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Kenmore Oven Not Heating? Here’s Why (+ How to Fix)

If your oven controls are incorrectly set, there is a great chance that your oven will not reach your desired cooking temperature. Another common reason to consider is if your “delay start” feature is activated. In case you suspect any of this as the reason why your oven is having trouble, make sure to double-check the buttons that you clicked before starting your cooking process. 

Despite being named by the 2022 Women’s Choice Award as “America’s Most Recommended” brand, there are still instances when you might just ask, Why?”. I have been using my Kenmore oven for a while now, and I can say there are at least 2-3 times when I encounter this issue.

One day it’s working; the next day, it won’t heat up. Thankfully, there are a lot of resources online to help me with this problem. However, as you can see in this article, there are also many possible reasons why your oven won’t heat up.

This article will walk you through nine of the most common reasons your Kenmore oven is not heating up and reaching your desired temperature. Along with basic and simple instructions on how you can solve and fix these issues one by one. 

9 Reasons Why Your Kenmore Oven is Not Heating

If you’re wondering why your Kenmore oven is not heating, then you might consider these reasons:

  • The electronic oven controls are incorrectly set. 
  • “Delay Start” is enabled. 
  • “Oven Lock” is turned on. 
  • The gas oven igniter is weak or faulty.
  • The thermal switch has been activated. 
  • The broiler or bake element is broken. 
  • The bake/broil element has a problem. 
  • The oven temperature sensor is broken. 
  • The electronic control board needs to be fixed.

Let’s now take a closer look at each reason why your oven is having some heating problems.

Oven Controls are Incorrectly Set

One of the common reasons people make use of their ovens is for baking or broiling. Before hitting ‘start,’ you must make sure that your oven controls or settings are correctly set, whether it be for baking or broiling. If you fail to set your oven settings correctly, there’s a great chance that your oven won’t start heating and you won’t achieve your desired temperature for cooking.

Here’s How to Fix it

  1. After placing your food inside, make sure to close the oven door. 
  2. Press the ‘bake’ button. The factory fixed temperature reading of 350°F (177°C) will be displayed. 
  3. To set your preferred temperature, use the ‘up’ and ‘down’ arrows. Every time the button is pressed, the temperature drops or rises by 5°F or 1°C. 
  4. Press the ‘start’ button, and your oven should begin to heat up. 

When trying to use the broil option of your oven, you can follow these steps to make sure that all the settings are set correctly.

  1. Preheat the oven for 2 minutes.
  2. Place your food inside the oven and close the door until the ‘broil stop’s position. Your oven remains slightly open in this position.
  3. Choose the ‘Broil’ option. The ‘HI’ option will appear. 
  4. Set the temperature by pressing the ‘up’ or ‘down’ arrow. The temperature will rise or fall by 5°F or 1°C. 
  5. Choose either HI or LO. 
  6. Press the ‘start’ button to begin heating. 

Refer to the “Setting Oven Controls” section of the User Manual for specific information on how to operate your oven model.

The ‘Delay Start’ Option is Activated

The Kenmore “delay start” feature is helpful and interesting for your oven. It assists you in preparing what you want to cook and then programs the oven to begin cooking the dish later. This is especially beneficial if you are leaving the house but want your food to be ready when you return. “Delay Start” is only available with the Bake and Self-Clean features.

While the “Delay Start” function of your oven is typically used to allow you to cook your meal at the chosen time without having to prepare it beforehand, if it is activated, your oven will not heat up quickly. If you need to use the oven immediately but someone else has set it to “Delay Start,” then you have to deactivate this feature.

How to Disable “Delay Start” on a Kenmore Oven?

Selecting the “Delay Start” option is the same as choosing a normal baking cycle. But at the end of the setting procedure, you must set the “Cook Time” and press “Delay Start.” Simply press the “Stop” button to turn off the “Delay Start” function. The “Delay Start” settings will be removed, and you can now start a new cooking cycle, which will allow you to cook your food immediately as it will begin heating now.

