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How to Tell if Dryer Motor is Bad [5 Easy Steps]

Dryer motors are fun to own and the first to ruin. But with great care and effort, you can fix just about anything. And it’s just a dryer.

How to tell if a dryer is bad?

The first sign of a dryer going bad would be making weird noises. Be it humming or buzzing, there would be an unusual sound. Additionally, if the motor is overheated easily then it’s probably broken somewhere. Also, holding the start button for more than a second too indicates the same.

If you see any of these signs in your dryer, then it’s faulty.

In case you are looking for a more detailed version of these faults, read along!

3 Major Reasons Why Dryer Motor Goes Bad

Before we dive into the hows, let’s discuss the whys first. As we have established, dryers get easily damaged. 

If you’re interested in getting one, you might as well know the electrical requirements for dryers.

Even then, there are still some personal actions that enable these damages faster. 3 of the major reasons for it are given below:

Reason 1: Overusing the Dryer

Overusing dryers can cause the motor to overheat and hence go mute. Using something beyond its limit will only weaken its structure. And it’s just a dryer.

Reason 2: Underusing the Dryer

Just like overusing, underusing dryers is just as bad. Why? Because it forces the motor to collect lint over time and become slow. Hence, the dryer stops working.

Reason 3: Internal Damage

Now, this one can happen on multiple occasions. Mostly, if the dryer was delivered damaged. 

Also, if there are any wiring issues or power issues, it’s because of internal damage. It can occur due to mishandling the dryer prior to using the dryer. Hence, be gentle with your dryer.

5 Ways of Telling If Dryer Motor Gone Bad

Here is your moment of truth. Usually, dryers are easily fixable. But most times, you need to replace its motors if anything goes wrong. 

Here’s how you can identify the problems with possible solutions:

Method 1: Identifying Weird Noises

If you hear humming noises coming from your dryer motor, it’s time to change it. Or, any kind of noise meaning buzz or growls included. 

In such cases, you can’t do anything alone with professional help. Usually, it happens due to overusing the motor. 

Replace it fast or you’ll wonder why your dryer is leaking water on the floor.

Method 2: Motor Not Starting

Imagine trying to dry your clothes for a while and the motor’s not starting. It’s unarguably annoying and one of the signs that the dryer went bad and needs fixing.

Other than that, if the motor propeller stays stiff after power, it indicates a damaged dryer.

It happens if the dryer stays unused for too long. Similarly, if the motor stays cold for a longer period, the motor may get stiff. It causes the motor to not start ever again and eventually get damaged. 

Method 3: Motor Rotating

Now, let’s say you haven’t started the motor but the fan keeps rotating. This means you have to remove the belt around the motor and the blower.

If the motor keeps rotating even after removing the belt, the cloth drum is probably bad.

And so, you’d have to replace the drum for the motor to function properly and appropriately.

Method 4: Thermal Overload

If your dryer stops functioning after a few ticks, you might have a faulty thermal overload detector. 

Thermal overload detector is located on both the motor and the heating box. Troubleshooting the motor might help you determine the problem. 

In this case, which is with the TOD or the motor itself is the issue. Replace it as soon as possible. 

This one directly risks fire hazards. Carefully handle it before the dryer flame extinguishes frequently.

Here are some of my suggestions on the best dryer motors available in market:

Product 1
Product 2

Good thing about this is it’s easy to replace. So, do not hesitate to replace it with new parts. 

Method 5: Start Button Not Working

If pressing the start button for too long doesn’t work, the motor is burned out. And if so, then it’s downright bad and will need to be replaced.

In case the motor hums but doesn’t rotate on its own, the belt probably got removed.  You can still crank it  easily with your hand. 

The motor or the motor start capacitor may need to be replaced. Get the good quality capacitor as you wouldn’t want to plumb again and again.

This will be all about the issues regarding the dryer motor not working. It’s important to note that proper care and gentle use would make a dryer last long. 

Be careful about setting up the electrical circuit for dryers. Experts will advise you to dedicate an entire circuit for your dryer. Make sure to use the appropriate voltage of the circuit for your dryer.


Question: What is cheaper? Repairing a new dryer or getting a new one?

Answer: Generally, repairing is way cheaper than replacing. But, if your repair bill crosses your replacement money, then you should replace the dryer.

Question: Can I start my dryer without a blow thermal fuse?

Answer: No, you can’t. It is because, unlike thermostats, thermal fuses can’t reset themselves. That’s why you’d have to replace it once broken.

Question: Is it possible to install dryers upside down?

Answer: It is possible but not recommended. This is kinda risky and dangerous, to begin with. But, if it’s comfortable for you then go on, do it.


Hey, you made it until the end! By now you must have figured out how to tell if the dryer motor is bad.

But, if you still find it difficult to work with, that’s ok too. We have professionals around for a reason and this is it!

Until next time!