Refurbish washing machine motor vs replace

Over the years folks here have got me handy enough to repair my home appliances and I’m back with another appliance repair question.

So have an Electrolux Universal/Multiflex Laundry Center with Electric Dryer
Model MEX731CA

About a week ago when doing laundry this nasty hydrocarbon smell was filling the house and it was clearly coming from the washing machine. The washing machine was actually working without issue, just the nasty smell, hard on the throat and nose.

I opened it up, watched some video’s online and figured it was the drive belt which had all kinds of little pieces spread out around the inside of the case. Installed new belt, same problem. Went away for a few days, came back and had another look at it last night, at this point I realize it’s the item in the maintenance manual, item #40 - Motor, washer drive with pulley p/n 134156400

Get the laser/ir thermometer out and start checking temps and close to the top inside of the motor unit, it’s hitting 212c, yikes. Can’t see where exactly as even with flashlight, hard to see the spot.

Ran a few more loads using various settings along with doors open and powerful air purfier running in front.

Haven’t repeated this, but noticed when running full load, temps never got so high, but medium load seems to be the worst. I might out of curiousity run another full load to see what happens.

In either case, again called the folks over at Reliable Parts

where I got the replacement belt and they indicated no stock in the system anywhere in Canada. Cost is $356 which is not far from used unit which I see at various clearance places for around $500 for the entire stack.

So my next thoughts were

  1. replace with a new stacked washer/dryer (approx $1000)
  2. replace with a used stacked washer/dryer (Trail or other places on Craiglist)
  3. ask around about where to get used parts (one of my reasons for posting here)
  4. figure out how to repair the motor (another one of my reasons for posting here)
  5. check Ebay - see a few options but between cost and shipping, all are over $415 and almost $700 in 1 case!
  6. make a trip to recycling place up near the movie theater on Marine Drive, and see if any equivalent systems are waiting for recycling that I can salvage the part from
  7. get back to my daily covid sanity walks up and down the alleys as only a few months back I saw the identical system in the alley for disposal, wished I’d grabbed it :frowning:

Any other suggestions or recommendations I should look at?

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As long as the rest of the unit looks to be in good shape, I’d replace the motor or go to the extreme of buying a new washer/dryer set. I would not buy a used washer as you’re more than likely headed for similar issues with parts wearing out which puts your right back in the same predicament.

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Well if I can find a motor, I’d go that replacement route. Other than the
broken dryer start knob, it’s otherwise still working fine after 16 years!!!

Though ideally I’d like to spend say $200 or less for a replacement motor vs
the new motor cost of almost $400.

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Definitely! I’ve bought a few parts for our washer and dishwasher on ebay. Might be worth checking there for a better price. 16 years is excellent! It’s probably better than anything you can buy now.

For washer/dryers I have always bought used or gotten free units from people I know who were getting new appliances and giving away the old.

You could try a used appliance place and see if they have any good used motors. The guy close to us gets his stock from the guy(s) who install new units and take the old units away. They know what models use the same components and are a re-badge from the same manufacturer.

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Well we’ve made progress. The washer and I worked out a deal. :wink:

We won’t run so many loads throught it one after the other and it’ll will
keep the smell down to a minimum.

Technically: doing a full load seems to result in the least amount of issues
and overheating smell. We’ve been leaving it for an hour between loads and
seems to be otherwise working fine.

Will continue looking for a lower cost alternative to get the motor unit
replaced though.

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