Thread Number: 68856  /  Tag: Modern Automatic Washers
Speed Queen top load washer need repair advice
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Post# 916490   1/20/2017 at 08:05 by ryanm (New York)        

I have a Speed Queen top load washer that is 8 years old. It has some issues and I am wondering if anyone here knows anything technical about how the machine works. The washer does not spin well, with a normal load if I have towels or jeans, anything not light weight they come out very heavy, not dripping wet but almost. The tub on the machine is also leaning to the right. Sometimes when washing the machine makes a squealing noise seems to be coming from the agitator, and sometimes a grinding sound, but not always. I HAD A REPAIR MAN come from the DEALER I BOUGHT the machine from. He tells me the machine is shot, it needs possibly transmission, seal between tub and transmission, and several other things I cannot remember. They told me the repair would cost between 400 and 500 dollars. MY QUESTION: If the machine is not spinning up to speed, is this really a transmission problem? We have been very careful with this machine and have tried to take care of it. I thought the issue was possibly a belt and maybe a spring since the tub leans to one side, I was dumbfounded when he told me his impression of what was wrong. I was thinking MAYBE they were telling me that just to get me to but a new one. I bought Speed Queen because it was supposed to have a long life span, however in the past I have owned other brands that lasted a lot longer than this. Speed Queen does not offer a dial machine with all the choices I have on this current model, so I would have to buy the most expensive electronic model to get the cycles and speed choices I have now, however I find it hard to justify paying 500 for a repair on a machine that is 8 1/2 years old. I had contemplated calling another repair to check it out, but at a cost of $100 just to come into the door, I hate to spend more to hear the same verdict. If anyone here has any experience with the mechanics of this machine, I would appreciate it if you think the symptoms justify what the repair guy told me. I would also like to hear about GE and MAYTAG top loader with agitator, if anyone knows do these have plastic gears in the transmission? If I have to replace the washer I may need to buy something cheaper than Speed Queen and I saw on youtube both the Maytag Centenial and the new GE both seem to wash well. Any information would be appreciated!!

Post# 916493 , Reply# 1   1/20/2017 at 08:09 by COLDSPOT66 (Plymouth, Mass)        

Not spinning well usually indicates a worn belt. This design is noted for eating through belts faster than other brands. I would replace the belt first, and possibly the idler pulley that the belt rides on, and see if that improves spin speed.

Post# 916548 , Reply# 2   1/20/2017 at 12:10 by mtn1584 (USA)        
More likely than not.....

The idler spring needs replacing. SQ will send you one if you call them. It is specifically for SQ washers with low rpm speeds. I had to do this on my mother's washer and it made a difference. I called Alliance and they sent me out the springs free of charge.
There are two washers under the brake wheel. When they rub together they will squeal during agitation.
White lithium grease can fix this.
Print out a parts model for your washer and you can see the two washers at the bottom that I'm talking about.
Half of these "repairmen" DO NOT know what the hell they are talking nabout.

Post# 916549 , Reply# 3   1/20/2017 at 12:11 by mtn1584 (USA)        
Call Alliance as well and they can give you guidance.

Their number is on the SQ website.

Post# 916550 , Reply# 4   1/20/2017 at 12:20 by brucelucenta (tulsa, oklahoma)        

brucelucenta's profile picture
Sounds like a very minor problem and also sounds as if the place you called to repair it are trying to get you to buy a new one. It's a shame that some of the dealers are unscrupulous about repairing the machines they sell. You are not the first who has experienced something like this.

Post# 916588 , Reply# 5   1/20/2017 at 15:01 by washman (Butler, PA)        

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Mtn1584 is right. There's a simple belt under there and it is easy and inexpensive to replace. What the repair mook told you is poppycock.

Post# 916631 , Reply# 6   1/20/2017 at 18:50 by mtn1584 (USA)        

Tub leaning in a SQ top loader is NORMAL and is due to motor torque because the motor is bolted to the outer tub.

I GUARANTEE you your Transmission and tub seal are fine. If there was an issue with the seal you'd have leaks. Alliance explained to me the cause of low spin rpms is usually the idler spring which puts tension on the belt. The squeaking may also be the brakes keeping the tub from indexing.
The issue is many "techs" do not know how to repair a traditional washer like this.
There are no computer boards to tell them what's wrong. He sounds like an ignoramus and yes he's trying to either make you buy a new washer.
Trust me it's a very very simple fix.

