According to Family Handyman, the method used to fix a washing machine depends on what the specific problem is. Fixing the most common washing machine problems requires a flashlight, screwdriver and either a socket set or nut drivers. Unplug the washing machine and determine whether the outer cabinet lifts off completely or whether the front or back panels must be removed.
If the washing machine is making grinding noises, use the screwdriver to pop the retainers. Pull the pump from the motor shaft, and disconnect electrical connectors from the motor. Check for broken coupler pieces; and, if found, remove them. Replacing the coupler typically fixes the grinding noises.
If the machine has draining problems, remove the hose connecting the tub to the pump. Drain the water into a container, and check for any items stuck in the drained area. Use a coat hanger in the tubes to remove stuck items.
Next, shake the pump to check for broken blades and rotate the shaft to make sure it rotates freely. Replace pump or belts as needed. If the washing machine is slow to fill or won't fill, clean the inlet screens on the water valve. If that does not fix the washing machine, replace the entire water valve.