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More Miele Vacuum Cleaner Repairs

These are repairs and tips provided by other Miele owners to solve many common problems with the Miele vacuum cleaners.

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Fixing the Miele intermittent electrical connection cord winder problem for free

This is by far the most commonly reported problem with the Miele. The Miele operates intermittently. Jiggling or wiggling the cord makes it turn off and on. Pulling the cord makes it turn off and on. The power switch has no effect, but if you pull or jiggle or wiggle the cord, it works. It all seems very strange, but what has happened is the cord reel develops side-to-side play on the spindle and you need to force the electrical connectors together with some sort of washer or spacer. Stephen used hose washers, which is a great idea. Other Miele owners have used metal washers, or made their own spacers from whatever scrap plastic they had lying around the house.

"Our problem was that the machine simply stopped running: no power, no damaged cord, the switch was fine. When I pulled the cord all of the way out and moved it around it would start and stop unpredictably. Sometimes pushing the cord rewind switch would also cause the machine to turn on and off.

I opened it up and replaced only the top piece with the switch and cord release button so I could turn it on and off and watch the motor and cord reel. I moved the cord reel sideways toward the outside of the vacuum cleaner and, viola, it would start, then stop when I let go.

I found a couple of plastic washers that go inside of the garden hose connector and carefully pried the axle of the cord reel on the inside of the machine up so that I could slip the washers onto it and then I lowered it back down. I didn't need to remove the reel so it was easy. I also discovered that garden hose washers come in different thicknesses, so I picked two slightly thinner ones that pushed the reel to the outside without binding; that way the reel was pushed over toward the electrical connectors without keeping the reel from turning easily. The vacuum now works like new.

I was told at the repair shop that I would need a new reel for $160 and I would be better to just buy a new Miele for $600. Instead, I spent less than $1 to repair it. Your instructions helped me to open the Miele in the first place without fear of wrecking something inside. Thank you very much. I hope this info can help others too. I could send photos if you like.

Best wishes,


Replacing the plug on the electrical cord (an easy but temporary fix)

"I replaced the plug on the end of the cord several times before I replaced the entire cord winder. People in my house were retracting the cord and letting the plug SLAM HARD into the vacuum cleaner body and eventually the plug got loose. When I saw sparks one time, it was time to fix it.

I cut off the plug and replaced it with a generic plug from Home Depot. If you are handy with wiring or know someone who is, it is an easy job to connect two wires. It worked fine for a while, as long as certain people were careful about winding the cord more slowly and not letting the plug slam into the vacuum too often."


Replacing the electrical cord on the Miele cord winder assembly.

"Well, here's the story. The plug on my vac got all torn apart several years ago and since then I have replaced the plug several times. However, the replacement plugs I get from Home Dept keep breaking. In the process of replacing the plug each time, I had to trim the cord a little, and the cord kept getting shorter. Finally, when the plug broke the last time, I decided the cord itself really needed to be replaced (the winder still worked fine).

I took my trusty 301i Miele to the local vac shop thinking that since it was just the plug/cord that was broken, anyone could put a new cord on the existing reel. The vac guy took one look at the machine and told me that he did not replace cords on auto winders anymore because, "They were a pain in the butt." He told me to either to purchase the cord winder together with the new cord on it from Miele myself or take it to a Miele shop, of which there were none locally.

Long story short, I did not want to pay $100 for a new Miele cord winder with cord when the winder worked perfectly, just the cord needed to be replaced. The vac shop had cords in stock (wrong color, right length, but who cares about the color if it does the job, right?) for MUCH less. In fact, the cord I bought from the vac guy cost $9.95!

But how do I deal with putting the cord on the auto winder? That's when I found your site as I was hunting around the internet. No info on exactly what I wanted, but it got me a lot closer. Once I used your directions to open everything I could scope out the insides of the cord winder and study it. It became obvious why the vac guy didn't want to fool with it.

The white winder wheel has a very strong copper spring inside of it, and, to replace the plug, you have to essentially take the winder wheel out of the auto winder box and out of the vac. Once you do this there is NOTHING to hold the winder wheel together and the spring comes loose from between the two wheel "halves" becoming a dangerous projectile. There's no way to hold it together with one hand and replace the cord with the other hand at the same time. You need both hands to do both jobs.

