How To Fix Kenmore Washer That Won’t Agitate

It can be difficult to discover that your Kenmore washing machines do not agitating in the washing cycle. There are a few steps that you can follow to fix the problem yourself instead of hiring a professional or purchasing a new washer.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the most common causes of a Kenmore washing machine which isn’t moving and provide the steps to fix the issue. From a broken drive belt to a malfunctioning lid switch, we’ll take care of it all, making it easier for you to save time and money in the process. If your Kenmore washing machine is not running, don’t fret, read on to learn how to solve the issue.



In top loading washers from Kenmore the agitator is the one responsible for moving clothes through the water and detergent and is powered by the output shaft of the transmission. The output shaft is normally splined, and the center of the plastic agitator will have an identical spline that ensures that it is a perfect fit.

The brand of the agitator will determine whether the agitator can be a one-piece unit or a two-piece dual-action agitator. How to inspect the agitator on the Kenmore washing machine.

  1. Unplug the Kenmore washing machines from power sources.
  2. To access the agitator, remove the cover on the top or fabric softener dispenser, depending on the model. You can manually rotate the agitator. As it is splined, you will feel some resistance.
  3. Take the agitator off the appliance so that you can examine it closer. The majority of agitators remain in place with a bolt that connects to the top of the transmission shaft. Certain models come with set screws located just above the base which connects the agitator to the shaft. Some models use the O ring of rubber to make sure that the agitator is snugly fitted. 
  4. If your agitator is damaged or worn in any way specifically on the splines or you feel little or no resistance when you turn it manually, you will need Kenmore replacement agitator.


Agitator Directional Gears

Top loading Kenmore washers that have a dual-action agitator could cause the top part of the agitator’s agitator to be detached from its bottom. The directional cogs made of hard plastic, or “dogs”, drive the upper section of the agitator. They may wear out after a long period of usage. The directional cogs can be worn out if the upper part of the washing machine’s agitator does not turn in the right direction or making grating sounds in the course of washing. How do you check the directional cogs on a Kenmore washing machine

  1. According to the model, disconnect the plug of your Kenmore washer, and remove the dispenser to soften your fabric.
  2. Locate your agitator cogs. It is possible to take off the cap, base or top, depending on the model to get access to the cogs.
  3. Visually inspect the cogs to look for discolorations, wear or damage. You should also look to see if any cogs are missing.
  4. If your cogs show any of the indications listed above, you’ll require a set of Kenmore replacement cogs for directional use.


Agitator Coupler & Cap & Bolt

Some top loading washers from Kenmore come with a coupler that connects their transmission shaft and the agitator. To ensure that the transmission is in sync the drive coupler must be splined inside and outside. The drive coupling may be damaged if the Kenmore washer produces an ear-splitting sound in wash cycles or if the agitator does not spin freely. How to examine and replace the agitator coupling on the Kenmore washing machine:

  1. Before beginning turning off your Kenmore washer.
  2. In order to get access to the coupler that connects the agitator to the agitator, have to first take off the dispenser of fabric softener or top cover, depending on your model, and you’ll need to remove the agitator.
  3. Unthread the bolt that connects the coupler onto the shaft of transmission and then remove it from the appliance. Examine the coupler to determine if it is cracked or wear, burnt damaged, rust, or damage.
  4. If you find any of the above problems, you’ll require Kenmore replacement coupler for agitators.


Direct Drive Motor Coupling

Some top load washers from Kenmore use direct drive motor coupling that transfers energy from the motor to the transmission. The drive coupling joins the motor and the transmission. It consists of 2 plastic drive forks and a rubber coupling between them. One of the drive forks is attached to the drive motor shaft , and the other is attached to the input shaft of the transmission. When the motor shaft spins the coupling of rubber between the drive forks and the transmission absorbs torque to prevent the forks from breaking.

The use that is normal will result in wear and tear on the coupling, and eventually, the drive forks may slide and not be able to engage the clutch and transmission. The most common sign of a failing coupling is when the Kenmore washing machine drains and fills normal, but it does not agitate or spin. How to inspect the direct drive motor in theKenmore washing machine:

  1. Before starting, disconnect the appliance from the power source.
  2. Find and remove the motor coupling , so that you can inspect it. You’ll need to open the Kenmore washer’s cupboard to access it. If your model is different it is possible to take out the drain pump or motor.
  3. After you have removed the item, check the coupling to look for indications of wear, damage cracks, cracks, etc. 
  4. If you experience any of the symptoms listed above it is time to get a Kenmore replacement direct drive motor coupling.


Drive Belt

Top loading Kenmore washers come with belts that drive the transmission. The belt may be to blame if the machine stops moving. How to determine whether the drive belt of aKenmore washing machine needs replacement:

  1. Unplug the Kenmore washer and remove the cabinet or access panel to locate the drive belt.
  2. The drive belt is connected to the drive motor and can be removed by disconnection of the clamps holding it in place.
  3. Examine your drive belt. You’re looking for indications of wear, wear, burning, or fraying.
  4. If your belt displays any of these symptoms as described above, you need a Kenmore replacement drive belt.



