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9 Washing Machine Parts to Troubleshoot When Things Go Wrong

Washing machine door

All Moving Parts Are Subject to Wear

The typical washing machine lasts 10-15 years — longer if you treat it well and shorter if you abuse it with heavy loads or run it several times a week.

Some brands are more durable than others, but every washer will wear down eventually, even washers known for their reliability.

So what happens then? Do you replace or repair your old washer?

That depends on the age of the machine, how much life is left in it, and the cost of repair versus replacement.

Some repairs are surprisingly affordable, and some can be handled DIY (do-it-yourself).

We’ll go over a list of washing machine parts to troubleshoot and advise you on what to do when something goes wrong.

1. The Washing Machine Motor

The motor of a washing machine drives the real action: agitation and spinning, the two things most responsible for scrubbing your clothes.

The motor usually sits at the bottom of the machine and drives a belt (or several belts) to spin the drum or agitator.

If your motor emits strange noises, struggles to start, or just plain fails to run, you should first check that it has power and that any belts are correctly connected.

If the problems persist, you may have to replace the washing machine motor.

Is it a DIY repair to replace the motor? Probably not. Call us.

2. The Washing Machine Agitator

The agitator rests inside the drum of your washer. Bars or paddles extend from it to agitate your clothes during a wash cycle.

A direct-drive motor or a belt connected to the main washing machine motor moves the agitator.

If your agitator isn’t spinning, it may be jammed with clothing or something caught between the agitator bars.

You can try to remove these obstructions yourself, but if you continue having problems with your agitator, you may need to replace it.

DIY repair? Maybe, depending on the machine.

3. The Washing Machine Drive Belt

The drive belt connects the motor to the drum, spinning it at high speeds during rinse cycles.

The older your washer is, the more likely the belt will wear out and even break over time — especially if you run heavy or frequent loads.

DIY repair to replace the belt? Maybe, depending on your handiness and motivation.

4. The Washing Machine Drum & Bearings

The drum holds your clothes and other objects during a washing cycle, while the bearings support its spinning motion.

If you hear loud banging or clanking noises from within your washer’s drum during spin cycles, there may be a problem with the inner wash basket’s bearings or outer tub shell. You’ll probably have to call us in for this one, but you can check the rest of your machine out on your own first (just make sure you unplug it before doing so).

5. The Washing Machine Hoses & Filters

You should always equip your washing machine with leak-proof hoses. They cost a little more, but cheap hoses will cause a huge mess if they spring a leak.

You should also check your filters regularly and clean them to keep water flowing smoothly through your washer.

DIY repair to replace hoses and filters? Yes. You don’t need us for this one.

6. The Washing Machine Door Switch

The door switch signals to your machine when it’s closed and whether or not it’s safe to begin running a cycle.

If this switch fails, the machine won’t always start properly — so be sure to test it by pressing it (or probing its wiring) in case of problems before contacting an appliance repair professional.

7. The Drain Pump

The drain pump helps expel water from your washing machine.

If you notice water building up in the tub or leaking onto the floor during a wash cycle, you should first check for blockages around the drain pump. Things like lint, hair, and small articles of clothing can prevent it from working.

If that doesn’t fix the problem, you may need to replace your washing machine’s drain pump.

DIY repair? Maybe. We wouldn’t recommend it, but some folks are handier (and brave) than others.

8. The Water Inlet Valve

The water inlet valve controls the amount of water flowing into your washer during each cycle by opening and closing according to the settings you select on your machine’s control panel.

When the water inlet valve fails, you may notice leaks around it and lower water pressure during each cycle.

It will probably need to be replaced by a repair technician if it starts having problems, so call us right away if you suspect something is wrong.

9. The Washing Machine Control Panel

The washing machine control panel displays settings during each wash cycle (temperature, time remaining, etc.). It lets you choose those settings manually or by programming your machine before starting a wash cycle.

If your control panel goes on the fritz, you’ll have trouble properly operating your washer — but fortunately, this is one of the easier problems that can be diagnosed and fixed at home.

DIY repair to replace the control panel? No way! Let us handle it — your safety should come first.

When to Call for Professional Appliance Repair

Never try a repair if there’s even a small risk that something could go wrong and cause you harm or damage your appliance further. Leave these jobs to professional technicians!

Call us at West Coast Chief Repair. We offer same-day service if you call us before noon, and in most cases, we can repair your machine in a single service call.