Our washing machine is starting intermittently, and based on a light film the color of rust/oil below the machine, I suspect lubrication is starting to wear out and increasing friction. The 1/2 HP motor doesn't come with a start or run capacitor, although the washing machine circuit diagram indicates a capacitor is included for export models only.

  1. Would it be helpful to add a starting capacitor?
  2. Should I even bother, given that the motor is approaching 20 years old?

auto washer motor

electrical diagram

  • if it didn't need one before, electrically, it shouldn't need one now. The difference is likely due to friction as moving parts wear, but electrical ones (normally) don't, and indeed the motor looks newish.
    – dandavis
    Nov 7, 2022 at 19:38
  • washing machine circuit diagram indicates a capacitor is included for export models only what type do they recommend ?
    – asinine
    Nov 7, 2022 at 19:46
  • @Ruskes They don't give a recommendation. I could be misreading the whole thing too, added the diagram to the original question. Nov 7, 2022 at 20:28
  • You are reading it correctly. It is actual switched start capacitor, but the do not specify the value.
    – asinine
    Nov 7, 2022 at 20:56

2 Answers 2


i don't think you're going to improve the washer. It's a washer. People don't hot-rod them. Moroso isn't going to make a "turbo" capacitor for it, and even if they tried it is unlikely UL would list it.

The sad reality is that this washer has an actual problem that needs repair... or can be deemed "at the end of its service life" depending on how much engineering you're willing to put into it.


Start by lubricating the moving parts.

Check the belt tension.

Try running in empty mode.

If you choose Start capacitor it has to be in a circuit that disconnects the capacitor after start otherwise the motor will suffer.

Per your schematic you do have the Centrifugal switch (Cent SW) to turn off the start capacitor.

You are all set, so get a capacitor.

Start capacitors are usual 50uF or larger.

The run capacitors are 5uF range.

  • that disconnect would be "CENT SW" in the diagram. not sure if they would bother with it on a non-export model, but if it's there, all that's missing is the cap.
    – dandavis
    Nov 7, 2022 at 20:55

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