How to replace a sewing machine belt

Written by ruth o'neil
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The one thing on a sewing machine that needs the most repair work is the belt. The sewing machine belt is a piece of rubber that makes the wheel turn and the needle go up and down in a sewing motion. If the belt is in bad shape, the sewing machine will not work. Sometimes while sewing you may notice a burnt rubber smell. When you smell this, you know it is time to change the belt. Changing a sewing machine belt is fairly easy; just make sure you have the proper belt.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Instruction manual
  • Screwdriver
  • Small bowl
  • New belt

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Unplug the sewing machine from the electrical socket.

  2. 2

    Remove the side of your sewing machine using the screwdriver. Put all the screws in a small bowl so they will not get lost while you are working.

  3. 3

    Take the belt gently off the wheel, which should be easy, especially if the belt is broken. Remove the belt from the hand wheel first and then from the gears at the bottom of the machine.

  4. 4

    Check your sewing machine's instruction manual for which type of belt your machine uses. Copy down all the numbers and letters to use as a reference when purchasing the new belt.

  5. 5

    Place one end of the new belt over the hand wheel. Pull the belt down until it reaches the gears and carefully slip it into place.

  6. 6

    Turn the hand wheel a few times to ensure proper installation of the belt. Make adjustments to the positioning of the belt on the gears and wheels if necessary.

  7. 7

    Replace the outer covering for the sewing machine and use the screwdriver to put the screws securely back in place.

Tips and warnings

  • The model numbers of the sewing machine belt are located on the belt itself, so if you cannot find your instruction manual, you may be able to read the numbers on the belt.
  • There are some universal belts on the market. Most of the time these belts work fine, but finding a belt that is specifically manufactured for your particular sewing machine is always the best choice.
  • If you remove the side of your sewing machine and cannot see the belt, you have an internal belt. If this is the case, take your sewing machine to a professional to have the belt replaced.
  • New sewing machine belts are hard to stretch over the hand wheel and the gears. You may need to use the end of a screwdriver to help you manoeuvre it into place in a way that saves injury to your fingers.

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