15 Common Reasons Why Kenmore Dryer Won’t Start [Solution]

Being so busy and having so little time, you probably look forward to your dryer as a way to cut down on time spent on laundry. But what if your Kenmore dryer won’t start?

If this occurs, do not fear; it is not yet time to say goodbye to your trusty old appliance forever.

Instead, it’s more likely that there’s something simple going wrong with it.

Continue reading to discover some of the most common causes of a Kenmore dryer that won’t start and how to fix them.

15 Common Reasons Why Kenmore Dryer Won’t Start

15 Common Reasons Why Kenmore Dryer Won't Start

Below we have listed two troubleshooting methods for the Kenmore dryer won’t start issue.

The first one is the basic troubleshooting methods, whereas the second method includes advanced troubleshooting methods in which you may require an expert’s help as well.

Moreover, in advanced troubleshooting, you will need tools along with the replacement part and the user manual to open the dryer.

Kenmore Dryer Won’t Start: Basic Troubleshooting

The basic troubleshooting guide includes basic methods which you can check yourself without any expert’s help.

This includes checking the power supply, power outlet, breaker box, gas supply, and other basic things.

Tools Required for Kenmore Dryer Troubleshooting

  1. Screwdriver
  2. Work gloves
  3. Replacement part
  4. Multimeter

Check Dryer is Properly Plugged In

Power is the first and most important thing to check when the Kenmore Dryer won’t start.

You need to make sure that the dryer is properly and securely plugged in. Moreover, ensure that there is no damage to the dryer plug.

Check Breaker Box

Another basic thing to check is the breaker box if you have an electric Kenmore dryer that won’t start.

Since most of the Kenmore dryers operate on 240 volts of power, if the power fluctuates, the breaker box can get damaged, and you need to replace it with a new one to get your Kenmore dryer back at work again.

Check Gas Supply

Kenmore dryers that operate on a gas supply have to be checked to determine whether there is a proper gas supply or not.

If not, then make sure the gas supply is running all the time.

Power Outlet Issue

Another basic thing you need to check when the Kenmore dryer won’t start is the power outlet.

A tripped circuit can sometimes cause an issue with the power outlet.

In this case, you need to check whether the power outlet is working fine or not.

You can do it by plugging any other appliance or device into the outlet and checking if it is getting power. If it fails, contact a technician and get it fixed.

Kenmore Dryer Won’t Start: Advanced Troubleshooting

You may need to open the dryer and change some components if the basic troubleshooting methods don’t resolve your problem.

However, make sure you do not misplace or break any component inside the dryer.

Blown Thermal Fuse / Thermistor

If your dryer’s thermostat is broken, the dryer won’t be able to heat up properly, which means that it won’t be able to finish drying your clothes.

It’s a very common issue with dryers and one that can be fixed pretty easily.

How to replace a blown thermal fuse/thermistor in a Kenmore dryer?

  1. Firstly, unplug the dryer from the power outlet and remove the back panel. Locate the thermal fuse on the blower housing. It will be a small, round, white disc.
  2. Carefully disconnect the two wires from the thermal fuse and remove the fuse.
  3. Install the new fuse by connecting the two wires to the terminals. Make sure the fuse is tight against the blower housing.
  4. Replace the back panel and plug the dryer back into the power outlet. Start the dryer and see if it is working properly. If it still doesn’t start, you may have a different problem.

Faulty Start Switch

The start switch is another major component that can cause the Kenmore dryer won’t start issue.

To check, attempt to start the dryer from the start switch, and if you hear any humming sound, the start switch is not faulty.

However, if you don’t listen to any humming sound, the start could be faulty, and you need to replace it.

How to fix a Start Switch in Kenmore Dryer?

  1. First of all, check the start switch with the multimeter for continuity.
  2. If the switch doesn’t have any continuity, then you need to replace it completely.
  3. Unplug the dryer from power and open the top and front panels.
  4. Locate the start switch using the user manual and disconnect all the required wires.
  5. Use a screwdriver to remove the switch from the mounting bracket.
  6. Install the new switch in the bracket and reconnect the wires.
  7. Replace the top and front panels and plug the dryer back in. Test the dryer to make sure it starts.

Defective Door Switch / Latch

Another common cause of a Kenmore dryer that won’t start is a faulty door switch or latch.

If the door switch or latch is broken, the dryer will not start because the door will not close properly.

To check a door switch of a Kenmore dryer, turn it on and try opening and closing the door, and listen for a click sound.

If there is no click sound, it is probably because the door switch is at fault.

How to replace a door switch in the Kenmore dryer?

  1. Turn off the dryer and unplug it.
  2. To get to the lint screen, you’ll need to take out two screws.
  3. Next, you need to use a putty knife to press down on the clips that secure the top front of the cabinet.
  4. Pull the tabs away that connect the door switch assembly wiring harness and lean the dryer top against the wall.
  5. Open the dryer’s door and take out the screws securing the door switch mechanism.
  6. Next, remove and replace the door switch.
  7. To restore the dryer, simply perform the steps in reverse.

Check Motor Relay

If you have checked the start switch and door switch and found them to be in good condition, then the next part to check is the motor relay.

The motor replay supplies the power to the motor to keep it running throughout the dry cycle.

However, if there is a voltage fluctuation, it may stop working, or it may get damaged.

