Elna Sewing Machine Troubleshooting (Fix & Repair Guide)

Knowing how to do minor repairs is always a plus when it comes to sewing machines. Even though they are finely tuned machines, amateur repairmen can still do every day and common fixes to keep those machines running like they are supposed to.

Being handy helps make your sewing time go smoothly. Even f you own an Elna sewing machine your quick fixes can keep you on schedule and sewing like a champ. Learning how to fix common Elna problems is not wrong and makes your day go better.

To learn how to handle common Elna sewing machine problems just continue to read our article. It has the instructions you need to handle small repairs and save you a little time and money. The first step is to make sure you buy sewing machine oil only.

Common Elna Sewing Machine Problems

The first thing you need to learn is that not all sewing machines are the same. There will be slightly different procedures depending on the model of your machine and if it is a serger or not.

The good news is that all sewing machines seem to have the same common problems so the source of the problem is easy to find. The reason you buy sewing machine oil as your first lesson is because that is the only oil you should use with your Elna or another sewing machine.

Here is a list of some common problems you may face with your Elna sewing machine:

  • 1. It is dirty - simply do regular cleaning to avoid this problem interfering with your sewing.
  • 2. Lubrication - if you do not oil the sewing machine regularly you will run into bigger problems later on.
  • 3. Mis threading - this happens to the best of sewers and at the worst of times. Simply re-thread your machine
  • 4. Noise from your sewing machine - usually if you have cleaned your machine it means that your bobbin or bobbin case is loose. Re-insert both to stop this from taking place.
  • 5. Stitch problems - these come about when your bobbin or machine is not threaded correctly, your tension is off or your needle is bent or broken or the wrong one
  • 6. Thread breaking - this usually takes place when your tension is too tight. Readjust your tension and try again.
  • 7. The sewing machine doesn’t sew - you may have a power cord, foot pedal problem, loose or frayed wires or you failed to turn the machine on or put the needle in wrong. Check those issues and take care of them if they are the problem.

Elna Bobbin Problems


One of the common problems in this area of your Elna sewing machine is that too much thread is piling up in the bobbin area. This happens when the thread fails to loop properly around the bobbin when the machine is operating.

Stop what you are doing and raise your foot. Then cut away the fabric to expose the bobbin area. Open the bobbin cover and remove the bobbin. You will have to cut the thread to remove it completely.

Make sure to cut the bobbin thread on the outside of the compartment and remove all the thread you see along with any dirt. Then reassemble the bobbin and re-thread it. After that start all over.

If you have a loose bobbin or bobbin case double check to see if you inserted either correctly. If you haven’t, pull both out and reinsert till you hear them click into place.

Elna Bobbin Not Turning

This problem may be due to the fact you are either not using the right bobbin or you are not using an Elna bobbin that is made for the machine. These minor differences can stop your bobbin from turning and create sewing problems for you.

All you have to do to fix this issue is to replace the bobbin with the correct one. Next check to see if your bobbin is right-side up. It is possible to put the bobbin in upside down. To fix this minor issue just take the bobbin out and put it in the right side up.

How do you tell if the bobbin is upside down? If you see only 2 little holes on the bobbin then you have it in backward. The top of the Elna bobbin has many little holes in it.

Then make sure the thread is threaded through the clasp correctly.

Bobbin Winding


The following instructions are for the Elna 1010 and serve as an example only for other machines. First, plug your sewing machine in and turn it on. Next, put a spool of thread in its place and move the needle all the way up.

Now hold the balance wheel and pull the stop motion knob in your direction until it clicks into place. After that pull the thread through the cover thread guide making sure not to cross the thread over itself.

Then take the thread over to the bobbin winder thread guide, winding the thread over that without crossing the thread. Pick up your empty bobbin and insert the thread end through the hole from the inside to the outside.

Place the bobbin on the bobbin winder spindle with the thread up and lock the winder in place. Hold the thread and slightly push your foot pedal so the bobbin winds. Stop this process for a moment and trim the thread end close to the bobbin and then continue winding the bobbin.

The process should stop automatically once the bobbin is threaded. Remove the bobbin from the winder trim any excess thread and place the bobbin in the bobbin case and you are done.

