Troubleshooting Bernina Sewing Machine (Fix & Repair Guide)

Even these top quality machines develop problems over time. One way to save some money is to check on how severe the problem is and if you can fix it yourself, then do it. Not every problem needs a repairman.

One quick and easy issue to solve is to check all the plugs. If these are loose, then the bad connection can be one source for your sewing machine’s difficulties. Double-check to make sure all plugs and connections are tight and secure.

That is an easy fix to do and to learn more easy solutions to try, keep reading our article. It explores the world of Bernina sewing machine repair so you can save some money on your repair bills.

How to Repair Bernina Sewing Machine

There will be some problems that require a serviceman to check out your Bernina sewing machine. But before you take your machine in for an expensive repair, go over it first to see if you can do the job yourself.

First, check the needles to see if they are still true. A bent needle will not let your sewing machine function as it should. Next, double-check to see if the needle is properly placed. If they are not, push it back up into the needle clamp and tighten the fixation screw.

Third, adjust the tension on the machine. If the tension is too high on the upper thread, it will break. The same goes for the lower thread. Lower the tension on both thread lines so you can have a smoother sewing experience.

Get the best tools for any sewing machine troubleshooting here: 12 Common Sewing Machine Repair Tools You Will Need

How to Take Apart Bernina Sewing Machine


The first thing you need to do is take a screwdriver that matches the holding screws and remove those. Once those are out, just slip off the outer cover. Do this carefully so you do not pinch or bend any loose wires that may be nearby.

Inside, you will see an interior skeleton where the majority of parts are attached. Before you start taking parts off, watch out for the computer boards that are built inside. These boards replace the old fashioned gears and pulleys.

It is best not to remove or try to fix the computer boards. If you have an older Bernina, they are very straightforward in disassembling. You just have to be methodical and remove the different holding screws for each part. Just remember how the parts go back on so you have no reassembly problems.

Common Bernina Sewing Machine Problems

Some common Bernina sewing machine problems have already been discussed here. Those would be the loose connections and plugs as well as the needle placement, look and tightness. Not to forget the tension problem.

Other common problems are the drive belt, the power cord and the timing belt. These may become loose, frayed or stretch at any given time. Once those issues take place, you should replace them.

Another common problem may be loose threads hiding in the bobbin casing. These can interfere with your sewing machine’s operation as well as jam threads as they are being stitched.

Then if you are using old thread, it may break on you. Check the thread spool you are using to see if the thread is old or dried out. The latter issue may create a lot more fuzz than the machine can handle at one time.

Bernina Sewing Machine Will Not Turn On

If you have a Bernina 780 and it won’t turn on, just turn the machine off again and wait for about 3 hours. This should reset the electronic parts inside. If you have a Bernina 880 the cause for not turning on may be the battery inside.

For the Bernina 440 it may be a bad power board that keeps your sewing machine from turning on. On the 220 it could be something as simple as a loose or blown fuse. Check the fuse which is in the power supply section.

These are just a few examples of what may be the problem with your machine. It is not just a matter of a loose power cord or a bad power switch, which could also be the reason your machine doesn’t turn on.

Bernina Sewing Machine Buzzing


The location of the buzzing will depend on if you can fix it yourself or if you have to take the machine into a repair shop to get the buzzing to stop. If the buzzing is coming from the motor, it may be the suppressor that is going bad. This problem requires you to take it to the repair shop to get it fixed.

If the buzzing is coming from your foot pedal, then this is something you can do yourself. Just open up the foot pedal and remove the suppressor and throw it away. But those issues are for the Aurora 450 model.

For the 550 QE model it may be that the bobbin winder was engaged when it should not have been. Always check for the easiest problems first before going to a repair shop and racking up costs you may not have to spend in the first place.

Bernina Sewing Machine Handwheel Stuck

This can be a common problem among different Bernina machines. It seems to be consistent with the 530, 730, 830 and 930 models and there may be two causes for it taking place.

First, one or both white plastic gears are broken and to get these fixed, you do have to go to the Bernina repair service. They will have the correct parts to fix your machine. Even if they are cracked, the hand wheel should stop spinning.

The second cause would be that the machine has seized up due to a lack of lubrication and proper oil maintenance. The rule of thumb is that you should lubricate the machine after every 8 hours of use or 6 months of nonuse.

To get the lubrication working faster you can use an oil that helps cut through the seized parts and gets them loose again. Or you can take a hair dryer and use heat to thin the dry oil so that the mechanism can turn again.

Get the best tools for any sewing machine troubleshooting here: 12 Common Sewing Machine Repair Tools You Will Need

Bernina Sewing Machine Stuck in Reverse

This may happen on a variety of Bernina sewing machines and the cause may not always be the same. For the Artista 180 it is possible that the directional lever got stuck in the reverse position.

All you have to do is to loosen the lever by unscrewing it and moving it to the forward position. A too-tight hold may keep the machine from switching gears. The Bernina 1230 has a reverse button and it too can be put together too tightly to switch gears.

To access the reverse button you need to remove the head frame and the circuit board. Then adjust the 3 parts that comprise the reverse button. On the 1090 the lack of proper lubrication will cause the stitch lever or the reverse lever to get stuck.

A hair dryer should loosen the old oil and get it to a point where it can lubricate your parts. To avoid this from happening again, practice good maintenance habits and regularly lubricate your machine.

