Washing Machine Leaking Oil? (2 Likely Fixes)

Is your washing machine leaking oil? If so, you have a serious problem on your hands. In the remainder of this article, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about your washing machine and its oil problem.

If your washing machine is leaking oil, you probably have a failed transmission. This is a serious problem that will require immediate repair. Repairing a washing machine’s transmission may be as expensive as purchasing a new machine altogether.

Keep reading below to learn more about this issue and to find out how to fix it if you run across this problem with your washing machine.

washing machine leaking oil

Can a washing machine leak oil?

Yes, a washing machine can leak oil, particularly if its transmission has failed. This problem usually occurs with washers that have been in service for several years.

The washing machine’s transmission helps to turn the machine’s drum. Without a transmission, the washing machine could not have controlled cycles. The transmission contains oil as a lubricant. If you find your washing machine is leaking oil into the wash cycle, it’s probably a problem with your washing machine’s transmission.

Can you repair the oil leak on a washing machine?

Depending on the model of the washer, and the technical skills you possess, you may be able to repair the oil leak in your washer.

For most people, this issue will usually require an experienced technician’s help. Fixing a transmission can be really expensive. It may not make financial sense for you to purchase and install a new transmission. In many cases, it may make more sense to purchase a new washing machine entirely.

Should you bother fixing an oil leak on a washing machine?

This mainly depends on the nature of damage to the washer, its age, and if you’ve got the skills to repair the washer yourself.

My take is, if it is an old washer, you’re probably better off purchasing another one. when you consider the repair costs – parts, labor, and the fact that it is an old washer whose longevity is questionable, given the life of service already rendered, you’ll probably come to the same conclusion.

A new washer, with a warranty (extended), is probably a better deal and will give you peace of mind and remove the risk of staining whites.

How do you fix a washing machine leaking oil?

It is difficult to generalize a fix for all models – it really depends on the extent of the fault and the model of the washer.

In some cases, you may have to replace only the broken seal, while in others, a new transmission system may have to be fitted.

Let’s look at two possible scenarios.

Broken transmission seal

To set up the repair, you’ll need to disconnect the power and the hoses and drain. Make sure you drain as much water out of the hose as you can. Once you’ve done this, you’ll need to lay the washer on its back. When doing so, you’ll want to make sure the tub remains centered. You can do this by using shims or a piece of wood to hold the tub in place.

Next, you’ll need to remove the drive belt, pulley system, and the brake drum. Then, you’ll remove the old seal with a flathead screwdriver and/or a pair of needle-nosed pliers, making sure to use a cleaning solvent to remove all excess oil.

After this, you’ll use the sealing installation tool and carefully install the new seal. To finish up, you’ll simply need to reinstall all of the parts you removed to get to the seal in the first place!

Fixing a broken seal is not a very technical process. If this is the only problem with your transmission, you should absolutely continue using your current washer. If you have a Whirlpool appliance, you’ll be looking for part #207843.

Replacing the transmission

Replacing the transmission on a top loader washer is a completely different kind of process and will require much more technical skill. Replacing this part will cost you anywhere from $150-$500, so you’ll want to make sure you consider the costs of purchasing a new washer entirely. In some cases, this may make better financial sense.

If you begin this project, then realize you don’t have the technical know-how to finish the job, stop what you’re doing, and contact a qualified service technician for advice on what is required – parts and labor to get the washer up and running.

To replace the transmission on your washer, make sure you disconnect your appliance and disconnect all hoses. To get to the transmission, you’ll need to remove the tub ring, fabric dispenser, and agitator cap first. Next, remove the agitator bolt with a 7/16″ socket wrench. This will allow you to lift the agitator off of the drive shaft.

Loosen and remove the tub nut, then lift out the inner tub completely. Now you’ll want to tip the washer on its back. After doing so, remove the pulley systems and motor from the bottom of your machine. You’ll then need to remove the transmission housing, along with all the various parts attached to it.

When you’ve done this, you can remove the old transmission and install the new one, remembering to connect it to all its constituent parts. Finally, you’ll need to reattach all the pieces you pulled off while attempting to get to the transmission. Watch the video below for a more detailed guide.

Closing thoughts

If your washer is leaking oil, then it’s quite likely there is a damaged seal that is leaking oil into the water.

Depending on the nature of the problem and the model of the washer, it may be as simple as replacing a faulty seal, or you may have to replace the entire transmission system.

Contact a qualified service technician for a diagnosis if you don’t feel comfortable making these repairs yourself.

Is replacing your washing machine transmission easy?

Replacing your washing machine transmission is not a simple task. It requires many steps, as well as a bit of technical know-how, but it can be done yourself.

What does washing machine oil look like?

The only oil used in your washing machine will appear clear-brown or light black. It’s used to lubricate the washing machine transmission.

Why is my Whirlpool washing machine leaking oil?

If you notice your Whirlpool top load washing machine leaking oil, then you probably have an issue with a broken seal on your transmission.

Why is there black grease under washing machine?

If you notice black grease under your washing machine, you may want to check the seal on your transmission.

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