Question about Kenmore 22622 Top Load Washer

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Oil drip on bottom of gearcase Kenmore Model 110.21882 washer

While replacing the motor drive coupling, I noticed oil-grease around the gearbox shaft where the coupling slides on as well as some oil drips on the bottom of the gearbox case.
I am assuming the shaft seal has gone bad.
Can the seals be easily replaced?

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Unless there is an abundance of oil this is normal.
If you tilted the machine to replace the coupling that could cause some oil to escape also.
There is a small hole in the top cover of the gearcase to release pressure. Sometimes a little oil comes out too.

Posted on Feb 25, 2009

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My mixer simply does not turn on and has an oil leak. How do I troubleshoot and fix?

Check for circuits through cable, switch and field windings. While checking the fields check that your carbon brushes aren't worn out. Remove the chrome drip ring from around the planetary (it just taps off) and clean the oil out. If you are feeling brave you can knock the planetary pin out that connects it to the driving shaft and lever the planetary off. Wipe the excess oil out of there remembering that the gear does need a smear of grease remaining. The oil is the grease in the gearbox breaking down with age, eventually you will need to open the gearbox, remove the old grease & replace it. The oil itself is harmless as the grease is food grade so it's not a petroleum product.

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Washing machine agitator has grease on it & doesn't always turn

This assumes that you have a basic Kenmore / Whirlpool top load, direct drive, neutral drain (it doesn't spin until the pump removes most of the water) machine.

First, see the Sears parts site for your washer:

Enter your model number (###.######) and you'll see a list of major sub-components with diagrams and parts.

Also see the Whirlpool / Kenmore Service Manual for top load, direct drive washers:$FILE/L-55.pdf

And the Whirlpool Parts list for these washers:

It sounds as if the Gearcase Cover Seal may be worn and is allowing transmission oil to work it's way up the main agitator shaft.

I'd pull the motor and transmission to check for leaking and probably check all of the seals on the gearcase and drive tube.


For example, the above part number 3349985 is $9.09 at Sears and is a basic Whirlpool part.

See the following for how to release the console and cabinet and how to pull the pump, motor, gearcase and drive tube.

In order to get the transmission out, you have to remove the cabinet, the fabric dispenser and both agitators. The top agitator uses a plastic 1/2" drive bolt (a 1/2" socket extension works well).

You don't have to remove the drum.

In order to get the transmission out, you have to remove the cabinet, the fabric dispenser and both agitators. The top agitator uses a plastic 1/2" drive bolt. You don't have to remove the drum.

Lay the machine down (after disconnecting power and hoses, remove the pump (two clips), the motor (two screws hold two clips on the motor), lift and set the motor aside, remove two 1/2 inch bolts for the motor mounting plate and three 1/2 inch bolts for the transmission. Pull the transmission, remove the clutch (there is a spring clip that holds the clutch on the main agitator shaft, remove the 8 screws carefully the transmission holds 15Oz of 80-90 weight gear oil.

Check all the seals and replace as necessary.

Also see the following Whirlpool document on the transmission.$FILE/787772%20%234.pdf

Overall, its a lot less expensive to replace a couple of seals than to replace a $170 gearcase.

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My Kenmore Elite, Model # 23022100 is no longer working in the final dry cycle. When I un-hooked lines etc. tiped machine against the wall. Belt appears wore, but there was oil puddle under the trans. Your...

Are you sure you saw a worn belt on your washer? The model number you provided has no drive belt. This model washer is a direct-drive system that uses a motor coupling in place of a drive belt. The most common cause of a no spin problem is either a lid switch malfunction, or a broken motor coupling. The following link explains how to diagnose the problem:

Included are parts resources (if required) and instructions on how to replace each part if needed.

As far as the oil leak is concerned, it depends on how significant the leak is. The gearcase (transmission) contains an amber colored oil. Some of this oil can leak out through a small breather hole on the top of the transmission case. If all you are getting is a small puddle that does not appear to be getting worse, you may continue to use the washer (sometimes for years) with no problems. If the leak is bad, however, it may be time to replace the gearcase. Replacing the gearcase is not a difficult task, but it can take about an hour or two for the inexperienced.

IMPORTANT: The washer needs to remain in the upright position, or you can inadvertantly drain your oil through the breather hole on top of the gearcase. It is okay to tilt the washer back as you described, but DO NOT lay it down.

