How to Fix a Washing Machine That Won’t Spin

A front-loading washer

Is there anything worse than a washing machine that won’t work when your entire wardrobe is in the hamper?

Yes, but it’s still frustrating to someone forced to wear the same smelly socks three days in a row.

Don’t sit there and stew. Take action!

And before calling in the cavalry (or, ahem, appliance repair technician), you might want to check a few things on your own.

The “Duh” DIY “Repairs”

First, make sure that your washer is plugged in and receiving power. If it’s plugged in but still not running, check your circuit breaker or fuse box to ensure there’s power at the outlet.

Next, examine your washing machine’s door to ensure it’s closed tight and latched shut. If the door is ajar, your washing machine won’t start. Or spin. Or do anything but look gorgeous in your newly remodeled laundry room.

Now that we’ve dealt with the obvious, let’s move on to several more complicated problems, some of which you may be able to fix DIY, while others will demand the services of an appliance professional.

A Damaged Motor Coupling

The motor coupling is a small plastic piece between the motor and the transmission. It “couples” the motor and the transmission, transferring power from one to the other.

If the motor coupling is worn or damaged, it won’t be able to transfer power efficiently, and the washing machine won’t spin.

The Fix

  • Remove the washer cabinet to access the motor. You’ll find the coupling on the motor shaft.
  • Disconnect the wiring harness and unscrew the bolts holding the motor coupling in place.
  • Take the coupling to a local appliance parts store for an exact replacement.
  • Install the new coupling according to specifications and reassemble the washer.
  • Sound like too much work? Call us instead. We’re only 10 digits away.

A Malfunctioning Door Lock

All front-loading washing machines have locks to secure the door during operation. These locks are subject to wear and tear.

A faulty door lock will prevent the washing machine from starting. Or it may interrupt the spin cycle because it can’t make an electrical circuit.

The Fix

  • The door lock is located behind the control panel.
  • To access it, open the washing machine door and remove two screws at the top of the opening.
  • Carefully pull back the control panel to reveal the door lock assembly.
  • Check for damage and replace the door lock if necessary.

A Faulty Lid Switch

A lid switch is to a top-loading washer what a door lock is to a front-loader. The machine won’t run or spin if the lid switch isn’t engaged.

Not all top-loading washers have lid switches, but most new models do.

The Fix

  • You’ll find the lid switch on the side of the washer near the door.
  • To access it, open the washing machine door and locate two screws at the top of the opening.
  • Remove these screws and carefully pull back the control panel to reveal the lid switch assembly.
  • Check for damage and replace the lid switch if necessary.
  • If the lid switch isn’t damaged, check the wiring harness to ensure that it’s connected securely.
  • If the wiring harness is loose, call a professional for repair.

An Important Safety Note

With both lid and door locks, you might be tempted to bypass the safety features to get your machine running right away. Please don’t do this! The safety features are there for a reason.

A Worn Clutch

The clutch engages the washing machine’s drive system. Over time, it can wear out, making it impossible for the drive system to engage without slipping.

When this happens, the washer won’t spin or agitate.

Chances are, you’ll notice a scraping sound long before the spin cycle quits. This scraping noise is the first sign of trouble.

The Fix

  • Remove the washer cabinet to access the transmission. You’ll see the clutch on the input shaft of the transmission.
  • Disconnect the wiring harness and unscrew the bolts holding the clutch in place.
  • Take the clutch to a local appliance parts store for an exact replacement.
  • Install the new clutch according to specifications and reassemble the washer.
  • Too much work? Call us instead.

A Slipped or Snapped Drive Belt

The drive belt is a long, narrow band that wraps around the drums of both top- and front-loading washing machines.

It transfers power from the motor to the drum, agitating and spinning it.

A slipped or broken drive belt will prevent the washer from spinning. In some cases, it may also prevent the washer from agitating.

The Fix

  • If you have a top-loading machine, you’ll need to remove the cabinet to access the drive belt.
  • For a front-loading machine, open the door and look for a panel near the bottom of the washer. This panel will give you access to the drive belt.
  • Check it for breaks or cracks once you can see the drive belt.
  • If the drive belt is damaged, call a professional for repair.

A Worn Drive Pulley

The drive pulley is a small wheel that sits on the end of the motor shaft. It transfers power from the motor to the drive belt.

If the drive pulley is worn or damaged, it won’t be able to transfer power effectively, and the washing machine won’t spin.

The Fix

  • Remove the washer cabinet to access the motor. The drive pulley is located on the end of the motor shaft.
  • Unscrew the bolts that hold the drive pulley in place.
  • Take it to a local appliance parts store for an exact replacement.
  • Install the new pulley according to specifications and reassemble the washer.

A Worn Transmission

The transmission is a complex assembly of gears, pulleys, and belts that transfer power from the motor to the drive system.

If any of these components are damaged, the washing machine won’t spin.

The Fix

  • Remove the washer cabinet to access the transmission.
  • Disconnect the wiring harness and unscrew the bolts holding the transmission in place.
  • Once you’ve removed the transmission, take it to a local appliance parts store for an exact replacement.
  • Install the new transmission according to specifications and reassemble the washer.

A Damaged Motor

The motor is the heart of the washing machine, and if it’s damaged, the machine won’t run. Period.

The Fix

  • Troubleshooting and repairing or replacing a motor is beyond the abilities of most DIYers. Call for professional repair.

Is Your Washing Machine Still Not Spinning?

Appliance repairs can be dangerous. Always disconnect the power to the washing machine before beginning any repair.

If you’ve checked all of the above and your washing machine still won’t spin, it’s time to call a professional for help.

Is Your Washing Machine Still Not Spinning?

If you’ve checked all of the above and your washing machine still won’t spin, it’s time to call a professional for help.

West Coast Chief Repair: Always Here for You

West Coast Chief has been repairing washers, dryers, air conditioners, and other appliances since 1995. Not the same job since 1995, mind you — we’re much faster than that!

  • We offer same-day repair if you call us before noon.
  • We back up every job with some of the best warranties and guarantees in metro Los Angeles.
  • We hire only experienced, licensed technicians.

Call us today!

 

 

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