Should You Replace Washing Machine Bearings Or Get A New Washer?

Washing machines are quite noisy appliances at the best of times. But if your washer has suddenly become much louder than usual, it could be because the bearings are worn and on their last legs. 

Whilst replacement washing machine bearings are relatively inexpensive to buy, the labour costs for replacing them can stretch into the hundreds of pounds. Which begs the question; Is it worth replacing the bearings in a washing machine?

If this is the dilemma you’re facing, keep reading, because in this article I take a close look at this subject and analyse whether it’s worth replacing the bearings or whether your money would be better spent on buying a new appliance.

How To Tell If The Bearings Need Replacing

It’s not always easy to diagnose what’s wrong with your washing machine if you’re not an expert. However, there are some huge clues when it comes to defective drum bearings.

One tell-tale sign of washing machine bearing problems is the noise the drum makes as it turns. Many people describe this sound as an aeroplane taking off when the washer is in the spin cycle.

If your washer is making far more noise than normal when spinning, it’s most probably the bearings at fault. Another simple test you can do is to open the washer door and try moving the drum up and down.

If it moves excessively, the bearings are most likely worn out and need replacing.

Is It Worth Replacing The Bearings On A Washing Machine?

person looking at washing machine

Whether it’s worth replacing the bearings on your washing machine depends on a few factors. Which are;

The Age Of The Appliance

The average lifespan of a washing machine is around 10 to 12 years. Which means depending on how old your washer is, there might be a case for replacing the bearings.

Replacing the bearings even if you have to call in an engineer to do it for you, will be less expensive than buying a new appliance. Having said that, there are other factors to consider.

Like, why have the bearings worn out so fast? And does that mean that other components are likely to wear out fast as well?

If your washer is relatively old (more than 5 to 6 years old), it might not be worth the expense of replacing the bearings. The money spent on replacing the bearings might be better put towards the cost of a new appliance.

This is especially true if your washer is more than 8 years old.

Whether It’s Still Covered Under The Manufacturer’s Warranty

If your washer is young enough to still be covered by a warranty, then you should definitely have the bearings replaced. This is because there should be no financial costs involved and the manufacturer should organise the replacement parts and engineer to do the work.

If the warranty only recently expired, you will need to make a choice on whether it’s worth spending £100 to £300 on getting the bearings replaced or whether that money would be better spent on a new appliance.

How Often You Use It

The more often you use your washer, the more likely the bearings are to wear. A washing machine that’s used pretty much every day for instance, is far more likely to have components wear out. 

Which could mean that once the bearings have been replaced, other parts will need to be replaced in the not too distant future. If this is the case, your money would definitely be better spent buying a new washer than replacing the bearings on your current model.

How Much Money You Have To Spend

It will cost less money overall to get the bearings replaced on your current washing machine than it would to buy a new appliance. If you are on a tight budget, and don’t have enough disposable income to purchase a new washer. And your current one is less than 5 to 6 years old, you might have to get the bearings replaced.

Your DIY Skill Level

Assuming your washing machine has bearings that can be replaced (there are several washers that don’t), the cost of the replacement bearing will only be somewhere between £15 to £80. This is definitely far less than purchasing a new appliance.

If you don’t have the necessary DIY skills, the cost of replacing the bearings will increase to an extra £100 to £300 depending on who does it and the part of the country you live in.

When Should You Replace The Bearings On A Washing Machine?

open washing machine door

If you’re certain that the bearings on your washing machine need replacing, you should think about replacing them if;

  • The washing machine is relatively new & has no other problems
  • The washer is still under warranty
  • You can’t afford to replace the appliance
  • You can replace the bearings yourself
  • You like your current washer and don’t want to replace it
  • You care for the environment & want to keep your appliances as long as possible

When Should You Replace The Washing Machine?

In some cases, replacing the bearings might not be the best choice and buying a new machine is the better option. These include;

  • If your washer is 8 years old or more
  • The new appliance is only slightly more expensive than the repair
  • Your current washer has packed up altogether
  • You don’t want to take the chance of any more breakdowns
  • You’re not prepared for the mess and hassle of having the old one repaired
  • Your current washer doesn’t have replaceable bearings (many modern machines fall into this category)
  • You have the money and would prefer a newer model

Is It OK To Use A Washing Machine With Worn Bearings?

In most cases, it is OK to use a washing machine that is showing signs of worn bearings. The worn bearings won’t necessarily affect the performance of the washer. 

However, over time, the problem with the bearings will cause problems with other components. Defective bearings could cause damage to the outer drum, the basket, certain electrical components and the drive shaft.

By which time, there will probably be no point replacing the bearings as there will be other serious problems developing. Which all means that as soon as you realise there’s a problem related to the bearings, it needs to be dealt with immediately.

This will help preserve the rest of the appliance and keep it running smoothly.

LEARN MORE: Can You Safely Use A Washing Machine When The Bearings Have Gone?

What Are The Causes Of Worn Bearings?

washing machine drum

The main reason the bearings wear in a washing machine is old age and wear and tear. However, if you regularly overload the drum of your washer or allow it to spin with an unbalanced load, the bearings will wear out faster than is normal.

You shouldn’t expect the bearings to wear out until the washer is around 9 to 10 years old under normal usage. It’s only if you apply undue pressure to the drum that the bearings could wear out sooner.

Or if you use the washer every day, this could cause the bearings and other components to wear out before their time.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace Washing Machine Bearings?


The cost of replacing washing machine bearings will be somewhere between £100 to £300 depending on the make and model machine you own and where in the UK you live. The bearings themselves will only account for somewhere between £15 to £80, the rest of the cost is made up in labour costs.

You should be aware that replacing the bearings on a washing machine is not an easy task and requires a high level of skill as well as a lot of time.

Can You Replace Washing Machine Bearings Yourself?

The answer to this question is yes, sometimes. You see many modern washing machines are built in such a way that makes it impossible to replace the bearings. In such cases, you will have no option but to replace the washing machine with a new model.

Others that can have the bearings replaced allow for this to be done, but as it involves dismantling pretty much all of the cabinetry of the washer, it’s not a task for the faint hearted. Or for those with nominal DIY skills.

Unless you are a skilled DIYer and have at least 4 to 6 hours at your disposal, I recommend contacting a technician to replace the bearings for you.

SEE ALSO: Washing Machine Drum Banging? (here’s why & what to do)

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to replace the bearings on a washing machine?

It will cost anywhere between £100 to £300 to get the bearings replaced on a washing machine depending on the make and model. The actual bearings will cost somewhere between £15 to £80 with the rest of the cost being labour costs. However, the job will take several hours and involves dismantling almost every panel of the appliance.

Is it worth replacing the washing machine bearings?

Whether it’s worth replacing the bearings on your washing machine or not depends on the age of the machine and the cost of the repair. If the bearings on your washing machine are worn and the washer is less than around 5 to 6 years old, it is probably worth replacing the bearings. However, in older models you need to consider whether the cost of replacing the bearings is worth it on an old appliance that will probably develop another age related fault in the near future.

What causes washing machine bearings to wear?

The main cause of washing machine bearings wearing out is old age and wear and tear. You can typically expect the bearings to wear after 8 to 10 years of normal use. However, if you regularly overload the drum or allow it to run with an unbalanced load, the bearings are likely to wear out faster.

What does a bad washer bearing sound like?

A bad washer bearing has been described as sounding like an aeroplane taking off or an old cement mixer.

Can you replace washing machine bearings yourself?

It is possible to replace washing machine bearings yourself if you have the relevant technical and DIY skills. However, it is a long job and requires a certain degree of technical skill as well as needing at least 4 to 6 hours to replace.

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