Sewing Machine: Runs sluggish

Lack of lubrication, lint buildup, a worn drive belt or a faulty drive motor can cause the sewing machine to run sluggish.

Clean and lubricate the sewing machine regularly (at least yearly) to prevent drive gears from sticking and causing sluggish needle or feed dog movement.

Check the drive belt for wear because a worn drive belt can slip—causing sluggish drive system movement.

If the drive motor makes noise when running, then a worn bearing may be preventing the motor from driving the belt smoothly. Replace the motor if it’s noisy and not running smoothly.

These repairs may help solve your Sewing Machine problem:

Replace the sewing machine drive belt

Drive belt

The drive belt transfers motor rotation to the hand wheel and upper shaft. If the belt breaks, the hand wheel won't move and the bobbin-winding spindle won't spin. Examine the drive belt and replace it if it's worn or broken.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Replace the sewing machine motor

Drive motor

The motor drives the belt, which spins the hand wheel and upper shaft. Replace the motor if it won't run when activated by the foot pedal.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Oil the sewing machine

Feed dogs

Oil the machine at least once a year. If you use the sewing machine frequently, oil it every 3 months. The machine runs sluggish or knocks loudly if you don't oil it regularly. If the sewing machine is idle for an extended time, oil it before sewing. Follow the directions in your owner’s manual to oil the sewing machine. Wipe off any excess oil to avoid staining your fabric when sewing. Clean dust and debris from the machine while oiling.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Clean the sewing machine

Shuttle race

Clean lint and debris from the shuttle race every 3 months because it often attracts lint and dust. Clean the feed dogs at the same time because they also attract lint and dust. Clean those areas more often when using the sewing machine regularly. Oil the sewing machine after cleaning.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.