How To Replace a Dryer Belt on Whirlpool Models

Picture of How To Replace a Dryer Belt on Whirlpool Models
Step by step instructions to replace a dryer belt on a Whirlpool dryer. This is a easy repair that most do-it-yourselfers can do. It can save you time and money since you won't have to call in an expensive repairman for a very common problem.
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Step 1: Tools

The tools you will need for this repair are as follows:

- 5/16th nut driver or socket
- Phillips screwdriver
- Putty knife
- Container for screws

Step 2: Warning

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Before beginning any appliance repair, it is extremely important to make sure the appliance you are repairing is unplugged and is completely disconnected from power.

Step 3:

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Begin by removing the lint filter. This will expose to screws that need to be taking out. Use your 5/16th screwdriver for this step.

Step 4:

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Using the putty knife, place it in the opening between the top of the dryer and the front of the dryer and pop it up. Repeat on the other side.

Step 5:

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Flip the top over so it is out of the way.

Step 6:

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Remove the two screws holding the front of the dryer on. These screws are located on the inside of the dryer in the front upper corners.

Step 7:

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Now that the front of the dryer is released, pull the top out from the dryer and then lift it off the tabs on the bottom. This will release the front piece and you can swing it to the side. Disconnect the lid switch wires if they are not long enough to allow you to do this.

Step 8:

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Remove the old belt.

Step 9:

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Note: Since dryers can get quite dirty, its a good idea to vacuum out the inside while you have the front off. To do this, simply pull out the drum, vacuum, and replace.

Step 10:

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Place the new belt around the dryer drum, and then run the belt underneath the dryer and through the pulley as shown. The idler pulley should apply tension to the belt. Note: images for this step are shown without the drum. With the drum in place, you may need an extra hand to hold the drum up to get easier access to the motor and idler pulley.

My dryer was screaming at me so I knew that there was something in there somewhere. Your Instructions were a huge help to me in order to diagnose the problem, turns out I just had to remove two heat shields from the back of the dryer in order to grab something that fell back under the lint trap, but either way this helped me. Thank you!

dann.doll3 months ago

Instructions are not complete. Pop the top off and fold back (ok). Unscrew the lint catcher (ok). Unscrew the front top door(ok). Now, what about the springs for the hatch door? Had to take both front doors off to access the idler. Pretty tricky reattaching the springs. Had to make some adjustments to refasten the bottom door.

Dryer is operational

tvance9291 year ago

idler pulley -- this thing keeps popping off really easy. Did something break on it for it to be doing this? I finally got the belt back on and went to hand turn it (probably turned it the wrong way but still) and the thing popped right out! ARGH!

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!! You just saved me $900 for a new dryer!!! My brother helped but I did all the grunt work!!!!! LOL Great instructions!!!!
kpaddler2 years ago
WOW It would have taken me all day just to figure out how to get the top off the machine! Drying my first load on the new belt now, all seems well. The only (small) complaint I have is that I wish the article was more instructive on taking off the front of the machine, the little clips on the bottom messed me up.

A little helpful hint: Just use something to rest the drum on to keep it from falling while you are trying to put the belt on. The cardboard box my new belt came in worked perfectly for this.
Very good article and pictures. When I got into my Whirlpool Estate TEDS840JQ0, instead of an idler pulley, I found the thing you see in this picture. We got this machine from a small business that fixes up and sells appliances. Is this part legit? Should I spend the 15 bucks on a pulley wheel and replace it? Thanks.
04-09-09 117.jpg
Mine just broke too, and has this 'glider' part, which seems totally ridiculous and a poor design; but you know what? It works! Thanks for adding the picture! Helped me out a ton!
I seem to have the "glider part" on my dryer. Ican't tell from the picture exactly how to run it under. Do I just pull the loop of the belt which is already around the drum under the "glider and then around the motor????
The "glider" pictured has been discontinued by Whirlpool, and replaced with a tensioner with a teflon ROLLER. 
sherbin185 years ago
After a bit of bad words, I finally got the belt on and working. The drum has to be PERFECTLY lined up or the belt will be too short. It's a really tight tolerance. Thanks for the great resource.
I found that it all comes down to the tension on the idle roller. Wrap the belt around the drum, rubber side in. When you have it positioned and the belt through the idle roller underside, push the idle roller rod towards the motor assembly. This gives you the slack you need. Still a squeeze but it'll get on there.
plastik8923 years ago
Between the article, this written instructional ( and a high-temperature graphite lubricant, I was able to get things running quietly again.


The_PZA3 years ago
AWEsome! Thanks to the follow-up comments, too. I was looking all over for the round pulley, until I read on about the 'glider', and how to put it on. Seems like a stupid design, but the darn thing's working now! Thanks very much!
kamucols3 years ago
Great step-by-step, many thanks.

There is also a good video of how to do it at this site:

One caution if you use the video: they take the bottom part of the front off by levering with a screw driver at both sides. On our dryer the spring clips are at the the top of the bottom section about 3-4 inches in from the sides. You slip the screwdriver in and press them down to release. You have to get down on your knees with a flashlight to locate them.
kshirin3 years ago
Thank You! How did people do this before the internet?
SlowNotEasy5 years ago
In 2008 I purchased a belt, drive rollers, and a new belt tensioner.   I made a huge mistake by not buying genuine Whirlpool replacement parts.   The belt was OK, but the support rollers, and the belt tensioner roller was NOT the same as the original parts.

