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Washer Making Noise or Vibrating? All the Easy Fixes You Need to Know

Washer Making Noise or Vibrating? All the Easy Fixes You Need to Know

You just tossed your clothes in the washer, added detergent and started the wash cycle. Then the machine starts to vibrate or make loud noise. Don't stress. First check to make sure the load is balanced. If that doesn't stop it, there are a few fixes that can solve the problem. Our friends at Sears Parts Direct have some solutions to get your washing machine running smoothly again.

Washing Machine Vibrating or Making Noise

Potential Fixes


Repair or Replace the Spin Basket

The spin basket is the perforated container that sits in the outer tub and holds all your laundry. There are couple of issues that can lead to a faulty spin basket. The spanner nut can loosen over time, causing the basket not to rotate properly. Tightening the spanner nut should fix this problem. However, if the basket becomes damaged from the loose nut or another object left in your clothes, you'll need to replace the entire basket.


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Learn more about replacing the spin basket
from Sears Parts Direct.

washer spin basket

Washer Drive Block

Replace the Drive Block

The drive block is a key component that makes your washer spin. This part is attached to the top of the spin tube and rotates the spin basket. When the drive block wears out or break, the basket could wobble, rattle or stop spinning. Make sure the spanner nut is tight before replacing this part. If you fasten the spanner nut but still hear a loud noise, replace the drive block.


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Learn more about replacing a drive block
from Sears Parts Direct.

Repair or Replace the Direct-Drive Washer Clutch

Mounted above the direct-drive transmission under the outer washer tub is were your washer's direct-drive washer clutch assembly lives. When the clutch releases the brake on the spin basket, it spins during the spin cycle. Your machine's noises and vibrations could be from a worn out clutch or improper releasing from the brake. Aside from the noise, you also will know it's a broken clutch because your laundry will still be wet at the end of the spin. You can fix this issue using a clutch band kit or a full clutch replacement kit. 


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Learn how to replace the clutch assembly
and replace the clutch band from Sears Parts Direct.

Direct-Drive Washer Clutch

Washer Drain Pump

Repair or Replace the Drain Pump

Your washer's drain pump is a vital compontent to the machine. This part removes water during specific times of the wash cycle. There are few issues that lead to noises and vibrations, including seized bearings, failed seals or broken impeller blades. If your machine has a belt-driven pump, the belt and pulley can break. A faulty drain pump creates a humming noise when the washer is full of water. Sometimes, all you need to do is clear the pump of debris, fix a wire issue or replace the seal. If it can't be repaired, then you'll need to replace the entire pump.


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Learn about replacing a drain pump on your front-load washer and top-load washer from Sears Parts Direct.

Replace the Motor Coupler

The motor coupler is what protects a washer's drive motor from damage if the drive system halts. This part is a flexible coupling found on the motor shaft's connection to the direct-drive gearbox. If the motor is running but but won't agitate or spin when the washer fills and drains, then you'll need to replace the motor coupler.


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Learn more about replacing the motor coupler
from Sears Parts Direct.


Washer Motor Coupler

Washer Drive Motor

Replace the Drive Motor

The drive motor delivers the force that rotates a top-load washer's spin basket and drives the shaft of the gear case to move the agitator. Your machine's drive motor is either attached to a drive pulley with a belt or directly attached to the drive shaft. If the windings fail or a bearing on the motor locks up, The motor won't run if the windings give out or a bearing locks up. When either malfunction occurs, the part will need to be replaced.


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Learn how to replace the drive motor on a front-load washer
or top-load washer from Sears Parts Direct.

Replace the Shifter Assembly

The shifter assembly or actuator is found in top-load models. This part is mounted on the bottom of the gearcase and shifts the drive system between agitation and spin modes. If the motor, sensor or mechanical parts of the assembly fail, the washer will stop and signal an error code. When this happens, then the assembly should be replaced.


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Learn more about replacing the shifter assembly
from Sears Parts Direct.

Washer Shifter Assembly

Washer Gearcase

Replace the Gearcase

If you own a direct-drive top-load washer, a gearcase is the component that drives the agitator. When in spin mode, the gears will shift the drive shaft and spin the drive tube. If the gearcase locks up or breaks it will likely make a grinding noise or possibly leak oil. When you notice either of those, it's time to replace it.


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Learn more about replacing a gearcase
from Sears Parts Direct.

Replace the Basket Drive

The basket drive houses your washing machine's brake mechanism for the spin basket, and it has the spring tube shaft that rotates the basket. This part sits on top of the transmission and clutch assembly. When it fails, the washer will stop spinning and start making a screeching or squealing noise.


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Learn more about replacing the washer basket drive
from Sears Parts Direct.

Washer Basket Drive

Washer Shock Absorber

Replace the Shock Absorber

The shock absorber is made to reduce the transfer of vibration and movement of the outer wash tub on a front-load washing machine. It also is designed to hold the tub in place while still allowing enough movement for spinning. You'll know this piece is worn or has failed by a knocking sound and tub instability during high spin cycle periods.


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Replace the Drive Belt

Certain washer models have drive systems designed with a belt that delivers the rotation to the drive motor pulley and gearcase. If you hear the motor running but the spin basket or agitator isn't moving, then the belt is probably broken. Always check to see if the belt is worn during regular maintenance checks.


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Washer Drive Belt

outer wash tub

Replace the Outer Wash Tub

This part is what holds the metal spinner basked. A cracked outer wash tub can cause leaks and damage many of the other parts within the washer if it's broken. Check the outer tub for a crack or hole, and replace it necessary.

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Do Regular Preventatvie Maintenance Checks

Routinely checking your washing machine can help you avoid major issues before they can cause serious damage. Always check the leveling feet to ensure your washer is level and look for cracks, scrapes and dents. For more techincal problems, reach out to a service technician to perform preventative maintenance checks. Your technician can spot any potential issues and test your washer's various functions to ensure smooth operation.

Washer Leveling Feet