This DIY dryer repair guide explains how to replace a dryer idler pulley. The spring-loaded idler pulley keeps the belt tight so the belt can grip and rotate the drum during the drying cycle. A worn or damaged idler pulley squeals or squeaks when the dryer is running. Because typical machine oils collect dust, lubricating the idler pulley only makes the problem worse. If the idler pulley makes noise when the dryer is running, replace it with the manufacturer-approved replacement part.
The video below shows an electric dryer, but the repair process is the same for gas. Follow these steps to replace the idler pulley in Kenmore, Whirlpool, Maytag, Amana, Roper, Crosley and Estate dryers with a lint screen housing located in the top cabinet panel.
This video explains how to replace the idler pulley in a dryer.
Shut off the power
Unplug the dryer. If it's a gas dryer, shut off the gas.
Wear work gloves to protect your hands.
Raise the cabinet top
Pull the lint screen out of the housing in the top panel of the dryer.
Use a Phillips screwdriver to remove the 2 screws that secure the lint screen housing to the top panel. To release the clips that lock the top of the dryer in place, push a putty knife under the lid near the left and right edges of the front of the dryer.
Lift the top and prop it securely against the wall behind the dryer.
Remove the lint screen.
Remove the lint screen housing screws.
Release the panel locking clips.
Lift the top panel.
Remove the front panel
Use a slot screwdriver to release the locking tab on the wire harness plug for the door switch. Disconnect the wire harness.
Use a 5/16-inch nut driver to remove the front panel mounting screws from the inside of the cabinet.
Pull the front panel forward slightly, and then lift and unhook it from the 2 bottom hangers.
Pull the front panel off of the dryer and set it aside.
Disconnect the wire harness for the door switch.
Remove the front panel mounting screws.
Remove the front panel.
Remove the idler pulley
Take a digital picture of the configuration of the drive belt on the idler pulley and the motor pulley so you can install it correctly.
Lift the front of the drum to access the drive motor and idler pulley.
Push the idler pulley to the right to release tension on the drive belt.
Release the drive belt from the drive motor pulley and pull it out of the idler pulley.
Pull the idler pulley out of the bracket in the base of the dryer.
Release the drive belt.
Remove the idler pulley from the dryer.
Install the new idler pulley
Install the idler pulley in the bracket at the base of the dryer and thread the drive belt through the new idler pulley.
Push the idler pulley to the right and loop the drive belt over the motor pulley.Tip: While the cabinet is open, vacuum dust and lint from inside the dryer cabinet.
Reinstall the front panel
Position the front panel on the hangers at the bottom of the cabinet.
Line up the mounting holes and reinstall the screws in the top of the front panel to secure it to the dryer cabinet.
Plug the wire harness back into the plug on the door switch. Make sure the locking tab engages properly.
Reassemble the top panel
Lower the top panel and snap it into place.
Reinstall the screws in the lint duct housing and reinstall the lint screen.
Restore power to the dryer
Plug the dryer into the wall outlet. If it's a gas dryer, turn on the gas supply to the dryer.
A rattling noise or lack of air flow through the dryer could indicate that the blower wheel is damaged. Follow the steps in this repair guide to replace the blower wheel in your dryer.
If the dryer heats initially but then stops heating, the problem is usually the gas valve coils. This step-by-step guide explains how to replace the gas valve coils in a gas dryer.
These easy tests will help you check the heating element, high-limit thermostat, timer, thermal cut-off fuse and operating thermostat.
Learn how to repair broken, frayed or damaged wires in your appliances.