5 Reasons Why Dryer Shutting Off After A Few Minutes

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The clothes dryer is one of the most useful appliances in your home. However, sometimes these machines will encounter problems that prevent them from working properly.

Are you dealing with a dryer that shuts off after only a few minutes of running?

This can be enough to give you a headache!

Today we will discuss what may be causing this and how you can fix the problem.

Here is a list of possible issues when your dryer shutting off after a couple of minutes:

  • Dryer Motor Overheating (Most Common)
  • Faulty Door Latch Or Switch
  • Moisture Sensor Wires Came Off or Oxidized
  • Drum Belt Broke
  • Broken Idler Pulley or Tension Roller

Dryer Motor Overheating

If your dryer stops after only a few minutes, it may be caused by the motor overheating.

The most common cause a dryer motor will overheat is it’s faulty and needs to be replaced.

Sometimes this will cause a noticeable buzzing sound before the motor actually stops working.

When you encounter a dryer that stops before the cycle is finished, it’s best to start by waiting 30 minutes to an hour before trying to use it again.

If it restarts after the cool down period after 2-5 minutes by itself, the motor is probably the cause.

Here’s how to replace the motor:

  1. Disconnect the power
  2. If your machine has a lower access panel, remove it
  3. Remove the lint filter and the screws underneath of it
  4. Pull the machine away from the wall
  5. Remove the top panel
  6. Disconnect the wires that go to the door switch
  7. Remove the front panel from your dryer
  8. Use your left hand to grasp the idler pulley. Push the pulley back and slip the belt off the motor pulley with your other hand
  9. Lift the idler pulley from it’s mounting bracket
  10. Leave the belt on the drum, but grasp the drum and remove it from the cabinet
  11. Notate where the wires connect to the motor and remove them
  12. Loosen the blower wheel and allow it to rest in the housing
  13. Install the new motor and work backwards through these steps to reassemble your dryer

Faulty Door Latch

Modern dryers feature door switches that won’t allow the machine to work when the door is open.

Over time the door latch can become worn, thus allowing the door to open during cycles. When this occurs the dryer will stop running immediately.

If this keeps happening to you, the easiest thing to do is replace the faulty door latch.

Replacing this part is easy. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Disconnect the power
  2. Open the dryer door and remove from its hinges
  3. Remove all screws going around the door to take it apart
  4. Take the two door halves apart
  5. Use pliers to remove the door latch
  6. Install the new door latch
  7. Reassemble the dryer door
  8. Remove the old door catch and replace with the new one
  9. Mount the door back on the dryer and your problem should be fixed

Issues with the Moisture Sensor Wires

Dryers also have what’s called a moisture sensor which checks to see how much moisture is left inside the drum.

When this part fails it will cause the machine to lose signal from the sensor to the control board and the dryer will stop within 5 minutes of operation, “thinking” that clothes already dry.

While the machine will say the cycle is done, your clothes will still be wet.

Here’s how to locate and repair this part:

  1. Disconnect the power
  2. Pull the dryer away from the wall, so you can access the back of it
  3. Remove the screws that hold the top on
  4. Pull the top back about an inch, lift to remove, and set aside
  5. Remove the wiring harness from the control board
  6. Remove the screws that hold the control panel in place
  7. Pull the control panel out, remove the last wiring harness, and lay the panel on top of the dryer
  8. Open the dryer door and remove the screws that hold the lint screen housing onto the front panel
  9. Close the door
  10. Use pliers to bend the locking tab that holds the front panel on
  11. Remove the screws holding the front panel on. Make sure to hold the panel when taking out the last screw
  12. Unplug the wiring harness for the door switch and remove the front panel, set aside
  13. You should now see the moisture sensor wiring harness on the right side. Reach in and unplug
  14. Take out the mounting plate with pliers
  15. Pull the lint screen out and set aside
  16. Remove the screws holding the grill in place, remove the part and set aside
  17. Pull the lint filter guide out
  18. Remove the wiring harness from the moisture sensor
  19. Install the new wiring harness and move backward through the steps to reassemble your machine

Broken Drum Belt

If your dryer stops after only a few minutes, and will not restart the first thing you should check is the drum belt.

