Kenmore Washer Troubleshooting Guide

Kenmore washers are popular among consumers and for good reason. They are relatively reliable machines, but at the same time have their own problems.

The good news is that when they do have problems it’s generally easy enough to fix yourself.

So, rather than spend money on a repairman, check our information below for symptoms and fixes on your Kenmore washing machine.

If Kenmore Washer Won’t Spin, Check:

Lid Switch (top load machine)

Your Kenmore washer will not spin if the lid switch is faulty.

This is a safety feature, to prevent accidents when somebody wants to stick his hand while washer is spinning.

To check this you’ll use a multimeter to check for continuity in the switch. If there is none, replace the switch.

Washer lid switch failed
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Drive Belt

Drive belt connects the motor and transmission. So, Conduct inspection on the drive belt and make sure it’s tight enough.

If it is loose on the pulley or broken, you’ll need to tight the belt or replace it.

Motor Coupling (top load machine)

The motor coupling connects your washer’s motor to the transmission.

When the washer is overloaded, the coupling will fail on purpose to protect the motor and transmission.

It can also fail from normal use over time, if you find that it’s broken you’ll need to replace it.

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Washer motor coupling location

Motor Control Board (some newer models)

This control board provides the motor with power. When the motor control board is faulty, the washer will not work properly, if it works at all.

First, you’ll want to check the board for any components that are burned. Then you’ll need to ensure the board is supplying power. If you can’t find that it’s sending power to the motor, it will need to be replaced.

transmission Clutch (top load machine)

The clutch is the part that makes connection between the tub and the transmission. It works to assist the tub with gradually gaining proper speed.

If it becomes worn out, the clutch will prevent the tub from being able to spin. This part is not repairable and will need to be replaced.

Rotor And Stator Assembly

The rotor and stator work together to create an electromagnetic field that’s strong enough to spin the tub in both directions.

The magnets inside the rotor can become damaged, and when this happens the washer won’t spin. You’ll need to access this part and inspect it for damage to determine if you need to replace it.

The stator contains windings that can become damaged. Inspecting these for any type of defect will tell you if the stator needs to be replaced.

If Kenmore Washer Makes Loud Noises, Check:

Drum Bearing

There is a bearing mounted in the center of the outer tub. This bearing helps make sure the inner tub spins smoothly.

Replacing this part is one of the more complicated fixes, and most people suggest that you replace the bearing and outer tub at the same time.

A most common issue when bearing seal is worn out and water starts leaking through.

Rusted bearings on the tub will make noise, kinda when airplane taking off.

Washer drum bearings rusted out

Drive Pulley

When the drive pulley becomes cracked, bent, loose, or worn out it can make your washer loud. You’ll need to remove it from the machine and inspect it.

If you notice that it’s defective or damaged, it will need to be replaced.

Drive Belt

Over time the drive belts will become worn out. When this occurs the belt ends up breaking and causes the machine to make loud noises.

You will need to visually inspect the drive belt and if its broken, replace it.


Aside from making the washer not spin, a failing clutch can also make the machine loud during or just after the spin cycle.

A failing clutch will make grinding metal to metal noise.

Again, this part cannot be fixed, so you’ll need to repair it.

Drain Pump

If the loud noise is occurring while your machine is draining, it’s probably the drain pump. This can mean it’s either clogged or faulty.

To determine if this is your problem you’ll need to access the drain pump and clear it of all debris. If the pump is free from debris but still noisy, you’ll need to replace it.

If Kenmore Washer Won’t Agitate, Check:

Drive Block or Bell (top load machine)

The drive block connects the agitator to the washer’s transmission. If the drive block becomes worn out, the transmission shaft will still move, but the agitator won’t.

You’ll need to inspect the drive block to see if it has any damage. If it’s stripped, damaged, or worn out, replace it.

Drive Belt

If the drive belt is broken or loose from the pulley, the machine won’t agitate. Check the belt for damage, and replace if needed.

Motor Coupling

This coupling connects the washer’s transmission and motor. If you overload your machine, this coupling will fail by default to protect the transmission and the motor.

You’ll need to inspect the part to see if it’s broken and needs to be replaced.

If Kenmore Washer Won’t Drain, Check:

Drain Pump Or Hose

The drain pump or drain hose can become blocked by debris. To determine if this is your problem you’ll need to remove the drain and see if there’s any debris.

If you find obstructions be sure to clean the pump and the hose to make sure they are free of clogs.

While you have the drain hose off make sure it’s not damaged in any way. If you find damage replace the hose.

Coin Trap or Filter

Some Kenmore washers feature coin traps to catch small objects before they reach the pump. This part needs to be clean and free of debris to ensure your washer is draining correctly.

Simply remove the trap and thoroughly clean it.

Obstructed drain pump filter

If Kenmore Washer Shakes or Vibrates, Check:


Eventually the shocks in your washer can wear out. They are important as they prevent the washer from shaking and vibrating.

Locate the shock absorbers on your machine and check them for damage. If you find that one is damaged, replace it. Also keep in mind that when you replace one you should consider replacing them all to ensure they get equal wear.

Suspension Rod

Your machine may have one or more broken suspension rods. These rods also help dampen any movement from the tub during the wash cycle.

To check the rods, inspect them to see if there are any visible damages. If you find that one is broken, simply replace it.

Counter Balance Spring

There may be at least one counterbalance spring broken on your washer. These springs work just like the shocks and suspension rods.

When a counter balance spring breaks, your tub becomes unbalanced. This will cause the washer to vibrate and shake during cycles.

