Pfaff Sewing Machine Repair and Troubleshooting Guide (2023)

Pfaff sewing machines have been among the best machines in the world since the 19th century. But even these remarkable machines are sometimes in need of repair! The next time your sewing machine has problems, you'll want to learn the basics of Pfaff sewing machine repair.

Repairing a Pfaff sewing machine can involve simple cleaning, basic parts replacement, and lubrication. Tension adjustments, stuck needles, and darned feet sometimes also need fixing. Computerized machines also sometimes have trouble downloading new software.

In this article you will learn what Pfaff sewing machines are and why they are so different. You'll learn how to fix eight common repair problems and how to deal with old Pfaff repairs. Finally, you will also receive tips on how to find a certified Pfaff dealer in your area.

quick navigation

  • What are Pfaff sewing machines?
  • Troubleshooting Pfaff Sewing Machines: 8 Common Problems
  • Repair of old Pfaff sewing machines
  • How do you take apart a Pfaff sewing machine?
  • How do you set tension on a Pfaff sewing machine?
  • Pfaff sewing machine repair instructions
  • Spare parts for Pfaff sewing machines
  • Pfaff sewing machine dealer near me
  • How much does it cost to maintain a Pfaff sewing machine?
  • Conclusion

What are Pfaff sewing machines?

Pfaff sewing machines have earned an excellent reputation since the end of the 19th century. Modern Pfaff machines are often equipped with the latest technology, including embroidery or quilting software. Many seamstresses still valueold pfaff machinesBuilt with precision engineering that still works today!

Georg Pfaff founded this legendary German sewing machine company in 1862. He built the factory so skillfully that it sold six sewing machines in its first year to 1,000 in its 10th year.

Like many inventors who became CEOs during the industrial revolution, Georg Pfaff and his team developed many technological innovations. This helped make the company a name. The excellent quality of Pfaff's machines also made a big impact.

Pfaff remained a family-owned company for nearly a century. However, that era ended in the 1960s when the company finally went public. Years later, the company that owns Singer also bought Pfaff.

The Pfaff brand still exists today. But not Pfaff as a company. It is owned by SVP Worldwide.

The good news is that you can still buy new Pfaff sewing machines. At least if you can afford it! These high-end machines usually come with a lot ofhigh price tags.

(Video) Pfaff Select 4.2 8 Cleaning & Maintenance

Many seamstresses claim that Pfaff makes the best sewing machines in the world. Either way, they offer stiff competition to other high-end sewing machine brands like Bernina and Janome.

Troubleshooting Pfaff Sewing Machines: 8 Common Problems

Pfaff Sewing Machine Repair and Troubleshooting Guide (2)

Of course, as any seamstress knows, all sewing machines occasionally need repairs, even Pfaff's high-quality, sophisticated models. However, if you know what common issues to expect, you can prepare yourself to deal with them and move forward.

Understanding basic sewing machine repair and troubleshooting before you find yourself in a giant tangle of threads and fabrics will help you enjoy your cozy sewing time. If you have a stuck or broken needle, you'll simply remember how to fix it and get back to sewing!

However, before you dive in, take a look at these two quick cautionary tales.

First, if you have a newer Pfaff sewing machine, it probably has a warranty. This means that Pfaff undertakes to repair the machine under certain conditions and supply spare parts. You should read the fine print on the warranty and find out what you can do yourself and what problems you should contact a certified technician to avoid voiding your warranty.

Second, read your sewing machine's manual before attempting repairs. Consult your owner's manual for advice specific to the specific Pfaff model you own. Each model is unique, so be sure to follow the instructions in your owner's manual!

1. The sewing machine does not turn on

Nothing is worse than sitting in front of your fancy sewing machine with fabric in hand, only to find your machine won't turn on! This could indicate a serious wiring issue that requires professional attention. That being said, you might as well try some simple fixes before giving up.

