Frigidaire dryers are for the most part dependable. They simply do their job. At times you will find, as with anything mechanical, components begin to wear out or just fail altogether. The latter is the most expensive and by learning about the causes of squeaking beforehand, hopefully you will avoid a costly repair. Frigidaire dryers and others made by them are known for making a squeaking noise at some point, and usually the cause is from one of two areas.
On many older, and some newer Frigidaire dryers, the dryer drum uses what can be considered a trailer hitch setup, with the “ball” mounted to a plate that is attached to the rear of the drum. In fact, if you look inside your dryer at the back of the drum you should notice three evenly spaced screws. Don’t remove these! On the back side of the drum, the ball protrudes and rests inside of the “hitch” which is a half-moon shaped housing where the ball neatly fits inside. This configuration supports the weight of the drum, and over time will begin to squeak as the drum turns. Often this is a sign of wear or the ball and hitch are simply dry (no lubrication). A good clue of the amount of wear can be detected by looking at the back of the dryer on the outside. Near the center of the back you’ll see a small plate with a single ball bearing held in place by a tab stamped out of the plate. You may see an accumulation of black dust in this area. This is a definite sign of wear and is the likely cause of the squeak. Sometimes applying lube to this area will stop the squeak temporarily, but the underlying cause is your ball and hitch assembly is wearing and should be replaced. Note if you let this go too long, eventually the ball will literally shear off due to wear and cause the drum to fall onto the heater and shorting it out. This will be an expensive repair as the ball and hitch assembly and heater assembly will need to be replaced.
Drive belt idler
Another source of an annoying squeak can emanate from the bottom center of the dryer while it’s running. This squeak comes and goes, but always gets worse over time. At the first sign of the squeak, it’s time to get this checked out. As with the drum bearing noted above, early detection and repair will prevent unnecessary expense. The drive belt idler keeps tension on the drum drive belt to provide consistent torque needed to spin the drum at an even speed when fully loaded with heavy, wet clothes.
The two causes of dryer squeaks listed here are common in Frigidaire dryers and before deciding to spend hundreds replacing your dryer, a simple early repair might be all that is needed.