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Dryer Squeaking: Common Reasons and Fixes

Dryer Squeaking: Common Reasons and Fixes

Is your dryer squeaking? You’re not alone. I know it’s annoying, so I decided to do some research to help you get to the bottom of the issue. Read on to learn all you need to know.


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Is Your Dryer Squeaking?

As it turns out, there are just a few reasons for a dryer squeaking. Most of the causes are relatively easy fixes with inexpensive part replacements.

Figuring out what’s causing your dryer to squeak isn’t as difficult as you might think. I’ve reviewed instructions from numerous YouTube videos and appliance repair guides.

Then, I put them in terms that those who are not mechanically inclined can follow. Sound like you’re in the right place? Great, I think you are. Now, let’s get to fixing your dryer!

Should You Fix It Yourself?

Handyman with big spanner installing a dryer squeaking

Dragon Images/Shutterstock

Before you roll up your sleeves and get to work, consider the task ahead. Fixing any part on your squeaky dryer involves taking it apart and putting it back together.

You’ll also have to purchase parts that fit your specific dryer model. You will need a few tools. You’re also going to need plenty of patience.

You might fix one issue you thought was the culprit to find more than one problem causing the squeaking. When it comes to DIY repairs, this is often the case. 

If you’re not comfortable doing that, or are unsure about any part or step along the way, don’t push forward and chance ruining your dryer. Don’t take shortcuts that will require a more extensive repair later.

Take my advice: Just call an appliance repair company.

There’s a form in this guide that allows you to enter your zip code and get a free quote from an appliance repair company in your area.

If you don’t have a go-to appliance repair stop-your-dryer-squeaking guy, use this form and find a good one! Keep reading to find out why your dryer is squeaking and what you can do about it.

Top 4 Reasons for Dryer Squeaking

Dryers can seem complicated when you’ve never opened one up and peeked inside. It’s easy to imagine that it’s like looking under the hood of a car.

Fortunately, the components inside a dryer are pretty straightforward. The only parts inside a dryer that can result in a squeaking, squealing, or screeching sound are those that rotate or facilitate rotation. 

See? We’re already close to solving the case of your squeaky dryer. Check out the instructions below to see which part is the culprit. 

IMPORTANT: Before doing anything to your dryer, unplug the dryer, disconnect gas (if applicable) and scoot the dryer away from the wall.

Opening the Dryer Cabinet

Home appliances service. Clothes washing machine and hand tools on green wall background. 3d illustration to fix a dryer squeaking

Rawf8/Shutterstock

Tools needed: Putty knife, screwdriver, 5/16 nut driver

All of the following reasons for dryer squeaking sounds require you to open the dryer cabinet. You need to be able to access the inside of the dryer to check for these problems and access any part that should be replaced.

  • First, if your lint trap is located on top of the machine, remove it. 
  • Newer dryer models may have two screws joining the front dryer panel to the lid. Open the dryer door to find these and unscrew them. Keep the screws together for reassembly later.
  • Use a putty knife to press in on the spring clips located along the dryer lid’s sides. Release the right and left sides, then pull the lid up to open it. Carefully lean the lid back.  
  • Use a screwdriver to remove the locking tab on the door switch wiring harness plug.
  • Unscrew the mounting screws on the front panel using your 5/16 nut driver. Keep the mounting screws together for reassembly later. 
  • You’ll now be able to take the front panel of the dryer off. This gives you full access to the drum, and once that’s removed, you’ll be able to get to all the parts inside. 

1. Worn Dryer Belt

man repairing a dryer squeaking from a loose belt

Alexander Penyushkin/Shutterstock

If you turn your dryer on and seem to hear the squeaking sound coming from the top, it could be the dryer belt. The dryer belt wraps around your dryer’s drum and gets it to rotate.

It loops around the dryer’s motor pulley and idler pulley to stay tight and turn the drum. Dryer belts fray, stretch, get brittle, or separate over time. They’re made of rubber and don’t last forever.

If something’s wrong with the dryer belt, it can’t properly hold the drum up. If the drum is contacting something it shouldn’t, you may hear squeaking (you may also hear thumping or grinding).

Here’s how to replace it:

  • Look down into the dryer cabinet to see the dryer belt wrapped around the drum. Does it look frayed, stretched, or brittle? If so, it needs to be replaced. 
  • Check your dryer’s manual to find what type of belt you need to replace it with. Your current dryer belt may have the part number printed directly on it. 
  • Once you have a replacement belt, bend down to look under the drum. Make a note of where the drive belt goes around the motor pulley and idler pulley. 
  • Now, gently push the idler pulley toward the motor to release the tension on the belt. Pull the old belt off the drum.
  • Lay the new belt over the drum and bring it around the idler pulley and motor pulley as the old one was. 

If you’re certain this was the only cause of dryer squeaking, you can now reassemble it. However, I recommend taking a look at the parts below first to be sure you’ve repaired everything that needs attention.

2. Worn or Damaged Idler Pulley

Dryer squeaking because of a damaged pulley

If you took a look at the dryer belt, you saw that it wraps around the idler pulley. The idler pulley creates tension on the belt to keep it from having too much slack and slipping.

It rotates at high speeds and creates a lot of friction. This friction is what can eventually cause it to wear out. A worn idler pulley makes a loud squeaking or squealing sound.

Left alone, it will progress into a loud thumping or scraping sound. If you’re hearing the squeaking sound, you should check the idler pulley out. 

  • Take the drive belt off by pushing the idler pulley toward the motor to release the tension. Slide the belt off the drum. 
  • Try to turn the idler pulley. Does it turn freely or have quite a bit of resistance? If it doesn’t turn freely, it needs to be replaced. The bearings inside are likely worn. 

