How to Repair a Kenmore Washing Machine

Mary Yamin-Garone

The increasing costs of repair services is forcing many individuals to become do-it-yourselfers. If you are one of those people when your Kenmore washing machine starts acting up, partake in a little troubleshooting before enlisting the help of a professional. There may be several causes for a single problem.

The key is to eliminate them one by one to identify the culprit. Whether your washer is direct drive or belted, here are some guidelines for repairing a Kenmore washing machine.


Always unplug the washer before performing any repair work. Keep children and pets away from disassembled appliances. Practice workplace safety.

  1. Locate your washing machine’s model number in case you need to order parts. The number is printed on an aluminum “tag” that can be found underneath the lid, behind the door, on the top or backside of the machine’s control panel, on the front side of the appliance or on the machine’s main “cabinet.”

  2. Check the power. If your Kenmore washing machine does not operate at all, you may need to replace defective or blown fuses or reset a tripped circuit breaker. This is done by moving the lever to the "Off" position and back to "On."

  3. Examine the lid switch to see if it is defective. A malfunctioning switch can prevent the machine from operating or spinning. The switch can be found on the inside close to the door frame. Some models also have a special "lid-switch" fuse close by the lid switch within the control panel. A blown fuse will not allow the washer to fill with water.

  4. Unclog the drain line if the machine is spinning but not pumping out water. If the problem still isn’t fixed, the pump may need replacing.

  5. Look for a broken pump belt or frozen water pump pulley if the machine does not spin or pump water. Test the pulley by disengaging it from the appliance and physically turning it. It should rotate freely.

  6. Determine if the motor coupler or belts are broken, which could prevent the washer from spinning. Failure to spin also could be the result of a worn clutch, a malfunctioning drive motor, an improperly shifting transmission or a worn or “seized” spin bearing or basket drive. These problems also could keep a washing machine from agitating.

  7. Find the source of a leak by checking the washer’s air gap, inlet spout and rubber tube. Replace any items that are cracked, worn, deformed or disengaged.

  8. Test the motor coupler, water-inlet valves and the drain hoses if your clothes are wet following the spin cycle. Replace these parts as needed.

  9. Search the Internet or your local Yellow Pages to find out where you can buy replacement parts for Kenmore washing machines. Appliance repair guides are available on CD-ROM at sites such as repair2000.com.