Dryer Won’t Start just clicks? 4 causes and How To Fix It

It’s always a pain after you’ve washed a load of clothes and transferred them to the dryer, only to find out that your dryer is malfunctioning.

One common problem that occurs to dryers is that they begin to click but will not start.

The following information will take a look at the most common problems and what you can do to fix them.

Drum Belt Broken

This is one of the easier parts on your dryer to fix. It’s also fairly easy to troubleshoot.

You’ll need to access the belt and look at it to see if it’s broken by lifting belt up.

If its tight, then the belt is not broken.

But If you find that the belt is broken, it will need to be replaced.

Here’s how to change a broken drum belt:

Disconnect the power to the machine and wear gloves to protect your hands

Pull the lint screen from the top of the machine

Remove the screws that hold the lint screen housing to the top of the machine

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Use a putty knife to release the clips holding the top of the dryer in place. There should be some near the right and left edges of the dryer’s front

Lift the top of the machine and prop it against the wall out of the way

Using a slotted screwdriver, release the locking tabs for the wire harness plug that goes to the door switch

Disconnect the wiring harness

Using a nut driver, remove the mounting screws from the inside of the front panel

Pull the front panel slightly forward, lift it, and unhook from the bottom 2 hangars

Remove the front panel and set it to the side as well

Pull the broken belt from the cabinet

Position the new belt on the drum.

You will need to lift the front of the drum to access the idler pulley and drive motor

Thread the belt through the idler pulley, push the pulley to the right, and loop the belt over the motor pulley

Reassemble the machine and connect the power

Idler Pulley Broken

The idler pulley on a dryer helps secure the belt so the drum can rotate properly.

When the idler pulley breaks it may cause several symptoms, but one common is that the unit will click but not start.

You’ll need to access the pulley to see if it’s worn, cracked, or broken.

If so, you’ll need to replace it.

Once you’ve opened the dryer up, you’ll see the drive belt looping over the drum, under the idler pulley wheel, and then around the drive pulley on the motor.

The idler pulley wheel sits on a moveable arm to apply tension to the belt.

Be sure to wear gloves, as you may encounter sharp edges.

Reach into the dryer and gently tug on the drive belt. This part should be tight when you apply pressure to it.

Next, push on the idler pulley so it goes toward the motor. This will allow you to release the belt’s tension, so the belt can be removed.

Once the belt is removed you can look at the idler pulley.

Keep an eye out for any visible damages or if there is not as much tension as there should be.

Spin the wheel on the pulley. Does it spin quietly and smoothly? Or does it wobble?

If the pulley assembly is damaged, worn, or simply not functioning as it should, replace it.

Depending on the model of dryer you own, you may be able to just replace the wheel. However, on some models you are forced to replace the entire assembly.

Idler Pulley Microswitch Failed

Some models are equipped with a microswitch, or belt switch, on the idler pulley.

This part functions to prevent the dryer from operating after the drive belt breaks.

Not only will your dryer click and not start, it won’t operate again until the belt is replaced.

If you take the dryer apart and find that the belt is not broken, then the microswitch itself has failed.

The first thing you should do is remove all the wires that connect to this switch to test it for continuity.

If you find none, you’ll need to replace the switch by following these steps:

Unplug the power to the dryer and wear gloves to prevent injury

Remove the screws on the rear of the control panel to release it

Open the dryer door and remove screws inside the door frame. These secure the main top

Unhook the control panel tabs from the top, lift the top, and remove

Remove the screws holding the front panel in place, lift the front panel, and rotate it to the side

Remove the screws that secure the sides of the cabinet to the support panel

Reach under the drum

Push the idler pulley to release the belt’s tension

Unthread the belt from the pulley and motor shaft

Use the belt to help you lift the drum out

Remove the screws that hold the cycling thermostat in place, move the thermostat out of your way

 Uninstall the screws on the back of the motor mounting bracket, and the screws at the front of the support panel

Slide the blower wheel and motor assembly out of the housing, detach the idler arm

Disconnect the belt switch wires

Uninstall the screws holding the old belt switch in place

Install the new one the same way you took the old one out

Reassemble the machine moving backward through the steps above

Thermal Fuse Blown

The thermal fuse has been a required part on dryers since the 1980s.

