Some signs that a washing machine timer is broken include the washing machine not advancing through cycles, only advancing through certain cycles or some cycles not working. Some of these repairs can be done at home without professional assistance.
In order to troubleshoot a washing machine timer, a multimeter is needed. The individual should unplug the machine, and then open the control panel. The timer's wiring harness should be unplugged, and the timer should be set to any on position. Using the multimeter, the individual should check for continuity through the contacts of the motor. There is usually a diagram on the machine that indicate the numbers that correspond to the timer contacts, and this tells a person where the problem lies.
Some issues that may be attributed to a faulty washing machine timer may actually be due to other issues. For instance, if some cycles work and some do not, a person may think it's the timer, but it may also be a broken wire. Though it's not common for wires to break, it's possible. It is also possible that some cycles, such as the spin cycle, may not work for other reasons, too. A spin cycle issue is likely not the timer, but the transmission shifting mechanism.