Tip & How-To about Vacuums

Vacuum Brush Bar Not Spinning

" My vacuum brush is not spinning". OR
" My vacuum brush is spinning but not picking up".
" My dirt sensor doesn't work, continually blinks".

These three things are very common in vacuum cleaners and they are nothing serious. There is a rubber belt that drives the Brush Bar.You simply need to replace the belt.

* If the Brush Bar is not spinning, then you know that the belt is broken.
* If the Brush Bar is spinning but not picking up anything, then the belt is stretched to the point where it is now spinning on the Brush Bar. When this is the case, you may smell the belt burning and you may even see a little smoke.
* And, if the you have a dirt sensor on you vacuum and it continually blinks, this is due to a bad belt as well.

Whatever the case, the belt must be replaced. Belts are very easy to replace. In most vacuums, you turn the vacuum over and pop off the bottom to access the belt. In some other vacuums, there will be a little door/cover that pops off on the top side of the vacuum; allowing access that way.

You can pick a belt up at your large department stores or Do-It-Yourself Centers. These stores usually only carry specific brands, depending on each store you search. You may want to call around first. The belts are very reasonably priced for the most part.

Or, if you would rather shop on line, here is a link to belts. Just look up the Make and Model # of your vacuum and order.

Good Luck!

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Thanks for looking,


Key Words: Vacuum, Hose, Canister, Belt, Brush, Beater Bar, Smoke, No Suction, Not Picking Up & Spinning

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1 Answer

the vacuum was working fine then suddenly the main brissels that spin to collect the dirt stopped spinning, the vacuum still has suction but barely picks anything up because the brissels are not spinning

Best thing to do is remove the spinning brush and clean all debris from the brush and most importantly from the ends of the brush. The ends of the brush usually have two holders (square?) that hold the brush in place on the vacuum. The brush is supposed to spin in these holders. If it does not, provided the belt is okay, the location where the brush contacts these holders need to be cleaned and lubricated with some WD40 or some 3 In 1 oil. Be sure the belt is in proper running condition as well.

Sep 05, 2010 | Bissell Cleanview Helix Vacuum

1 Answer

The spinning brush isn't moving

Belt may be off the motor spindle, with the vacuum off try turning the brush by hand, does it turn freely or can you feel the resistance of the motor?

May 17, 2010 | Dyson DC07 Bagless Upright Cyclonic Vacuum

1 Answer

does not pick up

Hi There,

It may be that your belt is broken, or stretched out. This will cause the brushes to slow down dramatically when vacuuming the carpets. When the belt stretches, this causes the machine not to pick up on the carpets, and makes it seem that the vacuum is loosing suction.

In order to test this, turn the vacuum on it's side while it's on. Are the brushes spinning? If they aren't, this is because your belt is broken. If the brushes are spinning, the belt still may be stretched. Listen to the brushes as you put them onto the carpet. Can you hear a change in the sound like the brushes are slowing down? If you put just a little pressure on the top of the vacuum by stepping on it, do the brushes stop then?

It may also be the filter is clogged in the machine and needs to be replaced. Bagless vacuums use a HEPA filter in the dirt cup instead of a bag. With a bagged vacuum you just replace the bag when it gets full, but on a bagless vacuum the HEPA filter continually gets debris and fine dust accumulating on it, and needs to be cleaned, and replaced occasionally.

Here's a link to the owners manual for your vacuum. This will explain step by step on how to replace the belt, as well as servicing the filter.


If you still need some help, please just use the comment field here on Fixya to ask your question. I'm always more then happy to answer all follow up questions, and I really am not completely satisfied until you are able to fix your vacuum.

If you found this repair helpful, please be so kind and rate the repair, or leave feedback. This is greatly appreciated.


Chris Jones

Apr 23, 2010 | Dirt Devil Featherlite Bagless Vacuum...

2 Answers

Hoover Tempo Widepath Blows Dirt Out Back on Hard Surfaces

lots of times switching to hard surface floors you need to slow down because the air flow that does the actual picking up of the dirt can't work as fast as the spinning brush so the brush is throwing the dirt out the back before the suction can pick it up. Try slowing down

Jun 11, 2009 | Hoover Tempo Widepath Upright Vacuum -...

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