Dirt Devil M085850 Featherlite Bagless Upright VacuumVacuum

How to Identify and Fix Common Vacuum Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced Vacuum Technicians :

If you`re smelling rubber, the belt has either burned out and snapped or the belt has become so stretched out that the roller is not moving and the vacuum belt is getting super heated from the motors RPM.
The main reason why a vacuum may be emitting a smell of burning rubber is a broken belt or an object is suck. Excess hair or fur caught around the roller brush can also cause this issue. Turn off your vacuum and let it cool before doing anything.
Several things cause a burning smell, such as a motor part is that broken or worn out, the motor is running too hot, you suck up a burning cigarette, or the rubber belt has snapped. The belt helps turn the brush roller that helps guide dirt and debris into the vacuum.
The Eureka Mighty Mite is a better vacuum than the Dirt Devil Endura Max, though they vary quite drastically in terms of design. As a result of its bagged design, the Eureka incurs higher recurring costs than the bagless Dirt Devil since you`ll need to replace its dirtbag once it`s filled up.
Replace filter every 3 to 6 months.
Rinse the filter

Any fine dust remaining in the filter can usually be removed with a gentle rinse under a cold tap – hold the filter under the running water until the water runs clear. You shouldn`t need to use any detergent – just water.

Check the power unit reset button located above the power cord. Pressing the button should restore operation. NOTE: The reset button is located on the upper left-hand side of the unit where the low voltage wires connect to the unit.
If the device is not creating sufficient suction or powering on, the motor could be obstructed. Unscrew the screws from the side of the Dirt Devil Gator. Once removed, notice the motor device (the largest one) and inspect to ensure no dirt or debris is obstructing or damaging the motor or its fans!
What`s happening with your vacuum cleaner is that a clog has built up and debris being agitated by the roller is spitting out or stirring up dust without sucking it in.
Burning smell can indicate motor damage

If you suspect that the motor is damaged, you should not continue to use the vacuum cleaner! The cause of motor damage is usually wear and tear or damage caused by prolonged improper use (e.g. overheating). In most cases, it is not worth repairing.

Check the brushes – the brushes should be cleaned about once or twice a year at least. Make sure that the cleaner is unplugged when seeing to the brushes. 4. Wash the hose – dust and dirt particles get stuck in the hose and decay over time, causing your vacuum to smell.
Overheating usually occurs because the dust bag has not been emptied, filter has not been cleaned or there is a blockage in the floor tool, wand or bent hand piece. If your vacuum shuts down unexpectedly, make sure you turn the vacuum off and unplug it from the wall socket.
Problems can occur when overused or clogged filters cause the vacuum motor to overheat. This not only shortens the motor life but causes a loss of suction. In some cases, total motor burn out can occur.
Fires can`t start in space itself because there is no oxygen – or indeed anything else – in a vacuum. Yet inside the confines of spacecraft, and freed from gravity, flames behave in strange and beautiful ways. They burn at cooler temperatures, in unfamiliar shapes and are powered by unusual chemistry.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

When I vacuum I smell smoke and i see flashes of light as if it is sparking. Any ideas?
ANSWER : There’s a cut wire you need to bring your vacuum to an electrician to fix it before it start a fire.

Electrolux Epic 6500SR Full Bag sensor working, Does not Reset properly
ANSWER : The problem was a sticking switch that was not being reset. The vacuum on/off switch mechanism is comprised of two switches. One is the main switch that turns the vacuum on and off. The second is a shut off switch that gets tripped when the full bag sensor is engaged. This second switch is supposed to get reset when you push the on/off switch on the outside of the machine. The full bag shutoff switch was stiff and it, therefore, was taking a couple of presses of the on/off switch to move the shutoff switch back into the running position.