The “Oven Lock” Feature Is Activated

When the oven is not in use, you may prevent any accidental cooking by pressing the “Oven Lock” button on your Kenmore oven. When this is done, the panel’s control buttons become inoperable. If you try to preheat the oven before starting a baking cycle, you’ll get the message “Loc” on the screen, which indicates that this feature is activated. In order to use the oven again, the “Oven Lock” must be disabled.

How to Disable Kenmore Oven’s “Oven Lock” Function

The time will be shown on your oven control panel while “Oven Lock” is enabled. To disable the oven lock, press and hold the “Oven Lock” button for three seconds. Don’t try to open the door during the 15 seconds when the “Oven Lock” pad blinks as it unlocks. After that, the panel’s control buttons will start working again.

Weak Gas Oven Igniter

If the igniter in your Kenmore gas oven is weak and does not glow or get hot enough, your oven may not heat. The gas igniter serves two purposes:

  • Direct electric current through the safety valve to the oven.
  • Ignite the burners to heat the oven.

If the igniter isn’t hot enough, the safety gas valve will not open, preventing the burners from turning on. A defective igniter can be the cause of your oven not heating. The most typical issue with an oven’s igniter is when it stops operating completely. If this occurs, you will need to replace your igniter immediately. 

How to Replace a Weak Gas Oven Igniter

First, make sure the igniter isn’t glowing or getting hot enough. If this is the case, follow these procedures to replace your gas oven igniter:

  1. Turn off both the gas and the power.
  2. Unscrew the bottom panel and pull it out. If the door prevents the panel from being removed, remove it using the directions in your user manual.
  3. Remove the screws that hold the igniter to the burner.
  4. Release the connector tabs to disconnect the igniter plug from the harness.
  5. Remove the igniter.  
  6. Insert the new igniter into the harness. Do not contact the carbide electrode on the new igniter; otherwise, it will fail.
  7. Replace the screws after installing the new igniter.
  8. Screw on the bottom panel.
  9. Turn on the gas and electricity and check to see if the igniter has now ignited the burners and started the oven heating.

If you prefer visual instruction, this Sears YouTube video illustrates how to replace a gas oven igniter: 

The Thermal Switch Has Been Tripped

Some Kenmore ranges include a thermal (cut-out) switch that interrupts current flow if the oven overheats. The oven will not begin heating if the thermal switch is triggered.

An oven thermal switch that trips during the self-clean cycle can be reset by power cycling the oven and pressing the reset button on the back. If the oven’s thermal switch fails during a regular baking cycle, you must replace it immediately.

How to Replace a Broken Thermal Switch

To replace a Kenmore oven thermal switch, follow these steps:

  1. Turn off the oven’s power.
  2. Remove the control knobs. (To remove the knobs, you may need to use a string or wire.)
  3. Take the panel off by removing the top panel holders.
  4. Unplug the control wire harness.
  5. Remove the screws holding the grounding wire and control bracket in place.
  6. Disconnect the surface element’s wire harness.
  7. Remove the control cover and set it aside.
  8. Remove the glass top’s gasket.
  9. Remove the main top component, making sure to identify the wire positions. Take pictures if necessary.
  10. Unscrew the retaining screws to remove the thermal switch.
  11. Replace the old thermal switch with the new one.
  12. Reverse the steps above to reinstall all of the oven components.
  13. Turn on the oven and wait for it to begin heating.

If you’re having trouble replacing the thermal switch in your Kenmore oven, check out this Repair Clinic video:

Take note that a defective control board can be indicated by a thermal switch that keeps toppling. In that situation, the control board should be checked out and possibly replaced.

The Burned-Out Broiler/Bake Element

Both the bake and broil elements are on top of your Kenmore electric oven. The oven won’t get hot if these parts are broken and damaged.

If you notice any cracks or blisters on your oven’s heating elements, this could be a sign of wear and tear. However, a broken heating element in an oven can sometimes look fine at first glance. If you are not sure if any of these parts are broken or damaged, each component must be checked first for continuity before replacing it.