  1. Disconnect the plug from the wall and try plugging it into a different outlet. A fuse may have blown or the connector may have come loose!
  2. Check the connection where the cord connects to the sewing machine. This often comes loose, especially if you've recently used your machine for heavy sewing.
  3. Take a look at your machine. Turned on but the light didn't come on? This could simply mean that you need to replace the small bulb in the upper sewing light.
  4. If your machine turns on but doesn't sew or do anything, you may need to check the foot control. First, disconnect the pedal cable and reconnect it to the machine. If that fails, turn the pedal over and look for loose wires inside.

2. Stuck needle or sewing machine

One of the most common sewing problems is a stuck needle or sewing machine. This problem can have many causes, so follow this helpful checklist until you find a solution.

  1. The needle often refuses to go up and down when incorrect threading creates a huge tangle of threads under the fabric. To fix this, carefully remove the fabric and use scissors to cut the tangled thread. Then re-thread the machine after lifting the presser foot and turning the sewing machine off for safety!
  2. Sometimes the needle can get stuck or jammed if it cannot penetrate the thickness of the material. Canvas, leather, upholstery fabrics, and multiple layers of fabric around the neck or waist often cause this problem! In this case, you can try using a different type of needle, but you may also have too much fabric for the machine.
  3. Another major cause of sewing machine jams is tension problems. For more information on correcting the tension settings on your Pfaff machine, see the Tension Troubleshooting section later in this article.
  4. Check your spool and make sure there are no loose threads or lint catching your work there. To avoid this problem, you should always remove and reinsert the bobbin case when threading the sewing machine!

3. The steering wheel is stuck

Your sewing machine handwheel looks like a large knob on the right end of your sewing machine. Turning this wheel manually raises the needle bar. Unless, of course, something blocked the steering wheel!

A non-rotating handwheel often has the same causes as a general sewing machine jam described above. By far the most common cause is a tangled wire caused by improper threading.

However, sometimes you can find other causes, including:

  • Your sewing machine may have overheated. Pfaff sewing machines have powerful motors. Many newer models have a built-in shut-off feature that allows the machine to refuse to sew if it gets too hot inside. In that case, turn off your machine and let the poor thing rest!
  • You probably take good care of your expensive Pfaff sewing machine, but make sure you clean it well just in case! It's always possible that lint buildup has blocked a moving part.
  • A broken belt can also cause the steering wheel not to work. In this case, the balance wheel can turn, but the needle does not go up or down. You can replace the sewing machine belts yourself, but this is a rather complex mechanical process. You might want to visit a repair shop and get help!

4. Lubrication problems

Some Pfaff sewing machines require periodic lubrication with sewing machine oil to keep all moving parts turning smoothly. If your machine has not received the necessary lubrication, it may stop working or make loud grinding noises.

However, remember that most newer Pfaff models are self-lubricating and do not require lubrication. Pfaff list themcurrent models that need oil hereHowever, you should always check your manual to see if your model requires oil.

(Video) Pfaff 1473 CD Evaluation and repair

If you have an older machine or one of the newer models that needs oiling, follow the instructions in the manual to find out exactly what needs oiling and how often the oil should be applied.

Follow these general guidelines for oiling your machine.

  1. Clean the machine well. It doesn't do much good to drip oil on a coat of fluff!
  2. Tidy up your work area by removing any fabric or thread that could damage it and opening the sewing machine as instructed in the manual.
  3. Make sure your oil is suitable for your Pfaff machine. It doesn't matter what else you read online, cooking oil, WD40 or car oil is not going to help your sewing machine! You should use sewing machine oil with the right light consistency.
  4. Apply a small drop of oil to each area and let it absorb. You may have to be ready with a clean cloth to wipe off the drops. If you can remove a part like the bobbin case before oiling, remove it to see what you're doing!
  5. If possible, avoid getting oil on the needle, needle plate or other areas that may touch the fabric while sewing.
  6. When you're done, run a strip of cheap muslin through the machine and check the fabric for oil stains. That way you know it's safe to use your machine again!

5. The spool does not rotate

You may encounter different types of spool issues that cause the spool not to spin or appear to get stuck.

