My ~8 year-old Whirlpool Ultimate Care II washing machine suddenly started making a loud, ratcheting kind of sound (the dial was on spin cycle, I believe). I advanced the dial hoping to remove the water (washer was full of water as it had been set for an extra large load cycle). The water did eject, but only after making a very disconcerting racket. I let it rest for an hour (hoping it would fix itself ;-) and tried again. Now it either makes the loud ratcheting sound or a softer buzzing (depending on the dial setting, early spin is soft buzzing -- but not the timer sound, it was something more -- further advanced on the spin cycle is loud/ratchety. I've read several threads and was hoping that something might just be 'jammed up' and that a major repair (motor, clutch assembly, etc.) may not necessary if I can get it "unstuck." Is there a way to check if a minor repair is possible (based, perhaps, on which parts I can/cannot move by hand)? If not, I'm thinking that purchasing a new front-loader is the way to go. Any suggestions as to which make/model is the most reliable would be appreciated. Whirlpool has been pretty good to me. Besides having to replace the lid switch about a year ago, it's been trouble-free.
thanks for any advice!
P.S. Model # could be 4211141 (on bottom of lid, but that doesn't seem right).
Besides a big THANKS! for your quick and accurate reply, I have a followup question: I noticed another video explaining how to replace the "clutch," but I didn't find the associated symptoms if it, too, needs replacement. If you think I should replace this (a lot more expensive) part as well, please let me know.
I have been reading through these threads as I have similar problem that the machine will not spin in the spin cycle, sometimes by rotating the drum a little will get it to work, or by switching back forth from a normal spin to lite spin, I took your advice and checked the coupler, but it is still good with no signs of wear, the pumps does work and drains the washer, any other thoughts?
Drd, your issue sounds more like the drive block could be the problem. Take the agitator off and what you'll see a large spanner nut holding the inner tub to the drive block. The spin tube has two ears on it and the drive block has two notches in it where those ears fit. Look At this picture. Your drive block should look like the one on the right.
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Thanks much for the info, but the problem was EXACTLY as diagnosed earlier. I replaced the coupler (which was in pieces) and the washer has been working great! The advice on this forum, and the excellent parts service and support (I never could have done this without the step-by-step video!), is just superb. This is the third appliance repair I've made (one previously on the washer, a defective lid switch, and another on the dryer, a bad thermostat) have either saved me hundreds in repair bills or hundreds more in replacement. This is an example of what the internet does best. Can't thank y'all (as we say in Georgia :-) enough!!
P.S. I'll keep your suggestion in mind to check for the next breakdown.