DIY sewing machine repair

Sewing machines can come in handy to hem that pair of pants you just bought or replace a zipper. If you're sewing machine isn't acting like you expect it to—maybe the thread keeps breaking in the bobbin, the machine skips stitches or it won't run at all—Sears PartsDirect has the troubleshooting guidance you need to get your machine humming again.

Click on your machine's symptom below to see what can cause the problem. Look up electronic sewing machine error codes on our error code charts and follow the troubleshooting steps to clear the code and get back to sewing. For help replacing parts, follow the step-by-step instructions in our sewing machine repair guides.

Tips on our sewing machine articles and videos page can help you avoid sewing problems or troubleshoot common failures. To find the owner’s manual or a complete list of replacement parts for your sewing machine, search for your model number.

Sewing Machines

Symptoms common to all sewing machines

Choose a symptom to see related sewing machine repairs.

Main causes: disengaged clutch, broken drive belt, internal drive gear failure
Main causes: thread bunched up in the shuttle race, bad needle timing, internal drive gear failures
Main causes: power supply failure, bad power cord, faulty On/Off switch
Main causes: faulty foot pedal, locked drive gears, wiring failure, bad drive motor
Main causes: machine needs lubrication, internal gear failure
Main causes: dirty shuttle race, improper thread routing, incorrect thread tension
Main causes: problems with the feed dogs, setting stitch length to 0
Main causes: dirty shuttle race, wrong thread tension, bad needle timing, damaged needle, using the wrong type of needle
Main causes: lack of lubrication, lint buildup, worn drive belt, faulty drive motor

Repair guides common to all sewing machines

These step-by-step repair guides will help you safely fix what’s broken on your sewing machine.

April 1, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a sewing machine drive belt

You can replace a broken sewing machine drive belt in about 15 minutes.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
April 1, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a sewing machine drive motor

If the drive motor on your sewing machine runs roughly or doesn't run at all, you can replace it in about 30 minutes using these simple steps.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
April 1, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a sewing machine on/off switch

If the sewing machine is completely dead, replace the On/Off switch using these 6 steps.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less

Articles and videos common to all sewing machines

Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your sewing machine.

January 18, 2016

How to use a multimeter to test electrical parts video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Learn how to use a multimeter to check for wiring problems in an appliance that's not working

April 1, 2015

Sewing machine common questions

By Sears PartsDirect staff

These answers to common questions can help you make the most of your sewing machine.