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Why Does My Dryer Make So Much Noise?

Why Does My Dryer Make So Much Noise?

When your dryer goes bad, you’re likely to notice. Whether it’s making irritating squeaking noises or thumping like it might explode, strange sounds from your clothes dryer mean you’re probably due for a dryer replacement or repairs.

Fortunately, dryer noises are fairly straightforward to diagnose. Whether your dryer is making grinding noises, a rattling noise, or is constantly humming, this guide will help you troubleshoot the problem.

Remember: Always unplug the dryer before inspecting or removing any parts to help avoid the risk of electrocution!

Dryer Making Squeaking Noises

Drum Rollers & Axles

The most common cause of a dryer making squeaking noises is a drum roller and axle problem. Drum rollers help the drum (the large cylinder you put your clothes into) turn. When the rollers start to wear out, they often make a squeaking noise. As the rollers and their axles completely fail, you’ll start to hear a loud thumping noise.

The number of rollers you have will depend on dryer size, but you’ll likely have several rollers distributed between the front and back of the dryer. You can normally reach these components by removing the dryer’s front panel and the drum itself. If the rollers are visibly worn, flat, or broken, chances are your axles are damaged too. You’ll need to replace every roller and axle at once to ensure that the drum can spin freely.

Drum Bearings

On some dryer models, a drum bearing is used to support the back of the drum. You will find rear drum bearings either in ball and socket form or as a shaft with a sleeve bushing. If this part has worn out, you will likely hear a steady squeaking or squealing noise coming from the back of the dryer.

You can test the rear drum bearing by removing the dryer belt and turning the drum by hand. If the drum turns with a lot of resistance and makes a grinding noise, it’s time to replace the drum bearing.

Idler Pulley

Another cause of squealing or screeching noises is the idler pulley. The idler pulley applies tension to the drive belt (which helps rotate the drum) to avoid slipping during drying cycles. You will most likely hear the screeching of a worn-out idler pulley coming from the front-right side of your dryer.

The idler pulley often wears out due to friction during its high-speed rotation. What starts as a squeak will become a much louder scraping or thumping noise as the pulley shaft wears out more.

You can examine the idler pulley by removing the dryer’s front panel and taking off the drive belt. Spin it by hand to test whether or not it turns smoothly or wobbles. Wobbling means there isn’t enough tension on the drum, and the pulley needs to be replaced.

Drive Motor Bearing

The drive motor powers the rotation of your dryer’s blower wheel and dryer drum. If the bearing in the motor has worn down, you will likely hear a high-pitched squeaking noise. You can access the motor by removing the front panel and drum. Turn it by hand to confirm that it’s making a squeaking noise.

Dryer Making Grinding Noises

Drum Glides

That unpleasant grinding noise you’re hearing — you can probably blame that on your dryer’s drum glides. Drum glides, also known as slides, are a supportive lining made of Teflon, plastic, or nylon that the drum slides on as it rotates.

Normally, you’ll find drum glides on the front part of the drum. However, if the glides have eroded, the drum will be sliding directly onto metal, causing the grinding or scraping noise. To access the drum glides, you will need to remove the dryer cabinet.

Dryer Making Rattling Noise

Drive Motor Pulley

A rattling noise coming from your dryer could be something as simple as loose change or a metal zipper hitting the walls of the drum. But if you’ve checked inside and found no culprits, it could be a drive motor pulley that’s causing problems. A motor pulley that has come loose will shake from the vibration of the dryer’s operation, causing a continuous rattling noise with every load.

Dryer Making Thumping Noise

Drive Belt

Perhaps the most common cause of a dryer making thumping noises is the drive belt. The drive belt wraps around the drum and makes it rotate when the belt is pulled through the pulley system. The drive belt is thin and tends to become frayed and brittle with age.

When the belt wears out, the dryer drum won’t be able to rotate properly, and you’ll end up with a loud thumping noise. If you open up the front panel of your dryer to inspect the drive belt and notice bits of frayed belt littering the inside, that’s a good indication that the belt needs replacing.

Blower Wheel

The blower wheel helps dry your clothes by drawing air through the heating chamber, into the drum, and out the exhaust vent. It is a plastic fan found in the blower wheel housing and is attached to the motor shaft.

Often, lint or small pieces of clothing will end up lodged in the blower wheel, blocking its movement and causing a thumping noise. The blower wheel may also become unbalanced or loose in its housing, resulting in the same thumping or rumbling noise.

On most dryer models, the blower wheel continues spinning for a few moments after the dryer turns off. A simple way to check whether or not the blower wheel is the source of the thumping is to turn off the dryer and see if the sound continues.


Baffles or lifters are the wing-like ridges inside the dryer drum that are supposed to lift and fluff your clothes while tumbling. Sometimes loose change or other small objects can get caught underneath the baffles, causing more of a rattling noise. But if a baffle itself has come loose, you will likely hear a corresponding thumping sound.

Dryer Making Humming Noise

Drive Motor Switch

The switch inside your dryer’s drive motor is supposed to activate the motor and start the heating process. But if the switch on the motor has gone bad, your dryer will be doing a lot more humming than drying.

A faulty switch or other motor problems means it might be time for a new dryer. Just be sure to measure properly, so you know the new dryer will fit in your laundry room!

Silence Your Noisy Dryer For Good

Broken dryer got you spinning? Let your local Rent-A-Center be your solution with a new clothes dryer. With free same-day delivery and free repairs, you can get your laundry room sorted tonight and forget about dryer problems down the road. Shop rent-to-own dryers online today.

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