Post# 916772 , Reply# 7   1/21/2017 at 14:49 by ryanm (New York)        

THANK YOU EVERYONE who responded it is greatly appreciated! I did call Speed Queen as suggested on this thread, and I explained the issue and they said exactly the same thing as all of you here have told me! They have a KIT to repair this issue and gave me the part number. I have contacted a friend of mine who owns an appliance repair business in another county and they are going to send me a technician to check it out as all of you have suggested. I really love the machine and I believe it does a great job and is very gentle on my clothes as well. I am just disappointed that the ONLY authorized Speed Queen repair in my area is with the dealer who apparently tried to swindle me by telling me the machine was bad, I think they are very shady. This forum is a great place for information and that is why I love it and all that you guys post here. Let's hope this works for me.

Post# 916778 , Reply# 8   1/21/2017 at 15:13 by washman (Butler, PA)        

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It will. YOu have a fine machine and it will serve you well for years to come. Don't sweat it. There are tons of knowledgeable blokes here who can help you out.

Post# 916887 , Reply# 9   1/22/2017 at 06:59 by angus (Fairfield, CT.)        

I concur with the advice you received. I had the exact same issue when my SQ was at the five year mark (it is now 12 yrs). And I had a horrible service experience with a local company that sells SQ. They not only didn't diagnose something as simple as a worn belt, but told me nothing was wrong with the machine and it was all on me- overloading, oversudsing, etc... Their recommended fix was a full tub of hot water, four cups of bleach and two rinses to remove all detergent residue from my "chronic overdosing".

After I threw the serviceman out of the house and complained to the owner, demanding that the machine be fixed properly, they refused to come back since I insulted their son (one of the issues of dealing with a family owned business). However, they did return my check for the service call. I complained to Alliance and they sent me a new belt and whatever was needed to repair the machine. And I found another servicer who was terrific (Jeff's Appliance in Shelton, CT). The poor guy though had to clean up the mess that Ted's Appliances of Huntington, CT made when they sprayed the entire underside of the machine with WD-40 to "loosen the stuck idler pulley".

Point of story - you need to be careful even with a local outfit. I was a little annoyed at Alliance though. I thought given their concern with quality, they wouldn't want someone like Ted's selling and servicing their products. Apparently, my words fell on deaf ears since I still see local ads from Ted's offering SQ for sale. That kind of shakes my faith a bit...

Post# 916896 , Reply# 10   1/22/2017 at 07:35 by brucelucenta (tulsa, oklahoma)        

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And the moral of this story is: There are sales people and then there are service people. Sometimes the same company can do both, but NOT all the time. Salesmen seldom know very much about the servicing end of things. It's great when the same place that sells will take care of servicing too, but that seems kind of rare these days. And it is much easier and more profitable for them to just sell you a new machine if they can convince you.

Post# 916918 , Reply# 11   1/22/2017 at 10:54 by Kb0nes (Burnsville, MN)        

kb0nes's profile picture
Once you have it fixed and running well again, I'd call back that service company and ask for a manager. They need to be called out on the incorrect diagnosis. It is possible that the tech was just really clueless, or they could be trying to get a sale. Either way they should hear from a customer that they were discovered for what they did.

Post# 919930 , Reply# 12   2/7/2017 at 16:00 by ryanm (New York)        

Thanks to all who posted to my issue here, just a follow up note here to say I had another service company come in to check my washer and after they checked it out they told me the same as the original service company that the machine is basically shot and needs to be replaced, since it has multiple major issues including tub seal, transmission and motor issue. I know it was not good news, but at least I know now the original service company from the place I bought the machine 8 years ago was not pulling a fast one on me to get me to buy a new one. I am not sure why so much is worn out as we have always taken care of the machine and not overloaded etc., just did laundry as we always did with other machines we had. I still consider it's performance good and may go for another one to replace this after reviewing all other brands on the market with all their computerized sensors and such which require service contracts because there is so many failures.. This Speed Queen design is simple and services well, does a great job at cleaning, so in spite of my current experience I am still considering another. Again thanks to all who replied trying to help.

Post# 919931 , Reply# 13   2/7/2017 at 16:04 by brucelucenta (tulsa, oklahoma)        

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If a top loader is what you are going for, they are the ONLY choice now.

Post# 919941 , Reply# 14   2/7/2017 at 16:52 by Stricklybojack (San Diego, CA)        

stricklybojack's profile picture
8 years, holy crap!
That blows...
I thought the TL's were much better than that.

One of the guys I dealt with over my SQ repair told of a TL SQ being completely shot after only a year...
BUT it was used roughly 30 times as much as a standard home machine ever would be. In my book that's a win for SQ.

This post was last edited 02/07/2017 at 17:28
Post# 923388 , Reply# 15   2/23/2017 at 14:19 by Blackstone (Springfield, Massachusetts)        

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My favorite Speed Queen story: Walking into a local appliance parts warehouse, asking for a part for a Speed Queen appliance, and having the person behind the counter being dumbfounded. He never heard of the name "Speed Queen" and it was not listed in his computer. So much for hiring experienced help.

