Riccar Sewing Machine Troubleshooting (Fix And Repair Guide)

If you have never heard of this brand, it's because it is a Japanese company that has gone through many transformations over the decades. The company changed its name to Riccar in 1949 but be careful, this company focuses on vacuum cleaners now and doesn't pay much attention to its sewing machines.

The good news is that you can get parts for most Riccar sewing machine models. The earlier ones, made before 1970 may be a bit harder to locate as those models and parts may have been retired and no longer in production.

To learn how to troubleshoot your Riccar sewing machine just continue to read our article. It is filled with the information you need to avoid paying for expensive repairs when you can do it yourself.

How do I Fix My Riccar Sewing Machine?


The first step in attempting any repairs on your Riccar sewing machine is to check to see if it is still under warranty or not. If it is and you try to do it yourself, you probably will void the warranty.

The second step would be to give it a good cleaning. Dirt, lint, and loose threads all play a major role in stopping your sewing machine from working. After you clean it, lubricate those parts that need oil.

The third step would be to make sure you have threaded the machine correctly. This one mandatory sewing set up is also a major reason your sewing machine stops working.

Then when all of those steps are done, check your owner’s manual for more steps to take. That little booklet has many suggestions and tips on how to repair your Riccar sewing machine.

Finding an Instruction Manual for Riccar Sewing Machine

Since Riccar is a sewing machine that has been made for about 70 years, give or take a decade, there are plenty of manuals and sources around to find the one you have lost. The first place to look would be at Riccar’s sewing website which is located at this link.

Next up is one of our go-to websites for sewing machine manuals and there are plenty listed at this link. Then, you can try this link to get the manual you have misplaced over the years. This is one of the more expensive manual resources we have used.

For our British readers, you can try this company. They seem to have manuals for many vintages and other brands of sewing machines. There are a few for Riccar on that web page.

These few selections are just getting you started as Riccar has made a lot of sewing machines and many online companies have spares for you to look through.

Riccar Sewing Machine Stuck


This is a common problem that affects almost every sewing machine ever made. When this happens on your Riccar sewing machine, look to see if dirt or other culprits like thread or lint have gathered in the different areas of your sewing machine.

If so, then clean your machine. Once you do that and the handwheel is still stuck, then check the tension of your upper thread to see if it is at the correct setting for the thread and the fabric you are working with.

Often when those two solutions do not work, you may need to turn to a skilled and licensed professional to get the machine unstuck. There are some repairs you just can’t do yourself.

It is better to let someone who knows what they are doing fix tough repairs because you may damage your machine further if you are not sure of what to do in solving the problem.

Tension on Riccar Sewing Machine

Again, you need to look at the usual suspects here. If you are having some tension problems check to see if the machine is dirty. Loose thread, lint, dust can all accumulate in the bobbin area and throw off your tension setting for the lower thread.

If your machine is clean you can check your settings to make sure they are right for the fabric and thread you are using. A little adjustment on the tension dials or screw will solve that issue for you.

Also, you need to make sure the tension between the upper and lower thread is balanced. If not then make the right adjustments. This may be a problem for some sewers as they think their adjustments may add to the problem and not solve it.

If in doubt ask a local sewing machine repairman that you trust to handle the task for you. Being safe is better than causing more expensive repairs.

Riccar Sewing Machine Needles


It seems that different Riccar sewing machines can use the needles made by other brands. When you are having needle problems, it is usually caused by the needle being dull, bent, or broken. Also, your needle may be inserted incorrectly.

To solve those needle problems, you just need to replace it with one of the many available online or at your local store. Pfaff universal needles, Schmetz, Singer, Viking, and even Denim brands can be used in the Riccar sewing machines.

The way to check on your needle is to simply pull it out and look at it. You can roll it on your table to see any subtle bends that your eye can’t see right away. When you re-insert the needle or its replacement make sure to get it fully inserted and placed in the right direction.

If you don’t this will add to your needle and sewing problems.

Riccar Sewing Machine Bobbins

Some parts stores say that many Riccar sewing machines take a class 15 sized bobbin. But on a compatibility list, it says that most Riccar sewing machines take an L-Style bobbin.