I purchased a brand new Eureka Pet vacuum, sorry don’t know exact name but it the one that has the self cleaning duster on it. Last night I used the vacuum on my carpet, it was working fine until I accidently sucked up the corner of a scarf that was hanging off a couch. I shut the vacuum off, pulled out the scarf and and resumed vacuuming. Much to my dismay the suction on the vacuum had ceased. Can you tell me if there is a reset button on the vacuum? The vacuum does not appear to be damage
ANSWER : If the motor is running, there should be suction. Possible problems depend on whether it’s a canister or upright and are:
.A clog in the hose, UR or canister. Detach hose. Drop small coin in one end and lift hose causing it to roll out the other. If it does, no clog in hose. Drop same coin into hose opening on power head. If it rolls out, no clog in PN.
.Broken fan blades, UR. Needs to be taken to shop for repair/replacement.
.
.A reset button is for use if the motor isn’t running, so won’t have anything to do with the suction.

Dirt devil vacuum cleaner–trouble vacuuming dirt and pet hair on carpeting –is the problem with the spinning brush which contacts the floor,  not contacting the carpeting??  I thought (when I bought this vacuum) that the aforementioned brush was adjustable to various heights of carpeting.  Sometimes, it seems like nothing is being vacuumed up –unless I have just put a new bag on the vacuum… Do I need or can I replace the spinning brush on the bottom of the vacuum so it kicks up and vacuums
ANSWER : Try replacing the belt. Rubber belts stretch out after about a year.

The original belt on my upright Kenmore Progressive broke and I replaced it with the spare that was in the vacuum. The vacuum and spare belt are about 10 years old. Then the spare broke after one vacuuming session and there was a burning smell coming from the vacuum. I ordered new belts and replaced it with the new belt. It seems to be working fine with no smell. I checked the belt after I vacuumed the family room and although it was in tact, the belt was very hot. Is that normal? Should t
ANSWER : The belt heats up due to the friction, as well as being in contact with the shaft of a hot motor. It is normal.

Bissell lift off pet revolution vacuum smells bad when I vacuum!
ANSWER : Put a BOUNCE sheet inside the filter

I have Hoover Widepath Bagless 12 Amp Windtunnel vacuum. Yesterday I was vacuuming and smelled smoke and it shut itself off. Today I cleaned out the filters (they weren’t bad) made sure nothing was obstructing the hoses or the spinning brush part. It turned on for 1 second, smells like smoke somewhere from the bottom and now won’t turn back on so I don’t know if anything is spinning or not. What can I do to fix this myself?
ANSWER : Hi There,
.
.When a vacuum cleaner smokes, it is usually only one of two possible problems.
.
.It could either be that your motor burned up, or that your belts burned. The belts on this particular model are notorious for breaking, but the fact that your machine doesn’t come on at all after this happened, sounds like it may be the motor.
.
.Both of these issues have a unique smelling smoke. If the smoke smelled like an electrical burning smell, this indicates it’s your motor. If the smoke smelled more like burning rubber, then it’s probably your belts.
.
.If the smoke smelled like burning rubber, here’s a video that we’ve recorded showing step by step how to inspect, trouble shoot, and replace the belts on your vacuum cleaner. If you open it up and the belts are still in tact, then this probably is a more serious problem of the motor burning out.
.
...I’d be more then happy to walk you through more advanced diagnosing if this doesn’t fix your problem, please just use the comment box here on the Fixya repair page.
.
.If this was helpful to you, please be so kind and rate my repair helpful, or leave some feedback for me. This is really appreciated by the Fixya community if the repair solution was able to fix your problem.
.
.Thanks again,
.
.Chris Jones
.GoVacuum.com

Vacuum smells I have a 6 year old rainbow vacuum model E and it smells terrible everytime I use it. Probably because often times i don’t remove the water basin after vacuuming and just let it sit. It’s my own fault however now I don’t know what to do to get rid of this terrible smell. I’ve water cleaned the hepa filter, not able to remove the separator screw to clean. Can you give me some suggestions?
ANSWER : In addition to vinegar, baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is also an excellent remedy for many odour problems.

Try generously sprinkling baking soda on a rug you wish to clean, and afterwards, vacuum up the spot.

Rugs, and dirt may be broomed beforehand, and you may want to spread the soda over a large enough area to avoid having a small “clean spot”.

Repeat as necessary, and buy the bigger boxes of baking/washing soda. It has many more great uses that you can discover.