Sewing Machine Foot Pedal Common Issues (Solved)

Being a part of Amazon Associate and some other Affiliate Programs, we may earn a small commission for every qualifying purchase from affiliate links at no extra cost to you. You can read our affiliate disclosure to learn more and also our review process.

I was sewing a seam, when suddenly my foot pedal on my sewing machine stopped working. I have tried to fix it many times, but eventually resorted to searching online for instructions on how to fix the issue, and while I found some help online, there were still no clear instructions on how to get the foot pedal back in working order.

A sewing machine is an invaluable piece of equipment. Whether you’re a home sewer or a professional seamstress, the ability to use one can make your life much easier and more efficient. However, it is important to note that sewing machines are not indestructible; they need maintenance every now and again to keep running at optimum efficiency. One of the most important aspects of maintaining a sewing machine is its foot pedal. This article will cover foot pedals and their common issues.

All sewing machine pedals can become worn or stripped over time, leading them to need repair or replacement. Pedal problems can often be trivial and relatively simple to remedy, or they can have serious consequences if they are allowed to fester. It is important to note that foot pedals are very sensitive, and one small problem may not become apparent until the pedal begins to malfunction. As such, it is a wise idea to check the pedal for wear and tear every few months, even if you do not think anything is wrong.

In this article we will go over all of the possible reasons why your sewing machine’s foot pedal may not be working as well as it should be, and what you can do in order for it to start functioning properly again.

What is a Foot Pedal?

The foot pedal is a type of switch found on most sewing machines. The pedal switches the machine from being manual to being electric and vice versa, giving the operator more control over how the machine functions without having to change settings with their hands.

Foot pedals are also useful in that they do not require the operator to use their hands at all, which is useful if you are working somewhere where your hands are needed elsewhere.

Foot pedals are typically made from relatively cheap components, so there isn’t much risk in trying to fix them yourself. If you aren’t sure what you are doing, however, it is always a good idea to consult with an experienced sewing machine technician.

How Does Sewing Machine Foot Pedal Work?

Most foot pedals on sewing machines will feature a spring-loaded lever at the top, which is pushed down by pressing the pedal with your foot. Once you release the pedal, the spring will cause it to pop up again. Most pedals are designed in this way because it allows them to be used as both an on/off switch and an adjustable control.

The control is usually set by a screw that is either inside the pedal or attached to it. This makes it easy for people who are using the machine to adjust things like tension and stitch length without needing to change anything with their hands.

Once you have finished sewing, there will be a button that you can press in order to deactivate the foot pedal, which will allow you to move your hand back over and start sewing again without having any additional adjustments needed on your part.

Pedals should always be pressed down firmly while they are on, though many don’t follow this rule or do so unevenly. This will also help prevent the jamming of your machine. If you are in a hurry and trying to move quickly, make sure that you use both feet or have the pedal pressed down with one foot while using your other to make adjustments.

What Causes a Foot Pedal Problem?

There are multiple things that could be wrong with the foot pedal on a sewing machine, leading to it not functioning correctly. Let’s go over the most common issues so you know what the problem might be.

Broken Cable

Over time, the cable that connects the pedal to the machine can become worn and damaged until it is no longer operational. This will require you to replace or repair the wiring in order for your sewing machine’s pedal to work again. You will also have to first unplug the machine and remove the foot pedal from the machine; you cannot do this while it is plugged in.

Loose Wires

If the wires that connect a pedal to its mechanism are loose, they could come out of the mechanism without your knowledge, leaving it useless until they are fixed. Problems such as this often happen because of a cabinet collision, when some part of the mechanism gets bumped and causes a wire to come loose.

Stuck Pedal

If you are having a problem with your sewing machine foot pedal but you cannot figure out what is wrong, sometimes it is simply stuck in one position altogether. When this happens, you will need to lubricate the pedal and moving parts of your machine if it will allow it. If the parts do not allow you to apply lubrication, then you will have to dismantle the pedal and fix any problems that have developed with it.