Elna Sewing Machine Won't Stop

When this happens check to see if you do not have a short in the wiring. A short can keep the motor running as all control is lost and devices designed to stop the motor are ruined. If you have frayed wires you should replace them.

Then if that doesn’t fix the problem check your foot pedal. If it has a capacitor that little part may be the source of the problem. If it has a computer chip, you would need to take your machine to the approved repairman and get the foot pedal fixed or replaced.

When you are opening the foot pedal to check its inner parts, be careful. You may receive a shock. Make sure to unplug the machine before addressing any electrical problem on your sewing machine.

Also, check the switch to see if any wires are loose and stop it from shutting the machine off.

Elna Machine Hand Wheel Stuck


The most common cause of this problem is that somehow you threaded your machine wrong. You will have to re-thread your machine and try the handwheel once again. If it is still stuck then you need to move on to other causes.

The inner knob may be the problem for older Elna sewing machines. If it is locked then your hand wheel may not turn. Just disengage the inner wheel and see if your outer wheel turns again.

Next up is the bobbin area. If it is dirty or filled with old thread then your hand wheel normally won’t turn. Remove the case and do a thorough cleaning. Now if the handwheel doe snot move when the bobbin case is out of the machine then you will have to go to the service department and have them look at your machine.

Also, if the handwheel does not turn after cleaning continue looking for the source or let the repairman handle the task.

Sewing Machine Needle Not Moving

Some simple causes are easy to fix when this problem stops your sewing time. The first step is to ask two questions. First, is the machine turned on? Second, is the machine plugged in?

Checking the answers to these two questions first should save you a lot of embarrassment. Next, listen to your motor when pressing the foot pedal. If the motor is running and the needle is not moving then you have a broken belt. Just replace the belt and you should be fine.

If your machine has a bobbin setting, your needle will not move until you release it from that setting. You have to have your machine in sewing mode before it will let the needle move.

Then getting back to the power issue. If the machine is plugged in but the needle still won’t move, you have an electrical problem somewhere. This is best left up to qualified technicians to fix.

Elna Sewing Machine Manuals for Download


Some people create websites just for sewing machine manuals. They know that sewers often lose there owner’s manuals through a variety of means. They make these manuals available as a convenience for you while making a little money for themselves.

The usual websites we have listed in other articles also work for Elna sewing machine owners. The first one is located at this link and you may have to pay $10 for each manual you get from them.

The next logical place to go would be this website. We have used it often when helping sewers recover owner manuals. Their price may be a little more expensive but they have PDF download, PDF CD and hard copy options that may help you preserve your manual so you do not lose it again.

Finally, there is this website but they may be a little more expensive and ask for more money than you are ready to pay. One thing is for sure, these 3 websites have many owner’s manuals for Elna models.

If those three locations do not have one for your sewing machine, then talk to a repairman and see if they know of more places you can find a copy.

Elna Troubleshooting FAQs

To help cover more common sewing machine problems for Elna sewing machines we have created this list with additional issues to learn how to fix.

1. My Elna sewing machine is skipping stitches, how do I stop it?

Check your needle first, if it is not an Elna needle you may need to replace it with one made by Elna. Or the needle is bent, broken, or not threaded properly. Also, are you using the right needle for the fabric you are working on? Change it if not.

2. Why is my needle breaking?

This issue comes when you may have inserted the needle incorrectly. Check to see if you have it in the right way and push it all the way up. Or you may have a loose screw on the needle clamp. Just tighten the screw to stop the breaking. Then you may be using the wrong needle for the fabric or the wrong foot for the stitch. If so change them.

3. Why is my needle thread breaking?

This is caused when you have threaded the needle wrong. Re-thread your machine to see if that is the problem. If it isn’t then change the needle as it may be the wrong one or it was not inserted correctly into its place. Re-insert the needle or change it. Finally, the thread may be too thick or too thin for the needle. Change your thread.

4. Why is my fabric not feeding?

Check your feed dogs. If they are not in the right position put them there and start sewing again. Or your stitch length may be incorrect for the fabric you are using.

Some Final Words

Elna sewing machines can be great machines. But they may develop issues over the years and create minor problems. Learning the above common fixes will help you stay on schedule and complete your sewing task before you have to rush off and pick up the kids. It will save you some money as well.

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