For buying parts, the internet seems to be the way to go, since I am not a dealer anymore. Of course, buying parts online requires you to know what you are doing beforehand.

With the prices for service calls (which apparently do not always give correct diagnoses), sometimes it is just cheaper to buy parts, throw them against the wall, and see what fixes your problem.

Post# 923394 , Reply# 16   2/23/2017 at 14:41 by Lorainfurniture (Cleveland )        

Did you actually Change the belt? The simple way to test is to disconnect the belt and turn the trans pulley by hand. If the pulley turns freely then it's just needs a belt. If it's hard to turn you may have a sock stuck between the inner and outer tub.

The sq trans has nothing to do with spin, it only handles the agitation part. It would be hard for me to believe that a tub seal would cause enough friction (and not leak) to slow the tub down like that.

Post# 923399 , Reply# 17   2/23/2017 at 15:01 by ken (Ulster Hgts, NY)        

ken's profile picture
Just because a second person said the same as the first doesn't mean he's just as misinformed and wrong like number one. You said yourself that Alliance stated the same issue was causing the problem like others had already explained here. And that hey had a kit to correct the issue. Did you get and install the kit? I've never worked on a SQ but would a bad tub seal cause water to leak directly into the transmission or would you see water?

Post# 923415 , Reply# 18   2/23/2017 at 15:50 by Lorainfurniture (Cleveland )        

The trans is pretty well sealed. Although I'm sure some water would infiltrate, most would leak out and run down the side of trans. Most seal replacements under warranty would include a new trans also. Speed queen manufacturer insists that they both be changed.

Post# 923451 , Reply# 19   2/23/2017 at 19:15 by ryanm (New York)        

Neither of the repair men actually changed the belt, however one of the guys was an 'authorized' Speed Queen warranty repair guy so he knows the machine well. He told me there was nothing wrong with the belt, said the motor was not running at the speed it should to have enough strength to power up a good spin, and also said the tub seal was leaking causing rusting on the outer tub which rust was visible all around the outside of the outer tub. He also told me the 'grinding' sound during wash cycle at times shows the transmission was shot. As I stated previously he told me even if the company covered the parts the labor would cost so much to rebuild the machine it was not worth it. I truly wish one of them could have fixed the machine since I have the matching dryer and have been pleased with it's performance until it started giving me trouble,, it still runs through the cycle but you can see and hear the spin is not at top speed. I have been now looking at replacing it, but may want to go with a machine that does not guzzle water as this one does, maybe an LG or Maytag top load, but I am not sure about their reliability either, however they have much higher spin speeds and use less water which is of interest to me. I originally did buy the Speed Queen expecting it to last as my other machines have, but since it did not I am considering other brands now for less water usage and higher spin speeds as the Speed Queen never did really spin out Jeans and clothing like that very well. They are also still only available in white where other brands are offering colors like Black Stainless which is nice because my machines are visible in the laundry room off the kitchen. I am torn between choices as many of the machines seem to be poorly made and the only one that seems sturdy is the LG top load which one of my relatives own so I have had first hand experience using it and I liked it. Funny how every brand I have mentioned to sales people and repair guys they all say 'stay away from that brand' no matter if it is Whirlpool, LG, Maytag or whatever and they say get a Speed Queen.....they all claim other brands simply won't last more than 3 to 6 years. and I have seen more Speed Queen washers being delivered to people lately too..... Thanks to everyone for their impressions here.

Post# 923648 , Reply# 20   2/24/2017 at 19:54 by mtn1584 (USA)        

Where do you live? I'll come and change the idler spring for you!!! It's a two dollar part!!!
That is all you need!!!!
You do not need a new washer!!!!!!

Post# 923699 , Reply# 21   2/25/2017 at 03:07 by man114 (Buffalo)        

I will concur, check the belt. My parents have an old Amana based on the current design from when Raytheon made them which was insanely expensive new but I convinced them to buy back in the day.

They beat the heck out of it when my sister and I lived there. My wife and I lived there for about a year when looking for a house.

My mom helps us out occasionally with laundry if we get too far behind due to work (though I now have two machines a Speed Queen and a Samsung Addwash that replaced two very short lived machines that were a Haier and GE).

She still uses the Amana. It had the same problem as yours at one point maybe about 10 years in. My dad replaced the belt. It's been about 7 years and the machine still works perfectly fine.

If it isn't leaking it likely needs a belt at most. Heck my parents have gotten 7 YEARS more out of a simple belt and the thing still washes perfectly and has had no other issues at all, my mom was using it today when I called her and the thing is at least 17 years old now.