Pedal Jammed

If your foot pedal is jammed in one position, you will have to release the lock on your sewing machine before attempting any repairs or replacements. Once the lock has been disabled, try using a flathead screwdriver in order to pry away whatever is causing it to jam; be careful not to mar or damage anything while doing this.


Pedals especially, but sewing machines in general, need lubrication from time to time. This reduces the wear and tear on the machine and makes it operate smoothly. Use a sewing machine oil that is meant specifically for this purpose when lubricating.

Simply place a drop of oil on the moving parts of your pedal, then turn the pedal with your hands until it is lubricated throughout. Wipe away any excess oil before turning the pedals back on to avoid getting excess residue everywhere.

What Causes an Electrical Problem?

There are a variety of different things that can cause electrical problems with a sewing machine and its foot pedal. Some of the most common issues include:

Wire Breakage

The wires for the pedal can break on their own or because of a cabinet collision. A broken wire will require you to replace it, as this is a necessary part of the pedal’s circuitry. If you are having trouble, try gently twisting and loosening all the wiring that you see before trying to fix the pedal.

Wear and Tear

Worn or damaged wires will cause problems with your pedal and may need to be replaced after some time. For example, if your sewing machine has been sitting unused for a while, then it could develop a problem with one of its pedals because of wear and tear over time.

Broken Parts

If the parts that make up a pedal or sewing machine break, then you may still have some use out of them if you are handy with a screwdriver and electrical tape. You will have to disassemble the broken part in order for it to be fixed and put back together again, however.

What Do I Do if a Foot Pedal Has Been Broken or Damaged?

It is possible for your foot pedal to break or become damaged over time. This can happen because of wear and tear from your machine’s pedals as well as from accidents that could happen. Your pedal can also be damaged when something bumps into it if it is not fastened correctly.

If your sewing machine foot pedal is no longer functioning properly, try the methods below to fix it before ordering a new one. Most problems can be fixed in a few minutes, letting you continue with your sewing and quilting projects.

You can purchase a part for your sewing machine that will allow you to fix it yourself and save a lot of money. The part will be either a replacement pedal or a pedal set that fits your machine. Make sure that you know which kind you need prior to ordering one.

It is possible for you to repair the pedal by yourself if you have the right equipment and do not mind doing some minor work. You can also call an expert in sewing machine repairs if you would like them to help with your repair.

Watch Video: How To Repair Sewing Machine Foot Pedal?

If you can’t figure out how to fix your sewing machine pedal or if the process is too complicated, then you will need to purchase a new pedal. This may be easier said than done, make sure that you are purchasing the correct pedal for your particular brand and model of machine before purchasing anything.

How Can I Fix a Broken Foot Pedal?

A broken foot pedal can be fixed much like any other part on your sewing machine, depending on its complexity and amount of damage or damage sustained by it. If your pedal is broken all of the ways, you will need to replace it. If it is only broken in some parts and functions properly, you may be able to fix the pedal to get it working again.

The first thing that you will need to do on a broken foot pedal is to unplug your sewing machine and remove the pedal from the slot in it. This will allow you to fix the part without accidentally causing damage to anything else inside your machine.

It is also important that you take a picture of any damaged parts as soon as possible so that you can refer back to them later after putting everything back together again.

Once the pedal has been unplugged, you will need to determine which part of your pedal is broken. You may have broken a piece of the pedal near the base or you may have broken a wire that is connected to your sewing machine’s motor. If so, then you will need to replace whatever part of your pedal has been damaged.

Before attempting to fix a broken pedal with a different part, you need to be sure that the part that you are replacing is not the problem. Look at your pedal from all angles and determine if it is the problem. If it is something else that has been broken or damaged, then you will need to fix it before attempting to fix your pedal.

If you have determined that the pedal itself has been damaged, then you can either replace it or try to fix it using step-by-step instructions found in a sewing machine manual. Replacing the pedal entirely may be easier than trying to fix a broken one since sticks and wires seem complicated to repair on their own.

