How to replace the dryer drive motor?

To replace a dryer drive motor:

  • Locate the dryer’s drive motor with the help of the user manual.
  • Next, depending on your dryer type remove the required outer panels (back or front panels) using a screwdriver and a putty knife.
  • Now, disconnect the electrical wires running through the motor and the two retaining nuts.
  • Then, move the drive belt away as the motor is released from its mounting.
  • Finally, install the replacement drive motor and reassemble the dryer by reversing the above steps.

Key Takeaways

  • The drive motor is responsible for spinning the drum.
  • The dryer’s drive motor is usually located beneath the drum or at the backside.
  • In order to gain access to the dryer motor, you will need to lift the pulley from the dryer’s base.
  • Check if the dryer is still under warranty, if yes see if the manufacturer provides replacements for free.
  • Check the power cable if it’s properly connected or not and see if you are facing any power fluctuation issues.
  • For the slightest hesitation, it is best to contact a professional appliance repairman or contact your dryer’s manufacturer’s helpline number.

What is a drive motor in a dryer?

A drive motor is a motor that helps rotate the dryer’s drum.

It is mostly located in the back of the dryer and helps to turn the drum, which then tumbles the clothes.

The drive motor for a clothes dryer is typically located either beneath the drum or at the back of the appliance.

You can easily locate the drive motor as it is connected to the dryer drum by a belt.

This drive motor is responsible for turning the drum when the dryer is turned on.

In most cases, the drive motor is fairly easy to access and replace if necessary.

However, it is always best to check your dryer’s owner’s manual or reach out to a qualified repair person before attempting to replace the drive motor yourself.

How to replace the dryer drive motor?

In order to replace the dryer’s drive motor, you will need a screwdriver, nut driver, putty knife, a replacement drive motor, and the dryer’s user manual for reference.

Instructions to replace the dryer drive motor

Step 1: Disconnect the supplies to the dryer

Unplug the dryer from the power outlet and other supplies such as the vent hose and gas supplies if applicable.

Step 2: Dismantle the dryer panels

Depending on your dryer’s model and type, you can start by removing the screws that hold the back or the front panels.

If the task requires you to remove the drum, then simply detach the upper panel too.

To remove the above panels, you can use either a screwdriver or a nut driver depending on their mounting.

Putty knives can be used to pry out the panels from their edges if required to pull them out after you unscrew them.

Step 3: Locate the drive motor

Once the required panels are off, you will have access to the internal components.

The best way to locate the drive motor is to follow the drive belt, which is like a rubber strip mounted around the drum.

This belt runs through a small pulley and the drive motor’s mounting.

Here you can determine if you need to remove the drum for better access.

If it is in the way, simply loosen the pulley screws to further loosen the drive belt before removing the drum.

Now, remove the nuts securing the drum and pull it out carefully, placing it aside.

Note: In some dryer models, you will be able to replace the drive motor without removing the drum.

Step 4: Remove the old drive motor

You need to locate the metal clips in the front and back of the motor that secures it to the motor mounting bracket.

Once you have located the metal clips, push them downwards to release them from the bracket.

In some cases, there are mounting screws that need to be removed before the motor can be taken out.

So, remove the mounting screws to lift out the old motor and disconnect the wires from the motor.

Note: If you notice that the wires running through the motor show signs of being damaged, then simply test the drive motor before replacing them.

Tip: Do not miss the opportunity to clean the internal areas of your dryer after performing all the hard work.

Step 5: Test the old drive motor

To test the motor, you can use a multimeter to check the reading.

Place the two points on the motor’s electrical outlet terminals and check for continuity.

Step 6: Install the replacement drive motor

Install the new motor by mounting it in its place, and make sure to secure it firmly with the retaining screws or metal clips that secure the motor.

Step 7: Reassemble the dryer to test the replacement motor

Reconnect the drum and reassemble the dryer by reversing the above steps. 

Move the dryer to its place and reconnect the required supplies. 

Finally, plug in the dryer and run a test cycle to ensure it works like before.

Final Thoughts

Replacing a drive motor in a dryer yourself can become challenging, especially if you are doing this for the first time.

Having said that, the process is straightforward once you have managed to locate the motor.

If you are having a hard time figuring out the location of the motor and if you are unable to disassemble the dryer on your own, it’s recommended to get some professional help.

Furthermore, if the motor in your dryer is not working, that does not always mean that it needs to be replaced.

The problem could be with something else, like the power supply, a drive belt, etc.

Therefore, diagnosis and troubleshooting must be done by an expert unless you are 100% sure about what the problem is.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do all dryers use the same drive motor?

No, the drive motor differs depending on the model and type of your dryer. More importantly, the size of the dryer matters the most.

Where can I buy a replacement motor?

It’s recommended to contact the dryer manufacturer to get the replacement motor. However, you can get the replacement part from an appliance parts dealer or online platforms like Amazon.

Can you use a washing machine’s motor in a dryer?

Unfortunately, this is not possible. While both washing machine and clothes dryer motors are designed to spin at high speeds, they are not interchangeable. Washing machine motors are designed to run for longer periods of time, so dryer motors are not as powerful. Additionally, the mounting hardware for washing machine and clothes dryer motors is different, so even if you could find a way to make a washing machine motor fit into your clothes dryer, it would not work properly.

What happens if the dryer motor wears out?

If the motor wears out, the clothes dryer will not function in most cases. The drive motor is responsible for spinning the drum that tumbles the clothes, and without a functioning motor, the dryer will be unable to tumble the clothes and they will not dry.

What causes a dryer motor to burn out?

Lint buildup on motors increases the risk of overheating and eventually leads to motor burn-out. Burning smells from a clothes dryer are almost always caused by lint buildup, so be sure to clean your lint screen regularly. Additionally, motors can burn out from overuse, overloading the dryer, or a power surge.

How long do dryer motors last?

Dryer motors can last as long as the dryer lasts. However, on average, you can expect a dryer motor to last anywhere between 10 to 15 years.

How much does it cost to replace a dryer motor?

You can expect to pay anywhere between $200 and $450 to replace a dryer motor, depending on the model, type, and capacity.

Manish Singh is an expert in electrical engineering with a Diploma in the field. With over 12 years of experience, he specializes in repairing music systems, washing machines, dryers, and other laundry-related appliances. His in-depth knowledge in electrical repairs and decent knowledge about garment care makes him a trusted authority in the field of appliance repair and laundry related topics. If you have any questions or need assistance with your appliances, you can reach out to Manish through email: manish.singh (at)