Sewing machine troubleshooting guide

Many users think the machine has broken down when they first experience trouble. This is easily corrected with this sewing machine troubleshooting guide that could save you time, trouble and money.

Simple adjustments the sewer can do

Machine binds, locks or noisy.

Probable Cause

  1. Thread or lint caught in race. Possible machine run without sewing fabrics

  2. Bobbin case inserted incorrectly

  3. Feed or darning indicator wrongly set

  4. Lack of oil


  1. Many users think the machine has broken down when they first ex­perience a “cotton jam”. This is easily corrected. Turn to the section of your instruction manual which tells you how to remove and clean the shuttle and race. Follow directions carefully and when you have removed the shuttle. Thoroughly clean the race (into which shuttle fits), the race cover and the shuttle itself. Be careful not to score or damage the shuttle or race these are precision-ground parts. Before re-assembling put one spot of oil on your finger-tip and rub this around the outer edge of the shuttle. Do not over oil. Now refit shuttle and race cover as described in your instruction book

  2. Refit bobbin case as shown in instruction book

  3. Set these as described in your book>

  4. Oil as advised in instruction book

Upper thread breaking content goes here.

Probable Cause

  1. Machine wrongly threaded

  2. Tension too tight

  3. Needle Wrongly fitted

  4. Bent or damaged needle

  5. Using wrong thread

  6. Thread wound around spool pin!


  1. Refer to threading instructions in

    your instruction book

  2. Turn tension knob left to loosen

    upper tension

  3. Your instruction book will tell you

    how to fit the needle properly

  4. Replace with new needle

  5. Refer to needle and thread chart in

    instruction book

  6. Release thread from spool pin

Lower thread breaking content goes here.

Probable Cause

  1. Bobbin wound unevenly

  2. Too much thread on bobbin

  3. Bobbin case wrongly threaded

  4. Bobbin case tension too tight

  5. Bobbin bent


  1. Remove thread and rewind evenly

  2. Remove excess thread

  3. Refer to threading diagram in

    instruction book

  4. Rarely needs adjusting-but refer

    to tension instructions

  5. Replace bobbin

Needle Breaking content goes here.

Probable Cause

  1. Bent or damaged needle

  2. Material too thick for needle

  3. Pulling material

  4. Machine set to zig-zag when using straight stitch foot and needle plate (Refers to swing needle machines only)

  5. Pattern cams left in machine (Refers to swing needle machines only)

  6. Swing lever (zig-zag) moving while needle in work (bending needle) (Refers to swing needle machines only)

  7. Needle not pushed up to stop screw in needle bar (Make sure the needle is deep enough)


  1. Fit new needle

  2. Refer to needle and thread chart

  3. Never pull material when sewing, just guide it

  4. Ensure swing lever (zig-zag) set for straight sewing

  5. Remove pattern cams from machine

  6. Ensure needle clear of work or pressure foot raised when using swing (zig-zag) lever

  7. Loosen needle clamp, push needle up to stop screw and make sure not dirt is trapped

Missing or irregular stitches content goes here.

Probable Cause

  1. Needle wrongly fitted

  2. Using wrong needle or thread

  3. Top tension slack

  4. Machine wrongly threaded

  5. Bobbin wound unevenly

  6. Feed dog too low

  7. Insufficient pressure on presser foot

  8. Pattern cams left in machine (Refers to swing needle machines only)


  1. See instruction book, fit correctly

  2. Refer to needle and thread chart

  3. Increase tension

  4. Thread correctly. See instruction book

  5. Rewind bobbin

  6. Raise feed. See instruction book

  7. Increase pressure. See instruction book 

  8. Remove pattern cams from machine

Material Puckers.

Probable Cause

  1. Tension too tight

  2. Stitch length too long

  3. Bent or blunt needle

  4. Thread too thick


  1. Loosen. See instruction book

  2. Reduce stitch length

  3. Fit new needle

  4. Refer to needle and thread chart

Material will not feed through machine.

Probable Cause

  1. Feed set to “‘Darn”

  2. Fabric indicator set to “‘Darn”

  3. Darner released (upper position)


  1. Set to “Normal”

  2. Set to correct type of material

  3. Engage darner (lower position press down)

Bobbin winder will not turn or winds unevenly.

Probable Cause

  1. Oil on pulley rubber (slipping)

  2. Cotton wound around spindle


  1. Remove oil with clean cloth

  2. Remove cotton from spindle

Electric motor fails to operate.

Probable Cause

  1. Fused plug

  2. Faulty connections


  1. Check fuses

  2. Have connections checked by a qualified electrical worker

Sewing machine troubleshooting guide

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