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Doesnt always switch gears & clicking noise

My 5 qt. kitchen aid mixer doesnt always switch gears. Consequently when I need it most, it hasnt got the strength to do things like whip egg whites ar knead bread dough. There is also a clicking noise that comes and goes. Any sugesstions?

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Hi LEEMOSHER. You don’t indicate your specific KA mixer model, which limits possible solutions options, but I’ll give it the old college try!
When you say ‘switch gears’ I assume what you really are referring to is changing the speed setting. There is only one set of gears, but 10 speed settings, which make the beater turn faster. From your description of the symptoms, I suspect your mixer’s speed control board is having issues and should probably be replaced. Since I don’t know you model number, I can only provide you general instructions.
The inspection and troubleshooting of the inside of your mixer is a DITY capability, particularly if your mixer is out of warranty. Just be sure to have the Parts List manual on hand. If you're lacking one, you can download a PDF version from the KA website at: http://www.kitchenaid.com/flash.cmd?/#/page/home.
Click on Customer Care>Locate Manuals & Guides> Enter the 6 character model number and select a file listed under Parts List. Some models will have multiple files. Download one and check to ensure it matches your mixer model. If it doesn’t match, continue to look at other manuals until you find the correct manual that does match.
Depending on your model, locate the Governor Assembly and Control Plate Assembly on the pages titled: Motor Control Parts, or Control Assembly on pages titled: Case, Gearing and Planetary Unit. The illustrations provide an exploded view for the disassembly and reassembly of your mixer’s components, along with all the parts.
First inspect around the controller assembly to ensure all the wire connections are OK. It's possible a connection has come loose. Unfortunately the whole controller assembly is fabricated on a little PC board which was not meant to be 'home fixed', and my 'expertise' ends there. A local small appliance repair shop should be able to determine if the controller assembly is functioning properly or not, or you can just order replacement parts without the testing.
As far as parts go, here are four potential vendors in no particular order: RepairClinic.com; mendingshed.com; searspartsdirect.com; partstore.com. Prices for the same part can vary widely between vendors, so do your comparison shopping.
Without a clearer description of your clicking noise; i.e., when it occurs, where is the sound coming from, I’m at a loss to explain. However while your mixer is apart would be an ideal opportunity to check for any other unseemly wear and tear on the gears, etc., and you might discover something out of place that is causing the clicking. It can be messy but quite gratifying to diagnose and repair your mixer yourself.
Here are some links to several excellent websites that detail the disassembling/reassembly of a KA Mixer.

Between these three websites and their excellent pictures and descriptions and your Parts List manual, you should now be able to completely disassemble and reassemble your mixer.
If you feel troubleshooting and repairing is beyond your capability, then I would seek out a local small appliance repair shop in your area. KA Customer Care can give you names of local KA authorized repair shops in your area, but you can also do an online search to supplement what KA may provide you. Call to explain your circumstances and find out their hourly rate and get an estimate of what they think it would cost to repair your mixer. Also, always obtain three or more estimates – do some comparison shopping.
Good luck and have fun. I hope this helps. Howard, Burke, VA

Posted on Dec 11, 2009

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