How to Check If a Dryer Motor Is Bad

James Clark

Electric and gas clothes dryers use an electric motor to power the drive belt that spins the laundry drum. The motor is bolted to the bottom of the appliance near the front, next to a tension pulley assembly that keeps pressure on the belt to prevent it from slipping.

If the dryer drum stops rotating, but the belt is intact, try testing the motor with a multimeter to check circuit continuity. Removing the front panel and testing the motor takes less than half an hour.

  1. Unplug the dryer power cord from the electrical outlet.

  2. Open the cover for the lint screen on the top of the appliance. Slide out the screen and remove the screws underneath with a screwdriver. If the screen on your model is built into the door portal, skip this step.

  3. Use a flat-head screwdriver to raise the top corners of the appliance between the top and the front.

  4. Grab the clip in each corner under the top, at the front, with pliers. Squeeze the clips to remove them. This releases the top from the front panel.

  5. Extract the screws on the sides of the front panel and the bottom panel immediately below it.

  6. Pull off the front panel. Unplug the door switch from the wires on the back of the panel. Push down on the bottom panel, and tilt upward from the bottom edge to remove this part. Now you can see the dryer motor on the right, at the bottom.

  7. Pull the two wires off the motor terminals one at a time, making a note of where each wire connects. Each wire has a Y-shaped clip on the end that pulls off the motor.

  8. Hold the two test rods on the multimeter to the motor terminals. Set the meter to "X1," which is the test for continuity. If the motor does not produce a reading or the meter display numbers flash endlessly, the dryer motor is burned out and must be replaced.