Troubleshooting Pfaff Sewing Machine (Fix & Repair Guide)

It’s that time again. Your sewing machine doesn’t sew or you are having a hard time getting the stitches right. These things happen from time to time and knowing how to find and fix the problem is essential for any home sewer.

One of the first things you need to learn when owning a sewing machine, and it doesn’t have to be a Pfaff, is to keep a record. A good record of oiling, maintenance, and repairs shortens your search for the problem plaguing your sewing machine currently.

To learn how to find and fix some common sewing machine problems just continue to read our article. It gets you the information you need, tells you the solution, and gets you sewing faster than ever.

Pfaff Sewing Machine Won't Sew

The first place to look would be your oiling and cleaning guide. If it has been a while that may be the problem right there. Thoroughly clean and oil your machine and it that solves the issue you are done.

If not, then you have to check how you threaded your machine. If you made a mistake somewhere along the line, then re-thread the machine. It is also possible that you did not turn the power switch on, plugged your machine in or there is a loose wire somewhere.

Check those spots first and take the appropriate action to solve the problem. If your foot pedal has a loose wire it may not work so check the wires there and tighten any loose ones up. Also, check to make sure the bobbin lever is in the sew position.

For computerized sewing machines it is best to take the device into a qualified repairman. Also, if your warranty is still in effect do not touch the machine as that will void your protection.

Pfaff Bobbin Problems


These can be plentiful and it may take a little time to find the exact problem but check with how you wound it first. If you did not wind the bobbin correctly then you will have bobbin problems.

On some machines, the bobbin has a little notch on it that needs to match up with the little notch on the bobbin post. If those are not aligned right, you could have some problems. Just match those notches up.

Then if that hasn’t solved your problem, check the needle. Is it the correct one for the machine and fabric? Is it in the wrong way? Is it inserted correctly and all the way? Is the needle dull, bent, or broken?

Those are 4 questions you should ask yourself when searching for the problem. Replace the needle for the first, second, and fourth issues if those are the problems. Re-insert your needle if the third issue is the source of your problem.

As always check to see if the bobbin and bobbin case area are nice and clean. If not give it a good cleaning. Finally, check to see if the thread you selected is smooth, not too large for the needle has no knots. If those elements are present you should change the thread.

Bobbin Not Catching


In this case, it may be that the timing on your machine is off. The needle has to be at the exact spot at the right time to pick up the bobbin thread. The way to solve this problem will take a little time.

For a Pfaff 2030, you need to remove the foot holder, the foot, and the feed plate first. That is after you unplug your machine.

Next, you need to remove the base. Make sure not to break any plastic piece and watch the cables. Now unhook the feed mode switch linkage and again be careful not to break anything.

After that is done remove the cover from the bobbin area. Your timing area should be exposed now so get ready to adjust the hook and the needle. Double-check to see that the bobbin and bobbin case has been removed.

Slowly spin the hand wheel and watch to make sure the needle goes down and up once while the bobbin mechanism spins twice. Next, turn the hand wheel towards you until the needle is lowered all the way.

After that check to see if the needle is sticking out 3/32” and that is 2.4 mm. On a Pfaff, it should be at 2.2 mm. When the needle is at that point check to see if the hook is right behind it.

If not turn the bobbin area till the hook is in that position. Then tighten the back adjustment screw. Now test to make sure the timing is correct and then when it is, re-assemble the machine.

How to Take Apart a Pfaff Sewing Machine

These instructions cover the Pfaff 1214/1213/1222E Sewing Machine and keep in mind that the owner’s manual doesn’t tell you how to do this because they do not want you fooling with the machine.

  • Step 1: Remove the top cover. There are no screws but a special sequence you have to go in to make sure the covers remain securely on when done.
  • Step 2: Remove the set screws for the front cover. This is the part that is in front of the machine on top of the needle.
  • Step 3: remove the screw located at the bottom center. Then push the motor or back cover down a little and pull towards you. This should clear the hand wheel.
  • Step 4: Removing the bottom cover means you have to take the top and back cover off first. Then you unscrew 5 screws with the 5th one hidden in a little hole. If there is a free arm, remove the screw holding it in place.
  • Step 5: That is how you disassemble the Pfaff sewing machine. Putting it back just follow the reverse order and you should be fine.