The dryer made noise and finally the belt tensioner was destoyed!   This month I bought knock off parts again, and immediately those parts caused a problem.  The appliance store gave me a refund, I purchased genuine Whirlpool parts, installed them and the dryer works perfect.  

My dryer is a Whirlpool gas dryer purchased in 2003 and works greal.  

On this site on 4/9/09 spikeSpilker pictures a "glider" to tension the belt.   That part has been discontinued by Whirlpool, and replaced with a "roller".
A little off topic, but I had the same experience with knock-off Toro snowblower parts. Junk compared to the genuine Toro parts. Don't buy cheap Chinese replacement parts.
brandiderek3 years ago
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!! After learning that rather than buy a new (used) dryer, it could simply be a belt issue and not a motor issue, I was told to check the belt first. I had NO idea how to do that, and even so, how to change it. This site was a HUGE help (I couldnt have done it without it) and also a HUGE money saver. I appreciate all of the great pics as well as the step by step instructions. I didnt even need a new belt, my pulley had simply popped out and needed put back in.
I just replace the belt of my dryer Whirlpool, thanks a lot for your help, that was wonderful and really cheap.
dtruly3 years ago
These instructions were a great help. Note: I have a much older dryer with the door that opens forward instead of to the side. It has springs which must be unhooked. Remove the bottom front plate and unhook the springs. Pretty easy once I figured out how it was put together.
OMG! This freaking rocks! You saved me a ton of money on a repair and/or countless hours lost by doing it myself blind! Thank you, sir! I can dry my clothes again!
Awesome !!! This saved me about $150 ! Thank You Thank You Thank You !!!
mom2logan4 years ago
OK. So hubby replaced the belt and vaccumed everything out. Apparently we have the "glider" that other posters say isn't used any longer. We put everything back together after vaccuming and it still doesn't tumble. Any other suggestions? Everything seems to turn easily when we are in there.
jluby075 years ago
Thank you so much!! I might be admitting my stupidity here, but I would never have gotten the belt back on or the guide roller back in place without your disassembly steps. Runs like new. Thanks again!!
gabrael5 years ago

just wanted to say thnx from the bottom of my heart. you saved me $100 or so according to the estimate we got over the phone. i know nothing about dryers or appliances but now i can change a dryer belt. took me five minutes to put on and ten to put it all back to together and around room the way the wife likes it. your the man.

tyghe5 years ago
This is fantastically helpful. Thanks!
nitdoggx5 years ago
Fantastic instructable. Great pictures and explanation. Paid only $15 for the belt and probably would have paid $150 if I were to call a service man!
calhelha5 years ago
dtownfan135 years ago
Saved me a a lot of money! $20 for the belt. Works great!!!
ReCreate5 years ago
*in hypnotized voice* must visit must is everywhere ah the Madness! AHH *explodes*
jpaq665 years ago
woohoo!! I did it!!! ty ty ty ty for this service, u guys are the shizzle!!!
kibriant5 years ago
This was exactly what we needed to fix our dryer. We got it done in no time once we saw these helpful pictures!
As an appliance repairman, I must inform everyone who reads this that this is one of 2 different whirlpool dryer styles! If you have the other style and attempt to take it apart in this fashion you might break the top panel and/or some of the internal elements of the dryer! Nice walkthrough either way! Thanks
Good day. I have a Whirlpool Dryer that has the opening to the side in the front, not at the top like shown. Is the principle for opening it the same? My unit is not tumbling at all. Thank you.
if you have the opposite style what you need to do is: at the very front corners of the console you will see 2 phillips head screws holding the console down(newer dryers have these in the rear).If you do not see the screws then they hidden under the endcap of the console. These endcaps are very easy to pop off. Just insert a flathead screwdriver under the top rear of the endcap, and pull towards you. After the endcap is off the screws will be at the base of the console. After the screws are out you can flip the console backwards, exposing three 1/4" screws (left)(middle)(right) near the rear panel that must come out so you can slide the top forward(not up) off the machine. Once all this is complete you will see 2 screws on the front panel(left)(right) side and your door switch wiring. Also you must take off the lower front panel to expose the other 2 screws that hold the front panel on. And this should give you full access to everything. ***warning*** there are a few newer styles still that do not use screws or endcaps but rather a small metallic clip that must be depressed with a putty knife(rarer style) If that is the case once you depress the clips in the lower corner(under the console), the rest of the teardown is the same as I have just explained!! Hope that helps.
Will try it this weekend. Thanks a lot.
bart106556 years ago
My dryer takes about 2 hours to dry a medium size load and my washer is ringing it out well. Does anyone know if it is the heating element if so how do i replace it.
Mike.6 years ago
The belt on my dryer snapped this week, luckily its under warranty but this is great if it happens in the future. Mike
dacker6 years ago
Nice Instructable. Most people don't realize how easy it is to service an electric dryer; it's REALLY easy! I have a nice Reader's Digest appliance repair book for reference; your public library probably has a copy. I serviced my own Whirlpool dryer just twice in 20 years and it's still going strong. Like you. I replaced the belt, but only under the guise of "just in case" at about the 12-year mark. I had opened-up the dryer to replace one of the idler wheels which had worn out. I would recommend cleaning and relubing these wheels anytime you have to remove the drum. The black-rimmed idlers are visible in Step 9, picture 2 and step 10, picture 2.