This belt goes around the drum, idler pulley, and the motor pulley. As the armature on the motor spins, the belt rotates the dryer drum, thus tumbling your clothes.

If you can hear that the motor not turning on and the drum not spinning, this is a clear sign your belt is broken.

The belt can wear out over time through normal use, and when it breaks the dryer will not work again until the part is replaced.

Here’s how to change a broken drum belt:

  1. Disconnect the power
  2. Remove the top panel from your dryer and lean it back against the wall for support
  3. Remove the screws that hold the front panel of the dryer in place
  4. Support the front panel against the side of the cabinet
  5. Release the belt from the idler pulley
  6. Release the belt from the motor pulley
  7. Grasp the belt firmly and pull up with it to release the drum bearing
  8. Remove the front guide
  9. Slide the drum forward through the opening enough to get the belt off the back of the drum
  10. Install the new belt
  11. Drape it around the drum with the groove side against the drum
  12. Take care not to get the belt into the grease on the rear of the drum shaft
  13. Slide the drum back
  14. Lift it up and locate the tumbler shaft into the rear bearing
  15. Line the belt up
  16. Reach in and run the belt through the idler pulley and motor pulley
  17. Release the tension on the idler to snug the belt up
  18. Move backward to reassemble your machine

Broken Idler Pulley

If you have the problem where your dryer shuts off within 5 minutes of operating, and it will not start again, but the belt isn’t broken, then you’ve probably got a broken idler pulley.

Using the same steps above to disassemble the machine, do so until you locate the idler pulley. Now, look closely at it to inspect for damages.

If you see noticeable damages, or if it no longer maintains the required tension, replace it. After this part is replaced the dryer should work normally.

Have you owned a dryer that kept shutting off after only a few minutes? Did you encounter a problem that we didn’t discuss? If so, please comment below – we’d love to hear your thoughts.

Reader Comments (73)

  1. Hi eujene my daughter has a zanussi lindo300 xxl 8kg condenserdryer the water tank light was flashing in which she emptied x turned dryer back on a keeps cutting out have cleaned all filters and she says it sounds as though she got water slushing about at back

  2. Hi Eugene,

    I have a Hoover Vision HD Mega 9kg (VHC391T-80) dryer and about 40-45 minutes into the cycle it just stops the machine beeps and ‘start’ indicator light blinks (its the machines default position). Normally when the cycle manages to finish properly the ‘stop’ light is lit. To be able to restart it I have to switch it off with ‘on/off’ button, then press start and starts up again. During the cycle the ‘filter care’ light blinks every time the pump is operational, but I have taken it apart and cleaned it properly, also condenser and lint filter are clean. I replaced the heating element a few months ago and the machine worked fine until now (there is still heat in the machine so that should be fine). Overheating has been the problem in the past so nowadays I always leave the backdoor open so theres proper ventillation. Could you suggest anything what could be at fault? Thank you so much.


      • It does, because even when it cuts off after 45 minutes the clothes are only a little bit damp, so I am guessing probably it would need an other 25-30 minutes to properly finish the cycle. But unforuntately just now it just beeps and stops with ‘start’ indicator flashing…

      • Does it cuts off after 45 minutes all the time or sometimes earlier or later?
        Does the door close firmly?

      • Firstly, thank you so much for you taking the time and responding to me. 2 out of 10 times the cycle finishes properly. 5 out of 10 it cuts off at around 40 minutes. And 3 out of 10 times it stops like 20 minutes in. Roughly 🙂 The door clicks and shuts firmly. I checked the door lock and it looked fine to me…

      • The dryer has a control board with a moisture sensor connected to it (sensor located inside the drum). Depends on the moisture level inside the drum, the control board will increase or decrease dry time. I assume, if dry time fluctuates, the problem can be with : 1.Moisture sensor/plate 2.Moisture sensor wiring
        Also, make sure the condensation unit is clean and not clogged by lint.

