My Kenmore 17626890 Sewing Machine Is Stuck in Reverse

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Things You'll Need

  • Small screwdriver

  • Blow dryer

  • Sewing machine oil

Sometimes the reverse feature on Kenmore sewing machines gets stuck, causing frustration and downtime in your sewing projects. Repairing the problem can be a relatively easy task, depending on the source of the problem. The only tools you will need are items that you probably already have in your home.


Step 1

Check your Kenmore sewing machine to ensure that it is in the straight stitch forward position and is set to sew in a forward motion. Press the reverse button and verify that the spring action is functioning correctly. Ensure that the spring is in the machine, is in the correct place and is not stretched out of shape. Replace the spring if it is missing, reposition it if it has slipped out of place or replace the spring altogether if it has stretched out of shape.

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Step 2

Remove the top cover of your Kenmore sewing machine with a screwdriver to expose the gears. Press the reverse button and examine the teeth as you do so, to ensure that they are moving backwards.

Step 3

Inspect the cam at the top of the shaft inside your Kenmore sewing machine. Check the vertical bar; the top of it resembles a fork with two prongs and fits over a cam located on the primary shaft. Look to the side of the cam to find a line that corresponds with a line on the primary shaft, which is actually the timing mark. Loosen the screw on the cam to move it and align the two marks if they are not aligned. Tighten the screw on the cam after you have made the alignment.


Step 4

Blow hot air into the top of your Kenmore sewing machine with a blow dryer. Push the reverse button gently at the same time to loosen the hardened lubricant and free the motion of the reverse button.

Step 5

Place a drop of sewing machine oil on the reverse mechanism, pushing the reverse button gently to coax it back to normal functionality as the oil lubricates the mechanism.


Step 6

Replace the top of your Kenmore sewing machine. Check the reverse button to ensure that it is working properly. Repeat these steps as necessary.


Always consult your sewing machine manual whenever you disassemble any portion of your sewing machine.


Use sewing machine oil only; any other type of oil, including WD-40, may damage your sewing machine.


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