I have a Whirlpool front-loading washing machine (not sure about the model at this moment - I'm slacking off at work right now ;P). A month ago the torque transmitting belt went off. I put it back on and used the machine couple of weeks. Next it fell off I used it perhaps for a week. Now it won't stay even one washing cycle.

The problem is, as far as I researched, ruined bearing or broken spider. I watched some movies on YouTube and figured out how a repair is to be conducted. The problem is that the whole machine has to be taken apart nearly to the last screw.

I am not asking how to repair the machine. My question is should I spend the time trying to fix it (I have some limited technical background, though nothing specific), should I call a technician and wait him to work, while I do nothing, or should I just scrap the old monster and go for a new one?

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  • Only you can answer this question. You have to weigh the options, taking into account the cost of a new machine vs. the cost of a technician vs. the cost of parts and labor to do it yourself. – Tester101 Jun 13 '12 at 11:41
  • I know the cost of a new machine, but am unaware of both the time cost and risk factor of trying to fix it myself, as well as the money and time cost of a qualified personal and spare parts. I am looking for an advice from someone with experience with washing machine repairs. – Vorac Jun 13 '12 at 12:04
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    You could call a technician and try to get an estimate, though unless it's under warranty they'll likely tell you it's cheaper to buy a new one. – Tester101 Jun 13 '12 at 12:12
  • Unfortunately, I can't upvote your comment. Oh, well, I'll hang around and wait :D – Vorac Jun 13 '12 at 12:21
  • If you are reasonably sure of your diagnosis call several service shops and see what they charge to do the repair. They should be able to give you an estimate based on past experience. They may also offer advice on what else to replace while you have it apart. If the repair cost nears 50% of what the unit cost new just replace it. Many times they will advise you on new models to avoid because of high repair rates. I have had the best luck with repair shops that do not sell the appliances that they fix. They have nothing to gain by telling you to buy a new appliance. – mikes Jun 13 '12 at 20:13

First, figure out the replacement cost. Based on that, figure out what you're willing to spend on keeping the old one running. Never call a technician unless it's still under warranty. Parts + Labour for one call can be up to half the price of a new machine. (This is not a slight against the technicians. They're entitled to a fair wage, and your 1 hour call actually takes two hours when you count travel time.)

If you decide to do it yourself, make sure you do your research as to how to take it apart. It's far too easy to get led down the wrong path and remove a whole lot of unnecessary stuff.

Remove the damaged part, and make sure it's actually damaged. Go to your parts store and get a price. The replacement cost will probably astound you. It only takes a few replacement parts to quickly add up to the cost of a new machine. Which means you need to look around and see if any valves or bearings look loose. If they do, toss the machine, and get a new one. It'll need expensive repairs soon.

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I have fixed a few washers with my father. We've opened up the whole darn thing. Yes, tons of screws and sharp sheet metal. (I remember my father bleeding like a bandit from a cut on his finger.) Generally, we've fixed them out of principle and less over economic reasons. Getting parts, identifying the issue, and paying a tech or doing the work yourself, dealing with the hassle, working on your knees, isn't worth it if the washer is already a few years old. Low end washers have gotten fairly cheap over the years. Then again, you do have a front loader, which is more expensive. There is no solid answer, but I would lean on buying a new one if your washer is >36 months old. all my opinion.

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