So, finally, here is my brilliant fix-it idea:

Before you unscrew the white wheel and take it out of the vac, use long, thick electrical "zip" ties to tie the two halves of the winder tightly together so that the spring wonít come out of the middle when you take the winder wheel out.

In other words, I pulled the broken cord out to unwind it from the wheel and stuck the ties through the "spokes" of the empty winder from side to side (I used three ties) and tightened VERY tightly. Then, I could safely unscrew and remove the winder wheel in one piece without it violently springing apart.

With the "tied" winder out of the machine, I could then remove the old cord from the wheel and attach my new cord. To finish, I popped the wheel back in the machine, removed the ties, and pushed the winder button to start the cord reel, and, presto, problem solved!

Now I could use your instructions to put the unit back together!

This is the abbreviated version of what I did. Sorry, I did not take pics to show you! Hope it makes sense without the visual.

One note, the plug on the replacement cord is a little smaller than the factory plug and will slide up into the winder opening at the back of the machine when it is fully rewound. This means I have to stick my fingers inside the winder opening to fish out the plug next time I use it. To avoid this problem, I have now trained myself to pay attention when the cord is going back into the winder and I stop the winder myself when the plug gets close to the back of the machine before it sneaks up inside the winder opening. I hope this helps.

One final thing, be very careful if you try to mimic what I did. The winder wheel can be dangerous. Of course, I assume no liability for the consequences of anyone else's use of my information!

And again, thanks for taking the time to take pictures and write out an explanation of what you did. It truly was very helpful!

Georgia B."

Miele S2110 Tips

"I would like to thank you for the fact that Google brought me to your instructive tutorial about the tricks that you met in disassembling your Miele vacuum cleaner. I was already struggling for hours to do the same with another type Miele S2110, where tricks turned out to be similar.
With your help, I managed to repair the Miele S2110(red) vacuum cleaner via the following adaptations:
1) firmly remove the black plastic switch unit after removing the two screws that fix it. Do not change the position of the power dimmer.
2) after that, pivoting upwards the white plastic electronic circuit unit makes visible the last bottom screw that is hidden beneath this unit. The other five 2mm Phillips screws are normally reached for removal.
3) The final trick is that when firmly removing the bottom of the cleaner the cavity that houses the power plug must be split by force (e.g. using a screwdriver) into two segments, the lower segment attached to the bottom, and the upper segment making part of the cleaner body.
4) When remounting the vacuum cleaner don't forget (as I did) to pull out the power cord a little bit!

Yours sincerely,
Ed M

Basic "My Vacuum Cleaner Won't Run" Troubleshooting Tips.

I'm not a Miele technician, just a fellow owner, but you may be able to do a bit more troubleshooting if you are comfortable with electricity and handy with an electrical test meter.

Basically, if you think about it, the vacuum cleaner is an electric motor with a switch. It may be a little more complex if there is a variable speed control also, but the troubleshooting procedure still applies.

If the vacuum cleaner is not running, most likely it is an electrical problem of some sort.

The basic procedure is to test electrical continuity from the wall to the motor in a series of logical steps at various critical points.

The first step is easy. Plug a lamp into the wall. Confirm that the power from the wall is good. You'd feel awfully silly after taking your vacuum cleaner apart only to find a tripped breaker on your home's electrical panel!

Next, is power getting to the switch? If not, the cord is bad.

Is power getting beyond the switch? If not, the switch is bad.

And so on.

If power is detected at the motor, but the motor doesn't run, the motor is bad. That is probably the worst case scenario in terms of repair cost..

This may all be an oversimplification, but I went through similar troubleshooting with my Sears Kenmore clothes dryer (several times) and in one case I was lucky and discovered that a thermal fuse had burned out (a $2 part). The next time I wasn't so lucky and the motor itself was bad. I bought a new motor and replaced it myself. Expensive, but had I called Sears repair for that, it would likely have cost me more to repair the dryer than to replace it, and if I had decided not to repair it, I would have had to pay the technician for the service call and for his time in addition to the cost of a new dryer.

Good luck and let me know how it turns out. Maybe you want to take some pictures if you do end up taking it apart. If nothing else, to help yourself with reassembly.

Replacing the motor on a Miele vacuum cleaner.

"I found your web page recently on the Miele vacuum. I too had a problem with my vacuum but it was related to the motor. It failed after ten years when the expected years of service should be twenty.

