Why Is My Dryer Squeaking? (6 Quick Fixes)

If you are on the internet frantically searching for a solution to “my dryer is squeaking”, then we got you. A dryer constantly making squeaky noises is a tough sound to ignore. At first, you might not think much of it, but it eventually gets on your nerves. A squeaky dryer can be very annoying but that does not automatically mean that it needs a big repair.

Well, you can bring in a professional to have a look at the noisy machine but why not try simple fixes before you do that?

A squeaking sound may be caused by a few reasons and can arise from several parts. Identifying that faulty part and fixing it will save you a lot of time and money.

Why Is My Dryer Squeaking?

Why Is My Dryer Squeaking

Before we move on to learning how to fix the annoying squeaky sound from a dryer, let us first know about the cause of the sounds and the possible areas of a dryer from which it could originate.

Worn Out Dryer Belt

The Dryer belt of a washing machine is the one that wraps around the dryer drum and makes it rotate. This belt is looped around the dryer’s motor pulley and idler-pulley to hold itself firmly and turn the drum. This part of a dryer undergoes a lot of wear and tear whenever you turn on the machine and as it is made of rubber, it frays and separates over time.

These separated pieces cause the squeaking noise problem because the damaged belt cannot hold up the drum any longer and it is coming into contact with something foreign during its spin cycle.

The Roller Wheels/ Bearings May Be Running Unlubricated

Most of the time when a dryer makes a squeaking or squealing noise, it is because there is some problem with the roller wheels. This is a very common problem in dryers and usually has other signs as well such as the dryer shaking violently when in its spin cycle.

This happens because when you load the dryer drum with a bulk of clothes, it moves a little while undergoing the spin motion and during this time if the roller wheels are loose or are unlubricated, the result will be a shrill squeaky sound or vibration due to the moving drum. 

Idler Pulley Needs a Replacement

If the annoying sound is coming from the bottom of the machine, then there is a good chance that the problem is the Idler Pulley. It is a device on the dryer belt and its primary function is to provide tension and guide the dryer belt.

Since, during the spin cycle, a lot of friction and heat is generated, the idler pulley can become worn out and lead to the dryer making squeaking noise.

Dryer Motor is Faulty

The motor pulley of a dryer is essential to its proper functioning and is also the part that enables the drum to turn. A faulty motor pulley will usually cause a squeaking or a grinding noise that may increase during the spin cycle.

If this sound is coming from the back of a dryer, then you can be as good as sure that your dryer is squeaking because of a dysfunctioning motor pulley. This issue should be addressed at the earliest because if it is ignored, the motor can break and cause the entire dryer to stop functioning altogether.

Dryer motor malfunction is one of the most common causes of a squealing dryer. With time the ball bearings in the pulley get worn out and/or get dirty with lint accumulation and this can cause the squealing noises when the dryer is turned on.

Drum Glide Bearings Need Replacement

Hearing a squeaky sound towards the front of the dryer? Chances are that it is being caused by faulty drum glide bearings. A glide bearing helps the drum to rotate smoothly against the front seal and if you are used to heaving-loading the dryer regularly then a faulty drum glide can even cause your dryer to vibrate and shake while on its spin cycle.

Blower Wheel or Fan Needs Troubleshooting / Replacement

The Blower Wheel of a dryer is its power source. It sucks in air from the outside and pushes it through the drum to make a load of clothes undergo a tumbling motion inside the drum of the dryer. The blower wheel generates a lot of heat but most dryers are fitted with a heat sensor that operates the heating and turns it on and off to maintain an optimal temperature. The task of drying your clothes inside the dryer is carried out because of this very part.

Now if the blower wheel or the fan gets covered with debris from clothes like loose lint or threads, it can make an awful squealing sound. A faulty blower wheel can also in turn damage the motor.

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How Do You Fix a Squeaky Dryer?

How Do You Fix a Squeaky Dryer

Before you learn how to troubleshoot these above-mentioned problems, you need to learn how to open the dryer cabinet as it stores most of the parts that you need to check.

To open the dryer cabinet you have to first remove the lint trap from the top of the machine and the dryer door. Some newer models have two screws that join the front dryer panel to the lid, so you have to unscrew these as well.

To get full access to the drum, you have to take the front panel off. For that, you need to take the lid off and remove the locking tab on the door switch using a screwdriver. Once you unscrew the mounting screws on the front panel, you will have complete access to the dryer drum and you can check inside to see which part is causing the squealing and squeaking sound.

Now that you have opened the cabinet, it is time for you to find out why your dryer is squealing or squeaking. Isolating and identifying the part will help you troubleshoot more efficiently.

