How Do I Know If the Motor is Broken On My Washing Machine? Why Washing Machine Motors Burn Out? Is It Worth Repairing a Washing Machine Motor?


Washing machine motors are typically durable and meant to last for the machine’s 10-15 year lifespan when properly cared for.

If a washing machine motor does burn out, it’s often due to the owner neglecting routine maintenance or making mistakes during repairs. You can prevent this by performing simple maintenance tasks and getting regular servicing, which is easily achievable with some basic knowledge, access to YouTube, and common household tools.

But first, we should be able to indicate what the broken washing machine motor looks or sounds like.


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How Do I Know If the Motor is Broken On My Washing Machine?

Identifying a faulty washing machine motor is important to determine if we should repair our machine or not. Here are some common signs that indicate our washing machine motor may be broken:

  1. No Spin or Agitation: One of the most noticeable signs of a motor problem is when the drum of your washing machine doesn’t spin during the cycle or doesn’t agitate properly. If you hear the motor running but the drum remains still, it’s likely an issue with the motor.
  2. Loud or Unusual Noises: Unusual grinding, squealing, or banging noises during the wash cycle can be indicative of motor trouble. These noises may be caused by damaged motor components or a worn-out drive belt.
  3. Burning Smell: If you detect a burning smell coming from your washing machine during operation, it could be a sign of an overheating motor. Overheating can lead to motor damage, so it’s important to address this issue promptly.
  4. Tripped Circuit Breaker: If the washing machine consistently trips the circuit breaker or blows a fuse during operation, it may signal an electrical problem within the motor.
  5. Unresponsive Controls: If the controls on your washing machine are unresponsive or erratic, it could be due to a motor issue affecting the electrical components.
  6. Water Leaks: While not directly related to the motor, a malfunctioning motor can lead to water leaks. If you notice water pooling around your washing machine, it’s essential to investigate and address the issue, as it can cause further damage.
  7. Excessive Vibrations: If your washing machine vibrates excessively, it may indicate an imbalance caused by a motor problem. This can lead to damage to other components of the machine if left unresolved.
  8. Visual Inspection: Open the back or bottom panel of your washing machine (while unplugged) and visually inspect the motor for any visible signs of damage, such as burnt wires or loose connections.

If you observe any of these signs, it’s advisable to seek the assistance of a qualified appliance repair technician. Attempting to diagnose or repair a washing machine motor without the necessary expertise can be dangerous and may lead to further damage. A professional technician can accurately diagnose the issue and recommend the best course of action, whether it’s repairing the motor or considering a replacement.


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Why Washing Machine Motors Burn Out?

There are several common reasons why washing machine motors burn out, including:

  1. Accumulated Dirt
  2. Worn Bearings
  3. Worn Drive Belt
  4. Overloading the Machine

Most of these issues result from either using the machine too much or not maintaining it properly.

Regular washing machine maintenance will see the life of your washing machine extended considerably, with many well-cared-for machines still working 25 years later.

Is It Worth Repairing a Washing Machine Motor?

When your washing machine’s motor burns out, you may wonder if it’s worth repairing or if you should consider replacing the entire machine. Several factors can help you make this decision:

  1. Age of the Machine: If your washing machine is relatively new and still under warranty, it might be more cost-effective to have the motor repaired or replaced, especially if the rest of the machine is in good condition.
  2. Cost of Repair: Compare the cost of repairing the motor to the cost of purchasing a new washing machine. If the repair costs are significantly lower, repairing the motor could be a sensible choice.
  3. Overall Condition: Assess the overall condition of your washing machine. If the motor is the only major issue, and the rest of the machine is in good shape, repairing it can be a reasonable investment.
  4. Energy Efficiency: Consider the energy efficiency of your current machine. Newer models are often more energy-efficient, which can result in long-term cost savings on your utility bills.
  5. Environmental Impact: Think about the environmental impact of replacing your washing machine. Repairing the motor is generally more eco-friendly than disposing of a whole appliance.


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