Thread Number: 75326  /  Tag: Vintage Automatic Washers
Troubleshooting a Maytag A606
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Post# 991687   4/21/2018 at 17:34 (180 days old) by seanm (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)        

We where getting a burning smell from our good old Maytag. I removed the belts and can spin the washer and the pump and the motor... so nothing seems to be seized.

The motor hums when I turn it on, but does not turn (I still have the belts off).

Is there a relatively easy way to determine if the motor or the controls are the problem? I really suspect the motor but don't want to buy a new one if it is really a control.

P.S. The Maytag is serial 305446DS. Appliance 411 says it could be '67 or '91. It sure doesn't look like a '91, is there any way to know for sure?

Post# 991710 , Reply# 1   4/21/2018 at 20:55 (180 days old) by hippiedoll (tucson, arizona u.s.a.)        
If it's not a '91

hippiedoll's profile picture
The (06 series) Maytag A606 wasn't made in 1991.
The last of the CENTER-DIAL machines were lady made in, I believe it was 1980?

Post# 991716 , Reply# 2   4/21/2018 at 21:38 (180 days old) by potatochips (Nova Scotia)        

Sounds like a motor problem to me. And to be exact I think its with the start winding centrifugal switch. Sometimes these switches can stick in the run position which doesnt give the motor enough jam to turn over.


You could take the motor off and find the switch and lube it while moving it a bunch. OR maybe a newer motor? Why not try the newer 1/2 horse motor as opposed to the 1/3 horse motor that the A606 has.

Post# 991795 , Reply# 3   4/22/2018 at 16:52 by seanm (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)        

So I put some lube on the switch. Is there an easy way to test out of the washer?

Post# 991814 , Reply# 4   4/22/2018 at 20:09 by potatochips (Nova Scotia)        

Did you also move the switch a bunch too to make sure it moves free? And that the spring in it does its job to bring it back to the start position every time?


There is yes, but you have to make your own motor test cord. Personally I would just try it on spin and see if she works, albeit with no load on the system (like remove the belts kinda idea). Im at work right now otherwise I would scan in a copy from the book of Maytag on how to do this test.

Post# 992251 , Reply# 5   4/26/2018 at 20:19 by seanm (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)        

Yup, I moved the switch up and down quite a few times. And the spring does bring it back.

So I just wired the motor back up. It is not installed, but the motor did spin when power was supplied!

Probably won't get it back together tonight, but here's hoping the switch was the problem.

Post# 992266 , Reply# 6   4/26/2018 at 23:52 by hippiedoll (tucson, arizona u.s.a.)        
Keeping my fingers...

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Crossed that it works for you!

Post# 992297 , Reply# 7   4/27/2018 at 11:16 by Pierreandreply4 (St-Bruno de montarville (province of quebec) canada)        

pierreandreply4's profile picture
when full of water do your maytag washer drains and spins? as well as agitate normaly?

Post# 992670 , Reply# 8   4/30/2018 at 19:32 by seanm (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)        

It is back together and seems to be working. While it was apart, I decided to paint a couple of the rustier parts... so I spent the weekend waiting for rust mort to set and paint to dry ;)

It needs a new main drive belt, so I will probably replace both.

Post# 992686 , Reply# 9   4/30/2018 at 22:18 by potatochips (Nova Scotia)        

Glad to hear everything is working just fine, Sean. Yeah why not order some new belts!? They come in a kit anyways. Good idea.

Post# 995356 , Reply# 10   5/27/2018 at 16:04 by seanm (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)        

Still not right :( I put on new belts and new springs and it worked with no clothes, but it doesn't work with clothes.

How easy should it be to spin the tub? With the belt off and grabbing it by the counterweight I can just get it to move a bit. Should it be freer than that? Empty of course.

Post# 995359 , Reply# 11   5/27/2018 at 16:14 by potatochips (Nova Scotia)        

So it will spin and agitate with no clothes, but with clothes it does nothing? Does the motor spin or does it just sit there and hum?


With the machine on its back or side, you should be able to make it agitate and spin by hand with minimal effort by spinning the transmission pulley. A little more effort for the spin as you have to overcome the brake AND also spin the whole tub and transmission which have weights on them.


Its a shot in the dark but you may also need to adjust the tension on the drain belt. How you know the right tension is there is of there is 1/4 inch distance between the belt when you squeeze it, the motor carriage JUST starts to move. If you loosen the drain pump just enough that it can move freely but snugly, adjust it so that when you have that 1/4 inch belt clearance, the carriage JUST starts to budge.

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