How to Replace Your Oven’s Broil/Bake Element

However, if you found some damage to your heating elements, you can follow these steps to replace and change your broil/bake element in your Kenmore oven:

  1. Turn off the power and unplug the stove.
  2. Remove every rack from the oven.
  3. Take off the oven’s element and support screws.
  4. To get to the cables connecting the component, pull it toward you.
  5. Remove the broiler/bake element. If the oven door is in the way or making it difficult to remove the element, take it out.
  6. Replace the old component with the new one and reconnect the wires.
  7. Reinstall the element brackets and tighten the screws.
  8. Racks should be returned to the oven. If you removed the oven door, put it back on.
  9. Fire up the stove. The replacement broiler/oven element must now begin preheating.

Faulty Spark Electrode for Baking or Broiling

The spark electrode of a Kenmore gas oven is responsible for igniting the gas. When power is applied, a spark is recognized at the electrode tip, and it travels to the electrode shield, where it ignites the gas. The oven burner will not light or heat if the electrode is defective. 

Replacing a Burnt or Defective Spark Electrode

The bake/broil spark electrode must be replaced when it becomes faulty in a Kenmore oven. You can follow the steps below to help you through the process:

  1. Unplug the oven.
  2. Remove the baking trays.
  3. Remove the screws and pull off the heat shield.
  4. Get rid of the old electrode by unscrewing it.
  5. To remove the electrode, unplug the wire from its terminal.
  6. Replace the electrode’s wire connector and reconnect it.
  7. Secure the electrode with the screws.
  8. The heat shield must be reinstalled and tightened.
  9. Restore the shelves.
  10. Turn on the power to the oven. The stovetop should pick up where it left off.

You can watch this video by Repair Clinic on YouTube to see how to do the steps mentioned above: 

How to Replace Your Kenmore Oven’s Temperature Sensor

The oven’s temperature sensor can be seen high on the left side of the oven’s rear wall. However, in order to change the temperature sensor, you will need to do the following from the outside: 

  1. Turn off your oven. If you use a gas oven, switch off the gas.
  2. Remove the back panel and set it aside.
  3. Pull the sensor wire harness free by depressing the tabs.
  4. To disconnect the sensor from the oven, unscrew the screws keeping it in place. 
  5. Take out the temperature sensor.
  6. Replace the old temperature sensor by pushing it into the oven and screwing it into place.
  7. Connect the sensor’s wire harness to the replacement.
  8. Turn on the power (and the gas). The heat in your oven should be restored.

The procedures mentioned above are demonstrated in this Sears video on YouTube:

Defective Electronic Control Board

The functionality of a Kenmore oven is managed by a control board that manages the flow of electricity to the oven’s various parts. When the oven is switched on, the control board illuminates to show that power is being sent to the appliance. If it doesn’t, then you know the control board is broken, which is why your oven won’t heat.

It is rare for ovens to have problems or issues with their control boards, but if you are experiencing this specific issue, you don’t have any choice but to have it replaced immediately.

How to Replace a Faulty Control Board in a Kenmore Oven?

The circuit board that regulates the oven is located behind the control panel. If your control board is malfunctioning, here are ten simple steps you can do to replace it:

  1. Turn off your oven. Make sure to unplug them from any power source.
  2. Remove the cover from the control panel by unscrewing it.
  3. Before removing any cables from the control board, make sure you’ve marked their location. You can also take a picture of their locations to make things easier when you put them back.
  4. Unscrew the screws that are holding the board to the panel.
  5. If the original control board is still in good condition, you can remove the overlay by peeling it off. If not, you will need to purchase a new overlay and control board from an authorized Kenmore’s partners
  6. Attach the new control board to the overlay.
  7. Replace the old control board with the new one. Make sure to tighten the screw to secure it in place.
  8. On the new control board, reconnect the cables in the same locations as before. You can use the photos you have taken as your reference.
  9. Put back the control panel and screw it back on.
  10. Turn the oven on to see if it starts heating again. 

