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Troubleshooting Kenmore Direct Drive Washer Problems

Updated on October 1, 2016


Most Sears Kenmore direct drive washing machines are manufactured by Whirlpool. In contrast to washers that use belts, the beltless direct drive washing machine uses a reversing motor that turns in one direction to wash laundry, and reverses direction to perform the spin and drain operations. Direct drive machines are seen as more durable washers that are also easier to repair since they don’t have belts to break, and their internal components are more easily accessed. However, these washing machines present their own set of problems.

Washer Not Draining

The direct drive washing machine may stop draining water out of the appliance. The washer uses a direct drive pump to extract water from the machine. However, if the water is not being pumped out, there is a blockage somewhere. Remove the pump and examine it to be sure there are no obstructions that would prevent water from draining out of the machine. Also inspect the pump impellors to see if they are damaged. If so, replace them.

Washer Leaks Water

The direct drive washing machine is also susceptible to water leaks, which can be caused by a variety of reasons. The pump or the fill valve may be defective and should be checked, and replaced if necessary. In addition, most washing machines use a cheap, plastic drain hose, which can cause friction when it comes into contact with a plumbing pipe or the wall adjacent to the washer. Over time, this friction can create a hole in the plastic drain hose. Replacing a defective drain hose will resolve the water leak.

Check the pump and fill valve to see if either one of them is leaking water. If so replace them. Inspect the plastic drain hose for holes, which can be caused by rubbing up against the plumbing pipe or the wall adjacent to the washer. If the hose is defective, replace it.

Cycle Malfunctions

Cycle malfunctions are another common problem with Kenmore direct drive washers. These problems may manifest as missed cycles, or the machine may stop in the middle of a cycle. This is usually the result of a faulty timer contact, which will result in burned or blackened contacts. This problem can be resolved by replacing the timer.

Inspect the timer to see if the timer contacts are burned or blackened, which will cause the machine to skip cycles or stop in the middle of the cycle. If the contacts are discolored, replace the timer.

Noises and Poor Cleaning

Unusual noises and poor cleaning are other problems associated with Kenmore direct drive washing machines. These appliances use a two-piece agitator that has cogs and a cam between the two parts. The wear and tear experienced by the cogs are evident by clicking noises and the top half of the agitator will cease to work as well, which results in reduced cleaning effectiveness. Replace both the cogs and cam to ensure that they wear at an equal pace. If not, a worn cam will affect the performance of the cogs.


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    • profile image

      Roger Calesa 

      18 months ago

      My lid staying locked 3rd time in two years.. We don't over load it how do I get my clothes out before they mold waiting on service to get me for another hundred buck

    • profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Here is a link to more advanced troubleshooting for a direct drive washer that won't spin. I hope this helps! htttp://

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      my direct drive kenmore is 5 yrs old and won't spin after the wash cycle,it tries to spi but won't. At first if you gave the tub a push it would complete the cycle. Any thoughts for repair?? thanks


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