Working on the sewing machine and it was not working, right?
Breakdowns are a part of life with a sewing machine. They can be frustrating and expensive, but they’re also not as common as you might think. Actually, sewing machine problems are quite rare considering how many people sew on them every single day.
A sewing machine malfunctions for a variety of reasons, and when that happens, you need to know what’s wrong and how to fix it.
This guide will help you troubleshoot the most common sewing machine problems so you can fix them yourself or have them fixed quickly by a professional.
In addition to the sewing machine tips and tricks in this guide, I’ve also created an entire guide devoted just to sewing machine repairs. You can look through all of our other guides here.
Why Is My Sewing Machine Not Running Smoothly?
Let’s take a look at a few reasons why. If the motor is going too fast or too slow, it may be because it’s not getting enough power from the power cord. Let’s check to see if it’s plugged into a working outlet by putting your finger in between the spindle and the cord to feel for electricity. If there is none, check the outlet with a different appliance.
If you are unsure of how to check an outlet, simply turn off the machine and unplug it. Plug in another appliance and see if it works. If it does, that means your machine is not receiving enough electricity and you need to have a professional look at it for you.
If your sewing machine has a light bulb installed into the back of its head casing, then you can check that by seeing if it is lit up (usually green).
You can also test this by using a digital multimeter. If you do not have one, you can use a standard voltmeter with an alligator clip that clips onto the black and white leads of your machine to measure the voltage at various points along its body.
If this is an electrical problem, your machine may need to be repaired or replaced.
Is The Power Cord Responsible For Motor Problems?
A power cord connects your sewing machine to a working outlet so that it can get power from the outlet. It also converts the alternating current (AC) of the outlet into the direct current (DC) that your sewing machine needs. The electricity should flow through the power cord to reach its destination: the sewing machine.
There may be a break in the cord somewhere around where the cord meets the machine. The electrical wires that run through the head, under the bobbin case, and into the motor of your machine are often prone to breaking.
If you suddenly notice that your sewing machine doesn’t work after a vacation or a power outage, it could be due to a break in one of these wires.
If the outlet is working properly and the power cord is plugged in, but the sewing machine still doesn’t work, then this could be a problem with the motor.
If you’re unable to get your sewing machine to work and it was working fine up until you left town, then this could be an electrical issue. If your power cord is frayed or the break in one of its wires is visible, it may need to be replaced.
Sewing Machine Motor Problems
Here are some common issues with the sewing machine motor.
- Motor gets overheated
- Breakage of the motor belt
- Motor shaft is loose
- Motor just needs cleaning
- Incorrect belt tension
- Loose screw in the motor shaft
- Thread breakage in a motor shaft or gear
- Squeaking sound in a motor gear wheel
- Motor is not turning
- Very low power output
- Motor is locked up
- An electrical shortage in cord
- Motor speed is stuck – slow or fast
- Broken wiring in the power cord
- Motor gear is not spinning properly
- Motor Bearings Are Worn Out
- The Motor Is Under Tension
- Motor Is Not Receiving Enough Power
- Loose Motor Shaft Bearings
The Motor Gets Overheated
This is a very common problem with sewing machines. It could be caused by one of two reasons:
The motor is not receiving enough power due to lack of electricity or it just isn’t being used enough.
The motor pulley belt is incorrectly tensioned or it has come off completely.
Either way, the first thing you need to do in order to fix this problem is to inspect the motor pulley belt. If it is loose or has come off, you need to re-tension it.
Breakage Of Motor Belt
This is another common problem that occurs with sewing machines. The motor shaft may be either loose or broken in one of its many parts.
If the motor shaft is loose and not moving, then you need to fix it by taking the motor apart and re-tightening any loose bolts.
Motor Shaft Is Loose
If your sewing machine doesn’t sew properly, then this could be due to a broken motor shaft. The shaft is what transfers the motor’s spinning motion to the sewing machine’s needle. This can break when the machine is being moved around and comes into contact with hard objects.
Motor Just Needs Cleaning
If your sewing machine is not working properly and the motor shaft can turn freely, this may be because it is dirty or the pulleys or gears may need to be cleaned.
Incorrect Belt Tension
The belt attached to the motor is often responsible for keeping your sewing machine running smoothly. If it is in bad condition, then you will notice that your sewing machine doesn’t sew well and it has too much tension.
Loose Screw on Motor Shaft
The first thing you need to do if your sewing machine is not working properly checks the motor shaft. If you notice that one of the screws used to hold it in place or any bolts are loose, then they need to be tightened.
Thread Breakage In Motor Shaft Or Gear
The thread attached to your sewing machine’s needle can break when it comes into contact with the teeth on a broken gear. The needle will then keep going up and down without moving at all. This means that the problem is with your machine’s threads, not the motor. If this is the case, then you need to replace your sewing machine’s thread.
