How To Fix a Squeaky Dryer

Fleet Appliance
July 19, 2023
Dryer Repair

Does your dryer make annoying squeaking noises? It’s not just irritating—it can be a sign of something wrong with your appliance. In this guide, we outline the most common causes of squeaky dryers and how you can fix them. 

Worn out dryer belt

A dryer belt loops around the drum of the dryer and causes it to spin. As the dryer belt gets older, it may start to stretch and fray. This can cause a squeaking or knocking noise when your dryer is running. To fix this issue:

  • First, you need to take apart your dryer to access the dryer belt. You’ll need to remove the top panel and the front panel, then lift out the drum.
  • The dryer belt is looped around the drum and threaded through pulleys. Pull it out and inspect it. If it appears to be frayed or worn out looking, you’ll need to replace it. 
  • Order a dryer belt replacement online. Make sure you consult the owner’s manual to find out the exact specifications of what you’ll need. 
  • Replace the new belt into your dryer. You will need to loop the belt around the drum and thread it through the pulleys.
  • Put the dryer panels back together, then run a test cycle. Your dryer should now be running smoothly with no squeaking.

Worn drum bearings

If your issue is with your drum bearings, your dryer will sound like it is scraping as well as squeaking. To fix this issue follow these steps:

  • After turning off your dryer, take it apart in the same manner as listed above to check the belt. 
  • Locate the bearings. They’re usually located at the back of the drum, but some models may have them at the front too. 
  • There are many types of dryer bearings, including ball bearings and shafts, rollers, sliders and ring shaped bearings. You can check in your manual to see what type your dryer uses.
  • Try spinning the drum by hand while watching the bearings. You’ll be able to tell if the noise is being caused by them. A worn bearing will also typically show some wear and tear.
  • To replace the worn parts, order some replacement bearings online. 
  • You’ll need to remove the drum to put the new bearings in place. Remove the old bearings; they might be held in place with clips or screws, depending on your model. 
  • Put the new bearings in place and secure them in the same way the old ones were secured. 
  • Put the dryer back together, then run a test cycle. Your squeaky noise should now be completely gone.

Worn idler pulley

If the idler pulley is to blame for your dryer’s squeaky noise, you’ll hear a very loud, high-pitched squeaking or squealing when your dryer is running. The idler pulley is a small, wheel shaped part that adds tension to the dryer belt and helps the drum to turn effectively. 

Because of friction over time, the idler pulley can wear out and start to make a squeaking noise when the belt runs through it. Here’s how to fix it:

  • As before, you’ll need to turn off the dryer and remove the front and top panels to get access to the idler pulley. 
  • Once the panels are removed, inspect the idler pulley. In most models it’s located at the base of the dryer near the motor. 
  • Spin the drum and check the pulley for signs of wear and whether or not it’s spinning freely. If you can pinpoint the squealing noise to the pulley, you’ll need to replace it. 
  • Source a new pulley from your dryer manufacturer or from an online appliance parts store. 
  • Replacing the pulley is pretty simple—if you’ve already got the panels off and have access to the drum, you’re halfway there. Next, unloop the dryer belt from the pulley and motor shaft, and remove the old pulley. In most cases it’ll just be attached with a bracket. 
  • Put the new pulley into place in the bracket and make sure it’s spinning freely, then loop the belt back through the new pulley and the motor shaft.
  • Put everything back together, then run a test cycle to make sure the squealing noise has stopped.  

Motor problems

If you’ve ruled out the belt, the bearings and the idler pulley, you likely have an issue with the motor itself. In this case, you’ll need to consider the overall age of the dryer and the cost of replacement, as it may not be worth it to replace the entire motor. If you think it is worth it, here are the steps:

  • Order a new motor online and have it ready to go before you start. 
  • As before, access the motor by turning off the machine and removing the front and top panels. You’ll also need to unloop the belt and remove the drum. 
  • Take the old motor out by removing it from its brackets and disconnecting it from the wiring harness. Take pictures if you need to so you can remember how it fits together.
  • Replace the new motor with the old one, ensuring all the connections are the same. 
  • Rethread the belt and replace the drum, then put the dryer back together.
  • Run a test cycle. Your squeaking noise should now be gone, and your dryer has a brand-new motor!

Please note: If you don’t want to bite the bullet and replace the motor, you might be able to get temporary relief from squeaking by oiling your motor’s bearings. However, this will only be temporary, because it won’t be addressing the underlying issue of worn parts in the motor. 

You can use a few drops of a high-quality machine oil to lubricate the motor’s bearings, but be careful not to use too much, as this can lead to dust and lint getting stuck to the motor. You also need to be careful not to let any oil touch the belt.


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