Many Whirlpool built 'direct drive' washers use a 2 piece agitator. There are cogs called 'dogs' or 'dog ears' and a cam between the two halves of the agitator which can wear leading to a clicking/ticking sound and reduced movement of the top agitator section during the wash cycle leading to poor cleaning results. In most cases these worn parts can be replaced without much cost or difficulty. If you have this style of washer this should help.
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Washing machines don't usually run silently, but in most cases, a squeaking noise that occurs while the washer is agitating the clothing is not normal and signifies a problem. If the noise only happens when the washing is agitating, the problem is likely connected to the motor or your water pressure. Depending on the specific cause, you may feel comfortable fixing it yourself. Otherwise, call a professional.
Agitators are located in the center of the drum, or basket, of top-load washing machines. Front loading washing machines do not use agitators -- instead, gravity moves the clothes from the top of the drum to the bottom. Agitators usually consist of a tall cone fitted with arms at the base. The purpose of the agitator is to rotate the clothes and soapy water around the tub to clean the clothes. The agitator itself is not usually the cause of the squeaking noise. It is powered by the drive mechanism, which consists of a motor, clutch and gears.
A repetitive squeaking noise during the agitation cycle may signify a problem with the motor. Specifically, the belt on the motor may be wearing out. Some motors use rubber couplers, which also wear out easily. The belt is necessary for the agitator to turn, but over time, it wears thin, just like the belts in your car's motor. An easy way to test for this problem -- if you're handy -- is to take the belt off the motor and then run it. If the squeaking noise stops, the problem is indeed your belt. Of course, this means your agitator won't move. Replacing the belt should fix the problem.
Water Pressure Issues
The tub, or drum, fills with water right before the agitator turns on, and water continues to circulate throughout the washing process. As the tub fills and water circulates, you may hear a squeaking or squealing noise if you have high water pressure. This sound is caused by the force of the water moving through the pipes. To adjust this, turn the knobs on the hot and cold valves on the pipes that go into your washing machine.
New washing machines may squeak at first as the parts "warm up," according to the GE Appliances website. The noise should disappear after five complete washing cycles have run on the machine. Unbalanced loads, overly heavy loads and loose items in the drum may also cause noise when the agitator comes on, but these things usually do not produce a squeaking sound.
mine did this to me, need a new agitator. dependin on the age of yur washer, might need a new washer. it is a decision up to you. I bought a new set in the end, cost of part & time to install. Besides the age of the washer was a consideration i considered.
If the washer fills up with water and you hear the motor running but the agitator doesn’t move, the agitator coupling is the most likely problem. First pump the water out by turning the timer to spin. Once the water is out, turn the washer off. Now pull up on the agitator until it comes off (it may be hard to pull off). Now that the agitator is off, you can see the agitator coupling, reach down and try to turn the coupling. If the coupling turns freely, it is striped out and needs to be replaced.
Im sorry to say, it sounds like the transmission in the washer may have gone out, the unit it self sits at the bottem of the main agitator shaft under the the tub, you may be able to have this replaced, but shop around for the right price.