Laundry Center: Washer won't agitate or spin

A failed lid switch or lid lock assembly can prevent the washer from agitating and spinning. A bad drive motor, broken motor coupler, failed timer or a bad electronic control board can also cause this problem.

If the washer doesn't start to agitate after the tub fills with water, a failed lid switch or bad lid lock assembly could be preventing the motor from running. Control systems in laundry centers vary so some laundry center washers will agitate without the lid locked, but the washer drive motor will stop if you lift the washer lid. Some laundry center washers will continue to agitate if you lift the lid but won't spin if the lid isn't shut and/or locked. Refer to the wiring diagram for your laundry center to determine how the lid switch or lid lock assembly controls current supply to the washer drive motor during agitation and spin modes. You can typically find the wiring diagram in the laundry center console (also known as the control panel) or as a page of the parts list diagram. If the lid switch or lid lock assembly prevents the washer drive motor from running in both agitation and spin modes, unplug the laundry center and use a multimeter to check continuity through the lid switch or lid lock assembly with the washer lid closed and/or locked. Replace the lid switch or lid lock assembly if the meter doesn't measure continuity through the lid switch or lid lock assembly with the lid closed and/or locked.

If the lid switch or lid lock assembly is okay, then a bad timer or failed electronic control board may not be sending current to the drive motor, preventing the washer from agitating or spinning.

If the washer in your laundry center uses a timer to control washer functions, unplug the laundry center and check for continuity through the timer contacts that send current to the drive motor during the spin and agitation modes. Use the wiring diagram for your laundry center as a guide for which contact spades to check on the timer. If your meter doesn't measure continuity through the timer's drive motor contacts, replace the timer.

If your laundry center uses an electronic control board to manage washer operations, then the electronic control board will typically signal an error code when the control board detects a part failure that prevents the washer motor from running. If the control signals an error code, look up the information for the code on the error code chart for your laundry center. Once you find and repair the cause of the error code, the washer drive motor should run.

If the electronic control board doesn't signal an error code when the motor doesn't run, unplug the laundry center and check the control board for a burned spot. Replace the electronic control board if you find a burned spot because that indicates a circuit board failure.

If the timer or electronic control board sends current to the washer drive motor but the drive motor doesn't run, then you may need to replace the washer drive motor.

laundry center

These repairs may help solve your laundry center problem

Replace the laundry center lid lock assembly

Replace the laundry center lid lock assembly

The lid lock assembly is a safety device that senses if the washer lid is shut and locks the lid shut during the spin cycle. The lid lock switch shuts off the washer motor if the lid is lifted during agitation. If the lid lock fails to detect that the lid is shut or fails to lock the lid during the spin cycle, replace the lid lock assembly.

How to replace a laundry center washer lid lock switch

If your laundry center washer fills with water but won't agitate, the lid lock switch could be to blame. This repair guide and video show how to replace a laundry center lid lock switch in just 15 minutes.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
Read more
Replace the laundry center washer drive motor

Replace the laundry center 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. The washer drive motor is 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 fails.

How to replace a laundry center washer drive motor

If your laundry center washer won't spin or agitate, the washer could need a new drive motor. This repair guide and video explain how to replace a laundry center washer drive motor, with step-by-step instructions.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 45 minutes or less
Read more
Replace the laundry center washer timer

Replace the laundry center washer timer

The washer timer controls the washer components. Also called a cycle selector, the timer has a motor that advances the internal cams inside the timer body. The cams open and close electrical contacts to energize and de-energize components during the wash cycle. A control knob on the stem of the timer lets you select cycles on the timer. If the timer motor doesn-t advance or the contacts are defective in the timer, replace the timer.

July 1, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a laundry center washer timer

If your laundry center washer won't advance through the fill, wash, drain or spin cycles, the washer timer could be the problem. This repair guide and video show how to replace a laundry center washer timer in 6-quick steps.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
Read more

Symptoms common to all laundry centers

Choose a symptom to see related laundry center repairs.

Main causes: blocked exhaust vent, clogged lint screen, bad timer, moisture sensing problems, weak gas valve coils, bad heating element
Main causes: control system failure, broken heating element, bad gas valve coils, gas supply failure, voltage supply problem, blown fuse
Main causes: bad lid switch or lid lock, drive motor failure, broken motor coupler, bad timer, faulty electronic control board
Main causes: broken lid switch or lid lock, faulty drive motor, drain system problem, broken drive system components
Main causes: door not fully shut, bad door switch, faulty push-to-start switch, wiring failure, bad drive motor, blown fuse, control failure
Main causes: unbalanced load, broken suspension springs or shocks, worn snubber ring
Main causes: clogged drain system, blocked drain hose, bad drain pump
Main causes: broken dryer drive belt, weak drive motor, binding drum seals
Main causes: lack of water supply, failed lid switch or lid lock, bad water level pressure switch, control system failure, bad water valve

Repair guides common to all laundry centers

These step-by-step repair guides will help you safely fix what’s broken on your laundry center.

How to replace a laundry center washer drive motor

If the motor doesn’t run, you can replace it in less than an hour.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 45 minutes or less
How to replace a laundry center washer snubber ring

If the washer tub bangs the cabinet during the spin cycle even though the load is balanced, you might need to replace the snubber ring in the base of the washer.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
How to replace a laundry center washer lid lock switch

If the washer fills but won’t start the agitation cycle, the lid lock switch could be defective.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less

Articles and videos common to all laundry centers

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

June 5, 2018

Displaying error codes on Kenmore and Frigidaire laundry centers

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Step-by-step directions for entering the diagnostic test mode.

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