Washing Machine Repair: How to Replace a Belt

Save an expensive service call with this DIY fix

An overloaded washing machine or clothing jammed in the rim of the washer drum can cause drive belts to slip or burn. Find the problem, then remove the belt and install a matching replacement belt.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Belt replacement

A piece of clothing stuck between the inner and the outer tub on your washing machine or a load that's too large can stop the drum, which causes the drive belt to slip on the pulley and burn. So if your washing machine is running and you smell burning rubber, first shut off the washer and unplug it. Clothing tends to get stuck more often in Maytag washers, so that's what we're showing here. Check along the rim of the drum to see if there's something stuck there (Photo 1). After removing the item, you should replace the damaged belt. Remove the two screws located on the bottom of the front panel and swing the bottom of the panel out to unhook it from the top. Then prop the front of the washer up on paint cans so you can reach the belts. Remove the belts by starting the edge over the pulley and spinning them off. The motor is spring-loaded, so the belts will come off easily. Take the damaged belt with you to the appliance parts store to get a replacement. Reinstall the belts in the reverse order.

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Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • 4-in-1 screwdriver

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

  • Paint cans
  • Replacement washing machine belts