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How to Tighten a Belt on a Maytag Dryer

Kenneth Crawford

A high pitched squeal coming from your Maytag dryer is a sign of a loose belt. Unlike a belt in your car, the Maytag dryer belt cannot be tightened. To tighten a belt on a Maytag dryer you will have to replace it.. A belt will wear out prematurely if the idler pulley is not moving freely. This will cause the belt to heat up and stretch. When replacing the dryer belt the idler pulley should be inspected.

  1. Unplug the Maytag dryer from the wall outlet.

  2. Use a Phillips head screwdriver to remove the three screws on top of the control console. Pull the console forward and release it from the locking tabs on the top of the dryer. To prevent having to disconnect wires, maneuver the control panel out of your way while still leaving it connected.

  3. Use a plastic putty knife to separate the top and front panels. Insert the knife in the seam between the two panels and press in on the retaining clips. Lift up on a corner of the top panel and continue lifting to release the opposite retaining clip. Lift the top panel away from the dryer.

  4. Locate the door switch wiring harness and press the locking tab in to pull the harness apart. Use a screwdriver to remove the two screws that hold the top front panel flange to the side panels. Lift up on the front panel and set it out of the way.

  5. Use a socket wrench to remove the four drum bulkhead screws from the side panels if your Maytag dryer is so equipped. Reach in under the drum and pull the idler pulley to the left to release any remaining tension from the belt. Remove the belt from the motor pulley and idler pulley.

  6. Grab the drum and the belt and pull both of them out of the dryer cabinet. Inspect the idler pulley by spinning it with your finger. It should spin freely. Inspect for a bent shaft or other damage. If the idler pulley is worn, unhook it from the dryer base and replace it.

  7. Place the new dryer belt around the drum and insert both back into the dryer cabinet. Route the new belt around the motor pulley and the idler pulley. Push the idler pulley down to engage tension on the belt. Inspect the belt for tightness. If it is loose it will be because the belt was not routed across the pulleys correctly. If you are unsure of the routing, a routing plan is stamped to the inside rear panel of the Maytag dryer.

  8. Reinstall the drum baffle if your Maytag was equipped with one. Reinstall the front panel and secure it to the side panels with the attaching screws.

  9. Line the top panel in place and gently press down around the perimeter to snap it into the retaining clips. Position the front tabs of the control console into the top panel and secure the console with the three attaching screws.

  10. Plug the Maytag dryer back into the wall outlet.