vintage sewing machine and thread

Many of the most common problems with sewing machines or vacuum cleaners can be taken care of with a simple tune-up at Jones Sew & Vac. Other issues could indicate that it might be time for a total machine replacement. But how do you know which is which?

We all wish for a seamless experience with our machines, but problems can arise even with the best of the best. Whether it’s broken thread or a vacuum cleaner that sucks, we are here to help you diagnose the most common issues you are likely to encounter with sewing machines and vacuums.

Common Issues With Vacuums and Sewing Machines

There are a few areas with both machines that a little bit of TLC and maintenance can take care of. You can either take care of these don’t-stress problems yourself, or bring them into us for a worry-free tune-up.


woman with vacuum cleaner

Loss of Suction

A loss of suction may seem like a catastrophe, but before panic mode sets in, there are a few things you should try first.

If it’s a bagged vacuum, make sure the bag is empty, intact, and has no holes. A bagless model should be emptied and the seals should be checked for integrity. Next, check the filters. Clogged and dirty filters will reduce airflow and suction. Your filters should be clean and dry.

If you still have problems, there could be debris somewhere in the line that is reducing airflow. It’s part of good maintenance to break down your vacuum for cleaning on a regular basis. Clear the hoses, the beater bar, and look for signs of air leakage– dust will accumulate there.

If basic maintenance doesn’t solve the problem, it may be time to call in the professionals for repair or replacement.

The Brush Stops Moving/Smells of Burnt Rubber

Your carpet is agitated by a beater bar to loosen debris, and this beater bar is usually turned via a rubber belt that connects it to the unit’s motor. Broken belts happen, though, a burning smell can cause some concern.

Always turn your vacuum off when anything unexpected happens.

Belts are easily replaced. Let us know the make and model and we can help you find the right belt. We’ll even help you install it if you aren’t confident with the procedure.

While a broken belt is the most common reason for this problem, it isn’t the only thing that can cause it. A problem beyond the simple fix of belt replacement could mean it’s time for a new vacuum.

Vacuum Shut Off/Overheating

Have you ever had your vacuum shut itself off during use? Most vacuums have a safety device installed that prevents the motor from getting so hot that it starts a fire. There are a few things that can lead to a machine regularly getting hot enough that it trips the emergency shut off.

Check the line for clogs. Built up dirt around the air intake, exhaust, or somewhere in the line can lead to the unit getting too hot. Look for debris directly around the motor.

Also, inspect the filters. Dirty filters result in poor airflow, which means the motor has no way to cool off. Poor lubrication or worn parts within the motor itself can mean it’s time to bring it in for repair or replacement.

Sewing Machines

vacuum cleaner repair guy

Many of your most common sewing machines issues can be resolved with simple maintenance or repair. Persistent issues can indicate mechanical failure that may need professional repair or replacement.

Fabric Misfeeds

It can be very frustrating when fabric won’t feed correctly. The presser foot provides pressure so that the feed dog can work properly, so it must be low enough. However, if it’s too low, then the fabric won’t feed correctly either and will jam.

If the settings are correct, make sure the machine is clean. Dust and debris (you’d be surprised what can get in there) can prevent the feed dog from raising and lowering. If you are still having consistent problems, it might be time for a professional look, and possibly a new machine.

Thread Tension

Usually, you shouldn’t need to manually adjust the disks that control thread tension. But if you’ve performed proper maintenance and you still have frequent thread breaks, tangles, or bunching, then perhaps the tension and timing are off.

You can adjust the upper tension of your machine, but if the problem is with bobbin threading then it is time to have it looked at.

Excessive Noise

Don’t operate your machine when it’s making noises that it shouldn’t. Banging and grinding indicates a problem, so unplug and inspect. The most common issues are related to maintenance and cleaning; lint and dust can accumulate in the machine and moving parts should be properly lubricated.

If you’ve eliminated this as a problem, have the Jones professionals take a look at it. We’ll help you determine which mechanical problems are worth fixing and which indicate need of a replacement.

Is Your Sewing Machine or Vacuum on its Last Legs?

threading sewing machine needle

While a lot of the most common problems with household tools can be taken care of with a simple tune-up, some have problems that are beyond saving. Just as with vehicles, even some issues that can be repaired aren’t always cost effective.

The experts at Jones Sew & Vac are here to help you find your next sewing machine or vacuum. You can get your hands on the wheel of many of the best models available and take them for a test drive right in our store.

We want to help you find the right product for your needs, and that’s why we offer in-house, no interest financing. You can take home the vacuum cleaner or sewing machine that you want rather than settle for less than your heart’s desire.

For the love of vacuums and embroidery!

Jones Sew & Vac Team