Do I Need To Replace Washing Machine Bearings? (Here Are Some Telltale Signs)

Dakotah Forbes
by Dakotah Forbes
If the sound of your washing machine is comparable to a plane getting ready for takeoff, you might have a problem with your washing machine bearings. Replacing washing machine bearings

If the sound of your washing machine is comparable to a plane getting ready for takeoff, you might have a problem with your washing machine bearings.

Replacing washing machine bearings can be a costly and difficult repair. Often, the cost of paying a technician to replace the bearings is greater than the cost of a new washer. In this case, the repair would not be worth the time and money. However, the repair might be worth it if you can do it yourself to extend the life of your washer.

Keep reading if you’re wondering: what exactly are washing machine bearings? Why do they go bad? How can I replace them myself? We’ve got the answers.

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What are Washing Machine Bearings?

Washing machine bearings are an essential part of your washing machine’s structure. These metal rings support the rotation of the tub during the cycle. They are usually located beneath the outer tub towards the back of the machine. They can be found by removing the back panel of the washer.

Signs Your Washing Machine Bearings Have Gone Bad

It is common for washing machine bearings to simply go bad over time. As the washing machine ages, the seals around the tub can begin to leak. This can lead the metal washing machine bearings to rust, which compromises their integrity.

Loud Noise When Running

Because washing machine bearings are responsible for supporting the tub, a common symptom is loud noises during the wash cycle. If your washing machine is constantly making loud banging noises while running, your washing machine bearings have likely gone bad. The uncontrolled movement of the loose tub might even cause your whole machine to move around.


As mentioned above, rust is usually the culprit which causes bad bearings. If you suspect your washing machine has bad bearings, remove its back panel. If there is evidence of rusty parts, especially around the motor, you likely have bad bearings.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace Washing Machine Bearings?

The cost to replace washing machine bearings varies between models. It can cost as little as $100 or as much as $600. This also depends on whether you replace them yourself or hire a professional.

On average, replacing the bearings on a top-loading washing machine will be more expensive than a front-loading machine.

Is it Worth It?

When deciding whether it is worth it to replace your washing machine bearings, research the prices of parts for your specific washing machine model. If you will need to hire someone to do the repair, get quotes from several different people. Also, read reviews to ensure that you hire a reputable professional. When paying for an expensive repair like bearings, it is important that the repair is done well and lasts a long time.

How Old Is Your Washing Machine?

If your bearings have gone bad over time, this could also mean that other parts on your washing machine have gone bad or will go bad soon. If your washing machine is already on its last leg, it may not be worth it to put time and money into replacing the bearings.

Is it Under Warranty?

If your washing machine is fairly new and still under warranty, this is a situation in which replacing your washing machine bearings will almost always be worth it. Washing machine bearings can last up to 10 years, so if your bearings have gone bad in 1-2 years, you should contact the manufacturer.

A Rule of Thumb

If your machine could still last several more years, and the cost of the repair will cost half the price or less of a new washer, then the repair is likely worth it.

You must also consider your own situation. If a running washing machine is a necessity, and you simply cannot afford a new washing machine, the repair may be worth it. Be sure to do your research to ensure that the repair will be the less expensive option.

Can I Use A Washing Machine With Bad Bearings?

Your washing machine will still function with bad bearings. However, the rotation of the drum with bad bearings will cause damage to other components of the washing machine over time. This will continue to shorten the life of your washing machine until it can no longer function properly. Not to mention that if you use your washing machine frequently, the noisiness of the washer can become maddening.

Additionally, the longer you continue to use a washing machine with bad bearings, the more it will make sense to simply replace the washer rather than replacing the bearings. The more wear and tear you allow the washer to endure, the shorter its life will be.

Replacing Washing Machine Bearings Yourself

If you decide that you want to tackle this repair project on your own, you will need to do some research to complete this repair. The process will vary between washer models. However, the following important items should be considered by anyone preparing to complete this repair.

Before You Begin

First, you’ll need to ensure that you are purchasing the correct replacement parts for your washing machine model. Also, you’ll need to be able to locate the bearings, which can vary between models as well. Refer to the manual or get in touch with the manufacturer to ensure the best results. While you’re at it, it may be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the structure of the washer.

Additionally, ensure that you have the correct tools to complete the repair. This can include screwdrivers and pliers for disassembly and reassembly. You’ll also need a heavy-duty tool when replacing the bearings, such as a spanner wrench.


Next, you will have to disassemble the machine. This includes unplugging it from the wall, disconnecting the water inlet hoses, and removing the front cover and back panel. Some other things that will need to be removed include the control panel and detergent. Take photos throughout the process so that you can remember how to correctly reassemble each part of your washer.

Replacing the Bearings

When completing a complex job like replacing washing machine bearings, it is important to take your time and ensure that you replace everything correctly. Be sure to use the proper tools, as mentioned above, to ensure all replaced parts are securely in place.

Additionally, ensure that when replacing the bearings, all bearing seals are also properly replaced. As mentioned above, rust is the primary factor that compromises bearings. So, ensuring they have a good seal will help your repair to last a long time.

Replacing washing machine bearings is a more difficult repair, so if you have no experience in repairing appliances, this job might not be for you. At the very least, you’ll need to ensure that you do a lot of research to prepare.

Related Questions

What is the Average Lifespan of a Washing Machine?

Washing machines last an average of 10 years. This can vary by several years depending on how well you maintain the machine, and how often it is used. Most washers are also covered by a warranty of up to several years. 

What Are Other Causes of Noisy Washing Machine?

Your washing machine could be unusually noisy due to an unbalanced load, an item trapped in between the drum, a clogged filter, or a faulty pulley. Bad washing machine bearings are a more serious cause of a noisy washing machine. 

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Overall, replacing washing machine bearings may not be worth it in the long run. But this can vary for every situation. If your machine’s bearings are easy to replace and the repair can be done on your own, it might be worth it. Also, if you simply want to get more life out of your machine before replacing it, replacing bearings could be a worthwhile repair.

If you need advice on your washing machine’s repairs, consult a professional repair technician, or even the machine’s manufacturer.

Dakotah Forbes
Dakotah Forbes

Dakotah Forbes is a copywriter and content writer specializing in home decor and design. She is dedicated to helping readers find answers to all their home design questions by creating helpful guides and articles. In her spare time, she loves to use her creative spirit to complete her own home decor and DIY projects. Dakotah graduated from James Madison University with a BA in Media Arts and Design and currently resides in Virginia with her husband.

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