Prior to the use of these parts, dryers were known for causing house fires.

Thermal fuses work when the machine overheats to prevent the unit from catching fire.

One common issue that Maytag dryers have is the thermal fuse on the blower wheel will blow, which causes the dryer to click but not start.

When this occurs, you must replace the thermal fuse, as it’s a one-time use part, and also determine why it blew.

It may have blown because lint is wrapped around the fuse inside the blower wheel, or because the relay switch on the control board is burned out.

Have you had issues with your dryer clicking and not starting?

If so, were any of our fixes listed above the issue? If not, leave us a comment and let us know what you had to do.

Reader Comments (13)

  1. Hi i have a GE DBVH520EJ4WW dryer. The other day, the dryer stopped. I had a super soaked load in the dryer. And i went in there and it smelled burnt and was really hot. I let it cool and all i could do was power up the dryer. when i hit start it just clicked and no response. Everything still lit up. But nothing started drying. Tested the three thermostats and tried to replace them all and didnt make a difference open/closed circut. Is there anythinh else i can try? Should i try the inlet switch and check drum belt?

  2. I have a Bosch Nexxt dryer. The terminal block clicks and it won’t start. As a test of the thermal fuse, I clipped a wire to each terminal thinking it should start and then I could just get another one. But the dryer just clicked. Any thoughts on that? There is a distinct click that you can hear and feel on the inside terminal block when you press start on and off. Thank you for your help.

  3. Thank you for this site and your help. We have a whirlpool duet dryer that suddenly developed an error code F01 and won’t start but I can hear a clicking noise shortly after pressing the start button.

    We unplugged it from the wall to try and reboot however have yet to do anything else. Wonder what you would recommend we try first? The fuse? Or likely the mother board? Thank you Mary

    • It is a control board issue. Take it apart and look at the back of the board. You will see a burnt joint , just clean it and re-solder

  4. I have a gas kenmord elite dryer that has power to the board. It clicks but won’t start. The door switch, thermostat and high limit all have continuity. The thermistor reads 8.5 ohms at 70°F. I understand that the thermistor is reading on the low side, but to my knowledge this should cause an issue with heating, not starting. It has an electronic control board but there is no evidence of burning at the wires. My belt switch clicks when the idler tension is relieved but I have not checked the continuity on it. If that part is determined functional does that mean that my control board is most likely bad? Motor does not hum and I have not had issues with the machine stopping and starting before.

  5. I have a Bosch Tumble Dryer that is under 3 years old, model WTN85280GB, when I try to use it, it makes a clicking sound and E90 flashes up on the display, what is wrong with it?

  6. Hi I replaced thermal cut
    Off switch and thermal fuse. Because dryer was spinning but not heating. So it was working great and now a month later and it’s just clicking not spinning. Do you think same issue
    Thanks I’m a single mom and proud I fixed it myself the first time. But now I’m not sure

    • If its just clicking and not starting, then check thermal fuse on the blower wheel side. But before that, remove top cover and check if drum belt still intact, if belt is loose then you have failed idler pulley.

  7. This was actually the first and, so far, only well laid out and concise guide on this particular issue, so, thank you for writing this. My dryer started clicking a day ago, I spent yesterday taking it apart to check the belt and the idler pully as those were issues I could fix without calling a tech. Both seemed fine so I assumed I would need to call a tech. No other info I had found even mentioned the pully micro switch.

    Specifically, I hear two clicks when I press the start button, like something is clicking on then back off. The drum doesn’t move and the blower doesn’t start, but the timer continues as if the cycle is going. Does it narrow down the issue at all?

    • Check continuity of the thermal fuse on the blower wheel. its white rectangular part. If its burnt, motor will not start

  8. Is it possible the pully tentioner microswitch be intermitent the start button clicks but sometimes it will start, but dies at anytime after I have tested the door switch the start switch is good

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