How to decide when to repair and when to replace a washing machine

Repair or Replace Washing Machine?

TDS Reader Solutions

How to Conquer Debt eBook

Repair or Replace Washing Machine?

Our nine-year-old Maytag washer appears to need a new pump. DH could do the repair and a quick Google® search revealed that I can order one for around $100, but I'm wondering if my machine's too old to be spending that much on.

Have any of you had much luck with DIY repairs on washing machines? Should I put the money toward a new one down the road and just let this one play out?

Boils Down to What You Want

It's a Maytag, which is a great brand. My mom has had two machines last 20 years each. If it is doing a good job for you, spend the $100. If you weren't thrilled with it, buy a new one. But have you priced them lately? The pretty colors and thoughts of steaming out wrinkles turn my head, but there's nothing wrong with my current set. $100 is nothing in the big scheme of appliance repair.

Consider the Cost to Replace or Repair Your Washing Machine

It depends on how much you pay for a new washer. If you can replace the washer for $400, then it might be worth it to save up for a new one ($100 is 1/4 of the way there). But if you are considering a machine for $1000, your $100 repair will wash a lot of clothes! A $100 repair (that you don't have to pay labor on) could make that washer last another nine years! ($100 repair/9 years=$11/year) Also, repairing the current washer will buy you time to save up and pay cash for the more expensive washers. (And you know if you get a new washer, you're going to "need" a new dryer too!) If you fixed the washer for $100, you can sell it used for $50-$75 and get a chunk of your repair money back if you change your mind and buy new later.

Instead of Repairing Your Washing Machine, Go Green

We were in this situation one year ago. Having already fixed this machine for about $100 two years earlier, we were hesitant to do it again considering the age of the washer and it was starting to leak. We decided to go and look at the new front loading machines due to the energy efficiency. What an eye opener! Our old machine used 30+ gallons per large load of wash and the new front loading machine use considerably less, only 14 gallons! That alone was a serious consideration. But the price! Groan!

Well, the store associate at Sears told us that if I put it on my credit card (which was gathering dust in drawer someplace), I would save 15% off the sale price, which was a good one by the way. Then, their new store policy is one year with no interest. I made sure I paid it off in 10 months so that there would be no chance of an interest payment sliding in. That made it a sweet deal, but the best was yet to come. My water bill went down significantly! I was shocked. I knew it was energy efficient when I bought it, but looking back, I should have gone "green" two years ago!

Repair the Washing Machine

Nine years is still young for a washing machine. You could still get another 10 years out of it. Don't believe me? Come over and take a look at my Harvest Gold Maytag.

More Cost Efficient to Repair the Washing Machine

Definitely, get the pump replaced! New machines are very costly, and replacing worn parts like a pump or a belt is by contrast very cost efficient. Pumps usually last for a long time. Nine years for $100 is a good deal. Keep in mind that after some time, belts will wear out and timers may need replacing, maybe even a pulley or two. Put some money aside for these things and you can "rebuild" your machine for much less money than it would take to replace it over the next nine years.

We had a Maytag washer from the 1970s, which lasted until 2008. If anything needed repair or replacement, when we compared the price of using a laundromat or replacing the machine, we were usually convinced to fix the old one.

Check Amazon for Parts

My washing machine is almost nine years old and we just replaced the pump. We checked online at and got the part cheaper than we could find it anywhere else. My husband replaced it and it works just like new and cost a lot less than a new one would!

Repair the Washing Machine with Parts from

I have a 12-year-old Kenmore washer, and last August, we made the first fix to it, replacing the motor coupling for $14. I used, which has instructions and parts at a reasonable price. I even called them to learn how to take off my three-sided panel, and they were very helpful explaining their diagrams. And even better, I received 3% back through Ebates for my purchase!

Since I'd never taken a washing machine apart, it was very interesting to learn how it works. And I got an opportunity to clean it. There was quite a bit of lint and dirt built up.
Thank you,

Reviewed January 2018

Take the Next Step:

  • Price the parts at
  • Shop your local area for appliance outlets where you may be able to buy a new replacement at a significant savings. These tips for buying a new washing machine can help.
  • Find out how to save with scratch and dent appliances.
  • Join those who 'live better...for less' - Subscribe to The Dollar Stretcher newsletter, a weekly look at how to stretch both your day and your dollar! Subscribers get a copy of our ebook Little Luxuries: 130 Ways to Live Better...For Less for FREE!

Share your thoughts about this article with the editor.

Stay Connected with TDS

Little Luxuries

to the Dollar Stretcher newsletter and get a copy
of our ebook
Little Luxuries:
130 Ways to Live Better...For Less
for FREE!

Your Email:

View the TDS Privacy Policy.

Debt Book