Kenmore Washer Won’t Agitate? Here’s How To Fix It

kenmore washer not agitating

Is your Kenmore washer refusing to agitate or spin during cycles? Few appliance problems are as disruptive to household routines as a washer that won’t properly wash clothes.

When your Kenmore stops agitating and spinning, determining the root cause is key to getting it functioning again. In this article, we’ll explore the most common reasons a Kenmore washer won’t agitate or spin. You’ll learn how to diagnose each issue and we’ll also provide you with instructions that’ll walk you through each repair process.

So without further ado, let’s start fixing your Kenmore washer.

How to Fix Kenmore Washer Won’t Agitate or Spin

A Kenmore washer that refuses to agitate or spin is a frustrating problem to deal with, especially when you have laundry to do.

So, if your Kenmore washer is not agitating or spinning, the chances are that it could have been caused by one of the following problems:

1. Broken Drive Belt

The rubber drive belt connects the motor to the drive pulley, which spins the tub during the wash and spin cycles. With heavy long-term use, drive belts eventually crack or wear out.

If the drive belt breaks or becomes excessively worn, the motor can no longer turn the drive pulley to agitate or spin the tub.

To diagnose, remove the cabinet panel and visually inspect the belt. Look for cracks, excessive wear, or looseness which indicate the need for replacement.

Refer to the service manual for your Kenmore washer model for step-by-step instructions to remove the old belt and thread the new replacement belt around the pulleys. Take care to route the new belt correctly so it engages the motor and drive pulley smoothly.

2. Faulty Lid Switch

The lid switch is a safety mechanism that prevents the washer from agitating or spinning when the lid is up. And just like every other electrical component, it can become faulty or malfunction due to normal wear and tear.

To diagnose, use a multimeter to check for continuity in the lid switch when activated. If there is no continuity, the switch should be replaced.

Refer to the Kenmore washer lid switch replacement guide to properly remove the faulty lid switch. Generally, you’ll have to disconnect the wire harness, remove mounting screws, and install the new lid switch. Reconnect the harness and test before reassembling the console.

3. Faulty Water Level Sensor

The water level sensor uses air pressure to measure the water level in the tub. When the water reaches the desired level, the sensor sends a signal to the control board to start the agitation cycle.

If the sensor is faulty, the washer may not fill enough water or fill too much water, and the agitation cycle may not start or stop prematurely.

Some common reasons for sensor malfunction are blocked sensor tubes, electrical corrosion, and lastly, the sensor itself is faulty. If the sensor itself is faulty, you’ll have to replace the entire sensor with a new one to get your machine agitating again.

Refer to your Kenmore washer manual for sensor replacement instructions. Generally, you’ll have to carefully disconnect the sensor from the control board and unscrew it from the tub. Install the new sensor, reconnect wires, and test operation before replacing the console.

4. Faulty Motor Control Board

The motor control board controls power to the drive motor. If it is defective, it can prevent power from reaching the motor to agitate or spin.

To diagnose a faulty control board, visually inspect the board for any burnt components or discolored areas indicating overheating damage. Use a multimeter to check if power is coming to the board. If the board has power but does not supply any to the motor, it is likely faulty and needs replacement.

Refer to your Kenmore washer manual to properly disconnect all connections and fittings before removing the faulty board. Install new board, reconnect wires, and test before replacing the console.

Note: Working with electrical components can be dangerous, so make sure that you unplug the washer and wear protective gloves before attempting any repairs.

5. Faulty Tub Motor

While less common, a damaged tub motor can cause a lack of agitation or spinning. If the motor is humming but not turning, is noisy, or does not turn freely when spun by hand, it may be defective.

First, check that the motor is receiving power from the control board. If it has power but faulty operation, the tub motor winding or internal bearings may be damaged.

A professional will need to thoroughly test the motor windings with specialized tools. If damaged, the tub motor should be replaced. To carry out the replacement, refer to your Kenmore washer manual to gain access, disconnect wiring, remove mounting, align the pulley, and properly install the new motor.

Washing Machine Not Spinning: 9 Fast & Easy Ways To Fix It

How To Fix Kenmore Washer Won’t Agitate But Will Spin

If your Kenmore washer spins but does not agitate, it means that the tub can rotate but the agitator cannot move back and forth to wash the clothes.

There are a few common part failures that can cause a Kenmore washer to spin but not agitate the clothes. Issues with the lid switch, drive belt, agitator dogs, or motor control board can prevent agitation motion during the wash cycle while still allowing the tub to spin.

1. Faulty Lid Switch

By now, you already know that the lid switch is responsible for preventing the washer from operating when the lid is open.

If the lid switch has failed mechanically or has an electrical malfunction, it will allow the tub to spin during the cycle but not allow the agitator to move back and forth to wash the clothes.

Same as before, you can diagnose a faulty lid switch by using a multimeter to check for continuity when the lid switch is active. If there’s no continuity, you’ll have to replace it.

2. Broken Drive Belt

Similar to the no agitation or spin problem, if the drive belt that rotates the tub and agitator is worn out or broken, it can provide enough motion for the tub to spin slowly but not enough for the agitator to move vigorously back and forth.

As mentioned before, you can check for a broken drive belt by removing the cabinet panel and visually inspecting the drive belt for crack, wear, or tear.

If the drive belt turns out to be damaged, replacing it will fix the agitation problem.

3. Broken Agitator Dogs

The plastic agitator dogs connect the agitator to the transmission and tub. If they become damaged, the transmission and tub may still spin but the motion won’t transfer to the agitator to agitate properly.

Replacing the agitator cogs (dogs) kit will restore that motion transfer. Follow these steps:

  • Open the lid and use a flathead screwdriver to pry off the agitator cap.
  • Reach into the agitator and remove the dust cover by hand.
  • Use a 7/16-inch socket and extension to remove the bolt from the agitator’s center.
  • Lift out the agitator and set it aside.
  • Place the agitator upside down and hold the base with your feet. Firmly pull up on the top to separate it from the base.
  • Remove the old clutch assembly, dogs, and retainer ring. Discard.
  • Install new dogs and secure with the plastic retainer ring.
  • Reinstall the clutch assembly into the agitator top.
  • Push the agitator top and base together firmly to lock.
  • Put the agitator back onto the central shaft and replace the bolt, cover, and cap.

4. Motor Control Board

Do you know that a defective motor control board can also allow the tub to spin lightly during the cycle but prevent the vigorous motion required by the agitator to wash clothes? It does that by not providing the proper power required to the drive motor.

To be sure the motor control board is the reason behind your Kenmore washer spinning slowly but not agitating, inspect the board for discolored areas or burnt components. Those signs point to a faulty motor control board.

You can also test the motor control board by using a multimeter to check its readings. If the readings are out of range (i.e., it doesn’t conform to the specifications in your manual), then it’s faulty.

Once confirmed, replacing the motor control board will enable your washer to agitate and spin properly once again.


When your Kenmore washing machine won’t agitate clothes like it should, it can be frustrating trying to figure out the cause and solution.

As we’ve discussed, there are several common part malfunctions that can cause the agitator to stop moving properly or prevent agitation altogether. Issues like a worn drive belt, damaged agitator dogs, faulty lid switch, or motor control board can leave you with a washer that won’t wash.

The key is properly diagnosing the specific problem before just replacing random parts. Taking the time to thoroughly inspect your washer’s electrical components and test with multimeters will ensure you identify the true culprit.

With a little diligent diagnosis and repair, you can tackle a Kenmore washer, not agitating issue, and keep your laundry on track.

[FIXED] Kenmore Washer Leaking From Bottom or Top?

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