Sewing Machine Help--Squeaky, Whistling Sound

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Original Post

A couple days ago, I started getting this squeaky, whistling noise when I sew on my machine, and I'm wondering what that could be. I hadn't oiled it since I got it back from its tune up last year, so I oiled the top of it and I still hear that noise...maybe I need to lubricate the motor?

I'd love to take it in for another tune up, but can't as I can't really go without it during the busy season and it took about 2 to 3 weeks last time. I do have a backup machine, but dont have total confidence in it.

Posted at 12:38pm Nov 9, 2010 EST


BTW, the machine in question is a Singer 301A.

Posted at 12:38pm Nov 9, 2010 EST

I do some sewing around the house. No expert here, but I would get my pipe cleaners and manual and give it a good cleaning. Then I would change out my needle in case it has a burr. Also, make sure the thread is mounted correctly. If the cut in the top of the spool is catching your thread, it could cause a problem. Hope you figure out what's up.

Posted at 12:49pm Nov 9, 2010 EST

I also probably need to oil the bottom of it too.

Posted at 12:58pm Nov 9, 2010 EST

It kind of depends on where the sound is coming from. I've had a couple instances with odd noises similar to what you described on my Viking.

If it's coming from around the presser foot/bobbin case area, it might be the step motor (which advances the fabric by driving the presser foot). If this is the case, you should clean out the bobbin area and see if some random bits of thread have wrapped themselves around the foot mechanism, which could be making the step motor strain to move.

If it's coming from the top cabinet, you might look for similar errant thread wrapping that is creating tension that's straining the motor. I had a squeaky sound coming from the upper drive after a lot of free-motion quilting, and discovered a wad of thread had wrapped itself around the drive and was constricting the movement, making the motor squeak.

You have to get the cover off to see if that's the case, so just make sure you don't void a warranty by opening it up.

Posted at 1:01pm Nov 9, 2010 EST

I also get a weird sound from my Brother serger at times, I know I need to give it an oiling though.

Posted at 1:17pm Nov 9, 2010 EST

BKemporium says

I had this problem with my new Brother machine. I called the dealer and she told me to buy a can of compressed air to blow out stray threads. I tried this and now I use it on all my machines. Great fix and really cheap.
I hope this helps.

Posted at 1:29pm Nov 14, 2010 EST

crochetgal says

Sounds like it needs a good cleaning. I'd pull out the manual and see what kind of service you can do yourself.

Those old machines, if properly maintained, will run forever. I've got one of about the same vintage and it runs like a charm!

Posted at 1:53pm Nov 14, 2010 EST

My vintage Kenmore made a ear-piercing squeak until I completely dismantled it and oiled every single part that moved. Then I ran it at full speed for about 2 minutes to get the oil into all the parts. It just hums nicely now.

Posted at 5:41pm Nov 14, 2010 EST

Hi I m a trained sewing machine mechanic, A squeeking sound inside the machine, very common and could possibly be from a need for a service. Seeings how you cant take it in here are some do's and don'ts to help. Basically you are going to do a mini service at home with my help.

1. Do not put oil on the motor or near any of the belts. This will cause slipping and you will have no power. Also old motors can spark so keep the oil away, we wouldn't want any fire (I have burned my eyebrows off once because I got to close to a running singer motor with oil.

2. You are allowed to unscrew the top plate and the bottom plate. You can take off the plate that the presser foot rests on and look in the feed dogs that come up through that plate to see if there is any lint build up down there. Visually inspect for thread build up. The best way to handle this is by blowing out the whole mechanism with an air compressor or a can of air. This will delint the machine and expose any bound thhrads.

3.Now, change the needle and check to make sure needle is in correctly. Take out the bobbin case and look for lint inside the bobbin case. after this is out, go get machine oil from home depot or lowes. I prefer tri-flow. Avoid WD-40 and penetrating oils as these will remove the good grease instead of re-lubricating the machine. You will run the machine spraying all visible moving parts and eventually you will hear a reduction in noise. Stay away from motor again as you do this. Now the open top is sprayed, the needle holding bar and surrounding mechanism is sprayed. The hook and the mechanism that holds the bobbin case should be sprayed. Also, spray the mechanical parts beneath the machine.

4. Get air compressor and blow out excess oil. Can of air can work also. Make sure tension springs and anywhere thread runs is free of lint. Blow had on the upper tension spring.

5. Because you have not toughed any tension screws you should be able to reassemble and start sewing where you left off. If you need tension work please let me know.

6. Don't be afraid to take the plates off the machine and clean and oil, you wont hurt your machine and if you get into a bind the sewing store can usually help. This is basic oiling if you have trouble with the tension, bobbin winder or anything else let me know my email is etsy store is Feel free to heart the shop and convo me anytime.

5. Re-assemble

Posted at 6:14pm Nov 14, 2010 EST