How To Fix Timing On A Singer Sewing Machine

How to Fix Timing on a Singer Sewing Machine

Singer sewing machines are iconic pieces of equipment that have been used for centuries to craft beautiful clothing and accessories. However, one of the most common issues that occurs with them is the machine becoming out of timing and not stitching correctly. This issue can be caused by a number of factors, such as wear, lack of proper maintenance, or even just a bit of dust settling on the machine’s parts, so it’s important to be aware of how to fix this issue.

If you find that your Singer sewing machine is out of timing, the first thing you should do is turn it off and unplug it to make sure it doesn’t cause any further damage. Once this is done, you’ll need to look at the machine in order to see where the problem lies. A few common causes of the machine timing being off include old or worn needle bar lifters, incorrect belt tension, an improperly tensioned hook assembly, and other issues related to the machine’s internal gears.

In order to determine precisely what is causing the issue, it’s best to consult a professional, as it can be difficult to assess the issue without appropriate knowledge of the machine and its mechanisms. An expert can ascertain the cause of the timing being off and suggest the best ways to fix the problem. One of the most common solutions is to replace the parts that are causing the machine to be out of time, such as needle bars, belts, hook assemblies, or other worn out components.

It’s also important to note that certain Singer sewing machines will require specific parts, so it’s important to only use replacement parts that are suited to the specific model that you have. The machine’s manual will be able to provide you with the detailed specifications that you need in order to purchase the correct replacement parts.

Once you’ve acquired the necessary parts, you can begin the process of replacing them. Again, it’s best to refer to the manual as it will provide detailed instructions on how to carry out this task. Be sure to take your time and pay attention to the instructions as any errors when fitting the new parts could damage your machine and make the timing issue worse. If the instructions seem a bit overwhelming, it’s best to enlist the help of a professional.

Finally, after all of the necessary repairs have been carried out, it’s important to follow up with regular maintenance of your machine. This will ensure that your machine stays in perfect timing and continues to provide high-quality stitching results. Cleaning, lubricating, and regulating your machine can all add longevity to its life and keep it running smoothly.

Checking the Thread Tension

Incorrect thread tension is an oft-overlooked reason for a machine being out of timing. This type of issue is easy to fix, however. In order to check your thread tension, first remove the upper thread that’s spooling from your machine. Next, unwind the thread from the spool and pull it taught. The thread should be taught but not taut, and should move easily when pulled. If it’s too tight, then the upper thread tension needs to be adjusted.

To do this, simply use the tension adjusters on the machine to bring it to the right setting. It’s important to remember that if you’re using a different type of thread than what was originally specified in your machine’s manual, then you may need to adjust the tension to make sure the thread is appropriately tightened. This can take a bit of trial and error, but once the correct tension is reached, your stitching should be back to normal.

If, however, you find that the tension isn’t the problem, then it’s time to move on to other solutions like replacing worn parts. In cases like this, it’s best to consult a professional as attempting to do this kind of work yourself can be a risky endeavor.

Checking the Bobbin

The bobbin is an important component of a sewing machine, and it can be the cause of timing issues when it’s not working correctly. In order to check whether your bobbin is the source of your machine’s timing issues, you’ll have to remove the bobbin and check it for any signs of damage or wear. This can include evidence of poor lubrication or damage to the bobbin thread itself, such as frayed edges or small bits and pieces of thread clinging to its surface.

If the bobbin is in good condition, then your next step should be to re-thread it back into the machine. It’s important to make sure that the thread is wound in the correct direction, and that it has been securely tightened in place. If it’s not, then it can cause a ‘walking foot’, which can disrupt the timing of the machine. If you find that your bobbin is in bad condition, then it’s best to replace it with a new one.

Cleaning the Feed Dogs

The feed dogs on a sewing machine are an integral part of how the machine works, and a build up of dust and debris on them can lead to a disruption in the timing of your machine. It’s important to make sure that the feed dogs are clean and dust-free in order to keep your machine in top form.

To do this, simply take a soft brush and use it to carefully remove any dirt or dust that may have accumulated on the feed dogs. Once they’re clean, use a cotton swab and some alcohol to gently clean any other mold or material residue off of them. Cleaning the feed dogs should help get your machine back in time, but keep in mind that if the issue is due to wear or internal damage, then this solution won’t be effective.

Tightening Gears and Belts

The gears and belts inside a Singer sewing machine are responsible for the machine’s timing, and if they become loose then the timing can become disrupted. In order to check whether this is the case, look for a couple of indicators that the gears and belts need to be tightened. These indicators include the needle bar moving too fast or too slow, and the stitch length becoming incorrect.

If you notice either of these indicators, then it’s best to open up your machine and check to see whether or not the gears and belts are correctly adjusted. This may require a bit of mechanical knowledge, so if you’re unsure then it’s best to consult an expert. If they’re found to be loose, then simply tighten them up and your machine should be back to running as normal in no time.

Replacing the Timing Belt

If all of the above solutions don’t seem to be working, then the problem may lie in the machine’s timing belt. This belt controls the machine’s timing and movements, so if it becomes damaged then the machine’s performance can become affected. To replace the belt, you will first need to open up the machine and locate the timing belt. Then, simply remove the old belt and replace it with a new one of the same size and shape. Once it’s in place, replace the machine’s cover and give it a few tests to make sure the timing is correct. If all goes well, then the machine should be back in perfect condition.


Fixing timing issues with a Singer sewing machine can be tricky and time-consuming, so it’s important to follow the instructions carefully. It’s also best to enlist the help of an expert if you’re unsure of how to proceed, as mistakes can be costly. With these tips in mind, however, you should be able to get your machine back to working perfectly in no time.

Geoffrey Kirby is an experienced author and sewist who has been creating sewn projects for over 20 years. He has a passion for teaching beginners and inspiring more advanced sewists both online and through his writings. Outside of writing about sewing, Geoffrey loves to explore new techniques and styles of sewing that incorporate upcycling fabric remnants into sweet items with personality.

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