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Follow-up to this question:

I opened up this same washer to diagnose the problem, and found the drive belt in shreds with major gashes and barely holding on, and the whole interior (outside the washing basin) covered with lines of black grease matching the height of the drive belt, and with yellow oil all over the inside floor. There was cottony white (possibly plastic) fluff in several places as well. It looks like the drive belt was actually hitting one of the support struts, almost as if it had gotten stretched and the tension wheel had pushed it out too far.

I have replaced the drive belt and heard no major noises except those as discussed in the original question (thumping after washer stops driving a spin cycle but while the basin is still spinning).

I talked with an appliance mechanic and he suggested a test to see if the problem was the transmission of the washer: run an agitation cycle and see if the basin spins with the center shaft. The result was that the center shaft turns one way, then turns the other way, and the basin turns opposite to the center shaft on every other center shaft turn.

Questions:

  • Is this test and result sufficient to decide that the problem is not the transmission?

  • I'm sure the oil/grease is indicative of some problem; any suggestions on what this might be?

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1 Answer

The only thing in a washer that has significant amounts of oil is the transmission. At this point, if the machine seems to be running normally, then let it be. That is what the appliance repair guy was talking about.

If the transmission dies later, the worst that can happen is you burn up another belt. So unless you want to spend the money on a new transmission now, just wait until it fails.

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So there is no point in attempting to put more oil into the transmission to help it last longer or to investigate the source of the thumping sound and fix that problem? –  abiessu Oct 29 '13 at 21:12
    
Probably not. Usually the transmissions are not serviceable. –  longneck Oct 29 '13 at 21:14
    
My suspicion is that the cause of the thumping noise is also what caused the transmission to lose oil. Is it possible that fixing the source of the thumping noise will extend the life of the transmission? If the source of that noise is not the transmission itself, what are possible sources? –  abiessu Oct 29 '13 at 21:28
    
If you run the machine with no clothes in it, do you still get the thumping sound? Is the drum spinning centered the whole time? If you have to, defeat the lid switch to watch it. –  longneck Oct 29 '13 at 22:00
    
I'll have to check on the first question. It did start happening after a particularly large load was sent through. The second question is answered with "no", at least not perfectly centered; the top edge seems to move towards the back of the washer sometimes as the basin is slowing down. –  abiessu Oct 29 '13 at 22:03
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