The best way to test the balance ring is to place the empty machine in spin, then raise the lid after it is up to speed. When it comes to a stop, there should be a slight swirling or swishing noise from the top of the spin basket. This is the hermetically sealed liquid which keeps it balanced. If no sound like this is heard, chances are the ring has lost its liquid charge and must be replaced. The ring simply lifts off the top of the spin basket after you depress two of the 3 tabs around the edge.