5 Reasons Why Dyson’s Vacuum Suction Motor Is Not Working

The core component of any Dyson vacuum is the suction motor. But what happens if the Dyson vacuum suction motor is not working?

If your Dyson vacuum’s suction motor isn’t working, first check that the machine receives power from the wall socket or its battery pack. If the motor still doesn’t work, it’s likely an airflow problem. Blockages will cause the vacuum to overheat, so the suction motor stops or pulsates to protect itself from damage. On models with digital motors, the motor’s motherboard may have shorted out.

In the following sections, we will dive deeper into each possible reason why your Dyson vacuum’s suction motor isn’t working.

Related: Dyson Vacuum No Suction


When troubleshooting or repairing your Dyson vacuum, you must disconnect it from its power source. That means removing the plug from the wall socket if it’s a corded unit or removing the battery pack from cordless models. Doing that will ensure that you prevent any chance of electrocution. Plus, you will also reduce your overall injury risk, especially when working with moving parts.

If The Motor Does Not Work At All

Suppose the suction motor on your Dyson vacuum doesn’t work at all. If that’s the case, here are the most likely causes:

Incoming Power Problems

For the suction motor in your Dyson vacuum to function, it must receive a continuous supply of electricity. On a corded Dyson vacuum, that means the power that comes from the household power supply through the wall socket and the vacuum’s power cord.

Related: Circuit Breaker is ON But No Power To The Outlet

For cordless models, power comes through fully-charged battery packs that are connected directly to the machine. These battery packs are charged while connected to the vacuum, with a charger that plugs into the Dyson vacuum itself.

Why it happens:

A likely reason that the suction motor in your Dyson vacuum isn’t working is that there is no incoming power supply. In a corded vacuum model, that means no power is coming through the wall socket that it’s plugged into. That could be because the house as a whole has no power or because the wall socket is faulty.

You will also experience the same problem on cordless models, particularly if the battery hasn’t been charged. As a result, the suction motor cannot draw any of the power it needs to run as it should.

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How to fix:

  • On a corded Dyson vacuum model, make sure that the wall socket you’re plugging it into is working.
  • Test it with another appliance, or simply plug the vacuum into another wall socket that works.
  • For cordless models, make sure you give the battery ample time to recharge fully.
  • For example, most Dyson vacuums require 3 hours of charging time but check your user manual to be sure.
  • It’s also crucial to check that the charger is in good working order.
  • A damaged charger will not be able to supply power to your battery, leaving it uncharged even after you’ve plugged it in for so long.

Faulty Digital Motor Motherboard

Many Dyson vacuums, particularly the brand’s cordless models, use a digital motor. It’s a small suction motor that delivers a lot of power, and it’s part of the reason why Dyson vacuums perform exceptionally well. 

Each of those digital motors has a motherboard attached to it, with plenty of tiny electronic components that deliver power to the motor and control all of its functions.

Why it happens:

When a Dyson suction motor fails on one of these models, there’s a strong possibility of a fault with the motherboard on the motor. One of the many electronic components on the motherboard could have shorted out and burned, causing the motor itself to stop working.

If you’ve had the vacuum for a long time, this problem could be caused by excessive wear and tear. However, exposure to too much heat and moisture could also cause the motherboard to fail.

A tell-tale sign of this problem would be a slight burning smell coming from the suction motor’s housing, which you can try to sense by smelling the unit. If you took the vacuum apart and gained access to the motherboard, you will likely also see burn marks on some of those components and melted sections of the plastic body as well.

How to fix:

  • Unfortunately, it’s not possible to buy a replacement motherboard by itself.
  • Instead, you will have to purchase a replacement motor. Depending on the model of your vacuum, the replacement might be sold as part of a new Main Body unit.

Airflow Problems (Blockages)

Another reason your Dyson vacuum suction motor might not be working is airflow problems, namely partial or total blockages. Whenever a blockage restricts airflow in the vacuum, temperatures can rise quickly and lead to overheating.

For instance, the vacuum could be suffering from a buildup of dust and debris. Besides that, this also tends to happen when the vacuum accidentally sucks in fabric like a sock or a piece of cloth.

