Are you a vinyl enthusiast who’s been struggling with a turntable that won’t spin?
Don’t worry, you’re not alone!
It can be frustrating when your beloved record player suddenly stops working, but before you give up on it, there are a few things you can try to fix the issue.
In this article, we’ll walk you through some common causes of turntable malfunctions and provide step-by-step instructions on how to troubleshoot and repair your turntable.
Whether you’re a seasoned audiophile or a newbie to the world of vinyl, this guide will help you get your turntable spinning again in no time.
So let’s dive in and get started!
How To Fix A Turntable That Won’t Spin
The first step in fixing a turntable that won’t spin is to check the power source. It might seem obvious, but it’s easy to accidentally unplug the turntable or forget to turn it on. Make sure the turntable is plugged into a working socket and that it’s switched on.
If the power source isn’t the issue, the next thing to check is the belt. If the belt is rubbing against another part of the turntable, it can cause it to slow down or stop spinning altogether. If this is the case, adjust the belt so that it’s not rubbing against anything.
If the belt isn’t rubbing against anything, it could be that it has stretched out over time. This is a common issue with turntables and can cause them to stop spinning. To fix this, you can try boiling the belt in hot water for 4-8 minutes. This should shrink it back down to its original size. Alternatively, you can replace the belt entirely.
Another potential cause of a turntable that won’t spin is a dirty or faulty tonearm. If there’s dirt or debris on the tonearm, it can cause it to stick and prevent the turntable from spinning. To fix this, clean the tonearm with a soft cloth and some rubbing alcohol.
If none of these solutions work, there could be an issue with the motor or other internal components of the turntable. In this case, it’s best to take your turntable to a professional for repair.
Inspect The Belt
One of the most common reasons for a turntable not spinning is a faulty or loose belt. If your turntable has a belt drive, it’s possible that the belt may have become loose or even crumbled away over time. When the belt is not in its proper place, or is damaged, the platter stops spinning. However, if the belt is just loose or out of place, you can fix this problem by repositioning or tightening the belt.
To inspect the belt, first, unplug the turntable and remove the plastic covering protecting the platter. Then, remove the platter from its position by unscrewing the C-shaped clip with any screwdriver that fits. Keep the clip safe for later use. After the platter releases, flip it to its backside. You will notice a circular lid on the inner side of the platter. Check if the belt is in the proper position and see whether it is corroding or needs a replacement.
Before the belt stops working completely, it will show you some warning signs that indicate its time is nearly up. Most notably, the record player spins at the wrong speed and produces poor sound quality. If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to replace the belt.
To replace the belt and restart the spinning process, you first need to find a compatible belt. The instruction manual has all the details about the size, width, and thickness of the belt required for your model. If you no longer have the manual, search for it online. Most manuals are available on the internet. If you can’t find yours, search for the company that makes your turntable and contact them to ask for a manual or to ask directly what kind of belt you need.
After you have the belt, start the replacement process by flipping the platter over and placing it on its original position. Pull the belt from the access points and pull it over the drive motor. Push the platter into its place and attach the C-shaped clip. With this, the belt and player are ready to use.
Clean The Platter And Motor
One common reason for a turntable not spinning correctly is dirt or too much friction on the platter or motor. To fix this issue, the first step is to thoroughly clean the platter and motor. Start by removing the platter from the turntable, either by removing a circlip or screw from underneath. Be careful with circlips as they can spring off. Use a small screwdriver to gently prise it off.
Next, clean the platter and motor with isopropyl alcohol or another suitable cleaning solution. Be sure to remove any dirt or debris that may be causing friction. Once everything is clean, add a few drops of oil on the motor shaft and on the area where the spindle enters the housing. Use twenty weight synthetic oil. This will help to lubricate the bearings and reduce friction.
After cleaning and lubrication, check to see if the turntable is spinning correctly. If it’s still not working, it’s time to take a look at the belt or other internal components of the turntable. Remember that proper maintenance and upkeep can help prevent these issues from occurring in the first place, so be sure to keep your turntable clean and well-lubricated on a regular basis.
Adjust The Tonearm
The tonearm is an essential component of a turntable, and if it’s not properly adjusted, it can cause the turntable to stop spinning. One common issue with the tonearm is that it’s not properly placed on the turntable. Depending on the type of turntable you have, the tonearm might need to be secured in its armrest before turning on the record player.
If the tonearm is not properly secured, it might be dangling in a position that prevents the turntable platter from spinning. Some turntables have an automatic function that returns the tonearm to the armrest after a record has ended. If your turntable doesn’t have this feature, it’s important to manually reset the tonearm back into its armrest each time a record has ended.
Another issue with the tonearm is that it may not be properly reset in its resting position. This can cause the turntable to not spin at all. To fix this issue, simply lift the tonearm and move it towards the right-hand side until you hear a clicking sound. This indicates that it has been reset properly.
It’s important to note that different turntables may have different methods for adjusting the tonearm. Always refer to your turntable’s instruction manual for specific instructions on how to adjust the tonearm properly.
Replace The Cartridge
If you’ve tried all of the above methods and your turntable still won’t spin, it’s possible that the cartridge needs to be replaced. The cartridge is the part of the turntable that holds the needle and is responsible for reading the grooves on your records. Over time, the cartridge can become worn or damaged, which can cause issues with the turntable’s spinning.
To replace the cartridge, you’ll need to first find a compatible replacement. Check your turntable’s manual for information on what type of cartridge is needed, or search online for a replacement that matches your model. Once you have the replacement cartridge, follow these steps:
1. Turn off the power to your turntable and unplug it from the wall.
2. Remove the old cartridge by gently pulling it straight out of its holder.
3. Insert the new cartridge into the holder, making sure it’s securely in place.
4. Reconnect any wires or cables that were attached to the old cartridge.
5. Turn on the power to your turntable and test it out to make sure it’s spinning properly.
Replacing a cartridge can be a bit more involved than some of the other fixes mentioned above, but it’s still something that can be done at home with a little bit of patience and care. If you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, however, it’s always best to take your turntable to a professional for repair.
Seek Professional Help
If you’ve tried all of the above solutions and your turntable still won’t spin, it’s time to seek professional help. Taking apart a turntable can be tricky, and if you’re not experienced with electronics, you could end up doing more harm than good. A professional repair technician will have the tools and expertise needed to diagnose and fix any issues with your turntable.
Before taking your turntable to a repair shop, do some research to find a reputable technician in your area. Look for reviews online or ask for recommendations from other vinyl enthusiasts. When you bring your turntable in for repair, make sure to explain the issue you’re experiencing in as much detail as possible. This will help the technician diagnose the problem quickly and accurately.
Keep in mind that repairing a turntable can be expensive, so be prepared to pay for the cost of parts and labor. However, if you have a high-end or vintage turntable, it’s often worth the investment to get it back in working order. A properly functioning turntable will provide years of enjoyment and preserve your vinyl collection for years to come.