Singer Sewing Machine Needle Won’t Move – How to Fix?

Let’s be honest there is no one reason why your Singer sewing machine needle won’t move. As time passes, your sewing machine becomes old with dust and rust. It is only fair to expect sluggish behavior from the needle. If your needle is stuck in one place, you are in need of a bit of help.

This brief guide is about some of the reasons why your singer sewing machine needle may not be moving smoothly. We will also discuss how to counter these issues to get a new sewing experience from your machine.

Why Singer Sewing Machine Needle Won’t Move?

You should try out a few simple things before jumping to the technicalities. Chances are that there is nothing complicated happening with your Singer sewing machine. Instead, it could be a minor issue becoming a nuisance in an otherwise smooth sewing experience.

Firstly, try to push or pull the needle. At times it gets stuck temporarily due to incomplete mechanisms. If that doesn’t work, you can always go to an expert and get it fixed.

At times, the pieces of thread may also get stuck in the bobbin, and it jams the entire sewing system. A simple way to fix this issue is by removing, cleaning, and then replacing the bobbin back. Once you do this, the needle movements will be back to normal.

Similarly, there are other minor issues, such as problems with lowering the presser foot. Singer machines do not work until the presser foot is down. So you will need to check that too.

Another critical thing to keep in mind is to try cleaning your sewing machine regularly to avoid minor hiccups in performance. Moreover, you should also oil the machine’s internal parts to make it work smoothly.

However, it is quite possible that even after following the basic maintenance and troubleshooting tips, your Singer Sewing Machine runs into other issues related to needle immobility. But, these issues can also be fixed quite easily. We have discussed some of the most commonly occurring issues related to needle immobility in Singer Sewing Machines. 

1. Broken Drive Belt

At first, you may want to look for a broken drive belt because that is a common cause of needle jam in sewing machines. A driving belt is part of the internal construction of the machine that joins the motor with the handwheel and the upper side of the shaft.

The basic function of a drive-belt is to keep these parts connected as the motor runs and allows the up and down motion of the needle without any obstruction. So when the drive belt is broken, the hand wheel becomes jammed, forcing the needle to stop moving.

Here’s the Quick Fix!

While the drive belt is an integral part of the sewing machine, fixing it is a piece of cake. All you need to do is replace it with an identical drive belt. It will be easy to find a Singer sewing machine drive belt in the market as the brand is still widely in use.

The deal here is that you must only buy an identical or manufactured approved drive belt, or else you can never forget your needle from moving. 

2. Disengaged Clutch

This is also one of the primary reasons for needle jamming in your Singer Sewing Machine. A disengaged or disconnected clutch becomes even more problematic if you have a broken drive belt. 

However, there is no need to panic about it because the disengaged clutch is a common issue and can easily be fixed as well. Usually, the clutch is disconnected in order to wind the thread on the bobbin, and after that, it is re-engaged.

Here’s the Quick Fix!

Before sewing, you have to check out if the clutch is properly engaged or not. If it is not engaged properly (which is likely because your needle is not moving), you can unscrew the clutch, put it right on the shaft, and tighten the screw properly.

After you have completed the steps of this ‘fix’, make sure to check the movement. If it still doesn’t work, you can remove and rotate the clutch at 180 degrees and then see the results.

3. Drive Gear Failure

Your sewing machine has gears, either metallic or non-metallic. They function for the smooth running of fabric below the foot and needle. When the drive gear fails to work or malfunctions, it hinders the regular needle movement. 

Here’s the Quick Fix!

Unfortunately, you can’t simply fix the drive gear by yourself. You will need to hire a professional sewing machine technician to restore the gear or install a new one according to your need.

4. Incorrect Needle Insertion 

So, this is an interesting situation when you think about it for a moment! If you just got your sewing machine serviced and your needle won’t move, chances are the needle hasn’t been put back in the right way. 

Usually, it impacts the movement of the needle less than it impacts the effects of the thread. For example, the thread will keep breaking if the needle is wrongly inserted. You can fix this issue right away without breaking a sweat. 

Here’s the Quick Fix!

Re-insert the needle in the right way. Check if the needle is high or low and fix it. It is simple and will correct the needle movement. You can test if the needle is right by turning the wheel. If the needle goes completely down, it is in the right position.

5. Dull Needle

Needles are usually made of steel which is hard to rust, but nevertheless, they do become dull with time. Moisture also keeps wearing the overall quality of the needle. And before you know it, the needle is ‘dull’ or ‘slightly rusted’. 

Dull needles may also be a result of mishandling or lack of cleaning on your part. However, let’s move towards fixing the situation. 

Here’s the Quick Fix!

Changing your needle from time to time is a good idea. You have to be careful while selecting the right needle because many low-quality ones are in the market. 

While reinstalling a needle, ensure it is made from stainless steel because that way, it will last long. Other than that, make sure the size of the needle is accurate and compatible with what your sewing machine always had. 

Maintenance Tips

In addition to the basic and advanced troubleshooting, there are a number of other reasons that would make the needle hard to move. To ensure the smooth functioning of your sewing machine, you need to exercise due care and attention. Brighten up because we have some bonus maintenance tips for your Singer Sewing Machine that will be quite handy for keeping your sewing machine in good running condition. 

Firstly, you need to keep the machine oiled at all times. While oiling is underrated, it certainly keeps the internal system from jamming unannounced. 

Another reason is wrongly placing the parts in the machine or leaving the screws loose. This would eventually result in poor needle performance. 

You also need to be careful about cleaning the sewing machine regularly and keeping it free of dust particles. Dust often accumulates over the machine, and some particles may lodge inside the machine. Gradually, they damage the machinery and pose hurdles in their smooth running. To avoid this from happening, dust your sewing machine at least once every week and keep it covered when you are not using it.

Change the needle before it is damaged. Usually, you should change a needle once you complete a big sewing project. You would want to buy a new needle for every project in case you don’t want to mess it up. This is because different projects require different fabrics, and not every needle is perfect in size and weight for every fabric. So be vigilant in this regard.

Make the servicing an annual task. Don’t just take your machine to anyone but to an expert technician for servicing and repairs. It may cost you a bit extra, but it is a great investment for the long run, especially if you have a sewing business.

The great thing about Singer sewing machines is that they have their own technicians who know exactly what your machine needs. You can trust them with their knowledge of your sewing machine, and they will keep your sewing machine perfectly working for you. So, whenever you feel a bit overwhelmed with these issues and don’t want to troubleshoot yourself, you can always call for help. 

The Bottom Line

So, there is no need to feel overwhelmed when your Singer Sewing Machine needle stops working. Instead, look for potential issues and think about a quick and simple fix. Start by checking internal and external factors that may cause an issue. Then, clean the machine, change the needle and see how the sewing machine restarts afresh. 

If you want your sewing machine to last longer, you may want to keep it oiled and dust-free at all times. In the end, it all comes down to how good you are at maintaining your sewing machine. Remember, maintenance with all machinery is crucial to keep it functional.


Hello, I am Jessica Flores, and you are welcome to my website. I am a professional fashion designer and a seamstress. I always carried a passion for craftwork. My love for craft grew along with time. I have spent years researching and practicing in this field to gather colossal experience.

Leave a Reply

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