The transmission in a top-load Kenmore washer is responsible for converting the rotating motion of the motor to the back and forth motion of the agitator. The transmission is equipped with an input shaft which is driven by the motor directly or via a belt, as well an output shaft that is used to control the agitator. Make sure that your drive shaft for the agitator is oscillating well before replacing it. The transmission could be defective when the input shaft is turning but the agitator shaft fails to rotate.

Most manufacturers do not supply internal parts and the entire transmission is required. Also, be prepared to replace the tub seal at the point where the shaft enters the tub. How to examine the transmission on a Kenmore washing machine:

  1. Before you inspect your transmission be sure the issue isn’t due to the agitator or other components. After you have eliminated the possibility of an agitator issue take your washer off and then remove the cabinet. The next step is to locate your transmission.
  2. After you’ve located the source of the problem, plug your washing machine back in and run an entire wash cycle to determine whether the problem is due to the transmission. source of the problem. You will hear strange sounds in the event that the transmission is defective. This is crucial because the parts inside the dryer are exposed.
  3. It is necessary to replace the Kenmore transmission in the event that the transmission becomes noisy.


Drive Motor

All top load washers from Kenmore use a motor to drive the motor to create agitation. The majority of Kenmore washing machines use the reversing motor. This means the motor rotates in one direction to agitate and in the opposite direction for spinning and draining. Motors could operate in the spin direction, but not in the direction of agitation. How to test anKenmore washing machine drive motor

  1. Before you begin, disconnect the power supply from your Kenmore appliance.
  2. Take the cabinet out of your Kenmore washer in order to find and remove the drive motor. To take the motor out of your appliance, you’ll have to pull the connectors , not the wires.
  3. Your multimeter should be in Rx1 mode. Examine for continuity by placing the probes on the motor’s terminals. The result should be of zero or near zero.
  4. Place one probe on the terminal to test ground connection. The other probe should be placed in the housing of the drive motor. It is unlikely that you will receive a indication during this test.
  5. If your readings diverge from those listed above, then you need a Kenmore replacement drive motor.



The drive motor is controlled with the timer lid, water level, as well as selector switches. The role of the timer is ensure that the appropriate power is available to start the motor in the right direction. If the motor that drives the washer is not receiving electricity during the wash phase of the cycle, the timer is in error. How to test the timer in theKenmore washing machine using a multi-meter

  1. Similar to most repairs start by disconnection of your Kenmore washer from the electricity source.
  2. To find the timer, take off the control panel from your appliance, and then remove the panel on the back.
  3. Disconnect the wires to the timer by pulling on the metal connectors and not the wires themselves and then remove the timer from the washer in order to check it.
  4. To check continuity, you can use a multimeter and the setting Rx1. The reading should read or near zero.
  5. If you don’t get this reading, you will require a Kenmore replacement timer.


Lid switch

The lid switch is a security feature that is available on top-loading Kenmore washing machines. The motor circuit is linked to the lid switch which is usually located under the top of the machine. It must be activated to enable the motor’s operation. A projection or pin from the lid presses against and closes the lid switch lever when it’s closed. If your Kenmore washer will not move and the motor is not operating, you should check the switch on the lid. How to test the switch that controls the lid on the lid of aKenmore washer:

  1. Begin by disconnecting the Kenmore washer, then pull out the top panel.
  2. Find the switch , and make sure it’s activated when you close the lid. To confirm if it’s activated removed, pull the switch.
  3. Set your multi-meter’s Rx1 setting, touch the probes to the terminals and then hold the switch button. The multimeter should show the number zero or near zero.
  4. If you find that your test gives different results, you will need a Kenmore replacement lid switch.


Selector Shift

Some models come with a selector switch , which regulates the speed of motor. The motor may not start when the switch is damaged. How to test the switch in aKenmore washing machine with the multi-meter:

  1. Before you start using electrical components, disconnect your Kenmore washer.
  2. Find the switch to select the Kenmore appliance and pull it out. It’s likely to be connected to the frame of the frame of your Kenmore washer machine. You’ll have to remove the entire or a portion of your cabinet to reach it.
  3. The test for continuity is by using a multimeter that has the Rx1 setting. Press the first button to alter the reading from zero to infinity. As long as the probes remain connected to the terminals, push on another button, the reading should change back to zero.
  4. If your test results differ from the ones above then you’ll need a Kenmore replacement switch for the selector.


Water Level Switch

The water level switch can be found on top-load Kenmore washers and allows you to select the right level of water. The switch is also used to provide power to the drive motor. The switch shuts off the valve that opens the water to reduce power consumption and provide power to the drive motor circuit. The pressure switch could be the cause of the issue if the washer doesn’t fill up and doesn’t vibrate. Test the water level switch in the Kenmore washing machine:

  1. Remove the Kenmore washing machine from the power source.
  2. The water level switch can be found typically behind the control panel however it is also located below the tubs in the sump area.
  3. Before replacing the switch, be sure to remove the air dome hose. The hose should be removed and submerged it in water, seal one end, blow air through the other, and check for bubbles. Also, inspect for issues or signs of wear.
  4. If your air dome hose has not been flowing, you might require an upgrade to the water level switch from Kenmore.