Why Shark Vacuum Brush Roll Indicator Light Is Not On

If you have a Shark vacuum with an unlit indicator light for the brush roll, this can indicate one of several problems with the vacuum. The light may fail to turn on if the vacuum overheats, if the roll is clogged with debris, or if the belt that drives the roll becomes damaged. It may also fail to turn on due to user error.

In your Shark vacuum, the roll is located in its suction head, and its purpose is to help remove dust, dirt, and other debris from carpeting and other similar surfaces. The indicator light on your vacuum exists to let you know whether your brush roll is working or not.

This light will be either green or red when it is working. Green means that the brush roll is working as it should, while red means that something has gone wrong.

As we’ve mentioned, however, sometimes the brush roll indicator light will fail to turn on entirely, which can indicate that there is either a fairly serious issue with the vacuum or that you have made some kind of user error. Let’s take a look at the issues that can cause your Shark vacuum indicator light to turn off and show you how you can deal with them.

Related: Shark Vacuum Brush Not Spinning

Switch Is In the Wrong Position

Shark vacuums have two cleaning modes built into them. One is a suction mode, for vacuuming up debris from smooth surfaces like hardwood and tiles, while the other mode is the brush roll mode, which is used for vacuuming stuff up from deep carpeting.

Why It Fails:

Toggling between the two cleaning modes is done with a switch. On the switch itself, the two modes are marked as “I” and “II”, with “I” being the suction mode and “II” being the brush roll mode.

Because the switch doesn’t make it entirely clear which mode is for suction and which mode is for the brush roll, it can be confusing to figure out which mode you’re in.

How to Fix It:

The only thing you need to do in this case is to make sure that the cleaning mode switch is in the right setting. The light won’t turn on until you put it into brush roll mode, so before you do anything else just make sure the switch is in the “II” position.

If you’ve double-checked that the vacuum is switched to the correct mode but the light still isn’t turning on, then it’s time to explore some other possible issues.

Nozzle Is Attached Incorrectly

Your vacuum’s nozzle is located at the end of the vacuum hose and attaches to the suction head. The suction head is, of course, the part of your vacuum that sucks dirt and debris off the floor. The suction head contains the brush roll, as well as the motor that drives the brush roll.  

Connect with an Appliance Repair Tech

Click here to use the chatbox to speak with one of our technicians.
No in-home service calls. No appointments.

Why It Fails:

The suction head of your vacuum is attached to the vacuum body with a tube, which not only brings debris into the vacuum bag but also acts as a power cable for the suction head. Therefore, if the nozzle isn’t attached to the suction head correctly, the head might fail to receive any power and the brush roll will subsequently fail to spin.

How to Fix It:

To fix this issue, you just need to make sure that the suction head is attached correctly to the hose. In order to do so:

  • Line the nozzle with the suction head and push it firmly onto the head.
  • If everything is working correctly, the nozzle should attach itself and lock into place and the brush roll should work as normal after that.

If it still doesn’t work, try checking the nozzle and the suction head at the place where they come together and see if any dirt or grime has accumulated around there.

  • If it has, this could be what is preventing the nozzle from attaching to the suction head correctly.
  • Clean out any debris you can find in these places and see if that makes a difference.

Vacuum Motor Is Overheating

Your Shark vacuum contains two electric motors. One of these motors powers the fan that creates the vacuum’s suction, while the other motor drives the brush roll via a drive belt. Failure of either one of these motors can potentially cause the brush roll indicator light to turn off.

Related: Shark Vacuum Suction Problems

Why It Fails:

Both of these motors can overheat, although they tend to overheat for different reasons. In the case of the main suction motor, the cause of overheating is usually due to an overfilled vacuum bag, a clogged filter, or a blockage somewhere within the hose.

Having a decent amount of airflow within your vacuum is important because this airflow helps keep the motor cool and also allows it to pull in dirt with minimal effort. If the airflow gets blocked, even partially, the motor won’t be able to cool itself effectively.

Not only that, but if a blockage is reducing the amount of suction the motor is generating, this forces the motor to work harder in order to create the same amount of suction, which can cause overheating.

The brush roll motor can also overheat, although for different reasons. The brush roll motor may overheat if the brush roll gets blocked and can’t turn, and it may also overheat if the drive belt connected to the motor breaks.

Without the resistance provided by the belt and the brush roll, the motor may spin up too fast, causing it to overheat. 

How to Fix It:

To deal with an overheating suction motor, you’ll need to make sure that your vacuum has been thoroughly cleaned out.

  • Start by checking the dust canister or the vacuum bag (depending on what your vacuum is equipped with) and empty it out or change it if it’s more than 3/4 of the way full.
  • Next, remove any filters from the vacuum, and clean or replace them as necessary.
  • Finally, you should inspect the vacuum hose and the suction head for any obstructions and remove all that you find.

Dealing with an overheating suction motor will likely involve either replacing the brush roll drive belt or unclogging the brush roll. We’ll be covering how to perform both of these fixes in the next two sections.

In either case, after you’ve fixed the issue, you should wait at least half an hour to an hour before starting the vacuum again to ensure that it has sufficiently cooled down.

Drive Belt/Belt Channel Is Broken

As we’ve mentioned, the brush roll is driven by an electric motor via a drive belt. The drive belt is a small, simple part, but it’s essential to the functionality of your brush roll.

Why It Fails:

The brush roll drive belt is made of rubber and may therefore be prone to failure if it gets old and becomes brittle. The belt sits in a channel that attaches to the roll, and ensures that the belt remains in place. If this channel breaks, the belt might jump off the brush roll.

How to Fix It:

In order to fix this issue, you’ll have to replace either the drive belt or the brush roll itself. If the channel on the brush roll has broken, it will be necessary to buy a new brush roll, as the channels are not available as separate components.

  • If you want to replace your drive belt or your brush roll yourself, you’ll have to partially disassemble your vacuum’s suction head.
  • This can be done with just a screwdriver, but if you’re not comfortable with opening up your vacuum and interacting with its electrical components, you may want to leave this job to a licensed technician. 

Brush Roll Is Jammed

The brush roll is the spinning brush that can be found inside your vacuum’s suction head. As you know, the purpose of the brush roll is to lift up dirt from carpets. The stiff bristles on the brush roll catch onto dirt and pull it up from wherever it’s trapped.

Why It Fails:

Brush rolls usually tend to get jammed because of hair. As the brush roll sweeps up loose hairs from the ground, these can get tangled up in the inner workings of the brush roll. If enough hair gets caught inside, the brush roll may be completely unable to turn. 

How to Fix It:

Once again, you’ll have to open up your vacuum’s suction head to get at the brush roll.

  • Once you have the brush roll fully exposed, disconnect it from the drive belt and remove the brush roll from the suction head.
  • Chances are that any hair tangled up in the brush roll is going to be wrapped around it too tightly to simply pull it off. Instead, use a pair of scissors to cut the hair away from the brush roll. Take care not to snip any of the bristles off while doing so. 
  • Once you’ve finished removing the hair from your brush roll, reinstall it into the suction head and reassemble the head, then test the vacuum out to see if the problem is solved.


It may be somewhat confusing at first as to why your Shark vacuum’s brush roll indicator light is refusing to turn on, but there’s a good chance that the cause of this issue is something that can be fixed in just a few minutes. We hope that this article will help you solve any such issues you might have with your own vacuum cleaner.

DMCA.com Protection Status