Maytag washer squeals

Just a few minutes ago, I thought I smelled something burning......not food or anything like that.....more like a faint smell of rubber burning. At the time I smelled this, I was washing a load of clothes. Like maybe 15 seconds after I first smelled this odor, my washing machine starts squealing like crazy. I quickly unplug it.
This washer is a top loading Maytag, model A308/A308S. I bought it new at least 15 years ago.......it's faithfully served a family of 2 since then, never needing any repairs or adjustments.
Based upon this sketchy info, would I be better off to buy a new washing machine, or is there a good chance that a visit by a repairman would be sufficient and cost effective? What would a "house call" by a repairman cost me, ballpark figure?
Could this be a loose belt of some sort that I could either tighten or replace myself?
Lee Carkenord
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On 1/8/2005 1:02 PM US(ET), snipped-for-privacy@juno.com took fingers to keys, and typed the following:

Squealing noise... belts do squeal when they jam up or slip. A 15 year old machine, and belt... Sounds like a good place to start. Can you do it yourself? I don't know how much talent or mechanical ability you have. How much will a repairman charge for a house call? There is no universal standard scale for service calls. They charge by whatever the local traffic will bear. It depends upon where you live, and the time involved in doing the work, and the parts needed, and perhaps other related parts that have to be replaced, or other parts that are on their last legs and might as well be done then, since the machine is already open.
--
Bill

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You have two belts. If you smell them, one is not being turned by the motor and it is rubbing on the pulley and starting to burn. Replacing the belt will maybe solve the problem, but it is more likely, the belt is being hung up be either the pump or the tub.
Anything can be repaired. A service call will probably be $50 and up. This may be negotiable with a local dealer though. If the local guy comes out, finds the problem and says it will cost $200 to fix, you can either pay the money or, ask him if he will not charge you for the service and apply it to the new washer you are going to buy from him. .
In my case, I bought a new set of belts and found the problem more serious. I went back to the dealer and told him I was going to by a new one instead. He gave me full credit for the belts and the new machine was delivered and set up three hours later. You don't get that type of service from the big box stores. FWIW, it was Maytag that was over 20 years old.
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snipped-for-privacy@juno.com wrote:

Does it have drive belt? Ever replaced it? Tony
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On 8 Jan 2005 10:02:49 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@juno.com wrote:
There are two belts. Maytag has used the same belts for a zillion years on all top loader models and any applicance parts place will have them. I paid about $25 for the pair about a year ago.
There are instructions for replacing them on the bag; it is easy, takes about 15 minutes, and only requires sliding the machine out a foot or so and tilting it back. The belts are replaced from underneath the machine. It is an easy job and hard to screw up if you are at all handy. Yes, it could be something worse, like a frozen transmission, but my money is on the belts.
Good luck,
Paul

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Hi,
**Based upon this sketchy info, would I be better off to buy a new washing machine, or is there a good chance that a visit by a repairman would be sufficient and cost effective?**
Fix it if not over 50% of the cost to replace with a new one....your washer was made to last 20+ years easy!
**What would a "house call" by a repairman cost me, ballpark figure?**
Will vary from place to place....but most are approx $40-80.00
**Could this be a loose belt of some sort that I could either tighten or replace myself?**
Loose, probably not....something seized or jammed up is possible and the belt is now jammed and burning as it tries to go. Maybe a sock in the drain pump or such. http://www.applianceaid.com/maytagwash.html
These machines for the most part are easy to work on :) jeff. Appliance Repair Aid http://www.applianceaid.com /
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Almost certainly a loose belt. Swing it out, and look around the back, tip it up and look under the machine.
Don't know what repair guys cost in your neighborhood. But I'd be tempted to make some calls, adn see if you can get a repair guy out to replace the belt.
Note: all new belts loosen up after the first several uses. Including auto belts, washers, AC belts on large systems, etc. Please mentally figure on having the repair guy come back after a dozen or so wash loads and retighten the belt. This is a normal happening with new belts.
My personal washer is a Whirlpool which was here when I moved in, in 1994. The motor was locked up, I had to bust it loose and oil it. And one m ore oiling about three years ago. Hang onto the old machine, they were well made back then.
--

Christopher A. Young
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Almost certainly not. The motor is mounted on a bracket with springs and that tensions the belt as needed. Too loose and it won't pump or wash properly, but it won't burn at all. Not on a Maytag. They are designed to run loose at parts of the cycle. If something is putting too much tension or not turning it will cause slippage and burning/squealing.
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