Kenmore Sewing Machine Model 158 Problems & Solutions

Sewing machines break down all the time and Kenmore sewing machine model 158 isn’t free from this either. It doesn’t matter how reliable the brand may be, things often go haywire with the machinery. The smart thing to do as a sewist is to learn some handy quick fixes to make your way through these difficult times. 

One of the great things about sewing machines is the user-friendly aspect because you can easily troubleshoot many issues all by yourself. In this article, we are going to share some of the common problems that your Kenmore Sewing Machine Model 158 can run into and some quick solutions to navigate through them. 

1. Kenmore Model 158 Stitch Problem

Perhaps you have purchased a Kenmore 158 recently and are excited to get going on a new sewing project, but as we mentioned earlier, problems lurk on the way. One of the common problems, especially with novices, is of bobbin getting tangled, and soon after they change and reload the bobbin, the machine won’t work properly. Some users report being able to sew merely 6 or 8 stitches and then ending up with a huge knot-type stitch (under the plate) and the machine would simply jam again. 

Although you may be feeling exhausted and stumped after trying everything in the manual, there is hope! It is usually an issue with how you have inserted the needle in the machine shank or the placement of the bobbin. So, try to place a new needle and make sure that the flat side is correctly in place. Once you have done this, go ahead and rethread the machine, then reinsert the bobbin as per the instructions in the manual. 

2. Issues with Bobbin Spinning

This is another problem that often troubles sweists, especially the ones who are just starting out in this field. Interestingly, there may be several different reasons for issues with bobbin spinning. 

The simplest way to resolve this issue is to clean the bobbin and surrounding area. Once you are done with cleaning, check the machine to see if the problem persists. If the issue remains, then double-check if you are using the right type of bobbin and whether it is installed correctly or not. 

With Kenmore machines, sometimes the bobbin would stop spinning if the thread isn’t winding as it’s supposed to. While at other times, it isn’t a problem with the bobbin at all and solely because of a threading issue or a worn-out needle. Moreover, if it’s something that’s happening because you forgot to tighten the bobbin case, then all you have to do is to tighten the case up!

3. Bobbin Not Catching Up

Well, this is another issue that relates to the one we have discussed previously. So, the first obvious step that you need to take is to thoroughly clean the bobbin area and the whole machine. After this, you have to double-check if you threaded the bobbin in the right manner because bad threading happens to be the main cause of bobbin catching issues. 

Make sure that you have placed the bobbin in the right manner. You should also check the winding spindle because that needs to be correctly installed and pushed into the perfect position before the bobbin starts catching. 

4. Kenmore Machine Not Turning On

So, the first thing that you have to do to resolve this issue is to check if you plugged it at all! Don’t feel bad because this is a common error and after hours of overwhelm and panicm, one finds out that it wasn’t a problem at all. If you can’t figure out where to join the power cord with the machine, consult the manual that must have been with the packaged product. 

If the power cord wires are all joined but your machine isn’t working, open it up and see it the wires are loose. In case of loose wires, simply tighten them a bit and check once again. However, if nothing obvious works, then the next thing you need to do is to find out any broken or burnt wires and then replacing them. With the computerized versions, make sure that you shutdown the machine for a while and then restart it. 

5. Unable to Get a Perfect Zig-Zag

This problem usually happens because of frequent wear and tear. Your Kenmore machine must have been worn out enough that it no longer is giving you the perfect zig-zag pattern because of hindered needle movements. In order to test for this issue, try moving the machine wheel manually and then observe if the machine is functioning normally or not. 

It is also possible that this issue is happening because of the hook, that makes needle movements, isn’t catching up to the cam. However, you cannot fix this on your own and you need a professional here. Another reason for the loss of zig-zag movements could be the inappropriate timings. It is quite possible that the hooks are stuck and require WD 40 to get moving again. 

6. Unable to Reverse or Stuck There!

Usually, the most obvious reason for the absence of reverse stitch fluidity is that the gear has suffered some breakage or there may be something wrapped around it. This is another issue that you should not try fixing yourself. The smart thing to do is to leave this to a professional repairman. 

If your Kenmore machine is in reverse and stuck there, the first thing that you should do is to ensure whether there is a spring attached to the reverse button or not. If the spring seems to be misaligned then you should definitely be replacing it as soon as possible. 

In order to change the spring, you will have to remove the machine cover and press the reverse button to observe whether the gears have proper functioning or not. If you have some trapped grease in the cam or gears, you can use a hairdryer to blow out the lubricant. After that apply the lubricant again and check the gears function. 

7. The Foot Pedal Isn’t Working Appropriately

It is quite possible that the foot pedal may not working properly because of an anomalous gap between the contact points. All you need to do is to shorten that gap, through a screw that’s present right on top of those contact points. 

It is also possible that the foot pedal malfunction is because of a damaged conductor. In this situation, you need to replace the old damaged conductor with a good one. Since foot pedal isn’t a complex part of this equipment, you would easily asses the problem and fixing it all by yourself shouldn’t be an issue either. 

8. The Machine Isn’t Advancing Fabric

If this is happening, you have to check the stitch length first. If the stitch length is fixed at ‘zero’, it may be the reason of this problem. All you need to do is to turn up the dial and check if the issue has been resolved or not. 

In case the issue persists, you have to now double check the feed dogs because it is quite possible that they are at an improper height and may be unable to manage the fabric. To resolve this issue, you can easily readjust the height and then test to see whether the issue resolves. In addition to this, check if the feed dogs are loose. If so, simply tighten them up a bit and you should be good to go. 

9. Kenmore Sewing Machine Getting Jammed

Well, if this is an issue that you are struggling with, you have to first switch off the device ad unplug it. Next, you should raise the presser foot with the lifter and then raise the needle via the handwheel. If you observe that the needle isn’t moving at all then you have to check by manually moving the machine wheel back and forth. If that doesn’t solve the problem, move on to the next step. 

The next step involves cutting the thread between the needle and the fabric that you are stitching. Then you have to pull the thread until you have enough of it. After this, open the Kenmore machine and find the place where your bobbin is. Now cut the tangled threads in front of that portion and remove the bobbin to ensure everything is in order. Now you have to place the bobbin back in its case and put everything back in place. You will need to rethread the needle and also re-adjust the tension but once you are done, everything should be working just fine. 

The Bottom Line!

Kenmore 158 machines are not only heavy-duty sewing equipment but they are also very affordable. This line of sewing machines is in the market since the 1970s and has made its mark. If you are looking on how to troubleshoot this machine all by yourself, you definitely require a detailed user manual or get in touch with an experienced professional repairman. This machine is definitely a gem and if you can have the issues resolved, it’s worth the effort and time.



I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *