7 Common Cooker Oven Breakdown Problems and Ways to Fix them

Cooker oven is a home delight but can be fraught with problems, though your cooker insurance should kick in when you have a cooker breakdown, below are the top 7 problems you may encounter with your cooker oven and how to fix them.

1) My gas burner won’t light up on cooker

Food debris

 This could be an accumulation of grease or bits of food – it is one of the most common causes for a gas burner that fails to ignite, debris blocking gas flow to the igniter.

To rectify, begin by taking off grate on the non-igniting burner. After this, remove the burner cap, which should lift off easily. The sealed burner base will either lift off or you may need to remove some screws before taking it off. Clean the area around with a warm, soapy washcloth. Soak the sealed burner base in a warm water and vinegar mix. Apply a hard brush to the area to get rid of any unwanted debris. Make sure in the hard-to-reach burner holes there are no bit of food or other obstructions. Use a toothpick, sewing needle or compressed air for this delicate operation. Reinstall the burner, cover and the grill, and hit the ignition once again.

If this fails to do the trick, there could be a kink in the gas supply pipe or a more general issue. For this, you would do well to speak to your local specialist.

A loose connection

 There are none to very few moving parts on an over top, yet it is still the case that connections can lose their original tightness, particularly during cleaning or installation. If the wires which connect the igniter to the control module do not have a firm connection, there will not be the spark needed to properly ignite the burner.

To attempt a fix, disconnect the oven by unplugging it or turning off at the breaker switch. Take the grate and burner cap away from the burner at issue. Also take away the sealed burner base. Inspect and feel around gently for connections that look or feel loose or any disconnected wires. Re-establish the tightness of loose connections and reconnect any disconnected wires, put back burner base, cap, and grate. Turn the power back on the stove and test.

 A faulty igniter

 If you have removed debris from the burner base and seen to any loose connections, the issue may be a faulty igniter. A quick test of whether igniter requires replacement is by making the room dark and turning the control dial into the regular ignite position. If the igniter sparks yellow or orange instead of a bright bluish-white, the igniter will likely need replacing.

To check, disconnect gas and electricity power to the oven, take away the burner cap and use a screwdriver to remove the burner base. Disconnect the wires from the igniter. Often, igniters have a quick disconnect system so there will not be any need for cutting or splicing wires.

Search the oven’s make and model number to determine the replacement igniter. If possible, install your new igniter, and then put back the burner base, cap and grate. Securely re-establish gas and power to the stove and test the burner.

If this test does not remedy your burner, a replacement of the igniter switch may be in order or the igniter control module. It is worth speaking to a trusted and preferably trained technician for a diagnosis.

2) The range burner will not heat up

 On an electric stove, range burners require electricity to get to their job of cooking. If one of the electric burners fail to heat up, try out these quick tests:

  • Replace the non-heating burner with one that you know works. Simply unplug from the burner socket and plug the working one in.
  • If this new burner starts to warm, the problem was the burner. Replace it.
  • If the new burner fails to warm up, by elimination the problem is the infinite switch or the socket. If the socket looks burned or damaged, a replacement could be in order.
  • Try out the burner again after replacing the socket. If it still fails to warm up, switch out the old infinite switch with a new one and try the range burner again.

Let us unpack these steps above in a bit more detail:

Faulty Burner

When a burner fails to warm up, the burner should be the first thing to be inspected. There could be a disconnection issue, or it may simply be burned out. Disconnection of the burner can be made by taking it out the block in the same way a power cord is pulled out. To determine whether the burner has broken, unplug a working burner from another block, plug it into the block of the malfunctioning burner and turn on the switch. If the replacement warms up, keep it in – replacement was needed. It is not necessary to unplug the stove to do this.

Faulty Block

If a burner does not come up, the problem may be the block into which it is plugged. You may be able to confirm a bad block by lifting the stovetop and having a look at it if there are any burnt wires or burnt metal. You can also confirm by plugging in a working burner. Once confirmed that a block is bad, a replacement can go ahead, but first, the stove must be unplugged. Disconnect the stove’s terminal wires with a matching-head screwdriver. Once disconnected, unscrew the block from the stovetop and switch with a new one.

Faulty Switch

The heat-sensitive contacts inside a stove switch go through an ordinary process of wear and tear. They can get covered with carbon. As such, the contacts may not fail to engage the stove switch or, on the other hand, it may never disconnect. The result of the second condition is that it is not possible to control the burner’s temperature. We can confirm the switch is bad by testing continuity across its terminals with an ohmmeter after first unplugging the stove. The switch has two different lines – often marked L1 and L2 — for the two power legs that come into it and go out. Establish resistance continuity both of these. If there is a reading of no ohms, then the switch is faulty, and replacement is needed (it cannot be repaired).