Other Issues of Foot Pedal

The foot pedal may also have some other issues, here is the list given below

  1. Foot Pedal Getting Hot
  2. Moving So Slow
  3. Nothing Happening
  4. Foot Pedal Not Working Properly
  5. Running Too Fast

Foot Pedal Getting Hot

When the foot pedal begins to heat up, it means that the person operating the sewing machine is using too much force on it. This could be due to a problem with the threading or tension-controlling mechanism.

Check your threading and adjust where necessary. If there is nothing wrong with it, then you will need to repair the pedal itself. The problem may be coming from a wire that is either loose or damaged due to wear and tear of use. Look at your threads again and make sure they are not tangled over one another or becoming too tight. If everything looks correct, then you may need some new parts for your sewing machine foot pedal because replacing an old part could cause more problems in other areas on your machine later on.

Moving So Slow

If your machine is moving very slowly, the tension may be too tight on the pedals. This can cause damage to your machine if the pedal is moved too much when it is under pressure. If this happens, then you should loosen up your pedal and make sure that it moves freely. This will help you avoid any additional problems in the future.

Nothing Happening

If nothing occurs make sure that the pedal is not broken. The pedal may have been damaged on the outside or inside and needs to be replaced or repaired. If it is an internal part, it will be very difficult to fix so you will need to get new parts for your foot pedal from a repair service or order them online from a company that specializes in sewing machine parts.

Not Working Properly

When your sewing machine’s foot pedals do not work properly, this may be due to an electrical problem, a bad connection in the motor or a broken cable that connects to your machine’s motor.

You will need to plug your machine back in and see if it can still be turned on. If it does turn on, then you may need to repair a broken cable that connects the sewing machine’s motor to the pedal. Unfortunately, replacing this part may cause more problems for you later on since there is nothing that connects the cable to the pedal itself. This will require fixing of other parts as well.

Running Too Fast

If the pedal is running too fast, you may need to tighten up your tension control mechanism. This will help the pedal work correctly and allows it to move smoothly through its gears instead of jumping from one gear to another.

You may also want to make sure that the cable connecting your foot pedal to your sewing machine’s motor is not damaged. If it is, then you will see problems with your sewing machine in a very short time period after replacing this part.

What Type of Foot Pedal Do You Need For Your Sewing Machine?

A sewing machine can only work with a foot pedal that is compatible with its voltage and circuitry. If you purchase a pedal that does not have the correct voltage, it will not work with your machine. Some sewing machines have specific types of foot pedals required to operate them, so make sure you know what type of pedal your machine needs before purchasing one.

Most sewing machines will use either a 3-prong or 2-prong pedal. If your machine uses one of these two types of pedals, you can place both into it no matter what the voltage is for the pedal. If your sewing machine uses a 2-prong pedal, however, then you cannot place a 3-prong type into it as this could cause damage to either part.

It is also possible for your sewing machine to use both types of pedal, with one being used for your sewing machine and the other being used for an optional foot control pedal.

If you are purchasing a new pedal or replacing your current one, make sure that it is compatible with the voltage of your machine and all its other requirements as stated in its manual.

How Do You Test A Foot Pedal On A Sewing Machine?

To test a foot pedal on a sewing machine, plug in the machine and press the pedal. If the pedal does not work, there are three possible causes for this issue:

  1. The pedal needs to be replaced.
  2. There is a bad connection in the wire to the motor underneath the sewing machine.
  3. There is an obstruction under or behind the sewing machine’s cabinet.
  4. The pedal is broken and needs to be replaced

If your sewing machine pedal isn’t working, test every wire that’s in the sewing machine. Many times a wire breaks or pops out and needs to be put back into place, causing your pedal to not work properly. Check this all before buying a new one or trying to put it back together.

How Do You Fix A Sewing Machine Foot Pedal?

