Shark Robot Vacuum Making a Loud Noise? – 5 Basic Reasons Why

There are several reasons as to why you may have a Shark robot vacuum making a loud noise. The gearbox may be broken, the drive belt may be loose, the brush may not be correctly seated in its housing, there could be something tangled in the brush roll, or the motor that powers the vacuum could be on its way out.

Robot vacuums are pretty convenient for the most part since they can keep your home clean without any extra effort from you. They also automatically charge themselves, so once you have your robot vacuum set up you can pretty much just let it do its own thing forever.

That is, of course, until it starts making a weird noise all of a sudden. Not only is a noisy vacuum distracting, but it’s also an indicator that something is wrong with the vacuum that needs your attention. You don’t want to damage your vacuum to the point where you have to get a new one.

In this article, we’ll be taking a look at some of the common reasons why your Shark robot vacuum might be making a loud noise, and we’ll show you how to deal with these problems.

Related: 4 Reasons Why Shark Vacuum Is Making Noise

Why is my shark robot vacuum making a loud noise?

Gearbox Failed

The gearbox in your Shark vacuum cleaner is used to control the torque that the electric motor transmits to the brush roll and the wheels.

shark robot vacuum making a loud noise: failed gearbox

The motor in a robot vacuum spins pretty fast, so the gearbox is necessary to reduce the speed at which the wheels and brush roll turn.

Why It Fails:

The gears in a Shark vacuum are made of plastic, which is obviously not the most durable material. Over time, the teeth on the gears can wear down, causing the gears to slip against each other. When this happens, it can cause a persistent, obnoxious grinding noise.

How to Fix It:

Unfortunately, if the gearbox in your Shark robot vacuum wears out, you may have to replace the entire vacuum. While Shark does sell some replacement parts for its robot vacuums, it doesn’t seem as though replacement gears or gearboxes are items they carry.

That being said, it’s a good idea to perform maintenance on your gearbox regularly if you want to get the most out of your vacuum. To that end:

  • You should periodically disassemble your vacuum cleaner to access the gearbox, and clean out any dirt or hair you find trapped in the gears. 

The cleanliness of your gearbox doesn’t usually affect how noisy the vacuum is, but if you want your vacuum to run smoothly and want to prevent it from getting jammed up, cleaning the gearbox is always a good idea

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Loose or Worn-Out Drive Belt

Your Shark robot vacuum likely has a small drive belt inside, which is used to transfer power from the motor to other components within the vacuum. This belt is typically made of rubber and has teeth on the inner side that grip onto gears.

Why It Fails:

Since this belt is made of rubber, it can wear down with enough use. In particular, the teeth on the belt can end up being ground off, causing the belt to slip. A slipping belt can easily cause your vacuum to make a loud noise.

The same thing can happen if the belt is too loose. The belt may get stretched out over time, or it’s possible that an incorrectly sized belt was installed at the factory. 

How to Fix It:

Regardless of whether your drive belt is loose or worn down, in either case, you’ll have to replace the drive belt to fix the issue. Shark doesn’t seem to offer replacement belts themselves, but you can buy third-party replacement belts from other retailers. Just make sure you buy a belt that’s the right size for the vacuum cleaner you have.   

Brush Roll Is Not Seated Correctly

The brush roll is the main brush in your vacuum. The purpose of the brush roll is to dislodge dirt and debris from within carpeting, as the vacuum’s suction alone isn’t enough to get the job done.

shark robot brush roll

Why It Fails:

The brush roll sits on a spindle inside the vacuum. In normal circumstances, the brush should stay centered on the spindle, but sometimes the brush can start moving from side to side while it’s spinning. There’s a good chance that this could be the source of your vacuum’s loud noise. 

How to Fix It:

Luckily, in this instance you don’t have to replace any parts to fix the problem. You basically just need to make a little shim inside the vacuum to prevent the brush roll from moving around.

  • To that end, open up the vacuum cleaner to gain access to the brush roll.
  • On one end of the roll, there should be a gear that is connected to the motor, and on the other end, there should be a rubber bushing.
  • Remove the bushing, and wrap a few small pieces of duct tape or electrical tape around it. The idea is to make the bushing just a little bit thicker so that it sits more snugly against the brush roll.
  • Once you’ve done this, put your vacuum back together and see how it runs. 

Brush Roll Is Blocked

You already know what the brush roll is and what it does, so we’ll refrain from repeating it again. Suffice it to say, the brush roll is pretty important for the overall functionality of your robot vacuum. 

blocked brush roll

Why It Fails:

Since the brush roll spins around to dislodge debris from carpeting, it’s inevitable that it’ll eventually get tangled up with hair. Once enough hair accumulates, the brush roll may be completely unable to spin.

The brush roll can also get jammed if a large enough piece of debris gets caught inside it.

How to Fix It:

Fixing a jammed brush roll is fortunately very easy. All you need to do is pop the brush roll out of the vacuum, remove whatever’s obstructing it, and reinstall the brush roll.

  • To do this, flip your vacuum upside down and look for the main brush cover. This cover is held in place with two tabs.
  • To remove the cover, just push the two tabs in and then pull up on the cover.
  • The brush roll should now be fully exposed. You can remove it by pulling it slightly to the right, which will disengage it from its housing.
  • There should be a rubber end cap on the side of the brush roll that is not connected to the motor. Remove this end cap, and clean away all the dirt that has accumulated there.
  • Hair tends to build up in this area over time, so it’s good to periodically check and clean this part of the brush roll. 
  • Once the brush roll is out, inspect the area where it was and clean out any large bits of debris that might be jamming the roll.
  • With the roll outside of the vacuum, it’ll also be easier to remove any hair that has wrapped around it.

Chances are that the hair wrapped around your brush roll is too tightly tangled just to pull off. It might make things easier to use a small pair of scissors or something like a stitch picker to get the hair off the brush roll. Be careful not to damage the bristles on the roll when removing the hair, though.  

Motor Is Failing 

Your Shark vacuum actually contains multiple motors. Each of the side brushes on your vacuum has its own motor, the main suction in the vacuum is generated by its own motor, and the wheels and brush roll use their own motor as well.

failing shark motor

Why It Fails:

Electric motors can fail over time due to wear from regular use. Plenty of parts in an electric motor can make a loud noise when they start to go bad. The noise you’re hearing might be caused by worn-out bearings, a bent shaft, or just a couple of random parts that are grinding together.

You may also notice the smell of an electrical fire if your motors are really in rough shape. Electrical fires generate a somewhat fishy smell, so be on the lookout for such an odor.

How to Fix It:

If one of the motors in your vacuum cleaner really is on its last legs, you’ll have to have it replaced. Replacing an electric motor in a robot vacuum cleaner can be a pretty difficult and expensive job, so in many cases, it’s more worth it to just buy a new vacuum outright.

If you do want to try fixing a broken motor yourself, first you’ll have to figure out which motor is actually broken. You can do this by testing the continuity of each motor with a multimeter. If a motor doesn’t display any continuity, it means it’s not working.  


There are plenty of reasons why your Shark robot vacuum might be making a weird noise, but the majority of these problems are relatively easy to fix. We hope that we’ve made it easier for you to diagnose and solve any issues with your vacuum that are making it noisier than usual.

Related: Shark Vacuum Troubleshooting Protection Status