Squeaking Sound In The Motor Gears
If your sewing machine’s gears are not rotating properly, then you may have broken some kind of material. The gears are very small pieces that rotate when the motor’s shaft rotates. If you hear a squeaking or grinding sound when you turn the power on, then this is likely to be a problem with your gears.
Motor Is Not Turning
If your motor is not spinning properly, you may have a problem with your motor pulley belt. This belt is the one that drives the sewing machine needle up and down in relation to the rotating motion of the motor shaft. If this belt comes off, then your sewing machine will not be able to sew.
Very Low Power Output
If your sewing machine is only giving you a very low output of power, then you need to check the motor pulley belt. If it is damaged or has come off, then your sewing machine would not be able to work properly.
Motor Is Locked Up
If your sewing machine seems to have locked up, then this is usually caused by a bad motor shaft. The motor could also be receiving more power than it needs, causing it to overheat and lock up.
Electrical Shortage In Cord
If your motor is not working and your electricity is coming through properly, then this may be due to an electrical shortage in your sewing machine’s power cord. There may also be a problem with the wiring or connection inside of the sewing machine itself.
Motor Speed Is Stuck – Slow Or Fast
If your motor has been over-speed, then you may have a broken or loose bearing inside the machine. The shaft itself is the part that spins back and forth and turns the needle. If this bearing is broken or loose, then your sewing machine will not be able to sew properly.
If your sewing machine works, but it only runs at a slower or faster than normal speed, then this usually means there is a problem with the motor pulley belt. This belt is responsible for setting the right amount of tension that will drive your sewing machine’s needle up and down in accordance with the motor shaft’s spinning motion.
Broken Wiring In Power Cord
If you are unable to get your sewing machine to work or you are getting very low output from the motor, then this could be due to a damaged power cord. The motor may be overheating, causing it to lock up and/or not receive enough power.
Motor Gears Are Not Spinning Properly
If your sewing machine is not working properly, then this could be due to a problem with one of the sewing machine’s gears. Gears are what hold the needle and bobbin up and down. When If these gears are damaged and don’t rotate properly, they could be responsible for what is happening in your sewing machine. If this happens, then you need to replace your old motor gear with a new one.
Motor Bearings Are Worn Out
A sewing machine’s motor shaft may not be rotating properly due to worn-out bearings. The shaft rotates on a bearing, which will wear out over time and start to wobble, thus making the shaft rotate in an off-balance way. This can cause your sewing machine to either stop or keep rotating as if it were still sewing when it is not being used. If this happens, then you need to replace your old motor bearing with a new one.
The Motor Is Under Tension
If the motor is under tension, then the motor pulley belt will not be able to rotate properly. The belt rotates on the spindle in relation to that of the sewing machine’s motor shaft. If this belt comes off, then your sewing machine will not be able to sew.
Motor Is Not Receiving Enough Power
If your sewing machine doesn’t sew as well as it used to, there may be something wrong with the transmission of the motor shaft. This is when your sewing machine does not receive enough power from the electricity stored in your machine. The most common symptom of this is when your sewing machine does not seem to be sewing well, no matter how much you adjust the tension or speed settings.
Loose Motor Shaft Bearings
A sewing machine’s motor shaft may not be rotating properly due to a loose bearing. The shaft rotates on a bearing, which will wear out over time and start to wobble, thus making the shaft rotate in an off-balance way. This can cause your sewing machine to either stop or keep rotating as if it were still sewing when it is not being used.
How To Fix Sewing Machine Motor
Make sure your power cord is plugged into the wall outlet properly. If the sewing machine still isn’t working, try a different outlet. If your machine still doesn’t work, then it might be time to call an electrician.
If you hear a grinding or squeaking sound when you turn on your sewing machine and it doesn’t seem to work, then this could be due to a loose or broken bearing (the part of the motor shaft that holds the top and bottom parts together). Remove the needle and check it for a broken part. If the needle is broken, then remove it and replace it with a new one.
If your motor spins very slowly or stops spinning, then either your motor pulley belt is not being tensioned properly, or you have a broken bearing inside the sewing machine’s motor shaft. If this happens to your sewing machine (it doesn’t sew well no matter what you do), then take your old belt and put it aside. Make sure you remember which belt goes where.
Unplug your sewing machine, flip it over and see if it spins freely in that position. If you unplug the sewing machine, then flip it over and it is not spinning, then this could be due to a loose sewing machine motor shaft bearing.
If the machine is still moving, but not spinning freely when you turn it back over, then wait for a few seconds and try to turn it on again. This can help loosen any loose parts inside the motor shaft.
If your sewing machine is not working, then you may need to replace the motor assembly. You can do this yourself or hire a professional at a parts store.
