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Eric, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 244
Experience:  Factory/company training at MAJOR retailer, now owns and operates an appliance repair business.
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I have a maytag HAV2557AWW washer that is making a loud ...

Customer Question

I have a maytag HAV2557AWW washer that is making a loud grinding noise when on wash cycle. On spin cycle the agitator seizes up. There is also a sort of electrical burning smell.
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  Eric replied 9 years ago.
Sounds VERY much like a gearbox.

With the washer tilted backwards against a wall OR with the washer on its side, remove the belt on the bottom and rotate the big pulley in both directions.In one direction, the agitate direction, the pulley should spin freely and in the other, spin direction (which is much harder to accomplish because you must overcome the centrifugal brake system, VERY IMPORTANT) the same relatively low resistance will be noted.
Once again, in the spin direction, it is kind of difficult to get the pulley spinning fast enough to overcome the brake but it can be done!
If the smell you are experiencing IS truly electrical, it will probably be the motor working hard to overcome the extreme mechanical resistance of the failing gearbox but the entire problem COULD be the timer in the console trying to run the motor in both directions at one time.
This is less likely but still possible. When this happens, noises from the bottom end are also possible. All of these repairs can be fairly expensive but the timer, if that is the problem is the only one I would try at the consumer repairability level.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Should I go for the gearbox then? I don't want to just start throwing parts at it. Approximately how much would a gearbox cost? Are there any special tools needed for changing it?
Expert:  Eric replied 9 years ago.
The gearbox is sold as an assembly which includes the gearbox, hub and seal kit. It retails for about $230 and the part number is XXXXX A special hub tool is required for installation. If you did the checks i recommended before and could not move the pulley after overcoming the centrifugal brake ,this is your problem. If I were you, I would NOT do this repair because of the cost and the time that will be involved with repair and would instead just buy a new machine. I dont know where you live but here in seattle, a comparable machine can be purchased for as little as $200 dollars from local discount retailers. This would also have a warranty on it. On that note, your machine MAY have an extended warranty on the gearbox, if that IS the problem, which can be verified by checking in the front or back of your owners manual. Most of these warranties though require you to pay labor and in most areas, labor for this job will cost you about $125 to $250.