How to Replace a Dryer Idler Pulley

 

idler pulley PD_25_110_691366

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.

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.

Repair difficulty:
     
Time required:

Less than 90 min.

Parts Required

  • Replacement idler pulley

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Tools Required

  • Nut driver set
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Putty knife
  • Vacuum cleaner or shop vac
  • Work gloves

Before you begin

Wear work gloves to protect your hands.

Instructions

 Warning: Undertaking repairs to appliances can be hazardous. Use the proper tools and safety equipment noted in the guide and follow all instructions. Do not proceed until you are confident that you understand all of the steps and are capable of completing the repair. Some repairs should only be performed by a qualified technician.

How to replace the idler pulley

Step 1: Shut off the power

Unplug the dryer. If it's a gas dryer, shut off the gas.

Step 2: Remove the lint screen

Pull the lint screen out of the housing in the top panel of the dryer.

Step 3: Remove the lint screen housing screws

Use a Phillips screwdriver to remove the 2 screws that secure the lint screen housing to the top panel.

Step 4: Raise the cabinet top

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. 

Step 5: Disconnect the door switch wire harness

Use a slot screwdriver to release the locking tab on the wire harness plug for the door switch. Disconnect the wire harness. 

Step 6: Remove the front panel

Use a 5/16" 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.

Step 7: Release the drive belt

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. 

Step 8: Remove the idler pulley

Pull the idler pulley out of the bracket in the base of the dryer. 

Step 9: 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.

Step 10: 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.

Step 11: Reconnect the door switch wire harness

Plug the wire harness back into the plug on the door switch. Make sure the locking tab engages properly.

Step 12: Reassemble the dryer

Lower the top panel and snap it into place. Reinstall the screws in the lint duct housing and reinstall the lint screen.

Step 13: 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.