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How To Change the Idler Pulley on a Whirlpool Cabrio Dryer

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In a world where home appliances play a crucial role in our day-to-day lives, knowing how to perform basic maintenance and repairs can save you time, money, and the hassle of dealing with service centers. One such appliance is the Whirlpool Cabrio Dryer, and in this article, we will guide you on how to change the idler pulley on it.


To change the idler pulley on a Whirlpool Cabrio Dryer, first disconnect the power supply. Then, remove the lint screen and the top panel of the dryer. Remove the front panel screws and the panel itself to access the idler pulley. Carefully remove the old pulley and replace it with the new one. Reassemble the dryer, plug it back in, and test it to ensure the new idler pulley is working properly.

What is an Idler Pulley?

The idler pulley in a Whirlpool Cabrio Dryer serves a critical function. It maintains the correct tension on the drive belt, which helps rotate the dryer drum to spin the clothes dry. The idler pulley wheel is located in the back panel of the dryer and is connected to the drive motor through an arm. If the idler pulley is worn or broken, it may cause a loud squeaking or grinding noise during operation, and the dryer drum may not turn properly.

Signs That the Idler Pulley Needs Replacement

There are several tell-tale signs that the idler pulley in your Whirlpool Cabrio Dryer needs to be replaced:

  1. High-pitched squealing sound: A squealing noise could be an indication of a defective idler pulley.
  2. Drum slipping: If the drum is slipping while the dryer is running, this could be due to the idler pulley not maintaining the right amount of tension on the belt.
  3. Dryer not starting or rotating: A bad idler pulley can prevent the dryer from starting or the drum from rotating.

Tools and Materials Needed

Before starting the repair, gather the necessary tools and materials:

  1. Replacement idler pulley
  2. Phillips screwdriver
  3. 5/16-inch nut driver
  4. Channellock pliers
  5. Small flat-blade screwdriver

Remember to disconnect the power supply to your dryer before starting the repair.

Step-by-Step Guide to Changing the Idler Pulley

Here’s a step-by-step guide to changing the idler pulley:

Step 1: Unplug the Dryer

Safety first! Always unplug the dryer from the power source to avoid the risk of electrocution.

Step 2: Remove the Lint Screen

Pull out the lint screen and remove the two screws near the opening.

Step 3: Release the Top Panel

Insert a putty knife under the front of the main top to release the two spring clips and rotate the top up.

Step 4: Disconnect the Door Switch Wires

Carefully disconnect the door switch wires.

Step 5: Remove the Top Front Panel Screws

Remove the screws securing the top front panel, then lift the panel up and out. If your model has two front panels, use a flathead screwdriver to release the lower panel.

Step 6: Access the Idler Pulley

Locate the idler pulley assembly inside the dryer. It is typically mounted on a spring-loaded shaft and keeps tension on the belt.

Step 7: Remove the Old Idler Pulley

Carefully remove the old idler pulley from the assembly. You may need to release the tension on the belt to do this.

Step 8: Install the New Idler Pulley

Place the new idler pulley onto the assembly, making sure it is properly aligned and secure.

Step 9: Reassemble the Dryer

Reattach the front panels, reconnect the door switch wires, and lower the top panel back into place. Secure the top panel with the screws and replace the lint screen.

Step 10: Plug the Dryer Back In

Once everything is reassembled, plug the dryer back in and test it to ensure the idler pulley has been successfully replaced.

Safety Precautions

Remember to always disconnect the power before starting any repair work. Use the proper tools for the job, and work carefully and patiently to avoid damaging any components or injuring yourself. If you are unsure about any step, consult a professional or refer to instructional videos and guides for further assistance.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

When changing the idler pulley, avoid not disconnecting the power, not properly disassembling the dryer, not properly aligning the belt, not checking other components, and not properly reassembling the dryer.

Where to Find a Replacement Idler Pulley

You can find a suitable replacement idler pulley for your Whirlpool Cabrio Dryer on websites like Amazon, Walmart, or PartSelect. Make sure to choose the correct model number for your dryer.

By following this guide, you should be able to successfully change the idler pulley on your Whirlpool Cabrio Dryer. Happy DIY-ing!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average lifespan of an idler pulley in a Whirlpool Cabrio Dryer?

The average lifespan of an idler pulley in a Whirlpool Cabrio Dryer can vary based on usage but it typically lasts for about 5-10 years.

Where is the idler pulley located in the Whirlpool Cabrio Dryer?

The idler pulley in a Whirlpool Cabrio Dryer is located in the back panel of the dryer and is connected to the drive motor through an arm.

Why is there a need to disconnect the power supply before starting the repair?

Disconnecting the power supply ensures your safety and prevents the risk of electrocution while performing the repair.

What if the replacement idler pulley doesn’t fit perfectly?

If the replacement idler pulley does not fit perfectly, it’s likely that you have the wrong part. Always make sure to check the model number of your dryer before purchasing a replacement part.

Is it necessary to replace the belt when changing the idler pulley?

It’s not always necessary to replace the belt when changing the idler pulley. However, if the belt shows signs of wear and tear or damage, it’s a good idea to replace it at the same time.

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