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Why Is My Kirby Vacuum So Hard to Push & Pull?

Natasha Puryear

The Kirby vacuum cleaner can stump new usersm, especially if it was bought secondhand without a demonstration on how it works. The easiest issue to fix is one of the most common. Without knowing how the machine works, many users will find it extremely difficult to move. Fortunately, there are a few things you can check to determine the issue.

When Turned on

If you are having problems maneuvering your Kirby while the power is on, the most common issue is the motor not being in drive. Like a car, the Kirby needs you to put it in the correct gear so it moves easily. Look at the back of your Kirby near the ground for a yellow or tan switch with the letters "D" and "N" on it. Push the "D" side down and your machine should move easily.

When Turned off

The motor must be taken out of drive or you may experience difficulty pushing and pulling your Kirby when it's turned off. Check the switch you used to put the vacuum in drive. If the side marked with a "D" is still pushed down, you must push the side marked with a "N" down instead. Once the vacuum motor is in neutral, you should have no issue getting it where you need to go.

Other Possible Issues

If the motor is in the correct gear and you are still having issues moving your Kirby vacuum, check each of the four wheels on the base. If any of them are damaged or turned inward, the friction and resistance can impede movement.

Also try raising the vacuum head by pressing the large arrow button with your foot until it comes to a stop. The arrow button is located on the left side of the vacuum near the front of the machine. If the vacuum head has been depressed down too far, your carpet may cause enough resistance to slow the machine down.

Getting the Machine Fixed

If you find the Kirby is not moving easily and you have been unable to determine the cause, contact your Kirby repair center. Never try to repair the machine on your own because doing so will void your warranty. New Kirby vacuum cleaners come with a lifetime warranty, and any malfunction not intentionally caused is usually covered. How long Kirby's repair service takes depends on the age of your machine.