How To Fix Sewing Machine Timing: 2 Common Reasons

Last Updated on 1 year by Susan Mayrich

You can learn how to fix sewing machine timing by checking two areas. First, this article will discuss issues with the needle, thread, and hook. Second, you will also know the symptoms of problems with timing on a sewing machine. 

how to fix sewing machine timing

Do you own a specific brand of sewing machine? You can also check our guide on how to fix the timing on a Singer sewing machine. Besides that, please browse our blog for other sewing machine fixes.


How To Fix The Timing On A Sewing Machine Yourself


Check the needle and thread

The timing of your sewing machine can be affected if your needle is damaged. It should be sharp, straight, and additionally, both sides of the needle must be installed securely and tightly. And if there are no issues with these factors, try checking the needle bar height and follow the recommendation from your sewing machine manual.

To fix the sewing machine timing via the needle and thread, replace the needle if needed and ensure that you’re using the right one for the material and it’s compatible with the thread. For the needle bar height, follow the manual to adjust it to the recommended height. You can also read this guide on how to put a needle in a sewing machine for everything related to needle installation.


Check the hook

Issues on the sewing machine timing might be from unsynchronized internal mechanisms. To test for this issue, you can open the switch plate and move the handwheel to see if the thread hooks into the fabric without any problems. Furthermore, you won’t see the hook passing through the needle eye, or the timing is wrong. And finally, you want to see the rotation of the sewing machine hook because clockwise means you should adjust the needle to the rightmost side and the leftmost side if it rotates counterclockwise.

Refer to your model’s manual and have the needle bar to the lowest level to fix the sewing machine timing issue via the hook. You will also use the handwheel to loosen the gears. With these mechanisms in place, you can adjust the needle and hook to the correct distance.


How To Adjust Sewing Machine Timing

You need to adjust the sewing machine timing if the needle always catches on the hook or bobbin case. There is also an error in the sewing machine timing if it tends to miss stitches. Here is what you can do to reset the sewing machine timing:

  1. Replace the sewing machine needle with a new one
  2. Remove the thread, bobbin case, needle plate, and feed dog for easier access
  3. Set the unit to a straight stitch with the needle in the center
  4. Turn the handwheel to adjust the needle and stop when it is about an inch higher than the lowest position
  5. Loosen the hook gear and turn the hook in the same direction as the sewing machine would run
  6. The needle must be next with the hook point, and its eye is just below it
  7. Adjust the feed timing after resetting the needle timing

If you want more ways to maintain your unit, give our tutorial on how to service a sewing machine a quick read. It should keep the machine running smoothly and avoid early deterioration. 


How Do I Know If My Timing Is Off On My Sewing Machine?

The timing is off on your sewing machine when the stitches don’t look uniform, and the machine can’t pick up the bobbin thread. You can also test your sewing machine to confirm if the timing is off. In this test, you will check the needle and shuttle hook alignment:

  1. Remove the base cover, switchplate, and bobbin case
  2. Keep the needle threaded and turn the handwheel 
  3. Check if the shuttle hook catches the thread without issues
  4. Another method is to lower the needle to the lowest position and raise it to 3/32 of an inch
  5. Check if the shuttle hook is above the needle eye

How Much Does It Cost To Fix The Timing On A Sewing Machine?

You can expect to spend over $50 when getting your sewing machine serviced by a professional. This includes the tune-up, such as fixing the timing if the methods discussed didn’t work when you did them yourself. If you’re not confident with repairing the unit, it’s best to give it to a professional to avoid worsening other damages. 

What Causes A Sewing Machine To Get Out Of Time?

Your sewing machine can develop timing issues because of misaligned or poorly installed parts. Accumulation of debris will also affect the sewing machine. Therefore, please make it a habit to always inspect your unit. 

Some issues may not even warrant a visit to a shop. Instead, consider giving your machine a thorough inspection and reinstalling some parts. Deep cleaning and oiling based on its manual might also help restore its performance. 



Was this article helpful? We just discussed how to fix sewing machine timing via the needle and thread, and hook. Checking these areas can reveal timing issues, and adjusting them can fix the timing.

You can also read this article on how a sewing machine works. It will help you understand the device’s mechanism and diagnose issues. 


0 thoughts on “How To Fix Sewing Machine Timing: 2 Common Reasons”

  1. Thank you for content of site. Would you please guide me for adjusting timing of Janome 802 timing?


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