Safety Measure For Sewing Machine Motor
Here below is the list of the safety measures for a sewing machine motor,
- If there’s a piece of fabric sticking out of the top of your machine, then you need to take your machine apart and clean out any pieces that may have come loose. there’s no time for that if your machine is about to go out.
- If your machine is making a buzzing sound, then it’s probably time to clean out your machine and make sure that nothing is stuck inside (again, you don’t want this to happen when you actually need to sew something).
- Don’t use your machine to make anything that exceeds its maximum weight or stitch length.
- Always make sure your sewing machine is unplugged before you clean it because the motor is still running when the power cord is plugged in. If you don’t follow this advice, then you could end up getting shocked.
- If you are the one who owns the machine and you want to clean it out, make sure that no one is standing behind you or in front of you without safety glasses.
- If your machine starts to smoke, smell like burning plastic, or catch on fire, then you should unplug the sewing machine and take it apart to find the cause of the fire.
- Be sure to put everything back together the right way.
What Is a Clutch Sewing Machine Motor?
A clutch sewing machine motor is a motor that is made specifically for sewing machines. These types of motors are designed with a clutch mechanism, which allows the needle to go up and down at different speeds. The power output from these types of motors also varies depending on the amount of pressure that is applied in the foot pedal.
A clutch sewing machine is a type of sewing machine that requires hand winding as opposed to using a motor. The thread is threaded on the thumb wheel, and the needle is pushed up and down by the foot pedal.
One of the things this type of sewing machine does differently from other types is that it has a clutch system. This feature allows the needle to go back up and down many times at different speeds. This acts as an alternative to switching settings on a regular sewing machine. It is also a great way to make sure that the needle can move quickly when needed.
What Is A Servo Sewing Machine Motor?
A servo sewing machine motor is a type of sewing machine motor that does not have any clutch mechanisms. Instead, the gears in these types of machines are insulated from each other. The power from these motors is very strong and powerful and can remove up to 50 pounds of tension from the thread at once.
FAQ About Sewing Machine Motor Problems
Why does my sewing machine’s motor run but nothing moves?
If your motor is running but nothing is moving, then this can mean that the sewing machine belt that drives the needle up and down has come off. If this happens, then the sewing machine will not be able to sew.
Why is there so much noise in my sewing machine?
If you have a high-speed motor, you will likely hear a lot of noise coming from the mechanism. When your machine is under a large amount of tension, the sound can become amplified.
Can you replace the motor on a sewing machine?
Yes, you can replace the motor on a sewing machine. The most common type of motor is called a “universal rotary”, which means it will fit into almost any kind of machine made by companies such as Janome, Pfaff, and Singer. In order to replace the motor, you will need to unscrew the casing and then carefully remove the old motor shaft.
Why is my sewing machine buzzing but not sewing?
If your sewing machine is buzzing, then this could be due to a problem with the thread tension. The tension is what holds the fabric taut in order for your sewing machine to sew properly. If this occurs, then you may need to adjust the tension on the tension screw or replace the thread.
How do you know if your sewing machine needs a new belt?
You can usually identify if your sewing machine needs a new belt by simply looking at the thread. If it has marks that are uneven or frayed, then this means that there is too much tension on the thread. The more tension you have on the thread, the faster your sewing machine will need to work. This causes more friction and stress between the thread and the plastic belt.
What controls the speed of a sewing machine?
The speed of a sewing machine is controlled by the pressure that is applied to the foot pedal. As you continue to push down with your foot, the speed will increase if there is not much resistance.
How do you adjust the speed of a sewing machine?
First, you will need to locate the needle plate. Then you should look into the back of the machine and find the four screws. In order to adjust, turn one of the screws in order to adjust the needle and thread tension on your machine.
A sewing machine motor is a motor that is used to help power a sewing machine. It does this by spinning the spool in the feed dogs and moving the needle up and down to make a stitch. The speed of these motors can vary depending on what type of motor is being used. For example, in a clutch sewing machine, the speed varies based on how hard you press down on the pedal.
These motors are important for completing any type of project that requires a sewing machine.
With new features, designs, and functions available in modern sewing machines, it is not easy to decide which one will be good for you. The best way would be to talk with your seamer, buy the device you want, and during the course of repairs, give advice. However, if you find yourself in a situation where you lose your beloved device or need it fixed, the most important thing to know is how to fix a sewing machine.
- Reddit – Sewing machine motor working but not stitching (hand crank doesn’t move most of the time)
- StackExchange – My sewing machine is accelerating for an unknown reason
- CNCZone – Industrial Sewing Machine motors
- WoodWorkForums – Sewing machine motor problem
- Quora – How do I fix a sewing machine that won’t sew?
- Fixya – Sewing machine motor overloaded, makes noise before it stops
- Quora – Why is my sewing machine (Singer) stuck? The handwheel won’t turn at all. I took the cover off and cleared any threads, but it only got worse