If your sewing machine’s pedal is broken and the sewing machine won’t turn on, it is possible that the bottom of the pedal needs to be replaced with a new one.

First make sure there is no obstruction under or behind the cabinet where the hardware for the sewing machine attaches to the cabinet. Next look along the bottom of the cabinet toward where it attaches to make sure there are no loose wires underneath or any other objects that could be causing a problem.

If there is nothing there and the pedal still does not work, it is possible that the bottom of the pedal will need to be replaced. If you can look inside of your sewing machine with this hardware, then you can compare it to another sewing machine’s hardware to see if a foot pedal will fit in your sewing machine or if you need a different kind for your model.

If you cannot access this part of your machine, then check other sewing machines as well as contact companies that sell parts for sewing machines and check with them if they have a foot pedal that fits your model. This way you can save time and money while getting the exact same foot pedal that you need.

FAQ about Sewing Machine Foot Pedal Common Issues 

Why is the pedal on my sewing machine not working?

We have all had this problem; the pedal on your sewing machine will not work. There could be a number of reasons for this, ranging from broken parts to power problems. If your sewing machine’s pedal is broken and the sewing machine won’t turn on, it is possible that the bottom of the pedal needs to be replaced.

Can you use sewing machine without a foot pedal?

You can use the pressure foot pedal that came with your machine. This would allow you to hold the pedal with one hand and use another to sew with the other hand. However, for some machines, you can’t use the throat or knee lever to turn the wheel. They only work with the pedal. You could use a foot pedal from another sewing machine that is compatible with your machine.

How do I stop my foot pedal from sliding?

To stop the pedal from sliding on your machine, follow the instructions that are in the manual that came with your machine. This should tell you exactly how to do this. If it doesn’t help, then try using a different needle that comes with your machine. If this still doesn’t work, then you will need to check the tension on your sewing machine’s foot pedal and adjust it so it has enough tension so the pedal will not slide. You can test this by putting some weight on the pedal and making sure that no parts fall off or break during this process.

Why does the foot pedal smell burned?

The smells you are smelling are either from a broken wire or the motor. To fix this issue, you will need to open up the sewing machine and check if there is a problem with the wire. Test your wires by touching them with your fingers. If they are hot, then they have been broken or worn out. Check all of your wires and make sure that they are not frayed or torn in any way. If everything looks alright, then you may need to replace the motor on your sewing machine.

Final Thoughts

The problem with a sewing machine foot pedal may finally be fixed with just one adjustment. The adjustment will usually depend on the issue that is causing the pedal to malfunction. For example, if it is not moving smoothly due to bad wiring, then you will need to fix either the foot pedal or the cable connecting it to your sewing machine’s motor. If it is running too fast, then you will need to tighten up your tension control mechanism. If there is no response at all, then you will need to replace or repair your foot pedal entirely.

Fixing a broken foot pedal can sometimes be complicated. Making repairs on your own is not recommended because it requires specialized knowledge and skills and can damage your sewing machine if you do it incorrectly. Sewing machines and their parts are expensive and should always be replaced or repaired by a professional service company.


  1. Quilting board –  Foot Controller problem
  2. Reddit – My foot pedal stopped working and the new one doesn’t work either.
  3. Quora – How do you adjust the upper tension on a sewing machine?
  4. Reddit – Foot control for sewing machine help
  5. Electricians forum – Faulty foot pedal/sewing machine
  6. Reddit – Asking for input on electric/foot pedal issues. Should I replace the pedals and if yes, how?
  7. Quora – How do you adjust a foot pedal on a sewing machine?
  8. MISSOURI STAR – Juki foot pedal problem?!
  9. Electro-tech-online – Control Pedal Issue



I have been working as a seamstress since I was 12 years old, and I would be happy to teach you what I know. I, along with the rest of my team, investigate numerous sewing, quilting, embroidery, and fabric related how-to guides, and present our findings to you.

Leave a Comment