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Where do I oil my Kenmore 117-552 sewing machine? I haven't used it in years. When it runs now, it sounds dry. Can you assist me? Thank you in advance.

Posted by Anonymous on

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: can't tighten clutch on Kenmore zig zag sewing machine.

The clutch has fallen off the shaft. Remove the very small screw in the clutch release screw to remove the clutch release. Place the clutch(round thing with ears on it) back on the shaft with the center ears pointing towards the outside. Put the clutch release screw back on. Tighten it to make sure it works
properly. Put the small screw back in the clutch release screw and test it again. If it will not tighten or release properly, remove the clutch ,rotate it180 degrees and try it again.This should solve your problem.

Posted on Feb 16, 2009

  • 16 Answers

SOURCE: Bobbin winder will not spin on sewing machine

If you take the top off you will see a tiny rubber tire that engages the winder to the handwheel. Over time they get really soft are really hard and disintgrate. If you have a local sewing shop take the old one in and get a new one to slip on it takes only a few minutes and cost usually less that $2.00

Posted on Jan 22, 2010

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SOURCE: how to "tune-up" mechanical Kenmore sewing machine

Sure! Jenny at has several very good, in-depth articles about servicing your own machine, but here are the basic steps:

1. Take out the bobbin case and bobbin holder.
2. Take the needle plate off.
3. Brush out all the old lint in the bobbin area and under the needle plate. Remove any loose bit of thread.
4. Open the head of the machine (should swing open). Clean any lint or thread that's caught in there.
5. Locate your machine's oil ports and put one drop of sewing machine oil (only use sewing machine oil) in each of them. One drop is sufficient. General rule of thumb: Put one drop of oil wherever metal moves against metal.
6. Using unwaxed dental floss, floss the tension disks.
7. Put everything back together.

If you need a manual, I found one at

Hope this is useful!


Posted on Jul 30, 2010

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SOURCE: Manual for older kenmore sewing machine

Manual Here:

Posted on Dec 23, 2010

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I have a Kenmore 158 331. The only problem I have encountered is after 7 rotations the needle seems to stick. It only happens after 7 rotations. Not sure what the problem is. Please advise. Thank you.

If you haven't had your machine serviced (cleaned & oiled) in quite a while, you may want to do that. Sounds like perhaps your machine is beginning to seize due to old oil drying out.

Apr 26, 2017 | Kenmore Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Where do I oil Kenmore Model No 385 16221 can't find it in the manual

Page 94 of the manual:

Kenmore 385 16221 Owner Manual Table Of Contents

FWIW, it is important to keep your machine clean and oiled for it to operate properly. Use ONLY good quality sewing machine oil and apply ONLY 1-2 drops every place indicated, approximately every 40 hours of sewing time.


Dec 23, 2016 | Kenmore Sewing Machines

1 Answer

I have a brand new brother's serger 1034D.. Its new.. as in never been used but once but it's not in warranty. It's making a grinding noise. I've liked it and is clean. Any ideas what's wrong??

Could be that since it has set for years without use or maintenance, the old oil has dried out and the motor is straining to run the machine without sufficient lubrication. Trying to run the machine in its present condition could damage the motor. Your machine very likely just needs a thorough oiling (1-2 drops of fresh good quality serger oil) every place that metal rubs on metal. (Sergers usually take a lighter-weight clear oil--different from what sewing machines would use.) You should probably throw out the oil that came with the machine. It is probably old and should not be used in your machine.

A serger requires much more frequent oiling (the moving parts behind the front door, ie the looper mechanics, etc.) than a sewing machine. In addition, about every year I take the bottom off my serger and lube the moving metal parts inside with Tri-Flow Synthetic Lube. It has a whole different sound after getting some TLC!

To keep your serger operating for years, be sure to regularly clean and apply a couple drops of lube as recommended in the owner's manual (maintenance section).

Nov 03, 2016 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Where are the oil ports on an old Kenmore 10 sewing machine #12511..thanks

If your older Kenmore is mechanical (not computerized), it probably can use a bit of oiling beyond what the manual recommends. Older machines frequently were pre-oiled at the factory, however, after many years, the oil tends to dry out and cause the mechanical parts to stick (the reason most older machines are frozen). Perhaps this link will be of help:

It was working now it seems to be frozen the needle part wont move

Feb 10, 2016 | Kenmore Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Kenmore model 1311 zig zag sewing machine is completely locked up part will not move very clean can see no problem

Most likely the internal lubricants have "seized" or evaporated. Time to take it to a good mechanic and have a proper professional COA (clean/oil/adjust), which would be about $50-75 around here for a mechanical machine.
Not using a machine is one of the faster ways to "kill it". Run sewing machines with the needle out, at top speed, for at least 5 minutes a month if you haven't sewn with them that month. They'll be practically immortal that way...

Jan 15, 2014 | Kenmore Drop-In Bobbin 505S-21BH...

1 Answer

Have a 19502, bought it new, and seldom used, tried sewing today with it but the machine will only sew in reverse. Will not change directions even while holding down the reverse button. Is...

It sounds like the machine has not been used in quite a while and the reverse mechanism is sticking due to dried up oil. The oil thickens up like a varnish. The machine needs to be serviced to free up the sticking parts. This happens to machines that are not used much and therefore, not oiled regularly.

Nov 12, 2010 | Kenmore Sewing Machines

2 Answers

Model 1802. The hand wheel will turn only with hand force.

This might sound too simple but it might need to be thoroughly oiled. I just got one of these machines from a friend -- it had the identical problem: I couldn't turn the handwheel. The motor was working but the machine would not function. I blasted it with WD40 and then thoroughly oiled it with sewing machine oil. Within a half hour it was stitching just fine. If you use WD40 to free it up, be sure to thoroughly oil it with sewing machine oil immediately after because otherwise the lacquer in the WD40 will eventually gum it up again. Hope this helps.

Jul 31, 2010 | Kenmore Sewing Machines

2 Answers

Sears Kenmore Sewing Machine Model 385. 1254180 Bobbin Won't Wind

The winding sound is the rubber O-ring against the spinning pulley (back of hand wheel) - do not let this continue, it will wear out the O-ring.

I had the same problem and I found the shaft bushing of the winder dry and needed lubed. Use oil or spray lithium grease and it should work fine. Spin the bobbin shaft by hand (not the hand wheel) to get it freed up after oiling.

You can oil from the top and should take off the side case to clean the excess oil from the O-ring. The shaft bushing is a tight fit and any dry oil will get sticky and prevent winding.

Jan 22, 2009 | Kenmore Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Kenmore Sewing Machine

E1 error on Kenmore sewing machine model 385.19233

Jul 20, 2008 | Kenmore Sewing Machines

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