Question about Kenmore Elite 45986 Front Load Washer

2 Answers

Kenmore Elite ET3

Tried yesterday to get an answer to worn plastic casing surrounding stainless steel tub and cracked balancers with no answer. What causes this wear? What resolves this wear or is it normal to expect to replace the parts?

Posted by on

  • 2 more comments 
  • TWFJR Aug 20, 2008

    jsrock516, your comments were helpful but still uncertain as to what causes this vibration to wear the "Front Tub(Part # 285981)" and/or fracture "Counter Weights(Part #'s 8181645, 8181644)." There is no damage to the shocks nor is there any damage to the "Rear Tub" The only thing that could cause the vibration is that the Counter Weights are cracked. But then the machine has always vibrated since we purchased it. And it was always level. The Rear Tub bearing seems to be good. The bearing is the only thing that I cannot say with certainty that it is good. If it is bad it has always been bad. This leaves me to believe that the cracked counter weights have always been the problem. Cracks are near the bolts mounting the weights.

  • TWFJR Aug 21, 2008

    Thanks, "tin canning" is an issue but there is a back to the pedestal. Floor issue is as you said. It vibrated the whole house, a three story house. Had I known that the washer was designed to be placed on a concrete floor I never would have considered buying it. So much for informed sales people. Ok, bearing seems to be good. Lifting on stainless steel tub does not demonstrate any wear. I have to believe that the floor is the issue. The only supports for the tub on the "Elite HE T3 are springs and shocks. Front lower shocks separated when removing the tub. They seem ok other than the fact that they separated. As for the floor, I placed a rubber floor mat under a 1 1/8th inch plywood board (finished it off with linoleum). This helped eliminate 50% of the house vibration and so the vibration remains with the washer, as well as the tin canning. I plan to replace the front tub, a new gasket will be installed and counter weights will also be replaced. None of which I expect to resolve the vibration.

  • TWFJR Aug 22, 2008

    I am pleased with your expert help. As for customers taking it out on repair people, that is wrong. I've always respected their work and often saw their frustration with their tech departments as well as with the actual manufactured product. I will look into the pad kit and put new shocks on order list. Many thanks.

  • TWFJR Sep 16, 2008

    Clareg-007, I would not recommend buying a used Kenmore ET3, especially for $1200. If you do, do so if you intend to place the washer on a concrete floor. I expect to put over $300 dollars into my ET3 and that is just the cost of parts. I will do the labor. I really suggest that you buy a new front end washer that has a warranty and you best get an extended warranty too. Newer frontend loaders probably have resolved all the issues listed above. If not, you have the warranty to fall back on. Make sure that the warranty covers washer not on concrete. Tom



2 Answers

  • Level 1:

    An expert who has achieved level 1.

  • Contributor
  • 1 Answer

I'm thinking about buying a year old Kenmore ET3 for$ 1200 any advise!

Posted on Aug 31, 2008

  • Level 3:

    An expert who has achieved level 3 by getting 1000 points


    An expert that got 20 achievements.


    An expert that got 10 achievements.


    An expert that got 5 achievements.

  • Master
  • 5,911 Answers

The plastic casing (tub shell) around the stainless spin basket should not become worn unless the spin basket is hitting the outer shell. From my past experience, this is usually caused by a cracked or broken spin basket support (spider) arm on the back of the spin basket, or a shot tub bearing (which is also behind the spin basket). The bearing is actually part of the rear tub shell and is molded into the plastic. It cannot be replaced separately and requires the replacmeent of the shell.

If the spin basket supports become broken, the basket becomes off balance and rubs against the outer shell. This results in excessive vibration, which may be the reason why the support shocks were broken. No...this is not normally expected. Unfortnately, this is not a simple or inexpensive repair, either. If you have a service plan, or warranty coverage, I would recommend pursuing that as a repair option. If you wish to repair this yourself, I can post a link for you to follow, but it is expensive. This will usually require the replacement of the following parts:

Spin Basket
Rear Tub Shell (if bearing is bad)
Front Tub Shell (if spin basket caused significant damage)
Support Shocks (I would recommend replacing all 4)

Drive Belt Pulley (can become warped or bent)
Drive Belt (if showing signs of wear)
Rubber Door Bellow (if vibration as caused damage to the rubber)

You can go to and type in your model number to get prices for everything if you like. Everything can be found under the "Tub and Basket Parts" heading, with the exception of the rubber door bellow. It can be located under the "Door and Latch Parts" heading.

I know none of this sounds like positive news, but I do hope you find some of this information helpful. Let me know if you need further assistance.

Posted on Aug 20, 2008

  • Jeff Rockwell
    Jeff Rockwell Aug 21, 2008

    Okay, I mistunderstood part of your initial write-up. When you mentioned the "cracked balancers" I thought you were talking about the shock absorbers.