To replace an idler pulley, you will need a few tools.

Tools needed: 1/4 nut driver, needle nose pliers

  • Remove the dryer’s drum by supporting it with one hand and using the belt to help guide it out. Set it aside. 
  • Use the pliers to disconnect the retaining nut attaching the pulley to the idler arm. Remove the pulley from the arm and dispose of it. 
  • Wipe the idler arm clean and slide the new pulley onto the arm. Reattach the retaining nut to secure the new pulley in place. Spin it to make sure it’s freely rotating. 
  • Reinstall the drum and thread the belt back through the motor pulley and idler pulley. Give it a spin to be sure it’s aligned. 
  • Reassemble the dryer, plug it in, and start it to see if this fixed the dryer squeaking.

3. Damaged Drum Bearings

Whirlpool dryer roller axle

Your dryer’s drum bearing is susceptible to damage and wear over the years. You can check to see if the drum bearing is the likely issue by manually rotating the drum. Do you feel any resistance?

Do you hear a fainter version of the squeaking sound? Does the sound seem to come from the bottom and back of the dryer? These would indicate that the drum bearing needs to be replaced. 

Drum bearings facilitate the rotation of the drum. They are made of metal, so when they are worn or damaged, you’ll hear loud squeaking or squealing from the dryer.

Without enough lubrication, they will get very hot from the friction of the dryer turning. This heat causes bearings to become misshapen, changing the way they sit on the bearing race.

Your dryer’s drum bearing might be a shaft connected to a sleeve bushing or a ball and socket. It all depends on what model and brand of dryer you have.

The location of your dryer’s drum bearing will vary based on the brand and model. Typically, you’ll find it in the rear center of the drum.

The bearing should be held inside a mounting plate attached to the drum’s rear with screws. Replacing drum bearings is not an easy job. It’s something you should leave to a professional.

4. Worn Drum Rollers

Dryer wont spin because of bad drum rollers which are pictured in this photo

Image Source: Home Depot

Your dryer’s drum rollers help the drum spin freely and support it. They are mounted on drum roller shafts that are attached to the back wall of the dryer.

Normal wear and tear will cause the drum rollers to wear out. When they do wear out, they can squeak as they rotate around the shaft.

If the rubber wheel wears down, you may hear a thumping sound as well. Here’s how to fix the issue:

  • With the dryer cabinet open, push the idler pulley arm to release the drive belt’s tension. Unthread it from the motor pulley and idler arm pulley. 
  • Support the drum and guide it out. Set it aside. 
  • Inspect the drum rollers (they look somewhat like rollerblade wheels) at the back of the dryer. You may see wear on the rubber wheel or on the inner ring where it sits on the metal shaft. If you’re not sure, call a professional.
  • Pry off the triangular washers in front of the drum rollers and remove the old rollers.
  • Push the new rollers onto the shafts and replace the washers. 
  • Replace the drum, thread the belt, and reassemble the dryer panels. 

It’s difficult to determine which kind of replacement drum rollers your dryer model will need. It’s possible other parts of the roller assembly are also due for replacement, like the washers or shafts. 

For this reason, it’s a good idea to call a professional to do this job for you. Incorrectly installed drum rollers can put too much strain on the drum and belt, which can overheat the motor. 

One Dryer Squeaking “Fix” You Should Avoid

CAUTION word written on wood block

Fabrik Bilder/Shutterstock

Any appliance repair technician will tell you this, but pay careful attention if you haven’t called one yet. And never, ever lubricate your roller wheels.

Whatever you do, don’t make the mistake of lubricating your dryer’s roller wheels to stop the squeaking. 

The inside of your dryer cabinet has lots of lint and dust in it. When you add lubricant to the inner part of roller wheels, it attracts and holds that lint and dust.

Why to Avoid It

It’s like tarring and feathering the inside of your dryer. Lint stuck to grease or oil inside the dryer will eventually cause the roller wheels to seize and make the squeaking sound worse than ever.

When the wheels seize up and won’t turn, the still-turning drum wears the wheels’ tops down until they’re flat. Even brand new roller wheels will need to be replaced when this happens. 

If damaging your dryer’s internal components wasn’t bad enough, greasing or oiling the roller wheels also creates a serious fire hazard.

Petroleum products plus lint is a dangerous, highly flammable combination. You should never need to lubricate your roller wheels because they’re lubricated at the factory.

When that lubrication is gone, it’s time to replace them, not grease them. And you can bet an appliance expert can help you with that, too.

Get a Quote
Find Local Appliance Repair

We partnered with Networx to help you find local appliance repair techs. Click to below to get a FREE quote.

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We may earn a commission when you click this link, at no extra cost to you.

Appliance Repair Companies Fix Dryer Squeaking Fast

working man plumber repairs a washing machine in laundry

Evgeny Atamanenko/Shutterstock

The sound of a dryer squeaking is enough to drive anyone crazy. You don’t have to deal with it or buy a new dryer when there’s professional help available!

Squeaking is usually related to the dryer belt, idler pulley, drum bearing, or drum rollers. The most DIY-friendly fix for a squeaky dryer is the dryer belt.

Unfortunately, this isn’t usually the sole cause of a squeaky dryer. An appliance repair tech will be able to inspect your dryer and give a holistic diagnosis, looking at all parts and assemblies that may be contributing to the noise.

That’s something an online repair guide won’t be able to teach you to do. Just take a second to fill out the form and find appliance repair companies near you.

You’ll get a free quote for the service you need. After reading through the top 4 reasons a dryer will squeak, you probably have a good idea of what’s going on with yours.

You can include this information in the form so the repair technician can give you the most accurate quote. Scroll up to get started now.

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