How To Diagnose and Fix a Noisy Washing Machine

Noisy Washer

If you have a noisy washer in the spin cycle you may feel like your house is falling apart. However, it is a clear clue that something isn't right. It could be that a part needs to be replaced or something may just need to be tightened. If you're not afraid to do a little troubleshooting, you may find that the problem isn't as difficult to repair as you thought.

Many washing machine parts can be purchased thru online merchants such as Amazon, and frequently at a discount. Knowing your washer's model number can help you select the right part for your machine. On the top of each part's page, simply enter in your model number. Amazon will compare the part you are viewing to your specific washer and let you know if it's compatible. This should give you confidence that you're ordering the correct part for your machine and quickly help you resolve your noisy washer crisis!

 Spin Cycle Noisy Washer Issues

Shock Absorbers (Front Load)

Front loading washing machines use shock absorbers to center the tub movement when spinning.

The shock absorber connects the outer tub to the washer frame. Over time the shock absorber will weaken and no longer be able to perform it's task effectively, when this happens a loud bang can be heard. 

How to Replace Shock Absorbers

Suspension Rods (Top Load)

Suspension rods  (or dampening straps) are used on top load washing machines to keep the tub centered. When the washer is spinning a loud noise can be heard if a spring should become weak or out of place. 

You may be able to reattach the spring, but most likely you'll need to purchase a new suspension rod.

How to Replace Suspension Rods

How to Replace Dampening Straps

Belt

A common noisy washer problem that occurs during the spin cycle is when the drive belt shows signs of wear. When the belt is worn out it needs to be replaced since it can not be repaired. Fortunately, replacing a washer drive belt is inexpensive and relatively easy.

How to Replace the Drive Belt

Washer Motor Pulley

A faulty drive pulley may be the cause of loud noises during your washer's spin cycle. Many washers use a pulley for the belt to ride upon in order to spin the tub of the washer. These pulleys are generally made of metal or plastic and overtime they will wear out.  It could also be that the pulley is loose and not capable of placing the proper amount of pressure on the belt.

You'll need to disassemble the washer and inspect the pulley. If you find that it is damaged or showing signs of excessive wear a new motor pulley should solve your noisy washer problem.

How to Replace the Motor Pulley

Motor Coupler

The washing machine's transmission is connected to the motor by the motor coupler. It's designed to protect the motor and the transmission from damage by breaking if the washer should become overloaded.  The coupler is made of plastic and is relatively easy to replace. Once the coupler is replaced your noisy washer should be quiet again.

How to Replace the Motor Coupler

Transmission

The transmission gear case can make strange noises if it's not functioning properly.  When working as it should, it sits quietly during the pump out cycle. However, it's responsible for the back and forth movement of the agitator shaft during the wash cycle, as well as spinning the basket during the spin cycle. 

If the transmission on your washer goes out it's generally more cost effective to simply purchase a new washing machine. Fixing a transmission is expensive  and it's seldom worth the investment. Plus, purchasing a new washer will not only give you all the latest bells and whistles, but they are usually more energy efficient and use less water and detergent.

How to Replace the Transmission

Main Tub Bearing

The main tub bearing allows the tub to move freely without any resistance. When this bearing wears it will produce a loud grinding noise during the spin cycle. If you notice that the noise your washer makes is getting louder as time passes, it's a good indication that the main tub bearing is the culprit and it's rapidly approaching complete failure.

The main tub bearing has multiple tiny metal balls within a circular frame. The balls ride in a track as the washer spins. When the tub bearing begins to breakdown the balls frequently fall from their housing. As the bearing breaks down and loses it's internal metal balls it begins to make a noise.

How to Replace the Main Tub Bearing (Top Load)

Front Load - Open the door and hand turn the drum. The main tub bearing is likely defective if the drum spins unevenly or you hear a rubbing sound. 

However, if you hear a squeaking noise (verses grinding) it could be that the bearing  just needs lubrication. If the bearing is lubricated with mechanical grease the sound should go away. If the problem is not resolved the squeaking can soon become a grinding noise and an indication that the bearing is falling apart and will soon need to be replaced. 

Replacing a defective bearing should be done as soon as possible before further damage occurs. If not repaired in a timely manner the tub may also need to be replaced. We highly recommend hiring a professional to do the work for you, as replacing the main tub bearing can be very difficult.​

How to Replace the Main Tub Bearing (Front Load)

Clutch

The clutch connects the transmission to the inner tub and allows the washer to reach the correct spin RPM gradually. A worn clutch can not be repaired and will need to be replaced.

How to Replace the Clutch

Drain Pump

If your drain pump is damaged or clogged your washer may make a loud noise periodically during the spin cycle. Remove the drain pump and clear any obstructions that could be restricting the drain pump. If the pump is broken, it will need to be replaced, but more often than not, the pump is simply clogged. 

How to Replace a Drain Pump

Agitator Directional Cogs (Top Load)

The cogs (also known as dog ears) engage the inner area of the agitator as it moves clockwise, then release when the agitator reverses and moves counter-clockwise. The agitator directional cogs allow the bottom part of the agitator to agitate in both directions, while the top is limited to one direction.

As the cogs wear out a grinding noise can be heard as they begin to slip. You may also notice that the upper part of the agitator isn't moving smoothly. Remove the upper half of the agitator and replace the cogs if needed.

How to Replace a Agitator Directional Cogs