Washing machine iintermittently dies

Hello,
Our washing machine, an old GE large capacity 6 cycle, probably 10 years old, will conk out, usually when it tries to switch cycles, into agitation or spin.
No humming or anything, just won't go. (Sometimes, it will try for a moment to go...humming, maybe a bit of a burning smell, and then conk out,)
Then, after a time, turn it on, and it works!
Any ideas as to the cause of this?
Thanks.
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Bill,
The burning smell is a hint that the motor is overheating and the heat sensor switch on the motor is tripping. That can be caused by three things.
1.    Motor going bad, winding smoking. 2.    Motor capacitor bad. 3.    Motor overloaded by bad pulley, etc.
I would first try to run the motor by taking the load off, remove the belt, etc. Does it still overheat ? If so, bad motor or starter capacitor. If you could find a new motor at a great price I would replace it; otherwise a new washer.
J
Bill wrote:

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98% chance motor is finished. Not worth it to buy a new one as you'll likely have other problems with that GE. I just picked up a used motor with pump for $20 bucks. You'll have to go private.
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Bill Sounds like the contacts inside the Control timer are worn out. As the timer self-rotates, the bi-metal contacts are pushed by plastic tabs to contact each other. With years of arcing when making contact and the friction wear of the plastic tabs, this is often the symptom as you reported. Only fix is a new Timer.
When this occurs the contacts barely make contact at times and tend to not make contact erratically. This usually occurs on some cycles only and works OK through other cycles. The odour is possibly the poor contact resistance creating heat/smell. If was a motor problem, it would likely occur randomly..and not on any specific cycle.
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