how to tell if washer suspension rods are bad

Wondering how to tell if washer suspension rods are bad? Let’s quickly start by understanding their connection to the mechanisms at play.

For a washing machine to run smoothly, each internal component has to be in sync with the overall mechanism. So, if washer suspension rods are bad, symptoms will show up right away.

You will notice that your washing machine shakes abnormally each time it runs a cycle.

The most common solution, in this case, would be to replace the bad suspension rods to stop them from shaking and vibrating.

If you want to take matters into your own hands, try taking off the panel, reaching the suspension rods, and looking for any possible damage.

From identifying the issue to finding the best possible solution, here’s how to tell if the suspension rods on your washer are bad.

Understanding the “Whys”: How To Tell if Washer Suspension Rods Are Bad?

tell washer suspension is bad

The following steps are helpful in determining the state of washer suspension rods.

Step #1: Analyzing the Vibrations or Shaking

The fact is, it’s normal for your washing machine to vibrate a little bit during every cycle.

That said, if you notice shaking or vibration that is intense or peculiar, it might be time for you to take action.

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The culprit behind “the washing machine tremble” is the suspension rod in most cases. That said, other factors might have a thing or two contributing to the problem.

For this reason, it’s critical to troubleshoot the issue, and we’re here to help you do exactly that.

Step #2: Examining the Suspension Rods

Now that you’ve determined the abnormality of the shaking, the next step would be to examine the suspension rods.

You can locate them if you look inside the cabinet, usually right below the drum.

Start hunting for any noticeable issues with the suspension rods. Are the rods heavily worn out?

Are there any visible signs of damage? Or is the rod broken beyond repair?

In case the suspension rod is broken, the only remedy would be to replace it.

If you notice any suspension rod red flags, it’s a clear sign that you should stop using the washing machine until everything is fixed.

Note: Running a cycle despite broken suspension rods can be detrimental to other components of the machine.

Step #3: Uncovering the Hidden Issues

Unfortunately, you can’t be sure if your washing machine is healthy even when you can’t find any noticeable damage or abnormalities with the suspension rods.

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There are still a few areas that might need your attention (we’ll discuss this shortly).

The goal here is not to neglect the problem – dealing with the issue might be somewhat inconvenient now, but neglecting it might mean irreversible damage down the line.

Fix or Replace? Solving the Suspension Rod Dilemma

fix or replace suspension rods

To make matters simple, consider the washer suspension rods as something similar to your car’s suspension.

Typically, a top-loading washing machine applies these rods in sets of four.

They have a pretty straightforward role – to protect the internal drum with adequate cushioning during a spin cycle’s intense spinning motion.

With regular wear and tear, it’s natural for the rods to stretch and break, thanks to the consistent tension induced by repeated washing cycles.

Tip: Typically, if you notice anything “off-balance” about the washer’s drum, that is a clear sign of a broken rod.

Let’s quickly discuss the remedies here:

Step #1: Pull the Washer Away

Since the suspension rod is embedded inside the washer’s cabinet, you will need ample room to perform this task.

Move the washer away from the wall or ask for assistance if it’s too heavy. Make sure you’re extremely careful during the process to avoid any injuries.

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Step #2: Unplug the Washing Machine

unplug washer

While this step seems pretty obvious, most of us forget to take the precautions of unplugging the machine.

You may not notice it, but water usually gets trapped inside the laundry machine. Getting to work with the power on can be extremely dangerous.

Nobody wants to deal with the serious (and sometimes fatal) consequences of electrocution – so take preventable steps.

Step #3: Take Off the Front Panel

Start by unscrewing the front panel; you can rely on the regular Philipps head screwdriver to get the job done.

If you can’t get to the screws, you might have to lift the washing machine slightly. You can use wooden blocks for this task.

Before you’re ready to prop the machine up, make sure it is well-balanced to prevent it from falling.

Once you’re taking the screws off, it’s time to detach the panel’s top from the washer.

Try not to pull the panel with force; it might break the assembly. Next, set the panel away to get to the root of the problem.

Step #4: Time To Detach the Top Panel

With the front panel detached, it’s time to work around the top panel. Again, rely on the all-too-powerful screwdriver to detach it.

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The top panel is typically located around the cabinet corners or underneath the lid.

It can be a little challenging to locate the screws. If you’re looking for clarity, you can always rely on the manual for the info. Once the screws are off, be gentle when removing the top panel.

With both the top and side panels now detached, you’ll now be able to see the suspension rods clearly.

Step #5: Getting Around the Suspension Rods

washer suspension rods

Now that you’ve determined where the broken or damaged rod is, the next step is to reach the internal tub near the damaged rod.

Relieve the tension by lifting the internal tub carefully, preferably with one hand.

Next, use your free hand to pull the bottom assembly of the rod. You’ll find it near a U-shaped connection point around that area. This step basically leaves the rod to hang freely.

Try lifting the rod up slightly to detach it from the securing cup at the top. Finally, pull the rod entirely from the opening provided in the washer’s assembly.

Step #6: Attaching the New Rod

Insert the new rod into the opening on the top, place the securing cup back into the opening, and double-check to ensure the rod and the cup are secured.

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Step #7: Adding the Final Touches

Insert the bottom assembly of the suspension rod into the U-shaped area while simultaneously holding the internal tub.

If you’ve done the task right, you’ll notice the new rod working in sync with the rest of the rods to keep the internal tub in place. Screw the panels back on the top and the front.

Run a test laundry cycle and look for any vibrations that may seem out of place.

Also, see if the drum is spinning smoothly. If everything seems normal, pat yourself on the back for doing a great job!

Other Factors That Might Cause the Shaking

factors for shaking washer

Can’t find the answer to “how to tell if suspension rods on your washer are bad?” Here are the other factors you might want to look into:

Counterbalance Spring

Examine the counterbalance spring to see if anything is damaged and needs repair.

When this spring breaks, the washer’s tub might lose its balance and lead to excessive shaking.

Shock Absorber

One of the common factors of your washing machine’s dysfunction could be the shock absorbers.

The role of these shock absorbers is to keep the vibrations to a minimum during the cycles.

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Suspension Spring

The counterbalance spring combined with the suspension spring helps absorb the motion from the internal tub.

Therefore, any issues with one of the springs can cause an increase in the shaking.

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Final Words


We hope this information on how to tell if your washer suspension rods are bad will help you keep your washer running smoothly.

Suspension rods are one of the most critical elements of your washing machine. So, it is important to monitor them constantly to provide adequate stability for the washer.

Any issue with the cycle’s movement requires an immediate investigation. If the shaking persists despite all your efforts, it might be time to team up with your local contractor.

The crux of the matter is not to neglect your trembling washing machine!

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