    As far as cracked counter weights are concerned, this is defintely not normal and was probably a result of the excessive vibration, and not the cause. The counter weights being cracked would not necessarily cause the washer to vibrate as the weight is still there balancing the front and back of the wash tub. That is, as long as there are no big chunks of the weights missing, the weight should still be evenly distributed (just my opinion).

    The way you can determine if you have a rear tub bearing problem and/or spin basket problem is to open the washer door and place your hand at the 12 o'clock position and push straight up. If you have any play in the basket, you either have a broken support arm on the spin basket or a rear tub bearing failure. If you have already taken the washer apart and determined these are not the source of your problem, then you still may have worn out shocks.

    You also mentioned that the washer has always vibrated. Some vibration is normal. These washers spin at a rate of about 1100 to 1800 rpms depending on model number (newer models even higher). That centrifugal force will cause vibration. If the washer is not leveled correctly, the vibration will be more pronounced. I know you said you leveled the washer. Double check to make sure it level side-to-side and front-to-back.

    Where is the washer located? Do you have a firm foundation for it? If the flooring is not stable, such as an upstairs laundry room or in a mobile home, the washer vibration will also be more pronounced. I have personally witnessed this on several occasions. Place several towels in the washer to add some weight. Allow the washer to fill and soak the towels. Place the washer on the DRAIN/SPIN cycle and watch what the floor under the washer does. If the floor begins to flex up and down, the washer can (and will) vibrate excessively and move across the floor. A common fix is to secure a 3/4 inch thick sheet of plywood under the washer to distribute the weight more evenly and to add more support. This is the least expensive alternative to firming up your foundation. This recommendation (believe it or not) came from the manufacturer when numerous complaints mounted about the excessive vibration problems of these washers. It seems many consumers purchased them not knowing that some of their flooring could not sufficiently support the weight of the washer or its motion. I have also seen customers paint and trim these foundations, so they look more professional. This method has been an arguing point among some people, but I have seen it as an effective cure for some.

    Do you have your washer mounted on a pedestal? If so, take a look at the back of the pedestal. If the pedestal has and open back. That is, no back panel. Many of the early versions of the pedestal were manufactured with open. This would cause "tin canning", which is the name given to the sides of the pedestal vibrating in and out when the washer spins. As a result, the washer would vibrate violently. There is a stiffiner kit on the market that you can order and install that does work very effectively at getting rid of this problem. If you have this issue, let me know and I can provide you with a part number. There was also a service message out on the same "tin-canning" phenomenon occuring to the sides of some washers. I will have to do some research and locate the message for what was determined to be the recommended fix. you need to do some diagnosing to see what symptoms you may have. If you still have a warranty or a maintenance contract, I would recommend pursuing it as an option to repair. Please let me know what you find. I hope some of this is helpful to you.

  • Jeff Rockwell
    Jeff Rockwell Aug 21, 2008

    If your shocks have separated, I would strongly recommend you replace them. Some of the original machines had poor quality shock absorbers. These were replaced with a new stiffer shock that tends to handle the load and vibration much better. This could also reduce some more of your vibration.

    I applaud your diligence on this and thank you for the feedback. It makes our job much easier in assisting you with diagnosing problems. I agree with you about sales people not keeping the customer well informed. Although, I do believe there are some good honest people out there, you aren't the first customer to voice the same complaint. Most have said the same thing, had they known about the vibration problems, they would not have purchased the appliance. Some salesmen just aren't informed, while others are just trying to make a sale. Many work off of a commission, while the repairmen have to endure the angry customer and trying to explain these problems to them.

    As far as your "Tin Can" problem is concerned, there was a Training Bulletin released in December of 2002 that addresses this issue (Training Bulletin TB26-45). The following model numbers were specifically identified:

    110.4282201, 110.4283201, 110.429220, 110.4293200, 110.4483200, and 110.4493200.

    It states that the cause of the washer sides tin-canning during the spin cycle was due to a weak floor or dryer stacked on top of the washer.

    Their recommended solution was a pad kit (part #285878) that was supposed to help stiffen and cushion the washer sides and reduce noise. The kit included two steel panels, two foam pads and instructions on how to install. Something you may consider if you can't resolve the vibration problem with new shocks and the foundation you created. Good luck to you.



1 Suggested Answer

  • 2 Answers

SOURCE: I have freestanding Series 8 dishwasher. Lately during the filling cycle water hammer is occurring. How can this be resolved

a 6ya Repairman can help you resolve that issue over the phone in a minute or two.
Best thing about this new service is that you are never placed on hold and get to talk to real repair professionals here in the US.
click here to Talk to a Repairman (only for users in the US for now) and get all the help you need.

Posted on Jan 02, 2017

Add Your Answer

Uploading: 0%


Complete. Click "Add" to insert your video. Add



Related Questions:

1 Answer

Bottom of door makes loud squeaking on opening. I can't figure out how to lubricate. I'm wondering if removing the plastic molding on the bottom inside of the door would allow me access.