  • Do you have the bobbin and bobbin holder that came with your Pfaff machine? Otherwise, you may have the wrong size or type of spool. try to buyauthentic pfaff coils, although they cost a little more!
  • Another common cause of spool problems is on the outside of the spool. If you have a bent, blunt, or broken needle, it could hit the wrong places during shutdown and cause problems with the spool. Try to change the needle before every new project or after every ten hours of sewing. Also, be sure to use the correct type of needle for the fabric, as a stuck needle in thick fabrics can also prevent the bobbin from turning.
  • Likewise, although less likely, any dents or scratches on the spool can prevent smooth rotation. Even Pfaff coils don't cost that much, so when in doubt, just change them!
  • Finally, it may be necessary to adjust the coil tension. Try to pull the entire mango off the spool by holding the end of the line and letting go of the mango. If the thread unwinds smoothly, the tension is probably good, but if not, you may need to adjust the bobbin case screw in small increments to tighten or loosen the tension.

6. Problems with the pedal

Sometimes the sewing machine pedal, which works like a car's accelerator pedal, can have problems such as overheating or a burning smell. Follow some basic steps to troubleshoot your pedal.

  1. Lift the pedal and make sure you don't see any loose wires inside it. This doesn't happen very often, but you probably want expert help for any wiring related issues!
  2. Try sewing for a few minutes, then lift the pedal to see if it's hot. Your pedal can overheat for a variety of reasons, including sewing too slowly for an extended period of time or accidentally placing your foot on the pedal causing it to almost turn on for an extended period of time.
  3. If the pedal only works super fast and not slow, you have lost the ability to regulate the electrical current coming from your sewing machine. This is another specialist visit issue! (Unless you want to learn how to add a new electrical component to your pedal, in which case do so!)
  4. If the pedal clicks or clicks, you may just need to adjust your pitch. If the noise disappears quickly, don't worry! If it persists, the inside of the pedal may have absorbed moisture and it may need to be left in a dry place for a while.

7. Problems updating Pfaff software

One of the biggest problems with using a new Pfaff machine is learning how to install or update software. Newer Pfaff sewing machines, as well as newer quilting and embroidery machines, often have access to MySewNet, which you can use to register your software. This allows you to log in and download updates when new features become available e.g. B. a new bow.

These sophisticated machines are powered by computer programs that tell the machine and needle how to create intricate embroidery designs, among other things! But you know how your smartphone notifies you that you need to update your IOS from time to time? Those sophisticated computer-controlled sewing machines sometimes need the same thing!

Pfaff makes it easy to update your software after you register your purchased software and log inYour MySewNet account🇧🇷 All you have to do is click on the Smart Update menu to get started.

However, learning to use and update the software can present a steep learning curve for those more used to powering sewing machines. you can contact us at any timePfaff Customer Servicehelp.

8. Problems with darning the foot

Learning to set up your Pfaff machine correctly when using the darning foot is also a challenge. One of the cool things about many Pfaff models is the ability to allow free motion sewing, which means lower feed dogs and special presser foot adjustments.

What is free motion sewing or darning? This means that you direct the movement of the fabric under the needle, rather than letting the conveyor pull the fabric for you.

To prepare your Pfaff machine for darning, you can use the darning foot, but be sure to set the darning or sewing foot in the special middle position when raising the lever.

(Video) How to Fix Pfaff Bobbin Hook Shuttle Jam

In normal sewing, you either have the presser foot all the way down so it catches the fabric, or you raise it as high as possible to have enough room to thread the material in and out. Most Pfaff models also have a special mode in between these two extremes, and this is where the darning foot should be for free motion sewing.

At the beginning of this process, you must also uncouple or release the feeders. Consult your manual for instructions on how to do this on your specific model.

Repair of old Pfaff sewing machines

Vintage Pfaff sewing machines require the kind of basic maintenance, lubrication and mechanical repairs that you would find on any vintage sewing machine. However, these older models are still very popular with seamstresses today as they are very robust machines. Many older Pfaff models were originally manufactured and sold for home business and home use.

Because of this, some of these older machines came to be classified as semi-industrial. You can sew through multiple layers of canvas, leather, or upholstery with ease! They have powerful engines and heavy metal parts.