Post# 924090 , Reply# 22   2/27/2017 at 18:41 by ryanm (New York)        

Thanks! I live in New York Hudson Valley area. As you wrote I thought the same things that my machine should just need the idler and belt, and this is why I had a 2nd guy come look at the machine. I do have 2 small videos of the machine running showing the grinding and squealing sounds it makes, but no way to load them here so you could see and hear it. I am still using the machine as is, and it is still going OK but clothes are heavy with water after spinning so I am just dealing with it for now. For example fabric softener does not dispense well because the machine does not get up to speed to allow it to flow out. I truly wish one of our folks on this site did live near so I could have a chance to try the fix. Both repair guys would not do it because they said it would not fix my issue... and as you know calling in another guy would then cost more for yet another diagnosis, so I just don't want to keep spending for nothing. I really appreciate all the input.

Post# 924098 , Reply# 23   2/27/2017 at 19:11 by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Place your videos on YouTube and link them here.  That's how everyone else does it.

Post# 924105 , Reply# 24   2/27/2017 at 19:55 by washman (Butler, PA)        

washman's profile picture

Ryanm, take heed. It is a relatively easy fix. Don't junk this machine, get it fixed. If I lived closer, I would gladly do it for  you.

Post# 924112 , Reply# 25   2/27/2017 at 20:41 by ken (Ulster Hgts, NY)        

ken's profile picture
Ryan, I'm sure others here can talk you through replacing the belt and spring. I'll bet its not difficult at all. I've never worked on a SQ myself.

Post# 924234 , Reply# 26   2/28/2017 at 19:24 by Supersurgilator (Indiana)        

I agree with what others have said, try a belt, what do you have to loose?? I don't think there is anything else wrong with you machine. I've also seen a worn belt cause some noises when agitating as well.

Post# 924273 , Reply# 27   3/1/2017 at 03:57 by brucelucenta (tulsa, oklahoma)        

brucelucenta's profile picture
Utterly amazing that so many are 100% convinced that a belt and idler would fix the problem. Having dealt with this same problem before, it is NOT surprising. The tub seal is shot and so are the bearings. Why do you think that not one, but BOTH repairmen told him this??? If someone is so convinced that it is a quick and easy fix, go there and prove it. I would like to see that myself. The machine is beyond repair, at least any reasonable repair that wouldn't cost a fortune.

Post# 924312 , Reply# 28   3/1/2017 at 05:57 by henene4 (Germany)        

Replace the belt, while at it, check the idler pully for any abnormaliries (spring tension, the rollers being smooth etc.).

However, seal and transmission issues are not unheared. Didn't we have someone here a few months back who used his/her machine a lot and had those issues within the first few years.

Did you tell the second repairman anythimg about the first one or this thread and its conclusions.
If he had a simmilar diagnostic result WITHOUT any knowledge of the first diagnosis, that makes his results a lot more credible.

Oh, and "leak" dosen't have to mean waterfalls. A few drops of water per load can be enough to severly damage the bearings.
The transmission does verry well play a role during the spin. Force is still applied to it through the motor, they don't magicly disconnect.
It could be a kind of cascade failure event. Small leak leads to broken bearings leads to higher resistence leads to more strain on transmission leads to failure of transmission leads to strain on motor.

Post# 924378 , Reply# 29   3/1/2017 at 15:56 by ryanm (New York)        

Thanks again for the additional posts. To answer the question about the 2nd repair man, no I didn't tell him anything about the first repair man's advice, I wanted to see what his independent opinion was. The last 2 posts here just about sum it up as to what they told me about seals, bearings, and the transmission, as well as the strain on the motor which the 2nd guy told me. It has not completely failed as I spoke about, so I am still using it but they told me eventually it would just go completely. The seal leak is small, but evident by the rusting on the outer tub which is clearly visible. I would have tried the fix however I myself cannot do any of that type of work due to a severe back injury. I have learned so much from all of you guys here, so thank you. I am still researching machines to replace this one should it go. It is interesting how many have now put agitators back in the top load machines and have combined water saving too. I happen to like the Black Stainless top load LG pair, I think they are sharp looking and offer many cycles, and I have used my relatives machine for several weeks when I stayed there and I liked it very much, and they are truly pleased with the cleaning results as well as the gentleness on clothing, and the high spin speed. I have to admit the new Maytag and even GE with agitator intrigues me as well, as I like the agitators as well. Time will tell what I decide. I did call the 2nd repair man back and ask him if he would put in the idler and belt to try it, he said I shouldn't waste my time or money and reiterated his belief that there are major parts on the machine that are shot and it would not make a difference.

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