3) The Oven Won’t Heat

Heating Element

An oven that fails to warm is often because of a faulty igniter (for a gas oven) or heating element for an electric one. If both gas oven and gas burners have both failed, the gas line is the likely the weakest link and will require a professional repair. The heating element or igniter can be replaced by an unlicensed amateur though:

  • Take a screwdriver to get out the old igniter or heating element. These are often found inside the oven, while the igniter is accessible from below this
  • To gain access to the igniter, take out the broiler or storage drawer.
  • Ensure electricity is off to the oven.
  • Then, if the heating element is hidden, a trained professional will be needed to replace it.

Clock Not Set

If the heating element is fine, then it may be that the Clock not being set is a cause for your oven not heating up. If there has been a power cut the clock on your oven will probably need to re-set. As unlikely as it sounds, a clock that has been not set can cause your whole oven to stop heating up. This is a very easy fix though, so it’s the first thing to check if you’re having oven problems.

Just find the manual to your oven or download a PDF version by searching your make and model online to find out how to set the time on your make and model of oven.

Thermostat

If the clock is set as it should, the element is good, but heat is just not found in your oven it could be time to check your thermostat. First, check to see if the temperature indicator light is operational:

  • This is often a small light on the front of the oven that remains lit until it reaches the desired temperature.
  • If this light does not come on at all this may be a sign of a broken thermostat and of the need for a replacement.

Thermal Cut Out

If the previous options have not offered any solutions, then test the thermal cut out. This small device automatically cuts your oven off if it gets too warm – as to avoid overheating.

To see if it is faulty:

  • Disconnect your appliance from the electrical supply, then find the two connections where electricity enters and exits the thermal cut out component.
  • Use a multi-meter and switch it to a low resistance setting.
  • Measure across the connections. You should find the same amount of resistance there as you would read it as though the two-meter probes were touched together.
  • Getting a different reading? This means that your thermal cut out has failed – and needs replacement
  • Once the correct part for your appliance has been found, see video guides on how to fix this yourself.

Terminal Block

This is another part of the oven to breakdown. The signs that suggest an issue with the terminal block include:

  • A clock that’s not displaying.
  • Areas of the cooker that aren’t working.

It is found at the back of the oven. There may be a number of circuits connected by links from the main power cords.

  • Ensure that the oven appliance is disconnected from the power supply before beginning.
  • If any link or connector is loose, this can produce heat and damage.
  • Look for signs of charring or lose connections.

If you do find damage, a replacement is the only option. Search for your make and model. Once you have the correct part, see any number of reputable repair guides to fix this yourself.

4) The Oven Won’t Heat to the Right Temperature

This could be a problem with the temperature sensor, the gas igniter or the heating element.

  • Inspect the temperature sensor. It should not touch inside the wall of the oven.
  • An ohmmeter should then be used to see if the sensor is working. The resistance should rise as the temperature of the oven warms.
  • If the resistance is not rising, and the sensor is not, then replace it.
  • Next, confirm that the heating element or gas igniter is operational. If not, replace.
  • If all has been seen to be working or has been replaced, then recalibrate the oven.
  • One way to do this is to heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. With an oven thermometer, check the temperature inside after twenty minutes, then every twenty minutes for the next ninety minutes to one-hundred-and-twenty.
  • Using your temperature readings, add them up and divide by the number of readings you took (four or five). This will be your oven’s average temperature.
  • Using this average, dial the oven temperature up or down dial as you see fit.

Uneven cooking

 If you cook something large like a whole chicken and notice parts are visibly more cooked than other patches of pink, the oven is cooking evenly.  You should first check the heating elements and temperature sensor and preheat the oven for a quick test to see if the heating elements are all glowing red.

Using a multi-meter check that the temperature sensor’s resistance is rising with the temperature of the oven. If either is not working as they should, then replace either.

Learn how your oven cooks since all appliances are different. Uneven cooking could be the result of the position of the racks or the cookware.

Baking dishes are supposed to be reflective. If they have become grimy, try a deep clean or get a replacement.

Noting how the oven usually cooks and making adjustments such as rotating the food or adjusting the height of the racks for certain foods can help if all other options have been ticked off.

5) The oven door will not shut

 If your oven door fails to close all the way or hangs unevenly, this could be for a few reasons.

  • Unplug the oven for safety. If yours is a gas model, make sure the gas is off before you begin.
  • Remove the door carefully to examine the hinges. Pulling straight up then out on the door will release most hinges. These hinges are only attached to the door, not the oven. If in doubt and this does not work, consult your manufacturer’s manual first.
  • Alternatively, if this is not the issue, check the door springs to see if they are broken. Slide-out the bottom drawer and inspect underneath the oven for the springs between the oven and the door. Not all appliances are designed with springs. However, springs can break as they wear over time.
  • If a spring breaks, use pliers to open the ends around the bolts and take note of the specific bolts the springs were connected to.
  • Replace the springs with new identical ones, tightening the ends around the proper bolts.