This means that if you can find an old Pfaff machine at a reasonable price, go for it! If he seems grumpy or broken, don't give up. With a little TLC you can probably get it working again.

Take a look at these tips to help you repair and maintain your vintage Pfaff:

  1. Things like bobbins and sewing feet have changed over time. Make sure you get vintage accessories that exactly match your model. Your manual should list what type or "grade" of coils etc. will fit on your machine, but many online sewing groups also offer helpful advice in this area.
  2. Pay attention to any wiring. Look for cracks in the plastic casing around the wires and stop everything if you see a spark! Old wiring often requires professional help.
  3. Clean, a lot! All-metal sewing machines probably need regular lubrication, and it won't do any good unless you get the lint and dust off first.
  4. If possible, use the tools provided for repairs. If not, find a sewing machine repair kit or carefully match your screwdriver to the screws.
  5. Older machines often have winding sets that look very different from modern machines! Check your manual and make sure you have set up all parts of this reel correctly.
  6. Another thing you might not know is that plugging in an old machine means it's on! Many older machines don't have an on/off switch like modern machines do. This means you should always unplug your machine when you're done sewing.

How do you take apart a Pfaff sewing machine?

Different models of Pfaff have unique parts that need to be disassembled differently, but most of the time you can follow a specific sequence to disassemble the outer casing of the sewing machine.

  1. Take pictures with your phone before taking anything apart. You might think you remember what went where, but this little tip will save you a lot of trouble!
  2. Use the screwdriver that came with the machine (or a small eyeglass screwdriver) to loosen the screws that secure the front and top covers. Store these screws carefully in a small bag.
  3. Remove the front and top boxes. On some models, the top box or front box can be raised on the arm on the hinges.
  4. Carefully turn the machine over and remove the screw in the middle of the bottom.
  5. Now look at the right side of the case. If you pull it down and towards you, this cover should come off the flywheel.
  6. You can remove any remaining screws from the bottom to remove this case. This usually gives access to things like the drive belt and engine.

Your manual may contain instructions for specific disassembly steps. Remember, Pfaff wants you to take your machine to the technicians for repairs, rather than trying to fix it yourself! This means that the company may not have provided as much information about the teardown as you would like.

If you need a more visual guide, you can usually find a helpful YouTube channel partner to show you how to disassemble your Pfaff model. Simply enter the model number to see instructions specific to your model.

How do you set tension on a Pfaff sewing machine?

One of the most common sewing problems is inadequate tension. This can cause seams to come undone, stitches to be skipped, or even the thread to get tangled under the fabric!

You're probably tired of hearing this by now, but as always, check your manual for specific instructions on how to set the voltage. Some computer-controlled models also allow you to make voltage adjustments via the touchscreen, although the basic concept of raising or lowering voltage numbers remains the same.

To set the upper thread tension on your sewing machine:

  1. Always rethread the machine first! Also, be sure to raise the presser foot before threading the sewing machine. When the presser foot is lowered, the thread cannot slide correctly between the tension discs.
  2. Set the top voltage to 4 or 5, the default voltage setting. If you see loops or knots on the top edge of the fabric, or if the stitches pucker when sewing on the normal setting, you need a lower thread tension. If you have tangled threads or weird seams on the bottom of the fabric, you need more tension!
  3. You should also be aware that many types of sewing require specific tension settings. For example, the top seam may need different tension settings than a zipper panel. Of course, each tissue type also reacts differently and also requires unique tension settings.

Pfaff sewing machine repair instructions

Your Pfaff sewing machine manual contains important information on how to set up, clean and service your machine. No matter what kind of sewing machine you have, you should read the instruction manual before trying to use it!

This is especially true for a computer-controlled machine. You need the manual to learn how to use the touchscreen or LCD panel, how to install software, and many other computer-based tasks.

(Video) CLIENT PROJECT SERIES #9: It's Not Always What You Think it Is! Troubleshooting the Pfaff 1222E

When you have a new Pfaff machine, this important booklet comes with it. If you purchased a used Pfaff machine, you can contact Pfaff Customer Service for assistance. That said, the company generally only provides fairly up-to-date manuals.

