Laundry in a dryer

How to find the cause of a squeaky dryer and fix it

When your dryer makes a squeaking or squealing sound, it may be a sign that a repair or replacement is needed. Use this guide to troubleshoot your squeaking dryer and find out whether you can fix the problem yourself or if professional help is needed.

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What causes a squeaky dryer?

There are several possible causes of a squealing dryer, including unlevel installation, damaged drum bearings, a faulty drive belt, a worn out idler pulley, a damaged roller shaft or a malfunctioning motor. Discovering the cause of your squeaky dryer can help you determine how to resolve the issue.

How to fix a squeaking dryer

If your dryer is squeaking, you may be able to fix the problem on your own. Read on below for a general guide to fixing a screeching dryer. Specific instructions for troubleshooting a problem with your dryer may vary depending on the model, so it is important to always consult your product manual before beginning a repair.

Tools Needed
  • Level 

  • Screwdriver

Level icon

Check to see if your dryer is level

  • Use a level to see if your dryer has been installed properly on a flat surface. 
  • Place the level on top of the dryer from front to back and side to side. 

If your appliance is unlevel, you may need to adjust the dryer legs until the level reads that they are even. 

 

Your dryer may be even, but the legs could still be causing the noise if they are loose. To check, do the following:

  • Pull the dryer away from the wall, tilt it back and secure it with a support object. 
  • Tighten the dryer feet with a wrench if you find that they are loose. 

If your dryer legs are level and tightened but your dryer is still squeaking, you may want to contact Whirlpool® Professional Repair Services.

Other reasons why your dryer may be squeaking

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Worn or poorly lubricated drum bearings

Drum bearings are typically found in the back wall inside the dryer cabinet. Bearings that aren’t properly lubricated or have worn out over time can emit a squeaking sound as the drum rotates. 

 

Professional help is recommended when greasing or replacing drum bearings on Whirlpool® dryers. You can schedule an appointment with a licensed Whirlpool technician here.

Drive belt icon

Loose or worn drive belt

The drive belt wraps around the outside of the dryer drum and can cause squeaking if it is frayed or cracked. When the belt breaks completely, the dryer drum will not rotate during use.


If the belt is loose, worn or broken, it will need to be replaced with the help of a licensed professional.

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Broken or loose idler pulley

If a squeaking sound is coming from the front of your dryer, the idler pulley may be the culprit. The pulley places tension on the drive belt to prevent it from slipping off during a cycle, and a broken or loose pulley needs to be replaced. 

 

If the idler pulley is the cause of your squeaky dryer, professional help is recommended to repair or replace it.

Roller shaft icon

Damaged roller shafts

Roller shafts are small parts that look like rolling pins located on either side of the back wall of the dryer cavity and can cause a squealing sound when they are worn down or have build-up. If any signs of damage are found, the roller shafts need to be replaced with the assistance of a licensed professional.

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Worn out dryer motor

If your squeaking dryer isn’t due to any of the previous causes, the dryer motor may be the source of the noise. Replacing a motor typically involves removing wiring, clamps or other parts of the dryer and should be left to the professionals.

 

Occasionally, a squeaking dryer indicates that you may need to upgrade your appliance to a new model. A licensed professional can help you understand whether the problem can be resolved by replacing a few dryer parts, like these parts and accessories from Whirlpool, or if you will need to purchase a new dryer.

Hand selecting a cycle setting on a Whirlpool® dryer

Can I use my dryer if it’s squeaking?

A squeaking dryer should not be ignored as continued use can cause further damage and lead to a more lengthy repair. Learn what to do if your dryer stops spinning.

Should you grease dryer drum rollers?

Dryer drum rollers do require proper lubrication to keep your dryer from squeaking, but accessing the parts requires the help of a professional. You can schedule a service appointment for your Whirlpool® dryer.

Can you use WD-40 on a dryer?

Do not use WD-40 to grease the parts of your dryer. This solution can pose a fire risk as it is combustible and dryers run at very high temperatures. Service technicians can ensure that only manufacturer-approved lubricants are used.

How do I know if my dryer drum rollers are bad?

When your dryer drum rollers begin to wear down, your dryer may squeak when in use. The problem should be addressed quickly to prevent further wear and ensure proper function.

White front-loading washer and dryer in a modern laundry room

Should I lubricate the dryer idler pulley?

Modern dryers require disassembly to access the pulley and should be lubricated with the help of a licensed technician.

Discover Whirlpool® dryers

Whether you need to replace a broken dryer or simply want to upgrade your laundry room, Whirlpool brand has a wide selection of dryers to choose from. From the energy-saving EcoBoost™ option to the AutoDry™ drying system that senses when clothes have reached the right moisture content, Whirlpool offers a variety of features designed to help you properly care for your family’s laundry.

Learn more about Whirlpool® dryers

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