How Do I Oil My Kitchenaid Mixer?

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How Do I Oil My Kitchenaid Mixer?
The KitchenAid 4.5 Quart Mixer in stark relief. (Food mixer image by Foto Factory from Fotolia.com)

Vintage KitchenAid stand mixers, before the mid 1980s, go decades without requiring any lubrication. When lubrication is required, it's with grease rather than oil. KitchenAid packs grease into the planetary area, as well as the attachment housing in the top front of the mixer case. KitchenAid uses Shell Darina #2 grease, but more economical and easier to find alternatives are available at auto parts stores. A light coat of oil is best for some gears within the KitchenAid, but if oil should seem to be leaking from a KitchenAid mixer, it is because the old grease has separated.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • Plastic baggie
  • Rubber band
  • Small flathead screwdriver
  • Drift punch
  • Medium flathead screwdriver
  • Philips screwdriver
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Rubber mallet
  • Wheel-bearing grease
  • Nut driver
  • Small hammer

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Instructions

    Taking Apart the KitchenAid Stand Mixer

  1. 1

    Wrap the mixer's wall plug in a plastic bag, and secure it with a rubber band, which is a safety measure to ensure that no grease gets on the plug.

  2. 2

    Remove the two Phillips head screws at the back of the mixer to release the metal band that runs around the mixer. Use a Phillips screwdriver for the screws on back of the mixer. Lay the mixer on its side with a towel or cloth underneath the mixer to protect both it and the work surface.

  3. 3

    Remove the groove pin that holds the planetary gear assembly to the centre shaft. Use a 5/32-inch punch to remove the groove pin, thus allowing you to remove the planetary assembly cover. Pry the planetary gear cover down and off the shaft using two flat screwdrivers. Unscrew and remove the five screws on the perimeter of the gear assembly which hold the internal gear assembly to the gear case. This area will be repacked with grease upon reassembly.

  4. 4

    Unscrew and remove the four large screws that secure the base to the top portion of the mixer. Use a large Philips screwdriver. Remove the attachment hub bevel gear from the gear case and motor housing by pulling it out of the attachment hub. The attachment hub is the topmost portion where the silver KitchenAid cap covers the hub for KitchenAid attachments.

  5. 5

    Pry the planetary gear cover down and off the shaft using two flathead screwdrivers.

    Re-lubricating the KitchenAid Stand Mixer

  1. 1

    Clean out the gear case. Remove any and all old grease from the gear case, using a putty knife and/or screwdriver to scrape out the old grease. Pack the gear case with six oz. of new grease.

  2. 2

    Remove the three Phillips head screws from the worm gear assembly that secures it to the top housing. Lift out the worm gear assembly. The shaft and pinion has 11 teeth on the K45SS; on all other models, it has 10 teeth. Check the worm gear, the shaft and pinion. Lightly oil or grease it. Drive out the groove pin with a punch so that you can replace the gears if necessary.

  3. 3

    Pack the attachment housing with new grease. Use a plastic spatula or putty knife to fill the grease in the housing.

    Reassembling the KitchenAid Stand Mixer

  1. 1

    Reassemble the gear assembly, being sure to replace the fibre washers where they originally were located. Also reassemble the worm gear, shaft and pinion.

  2. 2

    Place the worm gear assembly and bearing bracket on the gear case bottom cover, making sure the two dowels fit into the base of the bearing bracket. Securely tighten the three screws that hold the bearing bracket.

  3. 3

    Clean the gasket cover of the gear case. Replace the gasket cover by securing it over the dowel and pressing the gasket down.

  4. 4

    Reattach the top and bottom mixer sections, being careful to line up the shaft in the upper gear housing. Do not force the pieces together; they should assemble easily. Return the internal gear to the gear case cover. Replace it by aligning notches with the holes in the gear case and screwing in the five screws to secure it. Be sure the teeth of the internal gear are filled with new grease.

  5. 5

    Secure the top and bottom mixer sections with the four large Phillips screws. Reassemble the planetary gear housing, being sure to lightly grease the shaft and all gears. Attach the reassembled planetary housing to the mixer by driving in the groove pin that secures it and replacing the drip cup on the gear case.

Tips and warnings

  • Wheel-bearing grease may cost as little as £2 per tub and is far more economical than many food greases that are offered for re-greasing.
  • All planetary gear assemblies in KitchenAid stand mixers are the same with the single exception of very early K5SS models that had a lead weight.
  • Leaking oil in a KitchenAid mixer is not good. It means the grease has separated, and it's time to remove the old and regrease the mixer with new grease. KitchenAid stand mixers do not use oil.

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