Vacuum Cleaner: Why does my vacuum cleaner shut off suddenly?

A damaged vacuum hose, clogged motor air filter or bad suction motor can cause the vacuum cleaner to shut off during use.

A tripped overload on the vacuum suction motor can shut off the vacuum cleaner during use. If your vacuum has a reset button, push it; if the vacuum seems hot, let it cool off first. If the suction motor continues to trip the overload, you may need to replace the motor because the motor windings are bad. Bad windings could be causing the motor to overheat and trip the overload.

If the motor compartment has a motor air filter, check the condition of the air filter because a dirty filter can cause the suction motor to overheat. Clean or replace the motor air filter if it's dirty.

A damaged suction hose on a canister vacuum can cause the suction motor to shut off because the suction hose has integrated wires that carry current from the power switch to the suction motor relay. The suction motor will shut off if a wire loses continuity as you move the damaged hose during vacuuming. Replace the vacuum hose if it's damaged and an internal hose wire loses continuity during vacuuming.

vacuum cleaner



Replace the vacuum suction motor

The suction motor rotates the fan that creates suction by moving air from the intake at the cleaning head to the dirt collection chamber. If the motor doesn't create suction or doesn't run at all, replace it.

Vacuum suction motor

Find the required part specific to your product.

July 1, 2013By Lyle Weischwill

How to replace a vacuum suction motor

If your vacuum loses suction and the hose and nozzle aren't clogged, the vacuum cleaner might need a new suction motor. The suction motor could also be the problem if the vacuum won't run at all. This easy-to-follow repair guide explains how to replace a canister vacuum suction motor in 30 minutes or less.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less

Replace the vacuum hose

The vacuum cleaner hose is constructed of reinforced vinyl. It sometimes has wires integrated into the hose. If the hose is torn or the integrated wires are broken, replace the hose.

Vacuum hose

Find the required part specific to your product.


Replace the vacuum motor air filter

The motor air filter traps dirt and debris from air circulating through the motor compartment to cool the motor. The filter prevents damage to the suction motor. Replace the motor air filter when it's dirty; in most vacuums, it can't be washed and reused.

Vacuum motor air filter

Find the required part specific to your product.

Symptoms common to all vacuum cleaners

Choose a symptom to see related vacuum cleaner repairs.

Main causes: damaged vacuum hose, clogged motor air filter, bad suction motor
Main causes: broken drive belt, damaged brush roll, tripped brush roll motor overload, bad brush roll motor, wiring failure
Main causes: lack of power, bad power cord, drive motor failure, wiring failure
Main causes: weak suction motor, vacuum bag is full, clog in suction air path, dirty exhaust filter, leaky vacuum hose

Articles and videos common to all vacuum cleaners

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

January 29, 2015

Appliance repair DIY: what to know before you begin

By Sears PartsDirect staff

See what things you should do before beginning a DIY appliance repair project.

January 5, 2015

10 must-have tools for appliance repair

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Come see which tools made our top 10 must-haves for DIY appliance repair.

July 1, 2013

Vacuum common questions

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Find the answers to frequently asked questions about vacuum cleaners.