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How to Check the Motor Coupler

Washers with a direct drive motor have a motor coupler instead of a belt. The motor coupler consists of three plastic disks (or tri-stars) with interlocking tabs. Those tabs can wear and break which results in slippage. The slippage causes little or no power to be transferred to the transmission. A worn motor coupling can result in weak or no movement of the agitator and spin basket. Inspecting the motor couplers requires removing the motor, which is fairly easy to do.

Caution: Please read our safety information before attempting any testing or repairs.

Before checking the motor coupler, unplug the washer or shut off the power at the fuse box or breaker panel to avoid an electrical shock hazard. Also, turn off the water supply to the washer at the valves.

Remove the cabinet. Locate the motor. The pump is mounted to one side of the motor. You do not have to remove the hoses from the pump unless they prevent you from moving the pump out of your way. If you must remove the hoses, label where they connect first. To disconnect the hoses, pinch the wire clamps with pliers (or loosen the screw) and slide the clamp farther up the hose. Slide the hose off of the pump port.

There are two clips that secure the pump housing to the motor. Use a screwdriver to pry up the clips and remove the cover. Next, slide off the pump to reveal the motor. Disconnect the wiring harness from the motor, do not pull on the wires themselves. The motor typically is secured with retaining clips and bolts. Remove the bolts and use a screwdriver to pry up the clips (if present). Remove the motor.

Mounted on the shaft of the back of the motor you will find the motor coupler. Separate the three disks and inspect them for damage. If you find cracks or excessive wear, replace the coupler.

Click here to order replacement parts.




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