Replace a Faulty Dryer Belt

There are no ways around fixing a dryer belt that is worn out and cannot hold up the drum in place. You have to replace it. Here is how you can do it:

  • Find out what kind of dryer belt is used by the dryer in question. You can either check the manual or search the dryer model on the web.
  • See where the dryer belt goes under the drum and make a note of it. Since you are not a pro at dealing with machines regularly, you should take a digital photo of where and how the belt is placed around the motor pulley and idler pulley.
  • To loosen the tension and pull the belt out, slowly push the idler towards the motor and gently take the dryer belt off the drum.
  • Use a new belt and fix it in place around the motor and idler pulley exactly how the old one was placed. Refer to the picture you took.

Fix the Drum Roller Wheels

The Drum roller wheels are mounted on a shaft that is attached to the back wall of the dryer. A worn-out, loose, or unlubricated roller wheel will make a squeaky sound when it rotates on the shaft. Here is how to fix the issue:

  • Gently push the idler pulley arm to release the tension from the driver belt. Take it off from the motor and the idler pulley.
  • Hold the dryer drum from the bottom and bring it outside the dryer.
  • You will see the drum roller wheels in the back of the dryer. They are made of rubber and set on metal shafts. If the surface is torn, you need to replace it. Otherwise, you can lubricate the wheels using grease for machine parts.
  • To replace the rollers, you have to remove the triangular washers in front of the drum rollers and remove the rollers.
  • Push the new rollers onto the metal shaft and place the washers back into place.
  • Reassemble the dryer belt back and the other parts into its place as it was.

Replace the Idler Pulley

To replace the idler pulley, you need to follow these steps:

  • Unthread the dryer belt by following the steps given above.
  • Now, try to turn the idler pulley. If it is taking much effort for you to turn it, then it needs replacement.
  • You will need a ¼ nut driver and needle-nose pliers to replace the idler pulley.
  • Remove the dryer drum and set it aside.
  • Use the pliers to detach the nut that connects the pulley to the idler arm.
  • Clean the idler arm with a cloth and slide a new pulley onto the arm. Turn it to see if it’s freely moving without any tension.
  • Reassemble the drum and dryer belt in the way it was before.

Replace the Dryer Motor Pulley

Taking apart and replacing the Motor Pulley can be done in a similar way as the Idler Pulley is done.

  • Pull the idler pulley towards the motor to release the tension and gently pull out the dryer belt.
  • Once the dryer belt is out, bring out the dryer drum as well.
  • Make a note of how the belt is wound around the idler and the motor.
  • Gently remove the belt from the motor pulley and replace the part with a new motor pulley.
  • Reassemble all the parts in the same order, i.e, reinstall the idler and drum, install the front panel and reconnect the dryer to the power to check if the noise persists.

Deal with the Faulty Drum Glide Bearing By Replacing It

Assuming that by now you already know how to remove the dryer belt and dryer drum, we will move forward directly to replacing the glide bearing. In any case, you should click a digital photo of the parts while they are assembled, so that it is easy to put them back together. To replace the drum glide bearing, follow these steps:

  • Release the locking tabs by squeezing them together and then pushing them through the gaps in the edge of the drum.
  • Gently pull out one half of the glide bearing and then pull out the other half.
  • Line up the locking tabs on the new glide bearing with the gaps in the drum and snap the new bearing into its place. Consult the dryer manual to get accurate information about which type of glide bearing you should purchase.
  • Replace the felt seal with the channel.
  • Reassemble the drum, dryer belt, and front panel back into their place.

Replace the Blower Wheel or Fan

Before we can deal with the faulty blower which is causing the dryer squeaking problem, you have to remove the lint cover, front panel, and drum.

  • After you are done putting the drum aside, you need to remove the motor clamp. To do this, use a screwdriver to pry out and release the rear mounting clamp on the drive motor. Locate the rear clamp and bring it out.
  • Place a 13/16 wrench on the back of the blower wheel which is located behind the drive motor. Place another adjustable wrench on the flat area of the drive shaft at the front of the motor.
  • When you have secured the two wrenches at the back and front of the motor respectively, rotate the drive motor shaft in a clockwise motion while someone else holds the blower wheel firmly in a stationary position to loosen it.
  • Remove the back panel of the dryer by unscrewing it.
  • You will notice the air duct there which you have to unscrew and set aside.
  • Turn the blower wheel in a clockwise motion to remove it off the motor shaft.
  • Put the new blower wheel on the motor shaft by turning it in a clockwise motion this time.
  • Use the wrenches in a similar way to tighten the blower wheel onto the shaft but make sure to make it too tight.
  • Then reassemble the removed parts in order, i,e, put the air ducts back, reattach the back panel, put the dryer drum back into place, and reattach the front panel and top panel.

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The Bottom Line

A squeaky dryer may not pose any immediate danger but leaving the matter unattended can worsen it and cost you a lot of money to fix it. If you get the hang of it, replacing dryer parts is not very complicated. In fact, fixing them would require more skills.

Also, be careful when you try the above-mentioned troubleshooting steps. Always keep the dryer unplugged while you are reassembling it and wear rubber gloves while handling its parts. If you are not too sure about the process, then you can always call a professional.

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