Whatever the cause might be, the vacuum will be able to sense when airflow is restricted and temperatures rise quickly. To protect against excessive overheating, Dyson vacuums will stop the suction motor from working at all.

How to fix:

To fix this problem, simply take apart the powerhead, hose, and vacuum wand. Inspect each part closely and clean any blockages that you find. 

  • Plus, empty the vacuum’s dust bin and clean it thoroughly, as well. A full bin can also restrict the vacuum’s airflow even more and contribute to the problem.
  • Once you’ve cleaned the vacuum, let it cool down for an hour or so. After shutting off the suction motor to protect itself against overheating, the vacuum will only start working again once it has cooled down thoroughly.

Related: Dyson V10 Not Working After Cleaning The Filter

Motor Failure

Lastly, the reason why your Dyson vacuum’s suction motor isn’t working could be due to a total motor failure. This problem can happen as a result of too much overheating and excessive wear and tear.

So, if you’re a heavy-duty user and you’ve had your vacuum for quite a long time, the likelihood of a total motor failure is much higher than usual.

A tell-tale sign of motor failure is a strong burning smell coming from the motor housing. In some cases, the motor might run briefly accompanied by a repetitive popping sound.

How to fix:

Unfortunately, a failed suction motor cannot be repaired. Instead, you’ll need to replace it entirely.

  • On cordless models, that means purchasing a new Main Body unit for your model, which has a new digital motor and motherboard inside.
  • For corded models, you can purchase a replacement motor separately and install it yourself.
  • Firstly, you must identify the type of motor that your unit has.
  • The motors could come from different manufacturers (e.g. Panasonic, YDK, etc.). So, you’ll need to open up the motor housing to identify which type of motor you will be replacing.
  • Once you’ve bought the correct replacement, all you have to do is lift out the existing motor and replace it with the new one the same way as the original.
  • Then, connect the wiring on the new motor the same way as the old one.

If the Motor Starts and Stops (Pulsating Motor)

Quite often, when there’s a problem with the Dyson vacuum suction motor, the unit will pulsate instead of shutting off entirely. By that, we mean the motor will continuously turn on and off repeatedly, making it impossible to use the vacuum to do any proper cleaning.

Here’s why that happens and what you can do about it.

Why it happens:

On many Dyson models, typically handheld/cordless models, a pulsating suction motor is the vacuum’s way of telling you that there’s a problem inside the vacuum. That problem is often an obstruction that prevents airflow, and the suction motor pulsates to protect itself from damage.

The obstruction could be in the vacuum’s parts like its wand, hose, inlets, and bin. However, another common cause is an oversaturated filter that no longer allows any air to pass through.

The pulsating action of the motor is part of Dyson’s design. According to Dyson, this is the vacuum’s way of audibly communicating to you that there’s a problem with the machine.

How to fix:

To get the suction motor running normally again, you will need to clean the vacuum thoroughly and ensure that it’s free from any blockages.

  • First, start with the filter. Next, remove the filter and wash it in the sink, then set it aside to air-dry thoroughly. Remember: never put a wet filter back in a vacuum, as the moisture will prevent any air from flowing through it at all.
  • While you dry the filter, you can then take the rest of the vacuum apart.
  • Inspect and clean the powerhead, metal wand, hose, and especially around the inlets. Also, be sure to empty and clean the bin as well.
  • Doing all of this should restore proper airflow and allow the suction motor to run normally.

Reader Comments (3)

  1. Dyson vacuums such as v11 i bought are not vacuum cleaner…the are toys made out of bad plastic. If you buy them you work for them, they can noy pickup even a popcorn. endless problems, buy a machine that works for you

  2. I bought my dyson new online shortly after covid restrictions started and I was unable to shop locally.
    I was eager to use it since I’d heard such god reviews of it.
    Unfortunately it never seemed to have suction right from the start. Motor seems ok. Outlet is good since machine started. There is just very little suction.
    Another “unfortunately” is that I did not send in the warranty and am now looking for a local repair shop.
    I did not use it enough to create any blockage in the vc. Any suggestions? I’m 82 so I’ve used a few vacuum cleaners in my lifetime. Would love to love this one.

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