Maytag dryer displaying odd behavior

My Maytag dryer is 15 years old and still quite reliable.
In the last month though, it's been displaying some unusual and troubling behavior.
Normally, with a typical load, it'll finish in about 35-40 minutes, leaving the clothes dry to very very slightly damp (meaning "on the very edge of being 100% dry"). This is using the part of the dial scaled from "less dry" to "more dry" with the setting being just past the first "less dry" tick, which is the setting I always use.
If it's a load full of beach towels and jeans, it might take 50-55 minutes to finish, again with the clothes dry to very very slightly damp.
However, in the past month, the drying cycles seem to be taking about ten minutes more, with comparable loads, than they'd taken before.
More worrisome is the fact that now and then, I'll start it, then come back to it in 45 minutes, and the dryer will be stopped, but the dial will not have moved (i.e., the dial will indicate that the thing is in midcycle). The clothes inside will be hot, so the dryer will definitely have been kicking out heat, but they'll all still be soaked.
I clean the lint filter every time. The exhaust vent has been cleaned out as far as I can get my arm into it. When the dryer is running, the same strong blast of warm moist air can be felt coming from the outside exhaust.
I hope this is enough background so that I can be offered some suggestions of what to check, and what if anything might be wrong.
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Just a couple of thoughts:
1) Keep in mind that longer dry times can be due to a slower washer final spin speed. If your washer's also a Maytag, I'd have a look at the drive belt. If it's glazed, replace it. Maytag washers of the same vintage as your dryer use the #211125 drive belt. I get $19.50 for them, and they're very easy to replace. You'll also want to pull the front (2 Phillips screws down at the floor, tilt it forward and unhook the top edge) and check that the motor's moving freely back & forth on its cradle.
2) (I'm going to assume here that you have the Maytag with the lint filter inside the door, and NOT the early 'halo' style, with round filter) I wonder if the dryer can be restarted after it sits a while. If so, you'll want to call in a pro to tear it down and clean it, especially the motor endbell vents. Lint will clog these and the motor will overheat, shutting down on its thermal safety. Don't 'scrimp' on this, and don't wait to have it done if this describes yours. Make sure the drum's taken out completely and the machine's thoroughly vacuumed out. A few drops of good grade oil (Not WD-40, please!) on the drum rollers and idler will ensure many more years of good service.
Btw, I use daily, and sell (shameless 'plug'!) a great little needle oiler bottle that's ideal for this and any other tight spot that needs a few drops of oil. You can see one here: http://www.DavesRepair.com/SaleParts/needleoiler.htm
Hope that's of some help.
God bless,
Dave Harnish Dave's Repair Service New Albany, PA www.DavesRepair.com snipped-for-privacy@sosbbs.com 570-363-2404
Free home appliance tips from a 32-year pro repair technician! Get your monthly email newsletter here: (Back issues now posted too!) www.DavesRepair.com
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wrote:

Yeah, I think that was it. Even though I swear I had looked for this multiple times before, my washing machine was set to "gentle cycle." I caught this during the final spin, pressed the "regular" button, and the spinning sounded like it doubled in speed.
Chances are that, without knowing it, I was starting the dryer with a much heavier and wetter load than I used to.
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