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Frigidaire Gallery FWT449 Needs Bearings

gary

Premium Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2005
Messages
2
Location
, ,
Model Number
FWT449
Brand
Frigidaire
Age
1-5 years
Called Frigidaire and got technician to diagnose problem as bearings shot (I thought so much myself) and that for about $450 we could get it fixed -- inner drum under 25-yr warranty but outer drum and 3 hours labour not covered.
Called Frigidaire and told them that we were disappointed that:
> shot bearings means outer drum must be replaced; and
> 6-year old washer requires such a costly repair.

Although customer service rep empathized, all she offered in addition was to cover 1/2 the cost of outer drum or 20% off a new washer. So that's left me wondering a few things:

1. Is this a Sears product (serial #XC83630344) because Sears rep seemed to think it was? I'm not sure where it was purchased because I inherited it from my sister 5 years ago.
2. Can I get the parts with Frigidaire's offer and do the repair myself -- or is it something that I want to tackle? And if I do it, what other parts should be replaced at the same time?
3. If we get this repaired now will it happen again in another few years? Or should I just cut my losses and buy a new one -- at the Sears outlet store -- and purchase a Maintenance Agreement while I'm at it?

I'd appreciate your thoughts.
 

Dan O.

Appliance Tech
Staff member
Joined
Oct 9, 2004
Messages
2,319
Location
Canada
gary wrote:
Is this a Sears product (serial #XC83630344) because Sears rep seemed to think it was?
There's no way for us to tell (maybe Jake knows being as he works for Sears). There may be certain Frigidaire branded models which were only sold through Sears or maybe a certain range of serial numbers were but likely only Frigidaire or Sears could tell you that.


I inherited it from my sister 5 years ago.
I'm surprised Frigidaire offered you anything as AFAIK Frigidaire appliance warranties are not transferable. PLUS, if it was sold by Sears, Sears is solely responsible for warranty coverage and not Frigidaire.


Can I get the parts with Frigidaire's offer and do the repair myself
Not usually. If Frigidaire is flippin' the bill for anything, they usually want to see the job done correctly which means one of their *factory authorized* service depots must preform the service.


If we get this repaired now will it happen again in another few years?
Maybe. IMO premature failure mainly depends on how and in what conditions (water hardness, type of detergent, amount of detergent, etc.) it is used in although some may be a result of defects or scrimping in the material used in the manufacture of certain of its components.


Or should I just cut my losses and buy a new one -- at the Sears outlet store
Aren't those usually seconds? In such a case I wouldn't consider one "new"... just newer than what you have. ;)


and purchase a Maintenance Agreement
I strongly recommend them for any front load washer model purchased (see the following link).

LINK > Appliance411: The Purchase: Which appliances need more warranty?

JMO

Dan O.
Appliance411.com
The Appliance Information Site
=D~~~~~~
 

Mad Mac

Appliance Tech
Joined
Jan 8, 2005
Messages
642
Location
Moorpark (via Motherwell, Scotland), California, U
Just to expand on Dan's comments re Sears "outlet store" items (by the way, I'm an ex-Sears tech) appliances there are generally either of a "scratch & dent" nature or customer returns for a variety of reasons - there are people out there who buy gas dryers then find out they have no gas in the house, I kid you not! These appliances almost invariably carry the normal manufacturer warranty. As with everything of this nature, there are bargains to be had if you're careful.

I'd also mention that it might be possible to find out where your sister bought it from credit card records - other than that, there is no way to tell where the machine came from.The serial number only indicates plant/year/week of manufacture.
 

jnicosia

Premium Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2004
Messages
67
Location
, ,
I would say that you are not going to get a better deal than 20% off a new machine from anyone else....but there is a better way grasshopper

I would also say that if you are reasonably handy, and have a helper you can do this repair in about 3 hours on a Saturday. It will cost you about $50 or so to buy the bearings and bearing seal, and about $15 for the tub seal.

I have posted instructions on this website at this link: https://www.applianceblog.com/mainforums/threads/fixed-drum-gasket-and-rear-shell-bearings.237/

These instructions describe how to take the machine apart/together and where to get the bearings. Get the tub seal from repairclinic.com, or any appliance parts dealer

If it turns out that you need the stainless drum because the bearings got so bad that they destroyed the shaft, then we have found that many appliance parts places have honored the warranty for the handyman with a photocopy of the warranty and the receipt. They may need to bill you for shipping.

I would say that if you do the repair you should be good for another 5 years or more. Not bad for a $50 investment and 3 hours of your time...right ?

Let us know how you make out.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
105,199
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
gary wrote:
Called Frigidaire and got technician to diagnose problem as bearings shot (I thought so much myself) and that for about $450 we could get it fixed -- inner drum under 25-yr warranty but outer drum and 3 hours labour not covered.
Called Frigidaire and told them that we were disappointed that:
> shot bearings means outer drum must be replaced; and
> 6-year old washer requires such a costly repair.

Although customer service rep empathized, all she offered in addition was to cover 1/2 the cost of outer drum or 20% off a new washer. So that's left me wondering a few things:

1. Is this a Sears product (serial #XC83630344) because Sears rep seemed to think it was? I'm not sure where it was purchased because I inherited it from my sister 5 years ago.
Hi, Like Dan and Mac mentioned, if its got the name Frigidaire on it, she could have got it from anywhere. Kenmore only sells these under the model# starting with 417, But they will always have the name Kenmore on it if they bought it at sears. Sears does also sell these same units with the Frigidaire name brand on it, along with many other appliance dealers across North America.
 

gary

Premium Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2005
Messages
2
Location
, ,
Thanks for all the comments guys! It is very helpful bouncing ideas off of those 'in the know.' I will follow-up with the service company that diagnosed the problem to see what it will cost to for them to do the work. As Dan pointed out they won't just give me the parts that would be covered under warranty.

I will take jnicosia's advice and put the directions for changing the bearings inside the machine with the wiring diagram -- for 5 years from now if/when I have to do it again. Right now I've enough projects on the go that I'd prefer not to add another one into my already short weekends.

I'll let you know how it turns out. It may not be as bad I originally thought.

Gonna have to start using HE detergent I guess to help prevent future water leaks into the bearing area. Or at least that's what Frigidaire suggested might be the cause of our problem. The manual simply 'recommends' HE detergent and in the same paragraph goes on to say that if using regular detergent, use less. Is using HE detergent really important in front loaders -- and in particular Frigidaire machines?
 

ACE

Appliance Tech
Joined
Jun 29, 2005
Messages
42
Location
Montana, USA
I hope that $450.00 covered the part as well......

If it's all labor, that's ridiculous! Considering it can be done in under 2 hours.
 
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