Pfaff Repair Manual


Getting manuals for a Pfaff sewing machine should not be that difficult if you own a modern or close to a modern sewing machine. One place you can check is at this link and be prepared to pay some money if we do not say the manual is free on any given website.

The next location will be a free download but we are not sure if it covers all Pfaff repair manuals. You can check it out by clicking on this button. You can try the Pfaff website, but we have not found that location to be very helpful.

This is another free download website for a service manual. It seems to have several pages of manuals for different Pfaff sewing machines. The next place to try is this location. We are not sure how much will cost you but it shouldn’t be too bad.

Then this website has manuals for all sorts of machines but usually their prices are quite high. Finally, there is this website. It is a little cheaper than the previous one and you may have to search a little to find the one for your machine.

Pfaff Sewing Machine Won't Turn On


Not to be rude or anything but there are some simple solutions you should check first before you get upset. Make sure the machine is plugged in, the power switch is turned on and the foot pedal is plugged in correctly.

Checking those simple areas first will save you a lot of embarrassment later. The next thing to do is to check for loose or frayed wiring. If your sewing machine is under warranty, let the qualified repairman do the search and repair.

If not then tighten loose wires and replace frayed ones. After that, check your cleaning schedule to make sure the device doe snot need a good cleaning or oiling. A lack of lubrication can freeze different parts and keep the sewing machine from turning on.

If these simple things do not work, check the bobbin to make sure it and the case are inserted properly, the needle is not broken or bent and that you have threaded the machine correctly.

Reinsert the bobbin and case correctly, replace the needle, and re-thread the machine.

Foot Pedal Not Working


This part of your sewing machine generally has very few parts to check when it is not working. If it has a capacitor, then that little piece may need to be replaced. It is not hard to check and only takes a few seconds to see if it is burned out or not.

Then check the wiring. If they are loose or frayed then just tighten or replace the wires so the foot pedal works again. You can also check the cable from the foot pedal top the sewing machine to see if it has shorted out, had wires loosened, and so on.

If that is the case then you may have to replace the foot pedal. If you fixed all those areas and it still doe snot work, replace the pedal. For, pedals with computer chips in them, let a qualified repairman handle the repair.

Computer chips are not for the old fashioned handyman or those people who do not know how to work with computer chips.

Pfaff Sewing Machine Handwheel Hard to Turn


In this situation check the usual suspects first. First, look at your cleaning and oiling schedule to see if the machine is due for either or not. If so then perform those functions and see if that clears up the problem.

Sometimes a single thread in the hook area can cause a jam so look over your machine and do not leave any area unexamined. Your bobbin and hook area are prone to cause this type of problem.

If there is a small thread somewhere in the machine, grip your hand wheel with one hand and the inner wheel with another and give the handwheel a hard turn towards you. That should clear the thread.

Also, check the inner wheel to see if it is not causing the problem. Sometimes it gets jammed and needs to be cleaned or oiled to unstick it. There is also the possibility that a bearing has gone out on the machine.

If you are under warranty this is not going to be an expensive fix. If you are not then check to see if it is worth paying the money for the repair.

Pfaff Sewing Machine Stuck in Reverse

You are probably tired of hearing this but a dirty machine may stop your sewing machine from sewing forward. If the feed dog area is dirty, it may be stopped in the forward direction but not the reverse. Clean your feed dog area and get all the threads and dirt out.

In some Pfaff sewing machines built between 1980 and 2000, there is a small metal pivoting rod that may get stuck and keep your machine from switching gears. The repair of this pivot rod can take some time and you may not have the patience to do it.

You will have to remove the bottom of the machine to get to it. A Q-tip with rubbing alcohol may clean the grime off the rod. Also, the reverse button may be stuck and if it is a new purchase, get your receipt and exchange it for a new one that is not broken.

Some Final Words

Maintaining a Pfaff sewing machine is like maintaining every other sewing machine ever made. There are common problems that have a common source and you need to spend time cleaning and lubricating.

Always check to see if you have threaded the machine properly, placed the bobbin and its case correctly, then moved the bobbin lever to sew. After that, check the needle to make sure it is the right one for the machine and fabric, not bent, broken, or inserted incorrectly.

Simple fixes first then the difficult ones.

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