In such a case, you need to replace it completely.

The indicator of a faulty motor relay is whenever you push the start button, and the dryer starts running, but as soon as you release the dryer will stop working.

To replace the motor relay, you need to contact Kenmore service, as the motor relay is a component that is very hard to find aftermarket replacement.

Faulty Drive Motor

The dryer motor is a direct drive motor, and it powers the rotation of the drum.

If the drive motor is faulty or it is not receiving power, then it will cause the dryer to not start.

When there is a faulty motor, the drive motor will start making a humming noise.

In most cases, the motor can be repaired, but if there are multiple components damaged, it may require you to completely replace it, which would be more expensive.

If you want to repair a faulty motor at an affordable price, then contact a local technician.

However, if you want to replace it completely, you need to contact a Kenmore service technician.

Belt Switch Failure

The belt switch is a component in Kenmore dryers that prevents the motor from running when the dryer belt breaks.

If this happens, the dryer motor won’t run, which will prevent the drums from rotating, and this will result in the Kenmore dryer not starting up.

However, if the belt switch stops functioning, the dryer will not work. To check for a belt switch failure in Kenmore dryers, listen to the humming noise.

If there is a humming noise when you start the dryer, then the belt switch is working fine. However, if there is no humming sound, it is probably because the belt switch has failed to operate.

But some of the Kenmore dryers don’t have the belt switch function, and to find out if your model has this function or not, you can check the user manual, or you can look online for it.

Moreover, you can contact Kenmore customer service.

Finally, if you know that your model has a belt switch function that is failing to operate, you need to use a multimeter to test the continuity of the switch.

If the belt switch doesn’t have continuity, call the Kenmore service and ask for a belt switch replacement.

Broken Drive Belt

In a Kenmore dryer, the drive belt is a rubber belt that is used to rotate the dryer drum. If this belt breaks, the drum will not be able to rotate, and the dryer will not start.

How to replace a broken drive belt in a Kenmore dryer?

  1. To check for a broken drive belt, open up the rear cover of the dryer, and have a look at the rubber belt.
  2. If the belt is broken or looks like it has been stretched beyond its limit, then this is the cause of the non-starting dryer. Replacing the drive belt is a fairly simple and straightforward task that can be done in a matter of minutes.
  3. To replace the drive belt, first, unplug the dryer. Then, remove the front panel of the dryer. On most Kenmore dryers, there are two screws on the bottom of the front panel that needs to be removed. Once the screws are removed, the front panel will come off.
  4. With the front panel off, you’ll be able to see the drum, pulleys, and motor.
  5. The drive belt will be wrapped around the drum and the pulleys. To remove the old drive belt, first, disconnect the idler pulley from the motor shaft. Then, remove the old drive belt.
  6. To install the new drive belt, wrap it around the drum and the pulleys. Then, reconnect the idler pulley to the motor shaft. Once the idler pulley is reconnected, you can reattach the front panel of the dryer. Be sure to screw the front panel back on tightly.

Defective Main Control Board

The main control board is a common cause of a Kenmore dryer that won’t start, and it often goes unnoticed.

If the main control board or MCB fails, it will not supply power to the rest of the dryer.

To check the main control board, you will need to open up the dryer and have a look at it.

If the board is discoloured or has any signs of burning or even if there is some shorted component, it will need to be replaced.

Replacing the main control board by yourself is not possible because you need the replacement of the main control board, which can only be provided by the Kenmore service centre.

In such a case, you need to call Kenmore service for help.

Burned Out Power Cord

If your Kenmore dryer won’t start, one possible reason is a burned-out power cord. This is a relatively easy problem to fix and only requires a few tools.

How to Replace a Burned-Out Power Cord in Kenmore Dryer?

  1. First, locate the power cord on the back of the dryer. It will be attached to the terminal block, which is usually located near the bottom of the dryer.
  2. Next, using a flathead screwdriver, loosen the screw that secures the power cord to the terminal block. Carefully pull the power cord out of the terminal block, taking note of which way the cord is oriented.
  3. Now, inspect the power cord for any signs of damage, such as frayed insulation or exposed wires. If the power cable is burned or damaged, it will need to be replaced.
  4. To install the new cord, simply route it through the dryer in the same manner as the old cord and then attach it to the terminal block.
  5. Once the cord is attached, tighten the screw to secure it in place.
  6. Finally, plug the dryer back in to test it. If it still doesn’t start, there may be another issue.

Defective Timer

If you have checked the power cord and it is in good condition, then you may have a faulty timer.

The timer is responsible for controlling the start of the dryer as well as the time it runs for.

If the timer is faulty, then it will not be able to complete the circuit, and the dryer will not start.

To check if the timer is faulty, you will need to open up the dryer and have a look at it.

If you notice any discolouration or marks of burning on the timer, then it will need to be replaced. And to replace it, you need to call the customer service of Kenmore dryer.


No one likes having to deal with a broken appliance, but if your Kenmore dryer won’t start, it’s good to know that it can probably be fixed easily.

That way, you won’t have to worry about having to replace the dryer and spend a lot of money on a new one (even though they are pretty affordable nowadays).

Instead, you can take care of the problem quickly and easily and have your dryer back in working order as soon as possible.

I am Kevin Technician and this website is created with the purpose to help common people to find proper information about Dishwasher. Feel free to comment or email your queries.