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Is there something stuck inside, underneath, being turned along with the motor? burning smell usually means something got caught and the belt snapped. Not expensive and don't know if it's an easy DYI. Shouldn't cost too much to have it repaired or you can google the brand and model and the word belt, see what you find.
1) you need a little tight the belt, with the bolts of motor. 2) you must shure if the belt if NOT large or short( in both cases the rollers will NOT run. can be slip. or too TIGHT. and BRAKE the motor. 3) the motor you must test for brush, switch, or open winding. 4) put a little lube in the extreme of shaft rollers,see by turning at hand if they run of course unplugged the power cord. God bless you
If the noise is coming from the canister motor, you probably have bad motor bushings. I had the same problem, replaced the motor and all was fine - only for one year. The problem is back and is due to the fact the motor is very high speed (to get good suction) and should be made with bearings, not bushings. I will not be repairing a second time as a $70 motor annually is a bit pricey, and yes it will get VERY hot. I will buy a new vacuum - not another Kenmore.
If the belt is hot or you smell it burning then chances are it has stretched a little and is slipping on either the motor shaft or beater bar shaft. If you are sure the beater bar is not restricted from turning then I would just replace it. Try this.. With the power cord disconnected, open the vac head to gain access to the beater brush and belt.. then remove the belt.. place the beater bar back into its holder and see if it easily turns by hand.. if it is free to turn..then plug the vac in and turn it on for a few seconds.. you will see and hear the motor come on but you should NOT smell anything burning at that time. If you do.. you may have another issue with the motor or power cord or both.. if you don't smell anything burning, then disconnect the power and just replace the belt.... Good luck.
be sure it has a new bag and fillter, or try running it on a clean surface with the door off. if it still has a burn smell and only runs a few seconds the motor is probably bad. expensive and difficult to access. kitty litter has moisture in it and the vac motor is strong enough to pull the moisture out and draw it through the motor which will damage the commutator. kitty litter (and plaster dust) are stone dust composed and will pass some material through filters in to motors. for such jobs you should use a shop vac style machine , since they have a bypass motor that doesn't pass material through it.
This could be a motor problem. There is always a slight blue arcing that occurs when an electrical motor runs and can be visible through the exhaust vent, but any excessive arcing indicates a problem. If the carbon brushes are sticking, this will cause excessive arcing and can be corrected by an experience service person, but if there is any electrical failure, the motor would have to be replaced. There are no parts available for these motors and the expense of replacing an armature (the likely culprit) would be more than the motor. This could also be as simple as a worn belt, but usually, belts will not produce the smell your describing. When a motor is burning out, it will produce an acrid odor that will linger for a long time.