The bobbins for some of the Riccar machines will be metal so do not substitute a plastic one or you will be causing yourself some more sewing machine headaches. To avoid simple sewing machine issues, make sure to wind the bobbin properly and make sure it and the bobbin case are inserted correctly into the machine.

Those last two steps are also a common mistake that messes up your sewing time and stops your machine from performing as it should. Then check your bobbin winding switch to make sure it is back in the sewing position before you start to sew.

If it isn’t then your machine may not sew at all.

Oiling a Riccar Sewing Machine


This is not hard to do but what makes it difficult is making sure not to over oil the different parts. Each sewing machine is a little different so do not assume your new one will be oiled in the same manner as your older model.

Your owner’s manual will have directions on how to oil correctly somewhere in its pages. Sometimes those directions are in the front of the booklet and sometimes they are in the back.

Then the next temptation to avoid is saving money on the sewing machine oil. It is not good to buy cheap or low-quality sewing machine oil as that may gum up your machine, make it run slower, or damage the machine by making the wear and tear worse.

Once you get the hang of oiling your sewing machine the task will run smoothly and quickly without issues.

Where to Oil a Riccar Sewing Machine

Some manuals do not provide any words on where to oil. They just say look for the arrows and oil there. The problem with those instructions is that the manual page may not be clear and you can’t see the arrows.

When you are in that situation, just ask a repairman where the oiling points are on your Riccar machine and then follow those identifications.

Just use 1 drop of high-quality sewing machine oil for some Riccar sewing machines. That was the direction given in the manual we looked at. Check yours to see if there are any different directions than what we saw.

Avoid over oiling your sewing machine as that will harm the interior parts and even stain your exterior parts. The machine does not need more oil than you are directed to use in the manual. Also, use high-quality sewing machine oil and protect your machine.

Riccar Sewing Machine Parts List


It is easier to list or provide links to the different online parts stores that carry Riccar spare parts. The Riccar machines have a lot of parts, too many to list here. The first place to look will be this online parts store, and its landing page has separate categories for different parts.

Next up is to contact the company itself as its sewing machine division has a page on the spare parts it has available. Just click here to get to that page. Another good source for Riccar sewing machine parts is found at this link.

Their list goes by model number so just click on the model number your machine is and watch to see what parts are on sale. The prices for the same parts may vary from company to company so spend a few minutes comparing prices to make sure you get the best deal.

Plus, double-check their shipping and handling costs to make sure your lower price is not made up by the company with that fee.

Riccar Sewing Machine Light Bulb

You should be able to find light bulbs at those parts stores as well. They seem to come with a wide selection and light bulbs are generally one of the easiest parts to locate. If not, just read the serial or part number on the light bulb and check amazon. They have lots on sale in their market place.

Or you can go to your local sewing machine or hardware stores and find compatible light bulbs. The places for light bulbs are numerous and not hard to find. One word of advice, when you go to changing the light bulb, make sure to unplug the machine first.

Take the risk of injury away before you start working on your sewing machine. Even when the repair is as simple as changing the bulb.

How to Wind a Bobbin On a Riccar Sewing Machine


This task may be different depending on the model design of your Riccar sewing machine. These instructions are for the RE 571 model. The first step is to take the thread and place it over the to[p of the hook located at the front of the machine.

Next, pull the thread to the lower back part of the machine and put it through the little slot and wrap it around the bottom tension knob at the back of the machine. After that put the thread through the hole in the bobbin and wrap it around the bobbin and slip the bobbin onto its post.

Make sure you have the thread going in the right direction and then push the button to start winding the bobbin.

Threading a Riccar Sewing Machine

These instructions are for the model 8500. First, pit your spool of thread on its pin and pull the thread out. Next, you take the thread to the first thread guide and put it through the hole. Now proceed to the second thread guide and do the same thing.

After that bring the thread down to the thread tension dial and wrap the thread around it and head back up making sure to take the thread through the tension thread guide and the take up spring.

Once that is done go through the take up lever bring the thread back down to the plastic front thread guide and then through the needle bar guide. Finally, put the thread through the needle.

Some Final Words

Riccar sewing machines may not be as well known as other brands and the company seems to be phasing that division out. But they are still good machines to have on hand.

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