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What Causes a Vacuum Motor to Get Really Loud?

Updated February 21, 2017

Most vacuums produce a loud noise when running. However, over time, the vacuum can develop a very loud noise in a certain part of the vacuum. A really loud noise in a vacuum cleaner is not only annoying but is also an indication of a major problem in the vacuum cleaner. The loud noise from the vacuum often comes with heavy vibrations. The problem with the vacuum depends on the area where the noise comes from.

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Broken Fan

A noise that comes from the vacuum motor suggests that there is a broken fan in the motor that the owner needs to replace, which occurs when dirt goes through the motor of the fan instead of bypassing it. You will need to replace the broken fan with a new fan.

Broken Brush

If the loud noise comes from the brush area of the fan, the fan likely has a broken brush bearing in the brush roller. You will need to replace the entire brush on the vacuum. However, the noise might also happen near the brush when there's something wrong with the body of the vacuum where the brush connects to the vacuum, which suggests that you will need to replace the entire vacuum.

Stone in Brush

If the vacuum has a rattling noise, the vacuum might simply have a small stone within the vacuum brush. Fortunately, the stone will often fall out when you shut off the vacuum. If not, you can pluck it out with your fingers.


When the vacuum produces a whistling noise, the vacuum is often blowing air over a very narrow area in the vacuum. This narrow area often comes from a crack in the extension hose or can also occur when a leaf or garment gets trapped in the suction hose. Gently pull the object out to avoid damaging it or the vacuum.

Broken Motor

If the vacuum has a constant grinding noise, that noise usually indicates a problem with the vacuum motor or the vacuum fan. If the fan is broken, you will need to replace the fan. You can tell if the fan is broken if the fan has a jagged edge, which prevents the fan from smoothly blowing air through it, instead causing the air to strike the fan. One reason why the motor breaks is that the bearings do not have enough lubrication. If this is the problem, you must not use the vacuum until you have the bearings repaired since the bearings will otherwise overheat and melt through the plastic casing, causing major damage.

Vacuum Wheels

Intermittent grinding noises come from a problem with the vacuum wheels. The owner might need to replace the wheels.

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About the Author

Charles Pearson

Charles Pearson has written as a freelancer since 2009. He has a B.S. in literature from Purdue University Calumet and is currently working on his M.A. He has written the ebooks "Karate You Can Teach Your Kids," "Macadamia Growing Handout" and "The Raw Food Diet."

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