I have a slight oil leak that emits from around the center of the agitator. What is causing this and what part and tools do I need to repair this problem?
what causes this and what part do I need to make repairs
Answer Hello Jonathan,
There are only two things this can be. Number one is actually not oil at all, but fabric softener. You see, fabric softener is made of 80 to 90 % animal fat. The remaining content is coloring and perfumes to mask the substances decomposition. Therefore, when the softener is dispensed, being animal fat it is "clingy" and a lot of it accumulates inside the agitator.
Now if you want to conduct an experiment, Put a drop of softener on top of the washer or dryer and let it set there for a while. It starts out blue from the bottle and slowly turns colors. It will turn green, then yellow, then brown, and eventually black. Now if you wipe it up at any stage, it will still smell like softener as it is very heavily perfumed.
The whole problem with this picture is that, while it is "clingy", it cannot hold on forever. When a chunk breaks free and gets into the wash, it will stain like oil or grease. The solution is to dilute the softener before it is ever put into the dispenser cup. This way it is dispensed more completely, without as much build-up. As far as the build-up that is now present, without removing the agitator you can run a sanitation cycle with hot water and white vinegar to release it and flush it away. If you would like to remove the agitator top remove the build-up, using a 1/4 inch socket or nut driver, loosen the set screw on the side of the agitator and the agitator will slide right out.
Now to cover the other way you can get oil on the clothing. There is, on the transmission, a very small vent hole to allow expansion of the transmission oil during operation. Should this vent hole get stopped up, the expanding oil has to go somewhere, so it will actually erupt into the wash. This is extremely uncommon as I have only seen it happen 2 or 3 times in over 20 years in the field.