Dryer Repair or DIY? Common Dryer Problems

dryer DIY or replace

Don’t get hung out to dry! Take a look at our helpful dryer repair infographic to find out if it’s time for a repairman…or a replacement.

We’ve all been there. After an hour of tumbling around in the dryer, your clothes are still damp. Or the buzzer goes off to let you know that your clothes are ready, but they actually aren’t. Perhaps the sensor never goes off, and your clothes are left in the dryer for way too long. Whether it’s removing lint, cleaning a dryer vent, or something more serious like a burning smell, we’ll help you decide when it’s time to fix the dryer yourself, and when it’s time to bring in the dryer repair experts.

common dryer problems

From dryer sensor issues to a full replacement, Sears can help. With our tips for how to take care of your dryer at home, plus a repair team who can fix your dryer-related problems, Sears is on your side, no matter where you bought your appliance. And if the Sears Blue Crew cannot repair your dryer, ask your technician about discounts on your replacement purchase. For more information, call the Sears Blue Crew at 1-800-916-7544 or go to our dryer repair page.

(Text Version of Infographic)

Dryer: Repair or Replace Common dryer problems, and whether the solution is a DIY project, a job for a repairman, or time for an upgrade.


Lint Buildup To keep your dryer running efficiently, clean the lint trap frequently. In addition, use a vacuum to suck out the lint inside the dryer and where the vent attaches to the machine.

Sensor Issues If the timer of your auto cycle or sensor dry is rapidly advancing to off, locate the sensor bars – they’re the two metal strips by the lint screen. Use soap and water on them to remove any waxy coating that might be causing the problem.

Backwards Door Door opens the wrong way? Check the owner’s manual or installation guide. Most dryer doors can be reversed – just remove the screws, and swap the latch and hinge from one side to the other.


Clogged Vent If it takes more than one cycle to dry, this could be the culprit. Run the dryer on high heat and check airflow where the vent ends. If you don’t feel hot air being pushed out, it’s time to call in the repairman for a cleaning. Not addressing a clogged vent could potentially lead to a fire, so don’t delay!

Gas or Burning Smell This is a safety issue that could be caused by a leaking gas valve, shortened harness, burning lint inside the dryer, or a burn-out heater. Stop use right away and call a technician.


Old Age If your dryer is 15 years old or more, it might be time to consider investing in a new machine, which can increase energy efficiency

Smoke or Fire If this occurs, it won’t be economical to repair. Make sure the fire hazard is under control, and start shopping for a new machine.