If you are having difficulty following these written instructions and would want to see a live demonstration, you can check out this Sears video on YouTube on how to replace the control board of your Kenmore oven: 

Suppose you need any assistance with the following procedure. In that case, you can contact Kenmore Support or any certified and experienced oven technician to help you with repairs, replacements, and a general appliance check-up.

People Also Ask

Here are four frequently asked questions you may encounter while using your Kenmore oven. 

Kenmore Gas Oven Not Heating but Broiler Works

There’s a great possibility that even if your oven is not heating up, your broiler will work if the ‘broil’ mode is chosen. If this happens, the temperature sensor is probably broken and has to be replaced immediately. You can contact your manufacturer if your oven is still under warranty so they can fix and replace it quickly. 

However, if your temperature sensor causes this problem, your igniter might be the reason why. A broken igniter will prevent your oven from heating up and creating a flame. Most gas ovens have their igniters tucked deep in the bottom, clearly out of sight. This way, you won’t have to worry about getting burned if any food boils over. The oven’s igniter must be changed if it has stopped operating or is too filthy to be cleaned. 

Kenmore Gas Oven Not Heating Up on Bake Mode

One of the most common reasons your Kenmore gas oven is not heating up while on bake mode may be because your oven safety valve is damaged. The gas enters through the oven’s safety valve when the range is set to bake. If your safety valve is damaged or broken, there may not be enough gas entering the unit preventing it to achieve your desired temperature. 

Another common reason why this is happening is due to a faulty oven thermostat. When the thermostat fails, it cannot supply the necessary voltage to the igniter, making it difficult to light the stove and maintain your desired temperature. If the thermostat fails to send the correct voltage or signals, your baking quality will suffer. 

If you encounter this problem and are unsure what to do, it is best to contact a skilled technician to assist you in figuring out the problem. 

Kenmore Oven Not Heating Smells Like Gas

The first reason you can consider when this happens is due to poor air combustion. The smell is due to inefficient combustion brought on by either a lack of combustion air or an imbalance in the gas pressure. The gas pressure is controlled by an adjustable regulator on the rear of the appliance; a gas pressure gauge is required for accurate adjustment. It is best to consult someone who knows how to adjust a gas regulator to avoid any accidents.

Another factor to consider why your gas oven smells is due to gas leaks. Damaged gas connections in the stove might lead to a smelly gas leak. Gas can escape if the connections aren’t properly sealed. Turning off the oven, opening windows and doors, and calling a professional to locate and fix the connections may be sufficient, depending on the leak’s extent. 

It is important to remember to not use the oven if the gas connections are leaking, and if you are not sure what to do, it’s best to contact professional help. 

Kenmore Oven Heating Slowly

If it takes too long for your oven to heat up, it may be due to air leaks. This may be the result of a broken oven door hinge or a broken oven door seal. To function properly, an electric oven has to seal off all the vents and keep the heat within. This will allow the air temperature to increase to the desired cooking level. You may contact your manufacturer or a skilled and knowledgeable technician to see the problem. 

There may be a problem with the electrical outlet supplying electricity to your oven if your oven takes too long to heat up despite the fact that there are no obvious air leaks. Before placing your oven in your home, check your oven’s manual for its required voltage and check whether your outlet is giving enough power.

Conclusion

Despite being in business for more than 100 years and having served the homes of millions of people, as stated on their official website, you still can’t deny that people using Kenmore ovens have experienced a problem or two. 

If you wonder what is wrong with your oven and why it is not heating up, you should always check if any of the special features of your Kenmore oven are activated, such as the ‘delay start’ and ‘oven lock.’ 

You might also want to check if all your settings and controls are correct. If any of these don’t imply that, then there’s a great chance that one or some parts of your oven have been damaged or broken after using it for some time.

If you are unsure what is wrong with your oven and have done all the necessary, simple, and visual checks, it is best to call for professional help. You wouldn’t want to prolong your misery by not enjoying a home-cooked dinner because of a defective oven.

Author

  • Chris Hewitt

    Chris is a Texas-based freelance writer who loves the outdoors and working in his garage. When he's not enjoying the Texas sun, he can be found tinkering with all sorts of things in his workshop.

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