My Bernina Sewing Machine Keeps Jamming


These may be due to a tension problem on the 801 machine. You should also check the needle to make sure it is the right size and is not bent or broken. Then you may need to re-thread the machine making sure the lever is up.

On the Deco 340 you may need a stabilizer under your hoop to help keep your thread from getting jammed. Another possibility is that the bobbin did not fully click into the tension slot.

Also, and this may be a problem on a variety of Bernina machines, loose threads may be making their way down into the bobbin area and get tangled up at that point. Pull your bobbin out to make sure, then if this is the problem simply clear away the loose thread.

Bernina Sewing Machine Not Stitching

This issue may be common to all Bernina machines as well as their competitors’ machines. The first thing you should check is the stitch length dial if it is set to 0 then your machine should not make a stitch. Reset the dial to 2 or 3 to get it working again.

Also, you may have changed stitching styles for one sewing project and forgot to put the feed dog back in the up position when that project was completed. Then you may have forgotten to put the presser foot down. Fabric won’t feed when it is in the up position.

Then, it may be that you have too much tension on your thread. Loosen the tension a little and see if the fabric goes through your machine better. After that, you can check to see if you are sewing too many layers at one time.

Finally, your thread has a knot in it stopping the thread from moving through your machine. You will have to re-thread the machine if this is the case.

Bernina Bobbin Case Troubleshooting

If you are having trouble with your bobbin case then you should check to see if it needs oiling. Regular oiling is a must if you want your Bernina sewing machine to function as it should.

Also, you need to check to see if any loose threads are jamming the bobbin case area. You can use compressed air, a vacuum cleaner, small toothpicks, and similar objects to clean out the loose thread.

Another problem may be that when you replaced an olde bobbin case, you bought the wrong one for your machine. Make sure you have the right case inside your machine. If not, you will have to use your owner’s manual to find the right part number and spend some more money replacing the replacement.

On top of that check your thread quality. The thread for your bobbin should be a top quality brand and construction. Inferior threads tend to leave a lot of fuzz lying around which can harm or jam your machine.

Bernina Bobbin Winder Not Working


Some Bernina models may have a little rubber tire that moves the bobbin winder. When these get hard or start to disintegrate then your bobbin winder should stop moving and stop winding your thread.

The rubber wheel is not supposed to be very expensive to replace, and it only takes a few minutes to do. Another thing you can do is lubricate the bobbin winder. You do this by removing the lid and locate the bobbin winder.

Once you do that, just a few drops, usually no more than 2, should lubricate the part and get it working again. Older models like the 800 series may have the problem described in the first two paragraphs of this section.

You can rule out electrical and motor sources as the cause of the problem by checking to see if the winder works without thread. If it does then you have another problem to look for.

Sometimes, the thread wraps itself around the winder and stops it from working. If this is the case, then you need to remove that troublesome thread and make sure everything is threaded properly. Or you can loosen or tighten the two screws handling the winding task.

Finally, a spring may be the cause and if it is not in the second notch of the gear it may stop the winder from doing its job.

Are Bernina Sewing Machines Dual Voltage?

The older machines are not provided with dual voltage technology. That means you are restricted to using your machine in Canada or America if you have a 110 volt sewing machine.

Most of the newer sewing machines, not all, are dual voltage and that would be a good question to ask the salesman before you make your purchase. Of course, most people do not need dual voltage capability. They are not going to leave their country and move to one that uses 220 or 240 volts.

If you are not planning on relocating any time soon, then it would be a waste to have dual voltage capability. This is good for hair dryers and other smaller beauty accessories as they can travel overseas with you when you go on vacation.

But for sewing machines, it is not a feature that is necessary or vital to your use of it.

Where to Service Bernina Sewing Machine

Usually, when your Bernina sewing machine is under warranty, you should only take your broken machine to an authorized dealer. These are the repair shops that have permission to work on your sewing machine.

Going to an unauthorized repairman or letting a handyman fix your machine may void your warranty and leave you without protection. If the machine is not under warranty, then you should find a qualified technician to handle the problem for you.

Some machines have computerized parts that require trained technicians to fix or replace. Don’t try to fix these items yourself. One thing you may find out is that the Bernina replacement parts may be a little more costly than you would expect.

Be prepared to pay a higher repair bill as well as the name Bernina will influence your sewing machine repair costs and the cost of the replacement parts.

Finding Bernina Sewing Machine Repair Near Me


If you live in the US then the following link will take you to the Bernina service page that will help you find an authorized dealer near you. All you have to do is type in your city and state and the locator will pinpoint locations on a map.

We tried Dallas Texas and got 7 locations in and around the city. If you are not under warranty, then you can check the yellow pages to find a sewing machine repair shop that handle Bernina machines that are near you.

The yellow pages work well as they have some very detailed ads that will help you out quickly. Also, you can check with the many online sewing forums. The members there can be of service to you as they may have some ideas as well.

There are a lot of places you can check to find a Bernina repair shop near you. A little brainstorming will get you a good list and then just go down the list till you get the information you want.

Some Final Words

Troubleshooting a Bernina sewing machine is not that difficult. The key is to check for the simplest problems and solutions first. These you can normally fix on your own and save yourself a ton of money.

If the problem is more than you can handle, then just click on the link we have provided and put your location into the blank line and wait for the web page to generate the locations that can help you.

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