Gasket

  • Gently pull out the silicone band or rubber gasket that lines the inside edge of the oven door.  You can do this by using a flat-head screwdriver, pry one section loose, or grab a section with pliers and pull. Grab the loosened section and remove it.
  • Taking note of your make and model, replace it with an identical gasket.
  • You can always measure the new gasket to ensure it is an identical length as the original, using a utility knife to cut it down to size if needed. Push one end into the groove of the door, then continue pressing the rest of the gasket around the edge of the oven in this way until the edges come together around the door.

If the door does not pull up from its hinges

  • If the door does not pull up, look inside the oven for screws holding the hinges. Unscrew them.
  • Take your model number or your broken parts with you to the appliance supply store to make sure you buy the proper parts for your oven.
  • Replace them identical new ones and hook them back into the hinge holes in the oven. Push the door down to lock the hinges in place or replace the screws.

For this job you may need a screwdriver, replacement hinges, pliers, replacement springs, a utility knife, and a replacement gasket


6) The interior light in my oven will not turn on

 If you’re in the dark about why your food is being left in the dark while it cooks in your oven consider these fixes.

Cooker Bulb

Most ovens will cook just fine without a working light; however, it can make it a bit of a challenge. However, the easiest solution is also the most likely: cooker bulbs aren’t hard to come by. Make a note of your make and model and find a new, identical replacement. Find a reputable installation video to see if it works.

Lamp Assembly

If replacing the bulb seems not to have made a difference to your light, the next likely cause can be a faulty lamp assembly. This is the bulb holder and connections. To see if it is faulty:

  • Check if there is an electrical supply to the oven: does the clock display on the control panel?
  • If not, then select any fan function to see if that works.

The good news is replacing the lamp assembly is not a major inconvenience.

Ensure that you have disconnected the appliance from the mains before beginning any repair. Spraying a small amount of WD40 and using a paper towel to unscrew anti-clockwise can help loosen a bulb cover if you are having trouble.

Find the lamp and inspect the curly filament inside the bulb for a break. If nothing is found, and the bulb looks good, access the lamp assembly by removing the cooker’s rear panel.

Disconnect the wires from the holder and check with a multi-meter for ohm resistance across the lamp holder connections. If there is no resistance, a replacement will be needed.

If the bulb or holder need replacement, then you can check your make and model first for the available replacements.

Once found, make use of our handy guide below on how to replace your faulty lamp assembly.

Terminal Block

A third cause that can stop an oven light working is the terminal block. The signs that may indicate an issue with the terminal block include:

  • A clock that fails to not display.
  • Areas of the cooker that aren’t working.

If it is blocked, you will be able to inspect it at the back of the cooker where there may be a number of circuits connected by links from the main power connection.

Make sure power is off and disconnected or the gas switch is off. Then:

  • See if any link or connector is loose. This can result in heat and damage.
  • Charring or lose connections are a bad sign. If there is damage, you require a replacement.

Once you have the correct part for your appliance based on your make and model, see any number of reputable how-to guides to fix this yourself.

7) My oven will not self-clean

Using the clean cycle feature on your oven comes with an element of risk. Checking an oven that failed soon after or during a clean cycle is not unlike checking an oven at any other occasion. However, there are some frequently occurring failures that take place during a clean cycle. Let us look at a few of these failures so you will have a greater understanding of the action to take.

Door Latch Switch

I you try to cook using the oven after running a clean cycle the control panel displays Lock, Door Locked or the lights are flashing, check the door latch switch first.

When the door locks for a self-clean the latch makes a connection on a switch that lets the control module know the door is locked and it can begin. The same goes for automatically locking doors

Often during cleaning, the contacts in the switch will stick. If this occurs, the door will still be able to be unlocked (or unlocked automatically) but the control module assumes the door is locked. It will therefore not start a cooking cycle. This can prevent future self-clean efforts or deter you from using this feature in the future.

Almost every appliance will have a manual lock that can easily disconnect the door latch switch and the range will return to normal while you can wait for a new door switch to arrive.

Even with this switch disconnected the oven will continue to work as normal. However, another cleaning cycle will not be possible until the switch is replaced. If you disconnect this switch, make sure tape up the wires so they cannot short.  Also, disconnect the power to the range before attempting to disconnect or reconnect any wires.

On automatic locking appliance, there will be two switches; one for telling the control module the door is locked and another for a fully unlocked door.

First, see if the door latch mechanism is engaging or pressing one of the switches. If not, replacement of the whole mechanism may be necessary. If the mechanism is pressing the switch, replacement of both switches is needed.

Here are some other self-cleaning cycle repair tips:

 Follow these simple tips to get your oven’s self-cleaning cycle back to a functional state:

Check the oven controls

Follow the directions from the manual to ensure the controls are set to run the cleaning cycle. If you cannot find your user manual, you will be able to download by searching your appliance’s make and model.

Check the circuit breaker or fuse

Make sure the circuit breaker that is responsible for getting power to the stove is marked ON.

Check the oven door lock

As mentioned above, ensure the oven door lock is engaging shut as it should.