How to tell if your washing machine belt needs replacing

If you’re unsure how to tell if your washing machine belt needs replacing, there are two main ways: Looking for the telltale signs or accessing and checking the belt physically.

Let us first look at the most common symptoms of a damaged washing machine belt….

How to tell if your washing machine belt needs replacing – the telltale symptoms of a bad washing machine belt

Below are the clearest signs that your washing machine belt might be broken.

  • There’s a burning smell (it typically smells like burning rubber) coming out of your washer during laundry.
  • Your washing machine is not agitating.
  • Your machine pumps but won’t spin.
  • The washer is noisy (it tends to generate squeaking noises) when washing.

But, of course, while seeing the above symptoms can point to a bad belt, the best way to be sure you need to switch belts is by opening up your washer and physically testing (inspecting) it.


Here’s how you can do that:

How to tell if your washing machine belt needs replacing

To test your washer’s belt, follow these steps:

  1. First, unplug your washer from the power source.
  2. Next, try to access the belt at the back of the machine. Keep in mind that it’s typically a rubber belt that goes around the motor and the drum.
  3. Inspect the belt visually for signs of wear and tear…Look for cracks, fraying, or even stretching. Also, see if it is loose. That’s because a worn-out belt could also feel loose.
  4. Now try to spin the drum by hand. The thing is: If your washing machine belt is too loose (or has broken), the drum is unlikely to turn. Tighten it.
  5. What If the belt seems to be in perfect condition? Well, turn on your washing machine and then observe its operation. If you notice your washing machine belt slipping, or it makes squeaking noises (listen out for any weird washing machine belt noise), or the drum won’t spin properly, it’s a good sign that you probably need to switch the belt.
  6. Another way to test the belt is to actually run your washing machine through a cycle but with a smaller load. Again if the drum does not spin properly or the washer starts to produce unusual noises, it might be due to a defective belt.


Washing machine belt replacement cost

As you may be aware, your best bet if you have noted that your washing machine belt is damaged is to get a new belt.

So, how much will it set you back?

Now, The cost of swapping out your washing machine belt varies depending on considerations like the make and the exact model of your washer.

The other key determinants are normally the location of the appliance repair service you intend to use and obviously the availability of the exact-match belt.

Still on the cost, bear in mind that how severe the problem is also matters- remember sometimes other parts need to be changed out (for example, the pulleys) meaning an extra charge.

That said, expect to spend anything between  $10 to $50 on the part (confirm current price on Amazon for all washing machine belt sizes)

Meanwhile, a certified repair guy will invoice you about $50 to $100 as labor charge for the job.


How long does a washing machine belt last

Well, this is a hard one because myriad factors (for example, how frequently you wash and the quality of your best) determine how long you can use your washer without needing to replace the belt.

But overall, a good quality washing machine belt can last for about 5 – 7 years with standard use (you also need to follow all important washer operating and maintenance instructions).


What causes a washing machine belt to break

There are a couple of reasons that lead to your washing machine belt breaking.

The most common are:

  • Normal wear and tear from regularly using your washer.
  • overloading your washing machine with heavy cloth items.
  • Using your washing machine on a surface that is not even, resulting in the washer vibrating excessively.


How to prevent your washer’s belt from breaking

Here now are some tips to help you make your washing machine belt serve you for longer:

Avoid overloading the machine

To prevent recurring washing machine belt problem, Be sure to follow all the manufacturer’s guidelines regarding the maximum load your washing machine can accommodate.

Place the washer on an even surface

The next requirement is you use your washer only when it’s an even surface.

Remember running it while it’s on an unbalanced surface ends up making it vibrate badly, which in turn applies extra strain on the belt.

Clean the drum regularly

You also need to clean the drum frequently as well as other vital parts of your washing machine to prevent debris and dirt from accumulating and bringing damage.

Your manual has cleaning instructions for all the essential parts/spots.


How to tell if your washing machine belt needs replacing- Final words

If you’re still not sure about how to test your washing machine belt, see your washing machine manual for specific instructions or contact a trusted pro for further assistance.

Good luck.


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