4 Reasons Why Shark Vacuum Is Making Noise

All Shark vacuum models make a little bit of noise when they’re working. However, it’s very easy to notice when the unit makes a sound that suggests there’s a problem. 

When your Shark vacuum has a problem, it might become loud and make several noises like rattling, whistling, or grinding. A rattling noise means that the vacuum has sucked in something small and hard like a pebble. Whistling means that you should check for tears or holes causing an air leak. Lastly, grinding suggests one of the moving parts is jammed and needs to be cleared. 

Let’s look at the most common noises your Shark vacuum could make and how you can resolve the problem.


When troubleshooting or repairing your Shark vacuum, be sure to disconnect it from its power source. That will lower your overall injury risk and prevent electrocution, especially when working with moving or electrical parts.

Loud Or High Pitch Noise

If your Shark vacuum suddenly becomes loud or produces a high-pitched noise, the most likely causes are a blockage or filters that are dirty or damaged.


A blockage is a very common problem with vacuums, no matter the type. That happens when a buildup of dirt and dust becomes so severe that the air can no longer flow in the vacuum smoothly.

Another possibility is that the vacuum has sucked in something large enough to clog the airways. In a household setting, that typically means sucking in a sock or piece of cloth.

Related: 6 Reasons Why Miele Vacuum Is Not Turning On

The suction motor will work very hard to continue sucking air in despite the lack of smooth airflow. As a result, the vacuum will suddenly become louder or produce a high pitch noise that wasn’t there before.

How to fix:

To fix this, you will need to locate and remove the blockage(s) inside your vacuum.

  • Start by disconnecting all of the vacuum’s hose, wand, and any other attachments.
  • Then, inspect each one with a flashlight to locate the blockage.

The flexible hose can be challenging to inspect, so you can do that by dropping a coin in one end. If the coin falls out the other end without a problem, that means there is no blockage.

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Dirty or Damaged Filters

Another cause behind the loud noises coming from your Shark vacuum is an overly dirty or damaged filter.

Remember: air must be able to pass through filters with little resistance so that the vacuum can maintain good suction.

However, these filters get saturated and even caked with dirt and dust very quickly. The more that happens, the louder the vacuum will be as it struggles to smoothly move air through the airway.

Typically, the filters you’ll find on a Shark vacuum include:

  • An incoming air filter
  • A pre-motor filter
  • An exhaust filter

How to fix:

First and foremost, you must inspect all of the filters on your Shark vacuum.

  • There are several filters, so check the user manual to know exactly how many filters are on your particular Shark vacuum model.
  • For any washable filters, take them out and wash them in your sink with warm water.
  • Then, give them at least 24 hours to air dry completely.
  • For the other filters, you can start by removing any thick layers of dust formed on top. However, if the filters are worn out, you’ll need to replace them with new ones.

Rattling Noise

If there’s a rattling noise coming from your vacuum, the vacuum may have sucked up something hard into its bin. Rattling noises in the powerhead could point to a snapped belt.

Sucked Up Something Hard

Vacuums will suck up anything small and light enough to travel through their airways. Unfortunately, that also includes hard items like pebbles and rocks

When these kinds of items find their way into the vacuum’s bin, they will likely fly around, hitting the bin’s sides, causing the rattling noise that you hear.

Other everyday household items that could cause the same problem include marbles, paperclips, and more.

How to fix:

To fix this, you will simply need to remove the hard items making that rattling noise.

  • That means emptying the bin and checking that none are trapped in the hose or wand.
  • If any more of these items are trapped in other parts of the vacuum, they could dislodge and cause the rattling noise to happen again in the future.

Belt Snapped In Powerhead

On Shark vacuum models with powerheads, a small drive motor turns the brush roll. The motor does this by turning a rubber belt, which transfers that energy to the brush roll and spins continuously.


Why this happens:

As that small rubber belt continues to experience normal wear and tear, it will eventually crack and snap. Despite that, the motor continues trying to turn the damaged belt. That will produce a noise that you might recognize as rattling coming from the powerhead.

A tell-tale sign that a broken belt is the problem is when there’s a rattling noise, and the brush bar fails to spin as it should.

How to fix:

To stop the rattling noise from continuing, you will need to replace the broken or snapped belt.

  • First, remove the powerhead from the rest of the vacuum and place it on a suitable work surface.
  • Then, take the soleplate off to gain access to the powerhead’s insides.
  • There, you’ll see the rubber belt or what remains of it. Be sure to take out the belt and any broken pieces you might find.
  • Next, wrap the new belt around the motor and the brush bar. Be sure to check that the belt is perfectly aligned by turning the brush bar with your hand.
  • Lastly, replace the soleplate by tightening any screws you removed earlier.

Whistling Noise

A whistling, ‘whooshing’, or any other kind of air noise coming from the vacuum’s body is a sign of a problem. The most likely source of the noise is an air leak.

Air Leak

Shark vacuums are all about airflow. When the vacuum is in good working order, all of the air will be sucked in through the wand or hose and nowhere else. However, if you notice that there’s a whistling, ‘whooshing’, or any other kind of air-related noise from the vacuum’s body, that’s a sign of an air leak.

Simply put, that noise means the vacuum is sucking in air from somewhere other than the end of the hose or wand. Typically, that means there’s a hole or tear in the wand or the flexible hose.

Air leaks can also happen when parts of the vacuum aren’t closed correctly. The vacuum’s cover fails to form a tight seal when that happens, allowing air to be sucked in. That will also produce a whistling noise as air squeezes through those small openings.

How to fix:

To fix this, you must first identify the location of the air leak. Then, turn on the vacuum and listen for where the noise is coming from.

  • If the noise comes from a hole or tears in the hose or wand, you will have to replace those parts entirely. Unfortunately, these parts cannot be repaired.
  • In the meantime, you can temporarily seal the hole with duct tape or something similar as a temporary fix.
  • If the noise is coming from the vacuum’s cover, check that nothing prevents it from closing correctly. For instance, there might be dirt trapped in the cover’s seal. Or, the vacuum bag might not be seated correctly in its place.

Grinding Noise

Shark vacuums of all kinds have moving parts, like brush rolls in powerheads. So if you hear a grinding noise coming from your vacuum, it’s likely that something has jammed one of those moving parts.

Jammed Moving Parts

As mentioned earlier, plenty of Shark vacuum models have moving parts. The most common example is the rotating brush roll and the moving brushes on Shark ION robot vacuums.

These moving parts can sometimes get jammed, especially when they trap items that are too large for the vacuum to suck in. For example, the brush roll might get entangled with a piece of string, a tie, or even a sock.

Despite being jammed, the moving parts will attempt to continue moving. However, that will produce a grinding noise that will continue until the jam is cleared or the motor burns out.

How to fix:

To fix this, you will need to locate the jam and clear it.

  • Firstly, figure out where the grinding noise is coming from precisely.
  • Then, turn the vacuum off immediately and inspect that part.
  • Wherever possible, try to remove the jammed item by pulling it out very slowly.
  • If that’s not possible, you will likely have to unthread that part’s screws and open up its cover.
  • Suppose the jam is in the powerhead. If that’s the case, you can simply take off the soleplate and clear any jammed items quickly.

Reader Comments (1)

  1. Excellent information,very helpful as a
    elderly female on a strict budget I was able to find the problem.
    Thank you

Comments are closed.

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