Yes by removing the inner door liner from the outer door panel you should be able to gain access to the door hinges,between the part of the hinge on the door and the hinge part on the tub is a plastic bushing that probably worn causing that sqeeking noise.


Oct 15, 2011 | Kenmore Elite Stainless Steel 24" BuiltIn...

1 Answer

Does Kenmore Elite washer model 110.27092600 have water in bottom section of basket? I removed the one from mine because of balance problems and found the bottom molded plastic section of the basket has...

There is always water in the bottom to help keep the tub seals moist.

Thanks for using FixYa - a 4 THUMBS rating is appreciated for answering your FREE question

May 24, 2010 | Kenmore Oasis HE 27082 Top Load Washer

1 Answer

We have a kenmore elite washer mod. 970-c40062-00 ser. xc11700832. the washer leaks, and is very noisy. It is 10 years old

Your Stainless Steel drum is supported inside of the washer tub by a spider assembly. The assemply, which is made of cast aluminum, has corroded (steel and aluminum and detegent don't mix) and the spider assembly has broken. The drum has likely wobbled enough to wear a hole through the tub. You need to replace the drum and spider assembly, and tub.

Mar 06, 2010 | Kenmore Elite 45986 Front Load Washer

1 Answer

Kenmore Elite he5t sounds like a jet engine getting ready for takeoff during the spin cycle. It is extremely loud. Not sure why it all of a sudden started doing this.

Ahh yes, hopefully it's less than a year old. This is likely the main bearing located within the plastic tub. If it has sounded like this for quite some time, you will need a few new parts. The plastic tub (or "tub kit") and the stainless steel drum (which includes the shaft that the bearing rotates on). When did you buy it? If its under a year old, labor will be warrantied with the parts, but the parts themselves should be under warranty as they have a 10 and 25 (or lifetime) year warranty each.
Good luck! We just had this fixed, but now have a new problem. the front button panel will not light up. :(

Feb 19, 2010 | Kenmore Elite HE5t Washer

1 Answer

Kenmore Elite tub shaking badly

Check the Vibration damper rods to be sure that...
1. They are there and mount is solid.
2. If they are broken in 1/2.
3. The plastic knuckle mounts are not missing/broken.
4. There is oil in the shock absorber/spring section of the rods.

Also - there are suspension springs on the bottom of the tub that could be broken and/or missing.

Replace/repair as necessary.

Thanks for using FixYa - a 4 THUMBS rating is appreciated for answering your FREE question.

Nov 10, 2009 | Kenmore Elite 45986 Front Load Washer

1 Answer

During a spin cycle what would cause the basket to be out of balance on every washload, even when there is not a balance issue. Basket acts loose and bangs against inside of machine

sounds like your bearings are excessively worn, open the machine door and hold the drum (stainless steel bit) try to lift this up if it moves freely without the tub moving (outer bit usually plastic or steel without holes) your bearings are gone. or the drum has broken off the wields that hold it to the shaft.
its sometimes cheaper to buy a new machine than repair the bearings and if the drum is loose it will eventually break something inside.

Jul 22, 2009 | GE Washing Machines

1 Answer

Water drains during spin cycle, but tub does not spin and appears to have dropped down. Machine does aggitate.

If you can move the tub by hand laterally - the rear main bearing has likely failed - or the drum rollers are worn.

Thanks for using FixYa - a 4 THUMBS rating is appreciated for answering your FREE question.

May 30, 2009 | Kenmore Elite 45986 Front Load Washer

2 Answers

Worn out front rim of plastic tub surrounding stainless basket

well not sure about yours but some front load washers have a five year warranty on the tub but you have to pay the labor which is between 100-150dollars

Dec 29, 2008 | Kenmore Elite 45986 Front Load Washer

1 Answer

Tub bangs and seems to be spinning out of round

One of the support arms on the back of the spin basket (stainless steel tub) is broken and causing it to spin in the fashion you describe. The only fix is to replace the spin basket. Using it in its current condition will cause serious damge to the outer tub shell. Let me know if you decide to replace it or need assistance locating a replacement tub. I can assist you in how to disassemble the washer and how to reinstall a new tub. Sorry...I wish this was better news.

Oct 03, 2008 | Kenmore Elite 45986 Front Load Washer

Not finding what you are looking for?
Kenmore Elite 45986 Front Load Washer Logo

998 people viewed this question

Ask a Question

Usually answered in minutes!

Top Kenmore Washing Machines Experts

Sal De

Level 3 Expert

2671 Answers


Level 3 Expert

5626 Answers

Robert Rankin

Level 2 Expert

356 Answers

Are you a Kenmore Washing Machine Expert? Answer questions, earn points and help others

Answer questions

Manuals & User Guides