Anyhow, I put in a motor for around $110. There are a couple of motors to use. You need to find the right one. Mine was a 300 series Ametek-Lamb. The procedure was very similar to the steps as you have listed.

Here are a couple of other details.

After removing all the parts to access the motor, there is one screw to remove to free the motor. The motor slides out for the most part.

There is a five-pin wire set that connects to the unit. Important: Before removing, write down which way the switch is plugged in.

Next, remove the computer chip board component on the old unit and place it on the new one.

A couple of key things to note. First, you need a Torx screwdriver to remove the entire assembly. There are two wires that connect from the motor onto this custom chip. In my case, I was told it didn't matter which connects to which. The tricky thing is that when you put the Torx screw back on, the hole where the screw would go is not threaded. I had to screw it on with a wrench.

Finally, there is a reusable gasket that sits in the front of the motor. I just took it off the old one and put it on the new one.

Once that is back on, it is pretty straightforward. Just reverse the steps.

Hopefully others may find these steps helpful.

Richard F.

Reattaching the spring on the cord winder.

"I had to replace my electric cord (after 6 years) because of a melted wire in the cord somewhere in the cabling between the plug and the terminals.
There was no sign of any melting of the cable shield. Quite unreasonable. This happens after an extensive max power suction for 20 minutes. This auto winder is unlike previous model where you don't have to separate the 2 halves (per previous commentator).

If for any reason the spring in the winder slips out from the smaller of the 2 spools, which you will have notice if hear the slapping of the coiled leaf spring when the spool is turned. With the cord disconnected or not hooked up yet, place back the top half of the spool in hand (so you can use it to turn the spool), wind till the beginning of the spring catches on the smaller spool, then begin to wind up the bigger spool, till the spring is coiled up on the smaller spool (whichever direction that will make this happens). Look thro the opaque small spool cover to see the build up. When substantial amt has coiled up (almost to where the coil on the bigger spool shows only 2-3 layer left). This is the position when the all the cord are taken up, then turn the bigger spool as if the cord is pull out; do so till you see 2-3 layers are left on the small spool. This is position when the cord are all pulled out.

Then separate the bigger spool half so as to assemble the terminals of the wires onto the core of the spool. Now put the entire assembly back into the base. When you press the release button, the spool should take up the cords. good luck. The basic idea here is that leaf spring arrangement is in a S-pattern, where the top and bottom of the S is the small and bigger take up spool.

Calvin W."

2011 July 10 maintenance report on the Miele Vacuum model S542.

"220K ohm white plastic pot with half moon 8mm shaft (or larger?) governs the motor speeds. Lowest speed and the pot is at the full 220K resistance. Tested it with ohm meter. Added Labelle 106 plastic compatible grease with PTFE in three very small amounts (speck on the end of a sharp toothpick) to the sliding edge of the large black speed control knob assembly (not the pot itself). From a dry scraping motion to a smooth quiet one. Also added Teflon grease to the accessory compartment lid switch and hinge, as well as the hinge and slide surfaces of the vacuum bag main compartment door. Added Teflon grease to the pivot points and contact areas of the cord wind button and the large power switch button / flap. Silenced and now with Teflon smooth motion.

On the green PC board there is a single square blue trim pot. It says "Spain" on it and "100K". This was clogged with dark charcoal colored dust, some particles of which reflected light. They must have been conductive particles.

The hurricane blower bulb was employed to flush and purge away this material. At very close range as well as in direct contact with this 100K pot I pumped air through the device. Upon the first flush of air there was a substantial puff of thick gray / black dust particles. (Speeds 1 & 2 merging into one began to be noticed several years ago. Then last week all 5 of the lower speeds effectively merged into the one speed of 5. Only the highest speed 6 was active and distinct. This cleaning procedure restored the full function of the 6-speed motor select. All 6 speeds are easily distinguished from each other by the sound of the motor. The sound difference between each speed setting is clear and obvious.)

A 5K ohm resistor with evidence of color code jacket flaking was identified and I marked 5K on the PC board next to it. Tested it with the ohm meter first. This is the resistor that bridges a slot in the PC board for thermal relief. It still gets too hot. Possible future failure? After putting the motor back in place I replaced the silicone grease around the gasket seal on the motor compartment. I did not add any grease to the plastic edge portion that inserts into the gasket. There was silicone grease there originally, full of dust and dirt, I cleaned it away with many dry Q-tips a month ago upon first opening cleaning and inspection. I also added silicone grease around the plastic edge that contacts the soft foam seal on the orange/red plastic switch and speed control assembly. Vacuum closed back up 2011 July 10th.

