How to Change a Belt on a Kenmore Dryer

Manufactured by Whirpool and sold by Sears, Kenmore residential clothes dryers have a well-deserved reputation for longevity when properly maintained. If you hear a loud bang just before the drum of your usually trusty Kenmore dryer stops spinning, it is most likely a broken dryer belt. Not to worry, changing the belt in a Kenmore dryer is a straightforward appliance repair that you can complete even without previous appliance repair experience.

  1. Disconnect your Kenmore residential clothes dryer from its power source. Shut off the flow of gas if you have a Kenmore gas dryer. Disconnect both the electricity and gas to your dryer and double-check this step before continuing to Step 2.

  2. Remove the top panel and the bottom toe panel to access the drum of your Kenmore clothes dryer. Take out the lint screen and set it aside. Unscrew and remove the two screws that hold the lint screen housing. Remove the lint screen housing and place it with the lint screen until you are ready to reassemble the dryer cabinet. Slide a flat-head screwdriver underneath the dryer's top panel until you make contact with the metal clips that hold the top panel to the rest of the dryer cabinet. Apply pressure to the clips with your screwdriver to free the top panel. Lift the top panel up and fold it back to rest against the wall. Free the bottom toe panel by applying pressure to the metal clips that hold it in place.

  3. Examine the bottom of your Kenmore dryer's front panel to locate the two screws that secure it to the rest of the dryer cabinet. Loosen these screws; it is not necessary to remove them. Find the two corresponding screws at the top of the dryer's front panel. Remove these two screws and set them aside until your belt repair is complete. Tilt the top of the front panel toward you to make it easier for you to access the drum.

  4. Slip the replacement belt over the drum of your Kenmore dryer, making sure that the grooved side of the belt is facing down. Move the replacement belt into the belt track with one hand while removing the old dryer belt with the other hand. Locate the idler and motor pulleys to the bottom right of the dryer cabinet; the idler pulley is the lever-like device found directly to the left of the square motor pulley assembly. Grasp the replacement belt with one hand while using your other hand to lift the idler pulley. Guide the belt through the idler pulley and wrap it around the motor pulley. Release the idler pulley to hold the new belt in place. Reach into the dryer drum and give it a counterclockwise spin to ensure that the replacement belt has been properly threaded.

  5. Use your screwdriver to tighten the screws you loosened at the bottom of the front panel. Replace and tighten the two screws that you removed from the top of the front panel as well. Align the bottom toe panel with the dryer cabinet and apply pressure to the panel to snap it into place. Fold the top panel of your Kenmore dryer over the top of the dryer cabinet. Apply gentle downward pressure on the dryer's top panel until you hear it snap into place.


  • Replacing the belt in your Kenmore dryer without professional assistance may void the manufacturer's warranty on your appliance. Contact Kenmore customer care for more repair and warranty information.

About the Author

Megan Mattingly-Arthur has been writing professionally since 1998. She has contributed to various publications, including "Teen Voices" and "Positive Teens" magazines, as well as a book, "The Young Writer's Guide to Getting Published." Mattingly-Arthur is studying travel and tourism through Penn Foster Career School.