Do It Yourself Dryer Repair? (Explained)

Your dryer is a big, heavy piece of equipment that requires regular maintenance to keep it running properly. Fortunately, some simple do-it-yourself maintenance tasks can help you avoid costly repairs and extend the life of your dryer. Here are 12 DIY maintenance tips for your dryer:

Dryer Troubleshooting
Key Takeaways
You can fix some common dryer issues yourself with the right tools and knowledge.
Washer and dryer combo units can have similar issues, but some repairs may require professional help.
Different brands and models of dryers may have specific repair requirements, so refer to the user manual or contact the manufacturer for guidance.
Regular maintenance, including cleaning the lint filter and vent, can help prevent common dryer problems.
If you’re not comfortable with repairing your dryer yourself, it’s best to consult a professional for help.

1. Clean Lint From the Dryer Exhaust

To clean the lint from the dryer exhaust, you will need a broom, vacuum cleaner or shop vac and an old wooden clothespin.

Step 1:

Turn off power to the dryer at its circuit breaker or fuse box. If you do not know where this is located, consult your owner’s manual for help.

Step 2:

Remove the back panel of your dryer using a screwdriver to loosen any screws that hold it in place then lift out carefully so as not to damage any wires connected inside (if applicable)

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2. Clean Lint Screen

To clean the lint screen, remove it from your dryer and wipe it with a dry cloth. Replace the lint screen and check to make sure that it is not damaged or clogged with lint. If you need to clean more than one area, repeat this process until all areas have been cleaned.

Cleaning the Lint Screen

Remove the lint screen from the dryer.
Wipe the lint screen with a dry cloth to remove any lint or debris.
Check the lint screen for any damages, like holes or tears.
Run water through the lint screen to check for any blockages.
Once you’re done cleaning, replace the lint screen and make sure that it fits snugly in the lint filter housing.
Repeat this process for other areas of the dryer, if necessary.

3. Clean Inside the Drum

To clean the inside of the dryer drum, make sure you have a soft brush and a vacuum. Start by brushing off any large pieces of lint or debris, then vacuum up any smaller particles. 

Don’t use chemicals or harsh cleaners on your dryer because this can damage it over time. You also want to avoid using steel wool or abrasive materials when cleaning inside your dryer because they can scratch its interior surfaces and make them less efficient at drying clothes.

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4. Inspect/Clean Exterior Vent/Duct

Did you know that the interior of your dryer can be dirty and that dirt and lint buildup can cause problems? To check for clogs, open the door of your dryer and look down into it. 

If you see any lint or other debris inside, clean it out with a vacuum cleaner or shop vac. You may also find that the exhaust ducting is clogged with dust, lint or other debris. If this is true for your dryer, contact an expert to have it cleaned properly before using again!

5. Replace Drive Belt

If your dryer is making a loud squeaking or grinding noise, it may be time to replace the drive belt. 

The drive belt is responsible for turning your dryer drum, and it can stretch over time. This can cause it to slip on its pulley and make a lot of noise during the drying cycle.

Replacing this component isn’t too difficult if you have some basic DIY skills and tools handy:

Remove the front panel from your dryer by removing two screws near each corner (you’ll need a Phillips screwdriver).

Remove four screws holding the drum roller in place (the ones on each side of where you just removed those two long screws). 

These may be covered by foam insulation that needs to be pulled out first before removing them—just pull gently until everything comes out easily enough for you to get at them with your hands so you don’t damage anything else inside there! 

Don’t worry about breaking anything; if something doesn’t come off easily simply put it back together again carefully instead of trying too hard at first because what matters most is getting these four screws out safely without damaging anything else inside there while not causing any harm either!”

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6. Replace Drum Roller(s)

To replace the drum rollers, you will need the following tools:

  • Screwdriver
  • Socket wrench set with a ratcheting handle
  • Channel locks (if necessary)
  • Wire brush (if necessary)

To access the drum roller(s), first remove any lint from around them. Then open up your dryer and remove all screws holding on the front panel (you may have to pry it off using channel locks). 

Once you’ve removed that, look at where your lint trap is connected; there will be one or two screws connecting it to an assembly near where your drum rolls. Remove those screws, then disconnect whatever parts are holding the lint trap in place. 

This should allow you to pull out one side of your dryer’s inner workings so that you can access the rollers themselves. To do this, simply unscrew them using a socket wrench set with a ratcheting handle. 

If they’re stuck or won’t come out easily, try gently twisting them back and forth while pulling gently on them as well; use channel locks if needed for extra leverage when loosening stubborn parts like these!

Cleaning the Lint Screen

Remove the lint screen from the dryer.
Wipe the lint screen with a dry cloth to remove any lint or debris.
Check the lint screen for any damages, like holes or tears.
Run water through the lint screen to check for any blockages.
Once you’re done cleaning, replace the lint screen and make sure that it fits snugly in the lint filter housing.
Repeat this process for other areas of the dryer, if necessary.

