I have Frigidaire fex831fs4 dryer for which electric motor appears to be seized: I am unable to easily spin the rotor with fingers (after removing it from the dryer) and the dryer makes humming noise while the start button is pressed, but nothing happens.

After some googling I found this youtube video where author appears to work on similar if not same motor and refurbished it by greasing the bearings: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UIi5RiRnaRI

Have three questions:

  1. what is the black thing he is moving with finger at 0:45? Does it lock motor?
  2. in my case the bearing cap does not want to come off easily after prying with screwdriver. Is it indicator that bearings are badly damaged or I did not try hard enough?
  3. is it possible to replace only the bearings in case they are toasted?

2 Answers 2


I find once bearings seize they usually need replacement. In cases I don’t have the correct bearing size I will pull the shields and clean and lube them, And order new bearings. These small bearings can usually be found for 10$ that is cheaper than a new motor. At my mill I replace at least 1-2 sets of bearings a month saving quite a bit over a years time. I looked at the video and the black ring he is moving is a centrifugal contact set, provides high torque to get motor started then switches to high speed. This can also be the cause of the failure to start. But since you cannot spin it the bearings need to be cleaned / lubed or replaced. If the motor won’t spin by hand it will not have enough torque to start.


Grease or other lube MAY buy you a little more time but it will not resolve the problem. Considering that the effort to remove and replace the motor is significant and that a replacement motor is not that expensive, you may want to simply replace it.

Bearings damaged so severely that the motor is seized will not be restored by simply lubricating them. In these types of motors the bearings are likely not replaceable.

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