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 (25)

  1. I have a Kenmore Elite 11062952100. The dryer starts, runs a few minutes, then stops but the timer keeps going and runs thru the cycle at a quicker pace than normal with a slight noise (sort of like a hum, but not exactly). It stops when it reaches then end of the cycle.


  2. Hello have kelvantor dryer comes on for 5 seconds then stops for 1 minute and then starts again. Had broken motor belt which I replaced today. I thought that was the issue as 20 years old but now has this issue checked door Switch and that Is all good. Any ideas ??

    • Seems like the motor is overheating. The motor has thermal protection and in case of overheating it will shut power to the motor, once cooled down power is restored again

  3. Hi Eugene.
    My Samsung dryer (18 months old) runs in manual programs (don’t use moistore sensor). In programs that use sensor dry, after 3 minutes working, cool by 1 minute and stop. If motor overheating will be the issue, doesn’t work in any program, right? I tried to run without vent hose connected and the problem didn’t disappear.
    Thanks to generous support.

  4. Hi There. First off, thanks for putting this together. I think it is very helpful although we’re still having some issues troubleshooting our Samsung dryer issue.

    On timed dry, the dryer kicks off without warning about 10 mins in. It can be restarted right away but will power down again after 2-10 mins. This was repeated on sensor dry and air fluff. We’ve also taken it apart and cleaned it. No trapped vent (outside exhaust is blowing forcefully).

    Upon careful observation, the screen appears to momentarily dim and return a few times during the cycle before it dims and cuts out for good. Would you suspect something more on the electronics side? Or Could this be a motor issue?

  5. Dryer only stays on for 2 minutes in any cycle (Moisture sensor and timed) when heat is used. If I run the dryer on Air Fluff, no heat being applied. The dryer will run the full cycle of whatever time is chosen. In the past two years I have replaced the heating element. Could this possibly be a faulty thermostat?

    • Dryer runs for 2 min then stops? Whats happens next? Will it restart by itself? Or just finish the cycle?

  6. My Amanda dryer will run for a few min, & shut off. Won’t restart until it’s cooled down. I have taken out the lint tray & cleaned out all the lint in dryer as far as I could reach , & did the same w/ the hose on back of dryer, but still keeps happening. Not sure if I should test the thermal fuse, have to take whole dryer apart just to get to it since you cannot remove the back panel on this dryer! Can you Please help me?

  7. I just had my Maytag Frontline dryers vent cleaned. The tech only pulled the vent hose from the back of the dryer and cleaned the dryer foil hose and dryer vent. The dryer now shuts off after 6 or 7 minutes of running and while it’s running I can go outside and place my hand under the exhaust vent and it is blowing out strong and the air gradually gets warmer and warmer. Any suggestions on what the possible problem could be?

  8. speed queen gas dryer this morning ran for 17 mins. heat shut off wouldnt fire back up.Waited hour turned back on ran for only 3 mins heat shut down wouldnt fire back up.The ignighter is not coming on when it shuts down

  9. My new Samsung dryer only works on timed drying—-all other cycles shut off after 3 min. This is very upsetting especially since we found out no repair services for Samsung in our area!

    Harbor Springs, MI

    • try to run dryer without vent hose connected. Will it fix the problem? If it will shut off after 3 min even without connected to the vent line, then its a moisture sensor issue.If it will kepp running as it should, vent line is clogged

  10. My dryer keeps cutting off every few seconds once it runs a cycle and then it stops. It makes a beeping noise like the dryer is open but its not. then i start it up again then it does the same thing on every cycle i turn it too. Please Help Me

    • 1. Door opens by itself
      2. Motor overheating and cutting off, once cooled down, keep running until overheating again.

  11. Samsung dryer runs but shuts down after a few minutes and red filter light flashes I’ve taken it apart a number of times

    • Check continuity of Moisture sensor wires from the control board to the sensor. Well, its not an actual sensor , it is just 2 metal plates. Also, try to disconnect dryer vent hose and let it run without hose attached. Will it make any difference?


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