It would be a good idea to obtain several spare 100K small PC mount trip pots as well as a few spare voltage regulators. A cylindrical object, capacitor or thermal cutoff, should be identified and spares obtained too.



C1  01

Cylinder object:

9806 28




Information from these two parts
copied carefully and shown to the left.


Never use the two highest speed settings.

"If you really cherish your Miele vacuum cleaner and want the motor to last decades then take this simple advice: Never use the two highest speed settings.

Those speeds strain the motor greatly. Maximum vibration and mechanical stress, maximum bearing wear and maximum heat production. Also, huge volumes of air are literally being torn through the bag and filter medium -- this results in minute dust particles being pulled deep into the bag and filter material. These particles lodge into small pores blocking airflow and greatly contributing to reduced airflow. This is the main cause of premature dust bag clogging in my opinion -- that and vacuuming up ultra fine particles like flour or drywall dust.

By avoiding the use of the two highest speed settings you not only add years to the motor but greatly increase the longevity of bags and filters, in my opinion. Personal experience over the last decade have proven this fact to my own satisfaction. If you think about this you may find it to be "common sense".

Single 10 minute well planned vacuum sessions (furniture moved and areas cleared) each week on the 3rd speed setting are adequate to remove the fresh dust accumulations even on carpet. As you check the bag each month you will be pleasantly surprised to find a largely empty bag. After 6 months and the bag may be about 1/3 full of light fluffy grey dust and hair.. Airflow and suction is powerful, quiet, the motor is running cool and working without difficulty. But this is just my experience in my small home without pets or children.

Miele rates the vacuum motors for 1000 hours of operation. But at what speed?

But why only 1000 hours? With proper bearing maintenance and oiling an electric motor can last tens of thousands of hours. So open your mind. And open up your vacuum every couple of years and add a single pin head size drop of zoom spout or electric motor oil to the main bearing. You canít miss it -- the motor shaft is fully exposed at one end and ready to accept oil. It is critical not to add too much oil. A metal pin holding a single small drop should be applied directly to one side of the motor shaft where it is visible and exposed.

The other bearing requires removal of the blower blade assembly. A flat blade screwdriver pops off the thin stamped metal airflow shroud. A Ĺ" hex head nut holds in the rotor. Difficulty may be encountered when trying to remove this nut -- it is hard to prevent the motor turning as you attempt to loosen the nut. The motor should be held fast on a work bench and an improvised wood block tool used to safely prevent the blade assembly turning while you remove the nut. There does not appear to be a motor brake or means to apply one directly. I could be mistaken though.

But do you even need to lubricate this second bearing as often as the main exposed one? A thought experiment may lead you to answer "no". The top exposed bearing is subject to continual strong airflow carrying minute dust particles. These particles will enter the bearing / motor shaft system and absorb lubricant and increase friction. Heat increase and loss of efficiency will result. This very well may be the major source of eventual long term Miele vacuum motor failure. The second cause would probably be, I suspect, continuous chronic overheating from years of unremitting use on the higher speed settings. Darker colored copper coil windings indicate past thermal stress in a spare used motor I bought on e-bay. A third cause would be utter exhaustion of the carbon brushes resulting in arcing and the usual failure that this then leads to. Obtain a set of spare placement motor brushes.

But that second concealed bearing may be more shielded from the airflow. The nature of the air intake "turbine" is such that the air flows around the circumferential edge and is introduced further up inside the motor. The central shaft area may have much less airflow associated with it, in my opinion. This argument is to build the case that you might not need to go through the difficulty of trying to remove the "turbine" to gain access to the bearing for lubrication -- at least not as often.

Inspection of my original motor at the 10 year mark shows that only a few millimeters of the spring loaded carbon brushes must have been used up. There is just no physical room left in the brass brush holder to hold much more. And, the reasoning goes, if it wasnít there to begin with then it wasnít used up. There looks to be a good 35mm left on each of the brushes which at this rate of consumption means decades remain. The armature assembly is clean with only a dull look and the hint of the thinnest natural film of carbon dust. The commutator copper has the normal light semi-transparent carbon film deposit. Not a thick black layer but more of a pale stain. I am trying to characterize for you what the "normal" appearance of a Miele vacuum motor is like.


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