Front-Load Washer: Clean Washer cycle won't work

If the Clean Washer cycle won't run, see if you left any clothing left in the washer. If the washer is empty, the most likely cause is problem with the spin basket or the outer tub bearing that's causing excessive friction in the drive system. A faulty drive motor or failed electronic control board can also prevent the Clean Washer cycle from working.

front-load washer

These repairs may help solve your front-load washer problem

Repair or replace the washer spin basket

Repair or replace the washer spin basket

The spin basket is the perforated container that holds laundry during the wash cycle. The spin basket is inside the stationary outer tub. If the spanner nut becomes so loose that the spin basket doesn't rotate properly, tightening the spanner nut can often fix the problem. If the spin basket was damaged while the spanner nut was loose, replace the spin basket. Also replace the spin basket if it's scratched or damaged by an object left in a laundered garment.

How to replace the spin basket in a top-load washer

A rusted washer spin basket could leave marks on your garments. This DIY repair guide and video show how to easily replace a rusted or damaged spin basket.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 45 minutes or less
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Replace the washer outer wash tub

Replace the washer outer wash tub

The outer washer tub houses the inner metal spin basket. The other tub is stationary and usually made of plastic. The outer tub can leak if it's damaged. Replace the outer tub if an inspection reveals a crack or hole in the tub.

Replace the washer drive motor

Replace the washer drive motor

The washer's drive motor provides the force to rotate the spin basket. It also drives the shaft of the gearcase to move the agitator in a top-load washer. It's either attached to a drive pulley with a belt or is directly attached to the drive shaft. If the motor windings fail or the bearings on the motor lock up, the motor won't run. Replace the drive motor if it's defective.

How to replace the drive motor in a top-load washer

Top-load washer won't spin or agitate? Might be the drive motor. This washer repair guide and video explain how to replace the drive motor in top-load washing machine.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 45 minutes or less
Read more
How to replace the direct-drive motor on a front-load washer

When a direct-drive front-load washer won't spin and displays an error code, it could mean the drive motor has failed. This DIY repair guide shows how to replace the direct-drive motor on a front-load washing machine.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 60 minutes or less
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Replace the washer main control board

Replace the washer main control board

The main electronic control board, also called the mother board, governs the timing and execution of the washer component functions. It controls the fill valves, the drive motor and the drain pump.

How to replace the electronic control board on a top-load washer

A failed top-load washer electronic control board can cause multiple problems, from no display lights to the washer not filling, spinning or draining. If you or a service technician determine that the electronic control is faulty, this repair guide and video show how to replace it.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
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How to replace the machine control board in a front-load washer

A failed front-load washing machine control board has several symptoms, including the washer not starting, filling, spinning or draining. If you or a service technician determine that the machine control board has failed, this repair guide shows how to replace it.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 45 minutes or less
Read more

Symptoms common to all washers

Choose a symptom to see related washer repairs.

Main causes: clogged drain hose, house drain clogged, bad drain pump, water-level pressure switch failure, bad control board or timer
Main causes: bad lid switch or door lock, bad timer or electronic control board, wiring failure, bad water inlet valve assembly
Main causes: unbalanced load, loose spanner nut, worn drive block, broken shock absorber or suspension spring, debris in drain pump
Main causes: worn agitator dogs, bad clutch, broken motor coupler, shifter assembly failure, broken door lock, suspension component failure
Main causes: broken lid switch or lid lock, bad pressure switch, broken shifter assembly, faulty control system
Main causes: leaky water inlet valve, faulty water-level pressure switch, bad electronic control board
Main causes: lack of electrical power, wiring failure, bad power cord, electronic control board failure, bad user interface board
Main causes: water heater failure, bad water temperature switch, faulty control board, bad water valve, faulty water temperature sensor
Main causes: no water supply, bad water valves, water-level pressure switch failure, control system failure, bad door lock or lid switch

Repair guides for front-load washers

How to replace a water inlet valve on a front-load washer

The water valve assembly is the gatekeeper for water entering your front-load washer. You can replace it yourself, following these instructions.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
How to replace the user interface board in a front-load washer

Follow these steps to replace the user interface board in your front-load washer if the buttons or lights are broken.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
How to replace a motor control board on a front-load washer

The motor control board makes sure the motor spins in the right direction and at the right speed. You can install a new motor control board—just follow these 6 steps.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less

Articles and videos common to all washers

Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your washer.

January 13, 2018

Troubleshooting excessive vibration during spin cycle on a washer

By Sears PartsDirect staff

If the washer is a-rockin', we can explain.

October 26, 2016

How to repair broken or damaged wires video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Learn how to repair broken, frayed or damaged wires in your appliances.

January 18, 2016

How to use a multimeter to test electrical parts video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Learn how to use a multimeter to check for wiring problems in an appliance that's not working