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Hard to say without the correct model number.
However, you could check these things first:
1- Is the belt that runs the brushes on the end pieces broken? If it is, is needs to be replaced.
2- Is there power to the control head that is not operating? This is a guess on my part since it is not possible to know the makeup of your unit without the model number.
Check these things and let me know how you make out and we can go from there, as long as I can get the model number.
It sounds like you have bad carbon brushes on the motor. Get replacement brushes from a local vac shop, and take the unit apart. On each side of the motor their is a retangular piece of plastic with what looks like magnets in them. In most cases they are simply held by 2 screws. Replace these brushes and reasemble the unit. If the problem persists you have burned out the comutator on the motor and the whole thing must be replaced.
The axle for the rear wheels have worn into the cut outs in the body that it goes through and they are rubbing on the wheel wells. This common for this vacuum model , the only real fix is to replace the body assembly. Sears will have to do this, this is NOT somthing you want to tackle by your self. As for the machine locking upright that is the release lever and it just needs to be replaced.
Without the complete model number, I don't know for sure what componets you have, most likely is the motor. You will have to take the motor cover off and check it out. You can go to sears.com, click on parts, enter your complete model number, scroll down to cannister and it will bring up a parts list where you can order parts, also a diagram of the cannister.
Is the smell rubber or electrical. If rubber then the belt is slipping and needs to be replaced, they stretch after awhile. Also is the brush roll turning freely, or is it bound up, it may have to be replaced. If the smell is electrical, then probably the motor is going bad and will have to be replaced.