A dryer in good working order should never make too much noise, least of all a high-quality dryer by Frigidaire. So, when a dryer starts squeaking, you know that there’s a problem that needs solving.
The top reasons a Frigidaire dryer may squeak include a lack of grease at the idler pulley (tension roller), worn-out drum or rear bearings, or a stuck blower wheel.
Let’s take a look at each of these reasons and how you can get this problem resolved.
Idler Pulley Lack Of Grease
What it is: A dryer consists of a drum that rotates so that the clothes inside will dry out evenly. The drum is turned by a belt and a series of pulleys working behind the scenes inside the appliance.
One of those pulleys is called the ‘idler pulley’ or ‘tension roller’, which keeps that belt under tension so that it can rotate the drum effectively.
Why it fails: The idler pulley applies pressure on the belt to keep it tense, while a rotating wheel on the pulley ensures that the belt can move without a problem.
The problem arises when that rotating wheel isn’t greased up enough. Perhaps the manufacturer mistakenly applied too little grease or did so incorrectly.
Besides that, it’s also possible that the existing grease may have dried out. That’s especially true for dryers that have been in use for many years.
When an idler pulley lacks grease, it will have a very tough time rotating freely. That will result in you hearing the loud squeaking noise coming from your dryer.
How to fix: To fix this problem, you generally have two options. You can attempt to reapply lubrication to the idler pulley that you already have.
If your dryer has been in use for many years and the pulley is worn, you could also buy and install a new idler pulley assembly as preventative maintenance on your dryer.
In either case, you’ll need to remove the rear or front access panel to reach the idler pulley. Be sure to disconnect the dryer from its power supply before you do this.
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Before handling the idler pulley, you’ll need to release the belt from the pulley so that you can handle it freely.
Then, you can apply lubrication to the idler pulley wheel. You’ll want to rotate the wheel manually to ensure that the grease is distributed and that the wheel is able to turn.
Lastly, you’ll need to rethread the belt in a zig-zag pattern onto the pulley and motor shaft. Then close the access panel and tighten the screws back on.
Worn-out Drum Bearings Or Drum Rollers
What it is: For the dryer to work correctly, the drum must be able to rotate smoothly without any problems. Besides the drive belt and pulleys, the appliance also relies on a series of bearings and rollers that help the drum spin freely.
Why it fails: There are several reasons the dryer’s drum bearings may wear out. Firstly, it could be that the bearings were installed incorrectly. The likelihood of that being the case is higher with cheaper dryers from less-reputable brands.
Besides that, it could also be that the quality of the bearings themselves was also questionable. Higher-quality bearings will last much longer without causing any squeaking noises.
Lastly, the most common reason for drum bearings wearing out is from being in use for so many years. Wear and tear can also be much quicker in households where the dryer is used very frequently.
How to fix: Firstly, it’s important to understand that replacing work-out drum bearings can be a very complicated process. As far as DIY home repairs go, this is probably one that involves a higher level of difficulty.
So, if you’re unsure about doing it, it’s best to leave it to a qualified technician. Replacing the bearings the wrong way could potentially lead to more damage and costlier repairs later on.
Still, this is what the repair will look like:
This kind of repair begins with removing the dryer’s power supply first of all. You’ll want to keep any user manuals or tech sheets nearby as a reference as well.
After opening up the top and front access panels, you’ll also be removing the drum entirely from the bearings that it’s mounted on.
Drum bearing replacements usually come in a kit. First, you’ll replace the new bearing hitch and secure it onto the drum with mounting screws. Then, the bearing support assembly will go onto the dryer’s panel.
The kit will usually come with lubricant or grease, which must go onto the hitch and mount.
Once the hitch and mount are lubricated, you can reposition the drum back in place.
You’ll need to rotate the drum manually with your hand to realign the belt and make sure that everything moves smoothly.
Lastly, replace all panels that were removed earlier and test the dryer to make sure everything works correctly.
Rear Bearing Failed
What it is: Depending on the precise dryer model that you have, the bearing may be slightly different.
However, many models rely on a rear bearing that’s mounted on the rear panel inside the dryer.
Just as mentioned in the previous section, the bearing is a critical part of the dryer as it allows the drum to spin freely and dry all of the moisture inside.
Why it fails: In some cases, the squeaking noise and bearing problems could be unique to the specific Frigidaire dryer model that you have in your home.
For example, the 2-in-1 Frigidaire Laundry Center is known to have a squeaking problem as well.
In many cases, that problem is often narrowed down to a failed rear bearing, much like the one discussed in the previous section.
Seeing as how the rear bearing may have failed completely, this is not a problem caused by excessive wear and tear, as you’d normally see in much older models that have been in use for many years.
How to fix: The process of replacing a failed rear bearing is similar to that of the one in the previous section (to replace a worn-out drum bearing).
Before deciding on a repair or replacement, you should check if your Frigidaire unit is still under warranty.
If that’s the case, then you should definitely go through the warranty process first to get the item repaired.
However, if your dryer is not under warranty anymore, you can use the same process described in the previous section to replace the rear bearing.
Remember: replacing a dryer’s bearing is not a simple DIY task. It can get quite complicated and does require several steps more than most repair tasks.
If you’re unsure about how to do it yourself, there’s no shame in calling a qualified technician to do it for you.
Stuck Blower Wheel
What it is: Frigidaire dryers are also equipped with a blower wheel, and it’s usually attached to the drive motor shaft.
As that blower wheel spins, it pulls air into the machine, which is heated up and pushed through the rotating drum.
As the blower wheel continues to push air through the drum, the air then moves out the vent at the back of the unit.
That continual flow of hot air being pushed through the machine by the blower wheel ensures that all pieces of clothing in the drum are dried in the most efficient way possible.
Why it fails: Whenever a component works by spinning, like the blower wheel in your Frigidaire dryer, there’s always the possibility that it may get stuck.
A stuck dryer blower wheel won’t be able to spin freely, but it will still try to do so.
That process will cause a loud squeaking sound to come out from your dryer, typically from the back of the machine.
How to fix: Thankfully, there’s nothing that needs to be replaced if it’s just a case of a stuck blower wheel.
Plus, this is a job that’s safe enough to do on your own without spending money to call a qualified technician.
A task like this must always begin with you disconnecting the power supply to the machine.
Remember: you’re dealing with a rotating part (the blower wheel), which could cause injury to your fingers as you work on it. Besides that, disconnecting the machine also lowers the risk of electrocution.
Typically, the blower wheel is located behind a rear panel which you’ll need to remove to gain access to it.
Before you do anything, try and turn that wheel manually with your hand. You should be able to feel whether the wheel turns freely or if something is causing it to stick.
Shine a flashlight to see if you can identify and remove anything interfering with the wheel’s ability to spin. If you can’t find anything, or you’d like to be thorough, remove the wheel entirely.
That should give you a clear view of anything and everything in the area where the blower wheel spins.
You can take this opportunity to vacuum out any excess dirt as you remove debris that might be affecting the wheel’s operation.
If necessary, you may use this opportunity to replace the wheel with a part that’s compatible with your Frigidaire dryer model.