JW the thermister must work for the machine to work. The board is reading that item constantly during the fill and is programmed to look for irregularities. The extra level switch is intended for the econo-wash levels or rinses if I am not mistaken. This would be the Kenmore Elite model?
The 3-way distribution valve for the dispenser is a good example of boogerbear technology. (More to fail)
And yes...in answer to your earlier question, it MUST have hot water to work properly. Again, to conform to EnergyStar ratings, it has to provide a specific wash temp at all times, controlled by the AccuWash sensor and the board. Gotta love all this hi-tech crud.