Washer: Making noise or vibrating

If your washer makes a loud noise and/or vibrates when it spins or stops spinning, first check if the load is unbalanced and rearrange the contents to balance the load. If the problem persists, possible causes for a top-load washer are a loose spanner nut on the spin basket, a worn drive block, a bad clutch, a broken shifter assembly, or a damaged spin basket. A loud buzzing noise during agitation and spin accompanied with no agitator or spin basket movement in a direct-drive, top-load washer (a washer whose lid doesn't lock during the wash cycle) indicates that the motor coupler is likely broken.

Sources of unusual noise in a front-load washer include a broken shock absorber, a damaged spin basket, a broken shock absorber and a failed outer tub bearing. If you hear a loud rattling noise as the drain pump runs in a front-load washer, you'll likely find coins or other debris in the drain pump filter. Our video show how to clean out the filter if your washer doesn't have a drain pump access door at the bottom of the front panel.

To avoid noise problems, perform periodic preventive maintenance on your washer. If your washer has a drain pump filter, clean out the filter before debris buildup starts rattling the washer. And don't forget to level the washer cabinet when performing preventive maintenance to avoid vibration noise.

washer

These repairs may help solve your 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 drive block

Replace the washer drive block

The drive block, which attaches to the top of the spin tube, rotates the spin basket when the washer is in spin mode. If the drive block wears out, the basket wobbles and rattles during the spin mode or won't spin at all. Before replacing the drive block, make sure the spanner nut under the agitator that holds the spin basket against the drive block isn't loose. If the spanner nut is tight and the basket still wobbles, replace the drive block.

How to replace the drive block on a top-load washer

If your top-load washer's spin basket rattles and wobbles when spinning, or if it won't spin at all, it could mean the drive block is worn. This repair guide and video explain how to easily replace the drive block.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 60 minutes or less
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Repair or replace the direct-drive washer clutch

Repair or replace the direct-drive washer clutch

The direct-drive washer clutch assembly is mounted above the direct-drive transmission under the outer washer tub. The clutch releases the brake and allows the basket to spin. If the clutch is worn out or isn't releasing the brake properly, either repair the clutch using a clutch band kit or replace it using a clutch replacement kit. A common symptom of a worn-out clutch is wet clothes at the end of the spin cycle because the washer isn't spinning fast enough or at all.

How to replace the clutch assembly in a top-load washer

If the washer spins when the basket is empty but not when the basket is full, the problem could be the clutch assembly. These steps explain how to replace it.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 60 minutes or less
Read more
How to replace the clutch band in a top-load washer

When a top-load washer won't spin when clothes are in the basket but spins okay when it's empty, it could be that the clutch band is worn. This DIY washer repair guide and video explain how to replace the clutch band.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 60 minutes or less
Read more
Repair or replace the washer drain pump

Repair or replace the washer drain pump

The drain pump removes water from the washer at the appropriate times during the wash cycle. The pump's bearing can seize, the seal can fail or the impeller blades can break. The belt on a belt-driven pumps can break, and the pulley can shear off. A humming noise when the washer is full of water is a common symptom of a failing pump. In some cases, you can repair the pump by clearing it of debris, fixing wiring failures or replacing a seal. If the pump can't be repaired or rebuilt, replace it.

How to replace the drain pump in a top-load washer

Is your top-load washer not draining? A faulty drain pump could be to blame. This repair guide and video show how to easily replace the drain pump in a top-load washing machine.

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

Is your front-load washer not draining? The drain pump might be the problem. This DIY repair guide and video explain how to easily replace the drain pump in a front-load washer.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 45 minutes or less
Read more
Replace the washer motor coupler

Replace the washer motor coupler

The motor coupler is a flexible coupling on the motor shaft connection to the direct-drive gearbox. The motor coupler protects the drive motor from damage if the drive system seizes up. If the washer fills and drains but won't agitate or spin even though the drive motor runs (and typically buzzes), replace the motor coupler.

How to replace the motor coupler on a top-load washer

Does your top-load washer drain, but not agitator or spin? The motor coupler might be broken. This easy-to-follow repair guide and video show how to replace a motor coupler in a top-load washing machine.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 60 minutes or less
Read more
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 motor on a direct-drive front-load washing machine.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 60 minutes or less
Read more
Replace the washer shifter assembly

Replace the washer shifter assembly

The shifter assembly-also called the actuator-in a top-load washer is mounted on the bottom of the gearcase. The shifter assembly's motor shifts the drive system between the agitation mode and the spin mode. A sensor on the shifter monitors the position of the drive system during the wash cycle. If the motor, sensor or mechanical parts of the shifter assembly fail, the washer stops and signal an error code. Replace the shifter assembly if it malfunctions.

How to replace the shifter assembly in a top-load washer

If your top-load washer won't agitate and displays an error code, it's possible the shifter assembly has failed. This DIY repair guide and video explain how to replace the shifter assembly on a top-load washer.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 45 minutes or less
Read more
Replace the washer gearcase

Replace the washer gearcase

In a direct-drive top-load washer, the gearcase drives the agitator and the spin basket.The washer gearcase has internal gears that create the agitation motion. For the spinning motion of the spin basket, it shifts the drive shaft and spins the drive tube. If the gearcase in a direct-drive washer locks up or it doesn't work properly in the agitation or spin mode, replace it. The gearcase typically makes a grinding noise and may leak oil when it's failed.

How to replace the gear case in a top-load washer

If your top-load washer won't agitate or spin, and it makes a grinding sound, the gear case might be the problem. This easy-to-follow repair guide and video show how to replace the gear case in a top-load washing machine.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 60 minutes or less
Read more
Replace a washer shock absorber

Replace a washer shock absorber

Shock absorbers absorb the vibrations and movements of the outer washer tub on a front-load washer. The shock absorbers also hold the outer tub in place to prevent damage, while allowing reasonable movement during spin and agitation modes. A common symptom of a failing shock absorber is knocking and tub instability at high spin speeds. If the shock absorbers don't maintain the stability of the tub, replace them.

Regular washer preventive maintenance check

Regular washer preventive maintenance check

A service technician does a regular preventive maintenance check, examining the washer for potential problems and testing the functions of the washer. The technician makes adjustments to maximize the efficiency and ensure smooth operation of the washer.

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.

Symptoms common to all washers

Choose a symptom to see related washer repairs.

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

February 1, 2018
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