Short answer: To test a dryer motor, use a multimeter to check for electrical continuity in the start and run windings. If both show proper continuity (around 2-5 ohms), the motor is likely fine.

Testing a dryer motor is an essential skill for anyone looking to diagnose and address dryer issues effectively. A malfunctioning dryer motor can manifest in various ways, such as incomplete cycles, delays in startup, or unusual noises. To identify the root cause and ensure the dryer runs smoothly, understanding how to test the motor’s functionality is invaluable. This guide will walk you through the step-by-step process of evaluating a dryer motor, allowing you to troubleshoot and potentially resolve problems, and ultimately, extend the lifespan of your appliance.

When You Should Check The Dryer Motor?

You should check the dryer motor under the following circumstances:

  1. Dryer Fails to Start: If your dryer doesn’t start when you press the start button but you hear a humming sound instead, it’s a common indicator that the dryer motor may be malfunctioning. This is one of the primary scenarios where you should check the motor.
  2. Blower Wheel Obstruction: When the dryer’s blower wheel is obstructed and unable to rotate freely, it can strain the motor. If you notice any issues with the blower wheel, such as it being stuck or difficult to turn, it’s a good idea to check the motor.
  3. Suspected Electrical Problems: If you suspect electrical issues in your dryer, like power not reaching the motor properly, it’s advisable to test the motor’s electrical continuity as a diagnostic step. This can help you identify whether the motor is the source of the problem.
  4. Routine Maintenance: Periodic maintenance can help prevent motor-related problems. You can include checking the motor in your routine dryer maintenance schedule to ensure it’s in good working condition.

How To Test A Dryer Motor?

If your dryer refuses to start when you press the start button but emits a humming sound, there’s a high likelihood that the dryer’s drive motor has malfunctioned. To diagnose this issue, follow these steps:

Inspect the Blower Wheel:

Start by examining the dryer’s blower wheel for any obstructions that may be preventing it from turning. Ensure that the blower wheel can rotate freely when turned by hand. If it doesn’t, it’s probable that the bearings in the drive motor have seized, and you’ll need to replace the motor.

Check for Electrical Continuity:

To further assess the drive motor, use a multimeter to determine if it has electrical continuity. Electrical continuity signifies a continuous electrical path within the part, if applicable. Here’s what to do:

  • Document the location of the wires connected to the motor, then disconnect those wires or the motor’s wire harness connector.
  • Refer to the appliance’s wiring diagram to identify the motor’s start and run windings. If possible, isolate these windings by detaching the wires.
  • Set the multimeter’s range selection dial to the lowest setting for ohms of resistance.
  • Contact the black meter lead to the motor protector terminal and the red lead to the start winding wire terminal. If the meter displays two to five ohms of resistance, the drive motor’s start winding has electrical continuity.
  • While keeping the black meter lead on the motor protector terminal, move the red meter lead to the run winding wire terminal to check for proper electrical continuity. If both windings show two to five ohms of resistance, the motor has continuity and should be in good working order. If there’s no change in the display when testing either winding, the motor has no continuity and is defective.

Test the Motor’s Thermal Protector:

You can also use the multimeter to test the motor’s thermal protector to verify if the motor can receive the necessary voltage to run. Here’s how:

  • Disconnect the wires from the thermal protector terminals.
  • Place the black meter lead on one of the thermal protector’s terminals and the red lead on the other terminal.
  • If the thermal protector has proper continuity, the multimeter display will indicate close to zero ohms of resistance.
  • If the thermal protector has no continuity, you’ll need to replace the entire motor with a new one.

How To Troubleshoot And Replace Your Dryer Motor?