7. Replace Idler Pulley and Bearing Assembly

The idler pulley and bearing assembly is the part that connects to the motor. It’s located on the inside of the dryer drum and is connected to your drive belt.

If your dryer isn’t turning, this could be the culprit. You’ll need a new idler pulley and bearing assembly if yours is broken or missing, which can happen when you remove it for any kind of repair work.

The good news? It’s an easy fix! Just make sure you’re buying one made for your particular brand and model before purchasing a replacement part (or else you may have to do some research).

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8. Replace Rollers on Front of Dryer (Optional)

If you’re going to replace the front drum rollers, you’ll need to remove the bolts and springs attaching them to their brackets. 

The key here is not to force anything. If a bolt or spring is stuck in place, simply apply a bit of penetrating oil and wait for it to loosen up on its own (this might take a few hours).

Once all four rollers are removed and set aside, install each new roller onto its bracket by hand and then gently tighten down each bracket-roller connection with an adjustable wrench.

9. Troubleshoot Gas Valve Coils

If you’re dealing with a gas dryer and can hear the coils getting very hot, but the dryer doesn’t seem to be heating up, there may be a problem with the coils. Most gas dryers are equipped with two coils: one at each side of the heating assembly.

A bad coil (or set of coils) will usually make a high-pitched sound when they heat up. If this is your case, check out our article on how to troubleshoot gas valve coils for assistance in finding out what’s causing your issue and repairing it.

Fixing your dryer may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and guidance, it can be done safely and effectively. Our post on DIY dryer repair explained provides step-by-step instructions on how to troubleshoot and fix common dryer issues like clogged vents, faulty thermostats, and broken belts.

10. Troubleshoot Ignitor Switch/Coil Assemblies

When troubleshooting your dryer’s ignitor switch/coil assemblies, follow these steps:

Turn off the power. Disconnect the electrical cord from its socket.

Unscrew and remove the top panel of your dryer to reveal any wiring or parts that may be damaged in your repair process.

Check for loose or broken wires as well as melted wires and switches that could cause problems with your dryer’s operation. Replace any damaged parts immediately so they don’t pose a risk to users later on down the road. 

If no issues are found with any of these components, move on to step four below: replace both ignitor switches (one side will say “off” while another reads “on”).

11. Re-route Exhaust Ducting (if applicable)

If you’re serious about repairing your dryer, you should be able to re-route the ducting and install a metal duct. 

Ductwork is often clogged with lint, which can cause a fire if not dealt with properly. You’ll need to make sure that the new ducting is secure and properly attached so that it won’t fall apart when pulled or tugged. 

If you do have to replace the entire exhaust system, make sure it’s made from metal rather than PVC (polyvinyl chloride).

12. Tune Up Your Dryer to Help Prevent Problems in the Future

You can do a few simple things to help prevent future problems with your dryer and make it last longer.

Clean the lint filter. This is one of the most important things to do, because if you don’t, the dryer will heat up but not blow warm air, which means that your clothes won’t get completely dried.

Clean out the lint screen once a week or so because it fills up faster than you think it does! If you have pets, they might shed more lint and fur than other people’s pets do, so be sure to check this often. 

If necessary, replace worn parts such as belts & rollers quickly so they don’t break down later on down the road when they become unusable due to excessive wear and tear over time (this happens more often than we’d like).


Dryers are more complex than you may think. If you’re looking for a way to save money on repairs and keep your dryer running at its peak performance, we recommend getting professional guidance from an appliance repair company in your area. 

Here at Appliance Repair Dallas we can help with everything from simple cleaning jobs on your dryer to complete replacement parts if needed

Further Reading

The Family Handyman shares common dryer problems and what you can do to fix them.

Whirlpool provides a step-by-step guide on how to fix a dryer yourself.

HowStuffWorks offers an extensive guide on how to fix various dryer problems and includes safety instructions.


What are some common dryer problems?

Some common dryer problems include a broken belt, clogged vents, faulty thermostats, malfunctioning heating elements, and damaged drum seals.

Can I fix my dryer myself?

Yes, you can fix some dryer problems yourself if you have the right tools and knowledge. However, it’s important to note that certain repairs are best left to professionals for safety reasons.

How do I know if my dryer needs repairing?

If your dryer is making unusual noises, not drying clothes properly, or emitting strange smells, it may need to be repaired. Additionally, if you notice visible signs of damage, such as cracks or tears on the drum or belt, it’s best to address the issue before it worsens.

What tools do I need to repair my dryer?

The tools you need will depend on the specific problem you’re trying to fix, but common tools for dryer repair include screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers, socket wrenches, a multimeter, and a putty knife.

Is it safe to repair my dryer myself?

Some dryer repairs can be done safely by a DIYer, but some repairs require a professional’s expertise due to the potential risk of electrocution or fire. If you’re unsure, it’s best to consult a professional or refer to your dryer’s user manual for safety information.