My Roomba Discovery 4120 has suddenly slowed down to a crawl. I mostly disassembled it (couldn't get the white lid to full separate from the bottom piece) and pulled out lots of dust bunnies. We've got a cat that puts out a good bit of hair so I've always had a chore of cleaning the brushes and clearing dust out of the sensor areas.
I don't have the same roomba that you have, but I had a lot of dog/cat hair stuck on the fan in the trash bin section. Once I removed that it started to work again. I used an air compressor to give it a really good blow out. Here is a link that might help you out. http://www.robotreviews.com/chat/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=10960
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possibly the vacuum fan is plugged up or not spinning fast enough to pick up heavier items. disassemble the back canister and clean the fan chamber.(THis is one area of regular maintenance). if it is all clean then try to replace the motor. The other possiblity... You have one damn clean house. :)
cor2an, That sounds like a classic battery failure in the Roomba discovery series. There are sensors inside the battery pack that go bad too. Either way...it's not very practical to repair the battery....the best shot you have would be to order a replacement battery. You just pop the old one out and then put the new one in.
They are available from iRobot for $69 at this link: http://store.irobot.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2799714&cp=2804606.3358509&ab=CMS_AccSuper_Roomba400_102308&parentPage=family
There are sources of less expensive (about $35) Genuine iRobot quality batteries also. You could try www.RoboticVacParts.com at this link: http://cgi.ebay.com/OEM-iRobot-APS-battery-Roomba-400-4XXX-Discovery_W0QQitemZ270412120603QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item3ef5d1821b&_trksid=p4634.c0.m14.l1262&_trkparms=|301%3A1|293%3A1|294%3A30
your roomba is thinking that you need to clean the brushes. if too much load it put on your brush motor--the unit will think that something is wrapped around the brush and slowing down the motor. if you have cleaned your brush and are sure that is not the problem; you need to look for anything else that could be slowing down the brush/motor. If this is inconclusive you need to put your roomba into diagnostic mode by following the procedures in the link below
I had a similar problem, I just took my Roomba Red apart and put it back together about four times before I fixed it. In my case it turned out to be a dirty sensor, fixed as described at
Before you open it up I recommend following the diagnostic tests to see if its a physical problem (bad motor belt, hair stuck around the wheel) or a sensor problem (dirt makes Roomba think it is stuck when it isn't). If you follow the diagnostics one of them will move the Roomba wheels while ignoring the sensors; if the wheels move fine then you probably have a sensor problem.