When dealing with dryer motor issues, there are some common symptoms to watch out for:

  1. Incomplete Cycle Shutdown: If your dryer starts but runs for only 15-20 minutes before shutting off prematurely, leaving the cycle incomplete, and doesn’t restart when you press the start button, you likely have a faulty dryer motor. Dryer motors have thermal protection, so they may overheat and then cool down, allowing them to start again. If this happens, it’s a clear sign that the motor needs replacement.
  2. Delayed Restart: If your dryer runs for a few minutes (e.g., 5-10 minutes), and you attempt to start it again immediately after opening the door and adding more clothes, but it doesn’t start until about an hour later, you have a similar motor issue. The motor may restart after cooling down, indicating a problem with it.
  3. Loud Hum or Buzz: When you press the start button, and you hear a loud humming or buzzing sound before the dryer starts with a slight delay, it suggests that your dryer motor is weakening. Over time, it may fail to start entirely. If you reach a point where the motor only produces a loud hum or buzz without starting, it’s a clear indication that it needs replacement.
  4. No Response: If your dryer makes no noise at all when you press the start button, without any humming or buzzing, it could be a bad motor. However, it’s also possible that safety thermostats or thermal fuses are causing the issue. You can check these components as well to rule out other problems.

Replacing The Motor:

1. Secure the Motor Pulley with Vice Grips: Attach vice grips to the motor’s pulley to prevent it from turning during the removal process. Use larger vice grips if available.

2. Remove the Blower Wheel: To remove the blower wheel, turn it clockwise. It may be challenging to loosen, and you might need to tap it gently with a hammer and a block of wood. Be cautious not to damage the fins. Some blower wheels have spots for channel locks or socket extensions for easier removal, but others may require more force. The vice grips will keep the motor shaft from turning during this step.

3. Remove Clips Holding the Motor: Locate and remove the front and back clips securing the motor. The front clip is smaller, and the back clip is larger. Pry them up to release them. Removing these clips will allow you to pull the motor out.

4. Disconnect the Motor Harness: After releasing the clips, you can pull the motor out. Before removing it entirely, disconnect the motor harness.

5. Install the New Motor: When installing the new motor, align it with the notches on the motor bracket and the motor itself. Ensure that it’s correctly aligned by attempting to spin the motor shaft, which should not rotate.

6. Reattach the Clips: Place the clips back on the motor to secure it in place. Start on one side and press down to attach them. A flat-head screwdriver may help with this step.

7. Reinstall the Blower Wheel: Reattach the blower wheel to the motor shaft. Use vice grips to secure the motor shaft while tightening the blower wheel. Make sure it’s snug.

8. Test the Dryer: After replacing the motor, test the dryer to ensure it runs smoothly without any issues.


What causes a dryer to stop working?

A dryer can stop working due to various reasons, including a malfunctioning thermal fuse, a broken belt, a faulty motor, or issues with the power supply.

Why won’t my dryer start all of a sudden?

If your dryer won’t start suddenly, it could be due to a defective door switch, a blown thermal fuse, a tripped circuit breaker, or problems with the timer or control board.

How do I stop my microwave from sparking?

If your microwave is sparking, it may be due to metal objects or foil inside. Remove any metal items, and make sure your microwave-safe containers are free of damage or rust. Avoid using aluminum foil in the microwave.

How do you fix a dryer door that won’t close?

To fix a dryer door that won’t close, check for obstructions around the door seal. Adjust or replace the latch or strike if necessary. Make sure the door hinge is not bent or damaged.

My Samsung dryer isn’t heating up.

If your Samsung dryer isn’t heating up, it may be due to a defective heating element, a faulty thermostat, or a broken thermal fuse. Check these components and replace them if necessary to restore heating.


Testing a dryer motor is a crucial troubleshooting step in identifying and resolving issues with dryer operation. By examining common symptoms like incomplete cycles, delayed restarts, or unusual noises, individuals can pinpoint motor problems. The process involves checking for electrical continuity using a multimeter and inspecting the thermal protector. Additionally, this comprehensive guide offers practical insights into removing and replacing the motor when necessary, providing a comprehensive approach to maintaining and repairing dryers effectively.

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