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Author Topic: Older Maytag Washer slow agitation  (Read 697 times)

Offline DIYRepairGuy

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Older Maytag Washer slow agitation
« on: February 04, 2021, 03:48:08 PM »

I have an older Maytag washing machine, don't have model number in front of me but will post later. I got the machine used in 1988, its the type with the push-buttons for water temp and speed, looks like the unit in the attached picture.

Lately I notice the agitation is very slow, oddly, if I press the gentle push-button selector the agitation speed increases, then when I push regular button it agitates at the normal speed. This behavior is repeatable.

I am hoping somebody has seen this and has some advice for me? Seems like the motor, belts transmission etc are OK since it does agitate properly after pressing gentle then regular buttons. I am wondering how the selector buttons work to change the speed, does the motor run slower in gentle mode? In all the repair videos I have seen there doesn't seem to be anything in the belts or transmission that effect the speed, so I am thinking the motor speed must be changed by the selector buttons?

I am good with mechanical or electrical repair/maintenance, but don't want to do "exploratory surgery" on the mechanical side if there are no issues there, seems like I could cause more trouble by taking apart something that is this old... I'm trying not to "fix" what isn't broken.  Logic tells me it is a motor speed regulation issue related to the buttons...

If anyone has experience that can help me fix this I would really appreciate the advice... Thanks in advance!

Offline DIYRepairGuy

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Re: Older Maytag Washer slow agitation
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2021, 05:45:31 PM »
The model of this washing machine is Maytag A608
Thanks to anyone who takes the time to read and/or reply to my post!

Offline theoldstoveguy

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Re: Older Maytag Washer slow agitation
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2021, 08:07:06 PM »
It should be slow on Gentle and fast on normal. Changing the speed when on just changes the motor speed. When does it agitate slow? At the beginning? Check your motor tension rollers and such. Is cold where it's located? The gear oil is 90wt and takes a bit to get going. If located in a cold location, fill the tub with HOT water about 6 inches and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. I still remember installing lights inside the cabinets to warm the machines on back porches so it would warm it up to make it run better. Been doing this too long.

Offline DIYRepairGuy

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Re: Older Maytag Washer slow agitation
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2021, 08:19:21 PM »
ahh... second guy (two forums) to say cold thick oil... The basement is cold (chicagoland) and water even colder.

I am starting up a load in regular action, when agitation starts it is VERY slow, if I click gentle action the agitation speeds up immediately, then if I click regular action right away it starts going the proper speed for regular action. If I am there to click the buttons it works perfect! LOL

I am just about to take the front off and do some observations... I have a portable heater I could throw on the trans and see if that make it start up faster.

I am interested to see the motor speed as I start on regular action, move to gentle and then back to regular....

Thanks for your input

Offline DIYRepairGuy

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Re: Older Maytag Washer slow agitation
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2021, 10:12:42 AM »
I took the front off the unit last night and ran a load, unfortunately you can't observe much about motor speed since the pulleys are on the underside of the unit. I used warm water this time, agitation did start out a little better than I have been seeing, but still slow. It did speed up when I switched from regular to gentle action and then sped up more when I went back to regular action. So still seeing the same behavior.
The motor seems to slide easily, I did notice an improvement in agitation when I put a little pressure on the motor in the direction that tightens the belts.  Next time I do a load and the agitation is slow I am going to apply a little pressure to the motor to see if agitation comes up to speed (without pressing the gentle/regular action buttons). This should let me know if it is a motor speed issue, or mechanical issue with the belts or thick oil in the transmission.
I am going to go ahead and order a belt set and tip the unit over and turn the agitator and pump to get a feel for how hard those are to rotate by hand, then replace the belts and check that the motor doesn't have anything preventing it from sliding the full expected range of motion.
It also dawned on me that the wash drum doesn't center itself very well any more, I am not sure if the tension on the belt changes when the drum moves around? I am going to observe that too, if belt tension changes when the drum is off center this could be part of the problem as well. I guess new springs would help the drum center properly again? I haven't looked into how the drum is held on center yet, I assume it is a series of springs.
I am still open to suggestions from those with experience in this arena... Thanks

Offline theoldstoveguy

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Re: Older Maytag Washer slow agitation
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2021, 08:42:10 PM »
 So you didn't try hot water a inches and let it sit for 15-20 minutes, or don't have access to hot water? I always start there.