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 happen to 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. Watch this video to see 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.

These repairs may help solve your Washer problem:

Repair or replace the washer spin basket

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.

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

Replace the washer drive block

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.

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

Repair or replace the direct-drive washer clutch

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.

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

Repair or replace the washer drain pump

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.

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

Replace the washer motor coupler

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.

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

Replace the washer drive motor

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.

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

Replace the washer shifter assembly

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.

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

Replace the washer gearcase

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.

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

Replace a washer shock absorber

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.

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

Regular washer preventive maintenance check

Leveling feet

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.

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

Replace the washer outer wash tub

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.

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