If you have an old Pfaff, you'll probably need to buy a pattern from Etsy or eBay, or join an online sewing forum to see if someone has your Pfaff pattern and can share the pattern with you.

Spare parts for Pfaff sewing machines

Finding replacement parts or accessories for a new Pfaff machine is child's play. Just visit your local retailer, check out the Pfaff website, or try a third party likeSewing Parts🇧🇷 The proliferation of this brand makes it easy to find what you need!

If you have an old Pfaff sewing machine, you'll probably have better luck looking for the part you need on Etsy or eBay. Just be sure to plug in your specific Pfaff machine model to find the right part!

Pfaff sewing machine dealer near me

Pfaff sewing machines have a good reputation and are still so popular today that it's easy to find a Pfaff dealer near you. You can contact these dealers to find certified technicians to fix a machine that is still under warranty or buy a new Pfaff sewing machine!

Just visit the Pfaff websitehere, enter your zip code and see the list of resellers near you.

However, as a precaution, you should contact a Pfaff-certified repair shop if you are under warranty. If your machine is not under warranty, you have a little more freedom to simply visit your local sewing shop.

How much does it cost to maintain a Pfaff sewing machine?

Most Pfaff-certified repair shops charge an average of at least $100 just to check your sewing machine. Modern Pfaff machines have sophisticated computers and complex parts, so you can understand why trained technicians charge so much for repairs.

In addition, you often have to pay for the necessary spare parts. Also, some technicians charge by the type of repair, but many charge by the hour, like a mechanic working on your car.

Alternatively, you can learn enough about your Pfaff to do most repairs yourself. You still need to buy the necessary spare parts. You might also want to spend a lot of time doing research or even taking online courses before trying this.

Is it worth spending so much money to fix your Pfaff? At least nine times out of ten, yes! Pfaff machines cost a lot, and you don't want to throw that expensive machine away for a repair fee of a few hundred dollars.

However, there are some exceptions to this rule. Mechanical Pfaff machines will run forever. Literally for decades! It is almost always worth it to make necessary repairs to a mechanical or older Pfaff model.

Computer-controlled machines may or may not have a long service life. Because technology is evolving so quickly, some computer-based models are rapidly disappearing, like the old Pfaff machines that ran on a floppy disk. You probably don't want to pay for repairs on that particular model!


Pfaff sewing machines offer advanced technology and a wide range of sewing functions. Although Pfaff sewing machines have an excellent reputation, they sometimes require troubleshooting such as: B. Correcting the tension settings. Other common problems are stuck needles or stuck steering wheels.

(Video) Sewing Machine Problems: The Most Common Issues

Newer computer-controlled Pfaff models may require regular software updates. You may also need to troubleshoot foot darning and free motion sewing. Older machines need regular maintenance and lubrication to function fully.

Do you have a Pfaff machine? What do you like to sew with it? Leave a comment below to let us know!

(1) Shared under oneLizenz Creative Commons (BY-SA)
(2) Mike Beer, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons


1. Pfaff Hobbymatic Sewing Machine: It's Noisy And I Don't Know Why
2. Thread Tension & Troubleshooting | Sewing Machine Basics
(Paige Handmade)
3. Sewing Machine Won't Stitch, Won't Pick Up Bobbin Thread, How to Fix Hook Timing
(Technical Hands)
4. Pfaff 1222 sewing machine timing repair
(Jane C)
5. 1222E Evaluate and repair-Brubaker's Sewing in Pennsylvania
6. How to adjust sewing machine hook timing
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Tish Haag

Last Updated: 03/09/2023

Views: 6515

Rating: 4.7 / 5 (67 voted)

Reviews: 82% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Tish Haag

Birthday: 1999-11-18

Address: 30256 Tara Expressway, Kutchburgh, VT 92892-0078

Phone: +4215847628708

Job: Internal Consulting Engineer

Hobby: Roller skating, Roller skating, Kayaking, Flying, Graffiti, Ghost hunting, scrapbook

Introduction: My name is Tish Haag, I am a excited, delightful, curious, beautiful, agreeable, enchanting, fancy person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.