The following link explains step-by-step how to replace the gearcase:

Read through the link provided to see if this is a repair you feel comfortable with attempting. The average cost of a replacement gearcase is about $150. You can purchase replacements at any of the following websites:

NOTE: Sometimes Sears offers a refurbished gearcase for about half the price of a new one. It will be listed in their parts listing with an "R" after the part number is available.

The first three sites I have listed also include helpful exploded view diagrams to assist you in locating and properly identifing the parts you need. It can also assist you in determing how to assemble or disassemble your appliance. The gearcase is listed as item 9 under the "Brake, Clutch, Gearcase, Motor and Pump" heading.

My advice to you is to read through the links provided and review the symptoms for the lid switch and motor coupling first. If those parts appear to be fine, inspect the interior of the washer by removing the case so you can get a real good look at how bad the leak is. If there is an oil spray pattern all round the interior cabinet walls of the washer, its time to replace the gearcase. If the leak is just a small puddle, clean it up and place a sheet of cardboard under the washer so you can monitor how much it leaks in the future. My experience has been that its not worth the effort to attempt to remove the gearcase and try to reseal it. If you're going to go through the whole process of removing the gearcase, you it would be smarter just to replace it with a new one, rather than possibly having to repeat the process again if sealing it doesn't work.

If the gearcase is still working, does not make any loud or unusual noises and the leak does not appear to get any worse, you may still get some good use out of the washer. Please let me know if you need further assistance. I hope this helps you decide.

NOTE: Here is a view of the mechanical section of your washer, based on the model number you provided:

The motor coupling is listed as item 13. Your gearcase (transmission is listed as item 9.

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That's a tough one, Billybob. It can either be a Gearcase problem, or a Basket Drive. Since the washer seems to be performing all other functions, I'm leaning towards your assessment of a Basket Drive. You can get the entire drive and brake assembly as one unit at Just type in your COMPLETE model number and look under the "Brake/Clutch/Gearcase/Motor and Pump" heading for item number 1 (part #285792). I would be prepared, however, that if that doesn't correct the problem, you may have a gearing problem with the gearcase (especially if your gearcase is leaking oil really bad). Usually when they go bad, the washer will usually exhibit symptoms of slow spins, assisted spins where you have to spin the tub by hand to get it started, or loud grinding noises. If you require instructions on how to replace the drive, let me know.

PS I would recommend you also purchase a new motor coupling if your doesn't have the steel grommet in the center (you'll thank me later if you do). That's item 13 under the same heading. Also, you will need a center post gasket (tub gasket) which listed as item number 16 (part #383727) under the "Agitator/Basket/Tub" heading, and a tub ring gasket which is item number 9 (part #3976308) under the same agitator heading. Replacing these seals will prevent potential leaks when you are done.

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Normally on a top loader such as yours, these symptoms are an indication of a broken motor coupling. The coupling is located just behind the drive motor and couples to the gearcase (or transmission). The oil you mentioned may be coming from the gearcase. They can leak at times. This may be a sign the gearcase is beginning to fail, or....maybe not. I would clean up the oil and replace the motor coupling, first. Click on the following link for step-by-step instructions:

If you need assistance in locating parts, please post back with your COMPLETE model number (located along the wash tub opening under the lid), and I can provide that information for you.

When you disassemble the washer, a tell-tale sign of gearcase failure will be signs of oil spray marks on the interior cabinet walls. If the washer has gotten to this stage, it may be a good idea to replace the gearcase as well. If the only indication you have is a few oil spills on the floor, try running the washer for a while with a piece of cardboard under the gearcase to see if the problem persists. The reason I suggest this is because I have seen signs of leakage in these gearcases before, cleaned up the spill and never had another problem. Its much easier to replace the coupling first. I hope this information is helpful to you. Let me know how things go, and if you need further assistance.

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I called KitchenAid about this issue with my mixer. The agent on the phone told me they are aware that it tends to happen to some mixers after they sit for some time. Basically, a "lifetime" of grease has been packed into the assembly and it is normal for it to release grease on occasion. I was told to run the mixer at 10 for at least 2 minutes to get it going and I should see a reduction in the oil leak. I had about a tablespoon worth of oil dripping down off the assembly. I was told that if over time it seemed to amount to about 1/4 cup then I should call to see about repairs due to a potentially bad seal. I was also told that the repair for that would most likely NOT cost the same as a new appliance.

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