Washing Machine - Broken shock absorber & oil/grease leak in back of tub; Frigidaire GLTF1670AS frontloader


Frigidaire GLTF1670AS frontloader. Not quite 5 years old but not much left under warranty. Replacement part for the motor, driven pulley or motor controller which prove to be defective; replacement part for an inner wash basket that breaks due to a defect in materials or workmanship. Limited warranty won't pay for labor, pickup, delivery or installation.
The washer has been noisy lately and last sounded like it was going to shake itself into a cartoonlike explosion. I turned it off in mid-cycle and took the back panel off the next morning. One of the shock absorbers is broken and that may not be the worst problem. The shock absorber broke at the base where it has a hole a large plastic pin goes through.
How difficult would this be for me to fix myself if I just bought the new shock absorbers, if it were all that needed fixing? $50 if a repairman just comes out and I don't know how much more labor could run.
The back behind the tub seems to have been leaking grease or oil for some time apparently through the hole the shaft goes through. A pattern of oil on back of tub, the circular thing the shaft attaches to (a belt goes around this; part of a belt and pulley system) and the sides and bottom of inside of washer pretty much parallel to the belt. Nothing more specific to say about source of leak as I just don't know anything more specific. I presume this is something serious, beyond my capability to fix and likely to be expensive enough that getting a new washer might be a better move than getting a repair. Would appreciate thoughts on what the problem might be, whether it might be something I could fix myself (not likely) and whether it sounds like getting a new washer would be cheaper.
If a new washer may be the better move what might be good models to choose from? Can't be wider than 27-28 inches to fit in the space available and 28 might be pushing it too much. Think one appliance store and a Wal-Mart would be the only local appliance sources though there should be several other options about 20-30 miles away. Maybe I can borrow a neighbor's truck to move washers though I don't know how I'd get them in or out of the truck and the ride might be bumpy some of the way. Delivery charges can run quite high and disposal of the old washer is a problem unless the seller of the new one will take it away since I'd not only have to move it but pay a fee to use the county dump. County dump has a fancier name nowadays, of course. Land fill or something like that.
Photos at a file sharing site for anyone that wants to see what I'm trying to describe. Links below. No passwords or anything needed, not a dodgy site like some file sharing sites. Suggest testing the archives with anti-virus and something like Spybot Search and Destroy before extracting contents as routine safety precautions. I trust me but why should you?
All help appreciated,
BEH
38 photos WashingMachineBluesFullSet01.zip 34.4 MB http://www.megaupload.com/?d=DN8P6PPW
or just 8 of the photos in a smaller file (7.43 MB) WashingMachineBlues8Photos.zip http://www.megaupload.com/?d=QLIPK0TD
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wrote:

Better start researching the latest Consumer Reports for washer info. There are a fair number of machines out there with poor repair records. Their articles on the ins and outs of products are a good place to get some vital stats on what works and what is a PITA. If your machine is one of the troublesome types, make a list of preferred models and cruise the retail outlets. You will be amazed at all the sales BS that some appliance peddlers try to foist on you. Information is your ally. Good luck.
Joe
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Thanks. The people at the place I bought it don't seem like they are being totally straight with me though I'm not the fairest judge under the circumstances. The tech (repairman) did tell me over the phone he's only fixed about 4 broken shock absorbers in the last 10-15 years and maybe a dozen problems of leaks through the back which means a drum or the bearings are trashed. My better half hijacked the conversation from an extension phone and some information got lost so I'm not clear what he said it was but he was definite that it could only be one thing, it's a problem requiring parts and labor about equal to the price of a new machine and not worth fixing. For such a small population area that sounded like a lot of shock absorbers and leaks through a sealed area for even such a long time period--especially considering how many people do bigger ticket shopping in another county where there are many more stores. He did acknowledge the replacement shock absorbers look different after I told him I'd read they are metal where the originals are plastic.
His next most useful comment was that I'd need to talk to Frigidaire first and then the owners to try and get any kind of deal like a "trade-in value" or discount on a new washer. I'm wondering if I should check with the FTC or someone of that sort to see if there have been a lot of problems reported with this washer as well as check Consumer Reports. This is only a two person home and the machine hasn't been abused. A washer should be good for a lot longer than 4 1/2 years of normal use.
I'll be checking back for other comments.
BEH
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I bought one used with all the shock absorbers broke and the motor controller failed. It was a very easy repair that cost about $200. No problems since. Easy machine to work on. The new shock absorbers appeared to be a new design. I would replace all of them at one time.
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