Why is My Sewing Machine Running Slowly?

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It is too trusting to sew on a sewing machine that runs slow. There are many reasons for a sewing machine running slowly. Let’s find out what causes this problem.

Why does the sewing machine run slow? Typical or most common reasons for a sewing machine are that it is jammed or needs lubrication.

Sewing Machine Running Slowly

Besides that, make sure the foot pedal & the cord are plugged in properly.

Also, it can be caused by a lint problem. Apart from these reasons, there are also lots of other reasons that cause the speed issue of the sewing machine.

Before we start discussing the solutions, we must acknowledge that there are many different brands of sewing machines are available in the market & it can be hard to give a completely adequate answer.

But in most cases, the reasons for the sewing machine running slowly remains the same.

Just follow the following solutions step by step to know what causes the problem. Hopefully, the compiled list of different solutions will help you to speed up your sewing machine again soon!

Here is What You’ll Learn

The First Step to Follow

First of all, you need to do is switch the machine to the bobbin winding position & run the machine at normal speed.

If the sewing machine is running fine then it means there is nothing wrong with the cord or foot pedal. The real problem lies within the machine.

Problems with the Foot Control Pedal

By checking the bobbin winding functionality, you also have checked another possible reason for the sewing machine running slow that is the bobbin winder being engaged.

On a few sewing machine models, the engine slows down when winding the bobbin. The step is to follow to make sure that the thread is applied correctly to the bobbin.

If not it can cause jamming. But on some new models, this will not be the case. You can call specific brands’ customer care via phone & they will help you out.

Also, some sewing machines like Brother, Bernina & Kenmore will sometimes have a manual speed switch on the machine.

If your machine runs slow, check the manual to make sure if there is a manual speed controller or not before trying other solutions.

1. The Thread Maybe Jammed

Sometimes your machine runs slowly because of the thread jamming. So, the next proper step is to make sure your thread isn’t jammed in any way.

You can also check it manually by using the manual wheel but please make sure your machine’s power chord is unplugged.

Thread Jammed

Now, look inside the bobbin case & inspect the entire thread line. Ensure that everything from the upper thread to the bobbin to the spool of the needle is running smoothly.

If it is not working properly & you are not sure, rethread the machine all over as there are many moving parts along with the thread line. Once, you made sure that the thread line is working fine you can move on to the next step to check.

2. The Sewing Machine Needs Lubricant

Sometimes sewing machine’s low speed might be caused by too many hours of use & it simply needs lubrication.

Or most of the time, maybe it has been a while since you have used your sewing machine. This would be easy & quick to check. Maybe you haven’t oiled your machine often & it simply needs a few drops of oil here & there.

The Sewing Machine Needs Lubricant

Also if you are using the wrong oil for lubricating the sewing machine, it can slow down the sewing machine. A sewing machine needs really thin oil you cannot use other types of oil.

If you have already made a mistake by lubricating with the wrong oil, clean it off with tissue paper or cloth. Now apply the machine lubricant a few times & wipe it off to remove the old oil.

When you think the old oil is completely removed, try to move the needle up & down manually a few times to make sure everything is moving at full speed again.

More Reasons Why Machine runs slowly

3. The Machine’s moving Parts are Dirty

Open up the machine’s shield to check the parts. IF you can’t open the shield check the manual to open it.

The Machine’s moving Parts are Dirty

Remove dust, lint & hair from under the needle plate. You can remove the lint with help of a pin or brush. But it is best to use a small vacuum to remove the dust & lint. After cleaning makes sure everything is removed correctly.

If you have cleaned the sewing machine in a while or the sewing machine has been stored in the closet or storage room for a while it can also cause the parts to be dirty.

4. Check the Electrical Cord

If the machine is not running. Check whether the cord is plugged incorrectly or not. If the cord is not attached correctly how can it get the power to run at full speed?

Note: This problem is faced especially for some Brother & Janome Models.

If the cord is inserted properly into the sewing machine then move on to the next step & take a good look at the prongs on the plug. If they are bent a little try to straighten it with a plier.

Once you have straightened the prongs the machine will start working at its normal speed.

If you have checked the entire mentioned steps one by one but still had no luck? Let’s move on to the last point.

5. Problems with the Foot Control Pedal

Push the cord in as hard as possible & make sure there is no dirt & dust inside. Try a little manual testing of the pedal to check if the pedal is not broken in any way.

When examining the foot hear the noise carefully to ensure you haven’t got dirt or dust inside the moving part. If you heard some noise just get a new pedal.

Point to be Noted
Some sewing machine models operate with the start/stop button instead of a pedal. Be sure to check that the function is not engaged.

If you think the pedal is broken, it is not the worst that can happen. A new pedal is very cheap. It can only cost you $25-50 to buy from a shop. So, that is a pretty easy solution.

If Nothing Else Works

When you have checked all the mentioned possibilities listed above & the machine still runs at a snail’s pace, you should consider taking it to the shop.

If you have a newer model then it can be both a mechanical problem & a computer error. Make sure to take your machine to a professional repair shop.

It will be best if you take it to the specific brand professional repair shop as they will be able to locate the problem pretty quickly.

If you have an old model, try to take your machine to flea markets to find old machines to change the spare part.

Doesn’t matter if your machine is new or old; always get a quote on the price before they open up the machine. So you know exactly how much the machine’s repair will cost you.


Robert Patricia

Robert Patricia is a data analytic and content creator. He has worked extensively with large data sets to glean insights for both public and private sector clients. He has used this knowledge to create compelling content for brands across the internet. Albert also enjoys creating content for websites and social media. He is an expert at creating catchy headlines and understands how to capture the attention of readers.

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