Why does the dryer shake or wobble? (Answered)

In most cases, the dryer shakes or wobbles due to an unbalanced appliance and drum-related faults. Other common factors include uneven load distribution, dryer legs not level or uneven flooring, a broken drum, defects with the motor mounting, other misaligned components, etc.

Prior to starting troubleshooting, you must ascertain the closest possible cause.

Key Takeaways

  • In most cases the problems within or around the drum.
  • There can be many factors involved, so troubleshooting must be done systematically to identify the root cause.
  • If you are unsure about the cause of a wobbling or shaking dryer then it’s best to approach a service professional.

Here are some common reasons why your dryer would shake or wobble.

Misaligned components

A wobbling dryer can be due to the fact that the dryer’s motor and other moving parts are not properly aligned or the alignment has gone bad internally.

You may need to hire an appliance service professional for help.

Problematic Dryer Drum

If your clothes dryer starts to wobble, it could be due to a problematic drum.

The dryer drum is the large cylinder where your clothes tumble around as they dry.

If the drum is unbalanced, it can cause your dryer to shake or wobble during operation.

There could be many ways for the drum to cause excessive vibration.

A few examples are a dent in the drum, an object stuck in the drum, or the drum not properly seated on its supports.

The broken drum will keep rubbing the neighboring components and cause a banging noise along with unusual wobbling.

Lastly, it may happen that sometimes things can get caught in the dryer’s drum.

This might also be a hidden factor, causing the drum to wobble.

Inspect the drum carefully to see if there’s anything caught in it to fix the ongoing issue.


This is a classic example, and in the majority of cases, an overloaded dryer is the root cause of this problem.

An overloaded dryer will not be able to tumble the clothes properly, which in turn will result in an imbalanced load.

This will make your dryer wobble during operation as it tries to tumble the clothes.

To overcome this situation, simply halt the dryer, and let it cool as a safety precaution. Now, open it up, and redistribute the clothes inside so that they’re more evenly balanced.

Likewise, remove some garments and run the dryer to ensure that it’s not overloaded.

Dryer legs

One possibility is that the legs on your dryer are not level.

You can adjust the legs of the dryer so that it’s level, and fixes the leveling problem.

If the legs are not level, the dryer will wobble when it is running.

You can check the level of the legs by using a leveling device.

Place the device on top of the dryer, and then adjust the legs until the dryer is level.

Rollers and Glides

Rollers and glides are important components that help move the drum smoothly.

They may deteriorate over time and eventually cause wobbling and excessive vibration.

Another possibility is that something is blocking one of the rollers or wheels on your dryer.

The wheels help to keep the dryer stable, so if one wheel is blocked, it can cause the dryer to wobble and shake.

Check to see if there is anything blocking the wheels, and remove it if there is any blockage.

Drive Motor

If neither of these solutions fixes the problem, it is possible that there is an issue with the motor mounts on your dryer.

The motor mounts hold the motor in place, and if they are loose, it can cause the dryer to vibrate and wobble.

You should have a qualified repair person take a look at your dryer if you think this might be the problem.

Drum bearings

Over time, the bearings in your dryer can wear out, causing the machine to wobble.

If the bearings are worn out, they will need to be replaced.

This is a job that should be done by a qualified repair person, or you can replace it on your own if you are familiar with dryer repairs.

Final Thoughts

Fixing a wobbling dryer should be a priority before using it since repeated excess vibration can cause damage to other internal components.

There are several potential causes of a wobbling dryer; some are easy to fix, while others may require the help of a qualified repair person.

Check the simple things first, such as redistributing the load or checking to see if something is blocking the wheels.

If none of these solutions fix the problem, it is possible that there is an issue with the motor mounts or the bearings in your dryer.

In either case, you should have a qualified repair person take a look at your dryer.

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) portablelaundry.com