poor engineering and/or cheap construction is the issue. Read along to learn how you can fix your Panasonic microwave so there will be no more late night door slamming so you can just warm up that baby formula.
How to Repair Panasonic Genius Prestige Microwave Door Latch Issues
I do not know if Panasonic could have fit more inappropriate terms in the name of their microwave– genius AND prestige. Really? Well, there wasn’t much genius involved in the mechanical engineer who signed off on the mounting for the door latch in this microwave because it was designed with cost and savings in mind–not longevity. That’s on top of the fact that the latch shuts so hard that the whole microwave moves when you push the door shut. Let’s get to fixing this thing…
Step 1: Unplug your microwave.
Warning: There is a transformer in there that if turned on while you were working on it could kill you so don’t tear into a microwave or any electronic appliance with it plugged in!
Step 2: Remove the outer shell.
You’ll need a Phillips head screwdriver and a safety torx T20 size.
Step 2a: Remove the single Phillips-head screw on the right side:
Step 2b: Remove the rear safety torx head screws.
Panasonic engineers don’t want you fixing your microwave so they installed safety torx screws in the case. You can buy these anywhere though and every DIY person should have a set. See the description for a set you can get cheap. The case screws on this microwave are safety T20:
This is what the end of the bit will look like:
Remove the five safety-torx-headed screws from the back of the microwave:
Step 2c: Remove the outer case.
Pop out the sides like this on the left and right:
Lift the case up from the top back edge and then pull towards the back to remove:
Here’s what you’ll have with the case removed:
Step 3: Located the door latch assembly.
The door latch assembly is black and mounted at two places on a very thin piece of metal as shown below:
The problem is that when you shut the door, the entire mechanism bends the thin metal piece it is mounted to, as seen in this video I shot:
Step 4: Bend the bracket back into shape.
It is likely those two white metal mounting tabs have bent to the right after many door closures. You will want to bend them back into position. I removed the two mounting screws from the door latch assembly (as shown in the image in Step 3).
Step 5: Reinstall the latch assembly.
Reinstall the two screws:
Step 6: Support the latch assembly with zip ties.
There is a hole that passes through the top part of the latch assembly, which a zip tie can be fed through. There are also some small holes in the metal frame that can be used to anchor the assemble and support it so it does not bend so much:
I could have drilled a larger hole for the big zip tie but I didn’t feel like making metal shavings inside my microwave. The smaller zip tie should be plenty strong for this application. Trim your zip ties after you have pulled them about as tight as you can:
Step 7: Reinstall the metal shell.
Bring the metal shell down over the top of the microwave, with the shell slid toward the back, and move it toward the front, carefully lining up the groove on the front edge with the trim on the back of the bezel:
Slide the case into place:
You will need to hold the bottom of the sides in as you slide the case forward and into place:
Reinstall the five torx screws in the back::
And the one Phillips-head screw on the right side:
Now your microwave will work the first time you shut the door:
Did this help you fix your microwave? Do you have a tip to add? Please leave a comment!
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