This section of Shawn's HydroWave GE washer repair guide
will show how to check the shifter coil. All GE HydroWave washers have a shaft and tube as opposed to the old transmission. How this works is there is a shifter that shifts the washer from wash to spin mode. This is done with the shifter coil. The shifter coil is basically a solenoid that pulls up a set of gears that lock into another set of gears for wash mode and for spin mode it simply disengages. In other words, with the gears disengaged the spin basket turns with the agitator and with the gears engaged the agitator spins independently from the spin basket.
When the coil fails it can no longer engage the gears, therefore the gears stay disengaged all the time. This will cause the spin basket to turn with the agitator even during the wash cycle. This will make the washer become noisy during wash and it will not wash as it is designed to. Not to mention this is very rough on the machine in general because it is not designed to handle a full tub of water turning back and forth continually. Also this will cause motor to flag the four-flash error code, which stands for a failed shifter.
If your washer has the symptoms I described above more than likely the sifter has failed but there is a very slim chance the motor is causing this problem by not powering up the coil for wash mode. Check the sifter coil and if it is bad replace it and if not replace the motor. Follow these steps to check the sifter coil.
1. Disconnect power from the washer.
2. Remove the front off the washer.
3. Disconnect the sifter coil from the motor. It will be the only plug with only two terminals. It will also be the third plug from the left. (see picture below)
4. Then test for continuity across the two wires. You should get around 98 ohms, the important thing is if it is open or not. If it is open replace the shaft and tube and if it is around 98 ohms replace the motor. Note that on the early models the motor can cause the shifter coil to fail under the right conditions. The short version of this is that there is two 30-second time frames during a cycle that if you opened the lid of the washer and left it opened for more than a few minutes the shifter would fail. This is was an algorithm problem in the motor control board (located on top of the motor). This only applies to motors with the following part numbers on the motor 175d516g014, 175d516g015, 175d516g016, 175d516g026, 175d516g027, 175d516g028, 175d516g029, 175d516g030, 175d516g031.If your mode shifter has failed and your motor has one of these part numbers, you will need to replace the motor and the shifter to correct the problem.