Thread Number: 35033
Question about a Kitchenaid KAWE900
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Post# 524312   6/13/2011 at 19:01 (4,755 days old) by bud ()        

Hey Y'all, have a couple of quick questions. Seems the coupler broke on my Kitchenaid. Of course after I paid the repair guy 140 dollars, I found these videos that showed me how to fix it myself for about 10. So it goes.
When I asked the repair guy why the couplers break, he said it's because there is too much stress on the transmission. Is this true? He also said if the machine doesn't do a neutral drain, which it does do, it's on it's last legs.
The machine still runs like a champ and does a great job of cleaning, so I'm not ready to trash it yet
Any comments would be most appreciated

Post# 524324 , Reply# 1   6/13/2011 at 20:24 (4,755 days old) by mrb627 (Buford, GA)        

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Given time, the rubber grommet will weaken and breakdown. An easy fix. Still, I have heard reports that installing a neutral drain kit isn't all that difficult either. I am thinking about grabbing a cheap Craigslist machine just so I can try it. I would hang on to that Kitchenaid for as long as you can.

Post a pic or two. We would love to see it.


Post# 524330 , Reply# 2   6/13/2011 at 20:53 (4,755 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Not unusual that a coupler breaks, it's equivalent to a belt.  One doesn't throw out a washer or dryer for a simple broken belt.  The coupler is also intended as a "sacrificial" part to protect the tranny from damage if it jams.  Heavy/large items such as rugs can cause undue stress during agitation.  Shoes can also be a cause a break if one gets jammed between the agitator fins and basket.


Running without neutral drain puts some additional stress on the spin clutch, but how much of a problem is that is debatable to a degree ... the initial direct-drive mechanism was designed as spin-drain, and my grandmother's 1984 Design2000 ran for 15 years with no repairs, not even a coupler.  It was replaced (and sold) because I passed my machine to her when I got a new one, not because it was broken or not working. lists the neutral drain repair kit (part number 388253) for $17.25.  Doing that repair involves pulling the transmission and opening it to replace the affected components ... can be messy and a new tranny cover seal is a good idea, but as Malcolm says it's supposedly not difficult (I've not yet had the experience).  Sears also lists rebuilt transmissions for $110 ... and they can be found on eBay for a bit less.

Post# 524340 , Reply# 3   6/13/2011 at 21:30 (4,755 days old) by bud ()        

Thanks for the replies guys. I'm pretty happy with the machine, I think it's about 19 years old. I don't want to seem like I'm dogging the repair guy out, because it's running much quieter and with less vibration. I'm surprised that replacing the coupler would help with that. What I did question the guy on was that he said if the machine goes straight to spin-drain, then the tranny was going. So he filled it to half tub, then shut the machine down and went into the spin only option, that's when it went into the spin drain. Have done about 4 loads since, as far as I can tell, they all have been neutral drain.
I'll to get a pic up loaded in the next few days.
It does seem to hold a lot of laundry, just as much if not more than my sister's Kenmore FL
Thanks again, guys,

Post# 524341 , Reply# 4   6/13/2011 at 21:39 (4,755 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture


There MUST be some agitation for the tranny to preset for neutral drain.  It won't do a neutral drain if your tech filled some water then switched directly to spin without any agitation ... that's normal.  The diagnosis to determine if there really is a neutral drain problem is let it agitate for a couple mins, then proceed into drain (or spin).

Post# 524356 , Reply# 5   6/13/2011 at 23:47 (4,755 days old) by A440 ()        

I agree with Glen. 

I would not trust this guy.  Sounds like he is trying to scare you into work you don't need.


Post# 524408 , Reply# 6   6/14/2011 at 05:58 (4,755 days old) by mrb627 (Buford, GA)        

mrb627's profile picture
But all Kitchenaid TL washers had porcelain cabinets, if I'm not mistaken. That alone would be enough reason to hand on to it. Anything inside that cabinet can be fixed. ANYTHING!


Post# 524411 , Reply# 7   6/14/2011 at 06:24 (4,755 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

dadoes's profile picture


Porcelain tops, yes ... and on the dryers also.  Porcelain cabinets, no.

Post# 524418 , Reply# 8   6/14/2011 at 07:43 (4,755 days old) by mtn1584 (USA)        
PLEASE LISTEN TO ME.........................................

In 2000, I bought CU Reports #1 rated Kenmore T/L, and had it replaced because it did NOT always do a neutral drain. The next machine did the same thing. I sold my house and bought a NEW Kenmore Elite T/L in 2003. That machine did the same thing. I had to replace the coupler on that machine because I forgot to raise the water level on a full load of towels. I got divorced, bought a Whirlpool T/L washer, and that machine did the same thing. The newer WP/Kenmore washers DO NOT always do a neutral drain. The tech said this was ok. The fabric softener got dumped before the rinse, but that was all. Believe me, I thought there was something wrong with the first machine, but after four machines all doing the same thing, I have come to the conclusion that this is just the way they are made. Bottom line.........I now own a Speed Queen, and at 46 years old, I am hoping it will be the last washer I buy that is brand new.

Post# 524509 , Reply# 9   6/14/2011 at 19:11 (4,754 days old) by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

And they sometimes won't do a neutral drain after gentle agitation with a light load; not enough load on the tranny, but it's not the end of the world. Hang on to those great TL machines. You can't replace them with anything of like quality.

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