Thread Number: 43616  /  Tag: Recent Vacuum Cleaners from past 20 years
Miele Complete C3 Dead
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Post# 455393   8/2/2022 at 09:32 by spacey3 (Portsmouth)        

We've got a C3 Complete which has been working no problems for years, suddenly it died with no power to turn on (have changed the fuse - nothing).

I did call Miele to ask if the motor had brushes, but they couldn't tell me. Does anyone know if it does, or can suggest what the failure would be. Are they easy to get into a attempt a repair?

Post# 455402 , Reply# 1   8/2/2022 at 11:43 by vacuumdevil (Vacuum Hell )        

vacuumdevil's profile picture
@spacey3 Most of these had 7 to 10-year warranties which means it would be covered by a dealer. That being said if it doesn't turn on that could be all sorts of different problems the motor being the least likely of them.
If the motor is bad a red light will turn on and flash.
If none of the lights are going on that means the machine's not getting power or it somehow been overheated by not changing the filter or something like that.

Hopefully that gives you a good place to start.

Post# 455441 , Reply# 2   8/3/2022 at 14:40 by jfalberti (Visalia, CA)        

jfalberti's profile picture
I agree with VacuumDevil. The motor does in deed have brushes, but that is least likely the cause. More likely would be a faulty cord winder, in which case they can be expensive to replace. Like VacuumDevil said, the machines usually have a 5 or 7 year warranty, with other parts being one year. Check to see if your machine is under warranty before trying to disassemble it yourself. If it is, then they should repair it. If not, there are many good videos on YouTube specific to Miele teardown and repairs. Good luck.

This post was last edited 08/03/2022 at 15:00
Post# 455448 , Reply# 3   8/3/2022 at 17:01 by huskyvacs (Indiana)        

huskyvacs's profile picture
If a vacuum has bad brushes, worn or not, you will still hear power and an attempt for the machine to function (humming, buzzing, etc). Or if it has a shorted armature it will at least blow your circuit breaker as soon as you try and turn it on. If it remains totally dead, no lights at all, it has nothing to do with the motor. If the vacuum is older usually the problem is a blown motor fuse or a bad power cord or some safety switch somewhere (Kirbys always get bad on/off switches and dead safety switches on the nozzle). Newer vacuums with circuit boards in them (ahem ahem Dyson), it will almost always be more often than not a circuit failure somewhere on the main board that regulates power, motor speed, all that jazz.

The Miele C3 series and all their canisters in general are well known for logic board failure once they leave their warranty period. One of the diodes or IC chips goes bad, burns up, breaks the connection to the motor, and hence you have a dead vacuum. They can also get so hot from long term usage periods that the solder can melt and also break a connection on the board(s).

The most common issue is the PCB board for the motor self destructs and that is usually where the problem lies.

My theory has always been that as the cost of a vacuum increases abd they start inserting more and more electronics into them that the problems become less mechanical and more electronic in nature.

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Post# 455450 , Reply# 4   8/3/2022 at 17:12 by gmarquez (Central California)        

gmarquez's profile picture
It more than liklely is the cord winder if you're not getting any power at all. I worked as a Miele tech for 4 years and have repaired many different models. In this time I only had to replace a board inside of the canister 2 times so its very unlikely a board has failed. Cost of a coard winder replacment is typically around $250. Hope this helps

Post# 455481 , Reply# 5   8/5/2022 at 01:31 by kirbylux77 (London, Ontario, Canada)        
Cord Rewinder or Circuit Board

kirbylux77's profile picture
Chances are most likely it's the cord rewinder that's broken. What happens with Miele cord rewinders typically is the 2 sides of the cord rewinder will separate, just a tiny bit, enough that both sides of the electrical contacts in the middle will no longer make contact and send power to the rest of the vacuum components. The easiest way to diagnose a broken cord rewinder is to take out only a little bit of cord, and plug it into a extension cord. Then turn the vacuum on. Pull out a small section of the cord from the rewinder - if it starts and stops when you do this, it's the cord rewinder that's faulty and causing your issue.

However, it could also be the circuit board at fault. Ever since the Vortex Motor was introduced in 2004, the circuit board that interacts with the wiring harness that connects to the motor has been a issue, and it's VERY COMMON to see the circuit boards go bad within 10 years of ownership. Furthermore, the really damning part is, with the Vortex Motor there is NO WAY to bypass the circuit board if it fails! The motor is designed in such a way that you MUST use the wiring harness & 4 pin connector & receptacle. Due to the complex way the Miele vacuums are wired, it is not possible to bypass that wiring harness attached to the circuit board that sends power to the motor if the board was NLA, even if you replaced the motor with a ordinary 2 wire Domel central vac motor. If your circuit board dies and it's NLA, you are literally up the creek without a paddle! For this reason, plus the fact that the German made double stage motors and Ametek double stage motors Miele used prior to 2004 produce as much waterlift/CFM and were far better made and more durable, I no longer recommend anyone buy a Miele made after 2004. It's just not worth it - especially when you can easily find parts and parts machines for the older models.

Take it to your authorized Miele dealer and have them diagnose the issue, assuming it's under warranty. If it's the circuit board and it's under warranty, repair it. If it's NOT under warranty, junk the canister and sell the hose, wand, powerhead and parts. Replace it with a older Miele - preferably one from the S300, S400 and S500 series. There are 2 Miele models in particular that did NOT have a circuit board in them at all, the S301i and S401i, that I would try to find and buy. Otherwise, buy another brand.

If it is the cord rewinder that's faulty and causing the issue, DO NOT REPLACE THE CORD REWINDER! Tell the authorized Miele dealer to put the vacuum back together, pay whatever their fee is, and take it to their competition. The cord rewinder can be repaired by putting a metal ring and pin on the plastic spindle on the cord rewinder. That will cause the 2 halves to make contact, conduct electricity and work properly. It will also PERMANENTLY repair the cord rewinder - you will have no future problem after that. If desired, it is also possible to wire a upright vacuum cord to the electrical wiring on the cord rewinder and bypass it entirely. Sure you won't be able to neatly store the cord inside the canister, but again it will NEVER break again.


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