      • And it always seem to stop, when its in between ‘tumble cycles’ (dont know what to call it) so when I can hear the pump at work….

  3. Hi Eugene, have a GE dryer, changed out front bearing and slides and now the dryer will run about 5 mins, stop and then start back on it’s own after about a minute..
    I can also open the door and press the door switch button and dryer will start and when I let it go, it stops like it suppose to,but when I press it again, it won’t start. All this started after replacing bearing and slides.

  4. I have a Samsung dryer front load and it stops at around 4 1/2 minutes and goes from an hour drying cycle to saying one minute and then says it’s ending..

  5. I have a GE dryer. Doesn’t matter what setting I put the dryer on it will run a minute and a half and stop. This started after I cleaned the trapped lint underneath the lint screen. I’ve notice also the dryer seems to be off balance not sure if that’s necessary to the issue.

  6. I have a three year old Kenmore stackable gas dryer and the dryer will only run for about 30 seconds and then shuts off I had no problems with it yesterday this just happened today tried troubleshooting everything I can think of and can’t find out what the problem is and he answers

  7. I have a GE dryer model GHDP490EF1WW which stops running after 2 minutes and is hot to the touch. After it cools off, it will run a full cycle and dry the clothes. The lint line is completely clean. The door latches. Any suggestions?

  8. I have a GE model GHDP490EF1WW which stops running after 2 minutes. The dryer is hot to the touch. After it cools down, I start it again and it runs a complete cycle. The lint line is completely clean and it eventually dries the clothes after tripping off the first time. This will happen if there is just one towel in the load, so it doesn’t depend on size of load. Any ideas?

  9. Have a Kenmore Elite 110.62062101 On cotton setting starts and in 2-3 seconds it stops and the minutes are flashing. Tried jeans setting and did the same only ran for 12-13 seconds. I have noticed in the past that we could open the door while it was running and it didn’t shut off which I thought was odd but don’t see any switch on it anywhere. Am I missing something?

  10. Hi Eugene! The belt broke on my Kenmore 110.77982800 gas dryer. It’s old! I ordered a new belt and drum rollers, and the felt gasket for the drum. While I was waiting on parts, I vacuumed and brushed and cleaned everything I could get to.
    Put it all back together, and it quit before the cycle was over (auto). The cabinet was also pretty hot. I don’t remember it ever being that hot before. It did the same thing on timed cycle, but would run on air/fluff cycle. I took it back apart and made sure the vent was clear.
    I replaced the cycling thermostat, and put the adjustment on 140 degrees instead of the 145 it called for.
    Tried another load of thin throws, and it did the same thing. Inside felt really hot, and the inside of the door also did-of course, that might be normal.
    I am leaning toward replacing the high-temp thermostat now.
    Motor is not making noise, and IT would not create the high heat inside the dryer (maybe I need to adjust the cycling thermostat down to 135 degrees), or cause my problem, I don’t think.
    There is not an awful lot of information I can find on my particular problem. Can you help? Thank you!

  11. My dryer will start when button is pressed then stop immediately. If I spin the timer dial I can get it in a position to run though a cycle and dry a load of clothes. Then the problem starts all over again.

  12. We have a Samsung dryer shuts down after running for a couple of minutes. The whole heating unit was replaced, had a broken element. Running out of ideas. Thank You

  13. I have a Samsung dryer, it stop working after two minutes. Replaced heater unit with a whole new unit, had a broken element, still not working. Thank You

  14. This is crazy, my dryer stops after 5 or 10 min so I stood
    to watch it. after about 10 min the door all of a sudden opened really fast by itself and closed and dryer stopped. i cold turn it back on.1 had a pair of tennis shoes in it, would this be the cause?

  15. I have a whirlpool front load dryer. It will stop after just a few seconds. Then I will start it again like three times and it will do the same. Time usually blinks when it stops or it says sensing on top with the blinking time. After restarting it 3-5 times in a row it’ll start again and go for about 5/10 minutes. Then starts all over again. I go in to start it up again and it’s blinking with or without the sensing. I press start a few times over and over and it starts up again.


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