Do you think this could be fixed?

barb_roselover_inFebruary 1, 2014

I have a Kenmore embroidery machine that is probably 25 years old. I loved it, but one day, it just stopped. I worked and worked to no avail, so just left it. A day or two later, came back and it worked fine, but then after a short while it did the same thing. This time I went out and bought a cheaper Singer, but it certainly was not the same caliber as the Kenmore. My husband said it was probably the computer and it would probably cost more than it was worth to get fixed. It is still sitting in my computer room, and from time to time I have used it for a few minutes, but I am scared to trust it. Have any of you ever had this happen and do you think I cold possibly get it worked on without spending a fortune? Would appreciate your thoughts. Thanks for your time. Barb

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Afraid to use it? Why? It's not going to burst into flames!

You also don't say much about what it isn't "doing". Is it just not stitching at all? Does the needle move but not pick up the bobbin thread? Do the top and bottom threads tangle and lock up? Just "stopping" isn't much of a description.

So, for trouble shooting on your own, first make sure the bobbin winder spool is fully dis-engaged, and that the flywheel clutch is in the correct position. Sometimes the bobbin winder gets loose on an older machine, and will slip into the winding position.

I don't know this particular machine - but do you somehow have it in "Embroidery Mode", as opposed to regular sewing? That wouldn't be an issue on my Pfaff, but I have seen other machines where it is.

After that, clean everything, including removing the throat plate. Lots of lint can collect there. Clean between the top tension disks. Lint collects there also.

Get out your owner's manual and oil everything that should be oiled.

After all that, if there are still problems, take it in for an estimate. You don't know how much it will cost to repair unless you ask. If you do need a new machine, at least you'll know you've done everything you could to save the old.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2014 at 11:25PM
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it simply stops whatever I am doing. That is why I think it is in the computer if there is one in there. it stops listening to what you want it to do. I will try to find someone here in town that would work on it. We have no JoAnns or anything now, and it is a small town. Barb

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 1:41AM
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Doesn't sound critical to me.. Maybe a loose belt ( inside), a motor with a dead spot? I would have it ck'd out you have a local web site for buy/sell? Sometimes service people put ads there. Look in your classifieds for repair. Ask at your appliance store who they'd recommend. My Hancocks store takes machines in as courtesy and then calls a repairman to pick them up. You can find someone..just go on a search. If I loved my machine I'd certainly try to get it repaired. But maybe it is just tired after 25 yrs. nope, it is still repairable.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 8:07AM
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Take it too a good repair shop and have it checked out. You never know till it is gone over by the repairman. It may have something caught in it like threads or dust or whatever.
Don't give up until you hear from your service person. then you will know if you need to retire it and buy a new better version. Just my opinion.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 9:24AM
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I'd take it to a reputable repair shop, a real repair facility: not an add-on in a fabric store.

I've never had a machine repaired for less than $150. It's well worth it if you love your machine, and it's a good one to start with. I'd agree with cleaning and oiling everything you can, and give it another try before you take it in.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 11:09PM
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Make sure your pedal is working. I had an older Singer that started working intermittently, then quit. I needed a new pedal as the diaphragm in my old one gave out. There was nothing wrong with the machine.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 12:52AM
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My son thought I should go on line and put in the Model Number. I did that and the webpage for that Model 385. 19000 Embroidery Kenmore is no longer working. I did find out that they thought these were made by Janome with the number 5000. Is anybody familiar with this? Hope somebody can help me. Barb

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 10:06PM
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They are called "badged" machines--made by a brand company but for stores to sell with their own name on...sometimes an unknown name. Why don't you do a search of Janome 5000 models and see what you can learn..maybe can find a service manual to download that would show repairs that could be made.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 7:11AM
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Hi Barb,

I have a Kenmore 19001 embroidery machine. Probably the same as yours. Mine just wasn't stitching right, the embroidery looked terrible and sometimes it stopped in the middle of a design and I couldn't get it to start back up without shutting everything down and restarting it. And then of course, the design was gone and had to be reloaded and started over.

Anyway, I brought mine in to a repair shop, scared at what it would cost me to fix it. He said it was all just dirty in there. Years of lint had built up. And I would blow it out with a can of compressed air and he said that was the wrong thing to do. I just blew it into places it should of never been and packed it there. He cleaned it good and it runs like a dream! Cost? $65.00.

It's worth it to see what a repair man can do! You may be pleasantly surprised... like I was!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2014 at 5:22PM
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One time, a local (now defunct) quilt shop had a workshop about how to take care of your sewing machine. Among things I learned:

* Never use compressed air to clean out lint. Use a lint brush and maybe a toothbrush, but never use air.

* Get out your manual and see what it says about oiling it. For the older machines, you need to oil it. In some of the newer machines, don't touch it with a bottle of oil.

* Get your machines cleaned/maintained by a professional once a year if you use it a lot, less often if you are a once-in-awhile seamstress. The $65 it costs saves a cost of a lot more than that, years down the line.


    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 3:11PM
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actually, there is a small (very small) vac that can be used to suction out the junk (don't use compressed air). I think they cost less than $100.00

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 10:39PM
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Look under computer maintenance. Those keyboard vacuums work really well.

Have you considered taking it to a Sear's repair center? Kenmore is Sears and they do a pretty good job and making everything work again!

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 5:45PM
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Thanks, ladies, for all your comments. Our Sears is going out of business in May. They don't even have anything to do with sewing machines. I have heard of a local man who does repairs on sewing machines. I'm going to give him a try. You have convinced me. I had given up on the thought of getting it repaired, but I feel it is a much better machine than the flimsy Singer that I have. Barb

    Bookmark   February 10, 2014 at 11:58PM
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