The Kenmore Elite HE3 is a washing machine by Kenmore.

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Vibration during spin cycle

Hi - I have an old Kenmore Elite H3E Washer purchased in ~2003 and it is still going strong. Note this is a high capacity machine, and I was never easy on it, using it for full loads most of the time. But it handled in in all cases. Over the last few months, it can't seem to handle a full load of clothes during the spin cycle to spin dry the clothes. I can usually put the machine back in spin mode without removing clothes and 95% of the time, they will come out as intended . If I wanted to restore the washers spin performance, what would be the likely cause & fix? From what I have researched, it is the drive belt being worn or loose, the springs, or the strut. All of which are reasonably cheap and not too bad to replace. When I rotate the tub by hand, it appears to stay in the 1/4" tolerance with the gasket around the full rotation. The bowl does feel a little loose front to back if I tug on it, but I have no reference of what it should be. There is no observable slipage in the drive belt while watching the bowl during the spin cycle. Thanks for any help.

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This can be caused by many things. Here are things to check:

Support Bracket

Washer vibration can occur if the support bracket is broken. Check the bracket for any damage or wear, replace as needed.

Shock Absorber

Washer vibration can occur if one or more of the shock absorbers is broken or worn out. Check the absorbers to be sure they are installed correctly and in the right position. Sometimes when a washer is moved the shock absorbers separate and have to be put back together. If they are broken or worn out, replace all at the same time.

Suspension Rod

Washer vibration can occur if one or more suspension rods are broken. Check all four rods, replace any that are broken.

Suspension Spring

Washer vibration can occur if one of the suspension springs has broken. Check all of the springs, if any are broken replace all of them at once.

Counter Balance Spring

Washer vibration can be caused by a broken counter balance spring. This washer is equipped with one or more counter balance springs which help to absorb the natural movement of the spinning tub. If a counter balance spring fails the tub might lean in one direction more than another and it will shake and cause vibration. The springs can be replaced but before purchasing the spring check to see if the place the spring attaches is OK. Sometimes the frame where the spring attaches has rusted out, making the repair more difficult and expensive.

Snubber Ring

Washer vibration can occur if the snubber ring is worn out or cracked. Replace as needed.

Snubber Pad

Washer vibration can occur if the snubber pad is worn out, missing, or coated with anything sticky. Replace if it's worn out or missing.


Washer vibration can occur if the snubber is worn out. If the snubber is worn out replace it.

Balance Ring

If the washer has excessive vibration, the balance ring may have lost its fluid. The balance ring sits on top of the outer tub and helps to counter the force of the spin cycle. If the fluid leaks out of the balance ring the washer tub will be too heavy for the suspension system and cause the machine to vibrate and shake.

Drive Block

Washer vibration can be caused by a worn out or broken drive block or bell. The drive block connects the transmission with the agitator, if it's loose or broken the agitator can wiggle back and forth during spin and cause vibration

Rear Drum with Bearing

If the washer has a bad vibration in spin the rear drum with bearing might need to be replace. On this washer the bearing is not sold separately, the entire rear drum will have to be replaced. This is a very involved repair and will require disassembling most of the washer. However, if this is the problem it is going to get worse very quickly and so either the drum and bearing will need to be replaced or the washing machine.

Leveling Leg

Washer vibration can occur if one of the leveling legs is out of adjustment. Using a carpenters level on the top of the machine, be sure to adjust each leg until the machine is level side to side and front to back. Once the machine is level, tighten the lock nuts, if equipped, on the leveling leg threaded bolt against the body of the washer to keep them from changing height.


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Thanks for the comprehensive answer. I'm looking for, based on experience, what is the most probable issue here. I don't have repair experience so I'm likely not going to be able to adequately check all of the items. But if someone can tell me that 80% of the time it's this or 60% of the time it's that, that would be very helpful.



James Brogan besides the excellent answer already given by @mayer, as for the spin cycle "The MCU operates the drive motor at varying speeds and direction based on inputs received by the CCU to complete the cycle selected. The MCU also monitors a tachometer on the motor to confirm that the drive motor is operating at the proper speed and direction." So it is the CCU that tells the MCU what to do with the drive motor. To rebuild the actual washer download the manual from this page Kenmore Elite HE3 Washing Machine Repair It describes what you need to do and how to get to it.


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James Brogan さん、ありがとうございました!

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