Question about Sewing Machines

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Is the motor in my kenmore sewing machine bad?

I bought an old Kenmore sewing machine model 158.161. When I turn the hand wheel, all the parts move including the needle up and down. The light goes on. When I press the foot pedal, the motor hums but the machine does not operate. I do not know how long this 40 year old machine has been sitting idle. I had to buy a new foot pedal with AC cord because it did not have one. When I first plugged in the machine to the AC power with the cord I purchased, the machine operated with the foot pedal, but sluggishly. That is when I looked up the user manual on-line, found all the parts where it should be oiled and I put a drop of oil at all the designated points. Then I put a drop of oil in the two oil holes on the motor where it said to oil. I operated the foot pedal again, the machine operated for a few seconds, then quit. Now when I press the foot pedal, the motor hums, but it does not operate. I turned the machine over and saw a tiny bit of smoke come out of the motor for a second or two, then nothing. When I bought this machine all the attachments and bobbins that were in the box were rusty, though there is no rust on the machine itself. It is actually pretty clean inside and out. Do you think the motor is shot or do you think something is just jammed? Thanks.

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  • Master
  • 957 Answers

Will the motor run if you turn it by hand when the power is on

Posted on Apr 02, 2014

Testimonial: "William, Yes, when the power is on and I turn the hand wheel the machine operates but in a jerky manner and seems to be sticking on something because it stops and starts when the motor breaks the moving parts free. Do you think the moving parts need to be cleaned? Thanks for your help! Please reply."

  • william rodriguez Apr 03, 2014

    Yes that needs to be done. clean and oil everything that u can. Sometimes when the motor will run if you give it help may mean the brushes in the motor are worn out. \if cleaning does not do it for you then I would check the brushes

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

SOURCE: Singer 2638 - three "beeps" when the foot pedal is pressed

when I stiches any cloth the thread gets lose on backside of cloth or some times it breaks how to solve is problem I am not understanding please help me.

Posted on Feb 03, 2008

  • 323 Answers

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.
sewman7

Posted on Feb 16, 2009

  • 3741 Answers

SOURCE: Kenmore 158.1703 sewing machine - needle not going up and down

The machine sounds like it has threads caught in the bobbin area thus locking the machine up. Check in there and maybe you can pick them out with tweezers. They may need to be 'softened up' with a little oil before you can get them out!. also Please push the bobbin winder back to the left position and it will release the bobbin winder. Then you should be able to sew. If the needle won't move, you will need to tighten the turning wheel on the right side end of the machine. This should move your needle. Then you should be set to sew.
------This will help. Thanks please keep updated.please do rate the solution positively .thank you for using fixya

Posted on Jan 05, 2010

  • 1 Answer

SOURCE: Hand wheel hard to turn, won't sew

Machine wheel locked,what should I do?

Posted on May 18, 2010

  • 111 Answers

SOURCE: My Janome magnolia is 3

Try the process of elimination. Take out the needle, take off the needle plate, take out the bobbin case. Run the machine. Does if run full speed? You might have to let the machine run for about 5 minutes. If it runs slow or you hear it slow down, you might have a bad connecting link between the needle bar and the main shaft counter weight. They seize up sometimes. (Shop Repair).

Posted on May 04, 2011

Testimonial: "Thank you so much for your advice. I am taking to repair shop this week. It is a great machine. Thanks again~~Patricia~~"

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1 Answer

Kenmore sewing machine model 158-17031- motor runs well but think the clutch or something is stuck


Has it been oiled lately? If not, it could be seized. Old oil turns to glue and then varnish unless it is regularly maintained. Make sure to use only fresh, good quality sewing machine oil or liquid Tri Flow Synthetic Lube. Slowly rock the hand wheel and apply a couple drops every place where metal rubs against metal--no oil on belts, rubber, synthetic parts! If it is still resistant, direct hot air from a handheld hairdryer into the internal mechanism and repeat the process until things are loosened and moving smoothly again.

A sewing machine should be cleaned and lubed every 40 hrs of working time or every 6 months if not in use.

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My kenmore model 1318 just "locked up"; was sewing just great & all of a sudden, nothing


it's possible that a part has broken and the motor also could have went out,, it would be a good to have the machine checked

Dec 21, 2014 | Kenmore Sewing Machines

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The needle on my model 1315 Kenmore sewing machine wont go up and down.


try turning the bobbin in the opposite direction & see if that helps

Jul 30, 2012 | Kenmore Sewing Machines

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Sound like you need to take it out of bobbin winder mode. Suggest looking for a way to engage the clutch. Turn the center knob on hand wheel and or move the bobbin winding post back to postion.

The center hand wheel should move about 1/3 turn towards you to look it back into place.

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On my Kenmore sewing machine Model 1756 when I press the pedal the needle does not move. When I turn the hand wheel the needle does not move. any help out there? or is the machine done for


Disengage the sewing mechanism (like you are winding a bobbin)
If the motor runs fine that way then you have a machine that is frozen.
If that is the case take off the top, bottom, needle plate, needle bar and bobbin cover. Spray all moving parts down with Mean Green and let it sit for about an hour. After that blow it out with canned air.
See if there is any improvement. If so you just need to clean out all the old lubricants. Sometimes I take a hair dryer to loosen the sludge up.

Aug 26, 2010 | Kenmore Sewing Machines

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it sounds like the belt to turn the wheel broke

Dec 12, 2009 | Kenmore Sewing Machines

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Im trying to sell a Kenmore 117 - 959 but I can't get it to move. There is power to the work light, but Im stuck. Help!


If your gaskets are bad, the machine will not rotate. Can you move it by hand? If not then have you checked the gasket in the back of machine that comes in contact with the hand wheel? If it is making contact, this is what runs the machine and both the little black gasket and the hand wheel will spin when you rotate by hand. If the hand wheel is free spinning then it may need oiled. If you have a manual, try oiling the complete machine according to manual.

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My Kenmore sewing machine model 385.15212 is stuck in the needle down position. I have cleared the threads and cleaned the bobbin area. Tried to force the hand wheel, but it won't go, and don't want to...


I doubt it is a motor problem but it is too jammed up to turn the motor-you are right not to force it. Take out all of the bobbin parts again and leave them out. Now unscrew the needle and while lowering it, into the needleplate hold it tightly and remove it. Clear all thread from the machine and it should now move freely.
Reassemble the bobbin parts and reinsert a new needle being careful to insert it fully and correctly.

Jun 11, 2009 | Kenmore 15212 Mechanical Sewing Machine

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hi there,
push or pull hand wheel clutch to engage
motion of needle and shutter.

if not check belt on downside of hand
wheel open cover motor,loosen bolt cover
see belt check if engage on pulley by
holding hand wheel move belt if
hand wheel move,if not tighten screw on
pulley from hand wheel and moter.
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Apr 03, 2009 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Kenmore 385-16627 slowing down--where do I oil?


Sears carries manuals for most Kenmore machines.
http://homeappliance.manualsonline.com/manuals/mfg/kenmore/385_10.html

If your machine is computerized, oiling could be damaging if done improperly. It may be worthwhile taking it for service.

http://www.searspartsdirect.com/partsdirect/part-model/General-Parts/Humidifier-Parts/Repair-Maintenance/Questions-Answers/Kenmore-385.-12116690,-hand-wheel-stuck/Model-45/0431/0913000/335765?modelNumber=45

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