vacuum cleaner burning strange smell troubleshooting

Dyson vacuum cleaner - Burning or strange smells troubleshooting.

Burning smell from your Dyson?

Fix it with one of our step by step videos!

This is a new feature for 2018 so we are in the process of adding new videos monthly so if your model isn't available yet then check back or drop us an email.

If your Dyson vacuum cleaner is giving of some strange smells, it could be for the fact you have pets. If it is giving off burning smells then that definitely isn't normal.


If you smell a burning smell try and look out for other symptoms,

Is your Dyson losing power and then coming straight back on again? Do you see sparking anywhere? Have you lost suction? Does it smell like rubber or electrical burning?

Lets start off with the most important one - if it smells like electrical burning and your Dyson is switching off and back on again immediately, then:
Unplug it from the wall immediately, do not even switch it off at the cleaner. This is usually a cable failure but may also be a switch and will need to be repaired by a qualified person. If you are qualified then you can order a new cable or switch from our parts store


If your Dyson vacuum cleaner is making a popping noise and giving off a really pungent, acrid burning smell then usually this is a motor failure.

Again it is a major strip down to replace a motor, also the post filter will need replacing as this usually burns or at best has the lovely smell trapped in it for eternity.
Motors and post filters are available from our parts store with free UK shipping.


On the ball models, if you are getting a burning smell and sparking from the brushbar area, usually this means your brushbar motor has failed. The only description I can give for the smell is like a cap gun being fired.

This will require a new brushbar motor, sometimes depending on how badly it has failed it may take out the PCB or reset switch as well.



If your Dyson vacuum cleaner has a rubber burning smell and/ or you have lost suction from the base of the vacuum cleaner, then check your belt as it has probably snapped.

If it hasn't snapped change it anyway as it is probably worn (belts should be replaced every 6 months on clutchless models, clutch model belts aren't a customer replacable item.)

While you have it apart check your brushbar is spinning freely.
If it isn't spinning cut any hair off around the bristles, then take the endcaps off and clear any dust and hair in the ends. Spray some WD 40 in the ends for good measure and put it back together.
If it still doesn't spin freely then I recommend replacing your brushbar.

Have a look at the soleplate and the housing around were the belt and brush sits, is there any bent plastic, black marks were the belt has been rubbing or anything obstructing the brush like dirt or hairgrips?

The black marks were the belt has been rubbing may not be a problem if you know your belt hasn't been changed for a while (a year or more) once the new belt goes on the belt will not slip and slide as much.

Once you have replaced your belt, brushbar or both put it back together and it should be back in working order.


Clutch models

If you have a clutch model then it is still possible for the belt to break, if you have a Dyson that is 5 years or older then the clutch may be worn causing the belts to slip. Even if you see one belt intact then there is still another belt that you cannot see without stripping it down.

The same applies to the brushbar troubleshooting just above, although it can be a bit tricky getting the brushbar back in again correctly. If you have put a new clutch in yourself and are trying to put the brushbar back in again then get the sticking plasters at the ready.