You will need to inspect these springs to see if any of them are broken. Replace as needed. Also remember to check the frame where the spring attaches. If there is rust on the frame, replace that as well.

Leveling Leg

The leveling legs are important for keeping your machine balanced. Check each leg to make sure they are in the correct position.

If you find one that’s not secure, simply adjust it and lock in place.

If Kenmore Washer Is Filling Slow, Check:

Water Inlet Valve

This valve opens during the wash cycle to allow water to fill the machine. If this valve is faulty, the water may fill slow, or not at all.

Also keep in mind that this valve requires good water pressure to work right. So, first check that your water pressure is adequate.

If this is not the problem, clean the screens inside the valve hose connection ports. If the problem persists, replace the valve.

Low Water Pressure

Sometimes the water pressure at homes is too low. The water inlet valve requires 20 psi at minimum to work correctly.

If Kenmore Washer is Leaking, Check:

Drain Pump

The drain pump can begin leaking water if it’s damaged, cracked or some of the hoses connected to get loose.

You cannot repair this part, so you will need to replace it.

Tub bearings Seal

The tub seal can become torn, thus causing water to leak from around the seal. When this happens you run the risk of water leaking into your tub bearings.

If this occurs, the tub bearings will fail. So, when you find the tub seal leaking it’s a good idea to replace that and the bearings at the same time.

Drain Hose

Check the drain hose on your washer to ensure it’s not leaking. The most common place for a leak is between the pump and back of the machine.

Inspect the hose for leaks, and replace if needed.

Water inlet valves

This is probably the most common issue related to water leaking.

You need to open the top cover of the washing machine and check inlet valves on the back of the machine to make sure they are not leaking.

Reader Comments (206)

  1. Last night I found a small puddle of water in front of my Kenmore washer, model 48102. There was a little water on the underside of the front of the washer and on the floor beneath it. No water further back than about 2-3 inches. So, what could be the cause? If it was a leaking hose, the floor would have been wet all the way under the washer. Please advise me what to do.

  2. I have a front loading Kennmore washer (model 42926) that slowly fills with water when off. I guess its probably a faulty water valve, but not certain.

  3. Hi. My Kenmore 300 series HE will fill with water, but once it tries to start, i just keeps making a very brief buzzing noise and clicks off. It keeps cycling like this until you either lift the lid or shut it off. then it simply drains the water.
    is this a controller problem or a clutch issue?

  4. I have a Kenmore 90 Series Top Load Washer (110.26904692). Washer makes loud banging when attempting to spin. Soon will go very slow and make loud banging no clothes in machine. Took apart to check drain pump and direct rive couplings. Pump was good, no blockages, couplings were good and not broken. I could turn coupling on motor. Tried to turn coupling on drum. Could rotate counterclockwise but not clockwise.

    • Update. – was a bad transmission. Washer is approximately 19 years old. While replacing transmission, also replaced clutch, basket drive assembly, and drive block. Cleaned up the screen under tub. Drive block was very corroded and difficult to remove from inside of tub/basket. The transmission was the cause of the banging.
      When I had it apart the first time I replace the clutch, drive coupling and tub pads.
      Machine now operates like new and is very quiet.

  5. I have a Kenmore front loading washing machine, the lint, coin trap doesn’t seem to be working right. Yes, it collects coins, Bobby pins and such but never any lint, and the lint stays in the washer getting on my clothes. Even using fabric softener on last rinse cycle doesn’t help either

  6. I have a Kenmore Elite, about 5-6 yrs old. Lately, in the initial filling stage, it emits a whine that stops once the machine starts the wash cycle. Maybe related to a pump? This is not effecting the washer yet, so I would like to prevent failure. Any ideas on what it could be?

  7. I have a Kenmore 800. Series washer. When I start the machine, it starts agitating before water begins. It does not fill properly. At the end of the spin cycle, water starts running in the tub. I have to run the spin cycle again and stop it before the water runs in.
    Any ideas on what the problem is?

  8. new purchase of a Kenmore Elite front load washer. Loving it except the cold rinse doesn’t seem to be working. Every time we wash no matter the washing temperature the clothes are hot when it stops. I cannot wash my work clothes that need only cold water. Is there anything we need to do to get the cold to work?

  9. my model is a kenmore C4909 0r c4019 not sure which, but the tub is filling up with cold water when not in use

  10. I have a Kenmore 500 series and it seems to not have any power to the washing machine how can I check to see if I can fix it

  11. Kenmore 110 Washer – fills ok and runs to end of wash, spins & drains but does not continue into rinse portion of cycle. Please advise on trouble shooting this problem.

    • Same thing. I can’t get the drain hose out of the machine. After l;oosing the clamp more and more hose must be pulled ou, but ater a while no more hose will come out.

  12. Hello Eugene,
    I have a Kenmore 600 series top load washer. All the springs are still intact and unbroken, however it is spinning off balance and the whole machine shimmies and shakes. It’s not the thumping like when a load gets off to one side of the tub, just shaking hard enough to move the entire washer. Any idea on what to look to next as it’s not broken springs? It’s level, there are no suspension rods and the shocks are all intact and attached

    • Even if the spring is not broken, it might be the balance spring that needs to be replaced. Mine looked fine, but when I replaced it, the shaking and thumping went away.

  13. Kenmore Electronic 90 Series- getting the OL -Open Lid- on the Spin Cycle. Going to replace the lid switch, but wondering if any other cycles should work if that is the only problem. All the buttons beep when I push, but no action.

  14. I have the Kenmore Laundry Center. I have a fitted sheet stuck under the agitator and I cannot get it out. It must be snagged on something under the agitator. It was purchased about 10 years ago.

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