How to Troubleshoot a Kenmore Progressive Vacuum With Direct Drive

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Change the dust bag and filters on your Kenmore Progressive vacuum regularly to prevent them from clogging and causing a reduction in suction.


Never attempt to wash and reuse the Kenwood Progressive's filters. Their effectiveness is lost as soon as they become wet.

The Kenmore Progressive with Power Drive is an upright vacuum. It has a height-adjustable cleaning head with four settings. One is for hard floors, and the rest are for various heights of carpet pile. On-board tools are attached to the suction hose to remove dust and dirt from soft furnishings, upholstery and other household surfaces. If your Kenmore Progressive develops a problem, there are a number of steps you can take to remedy the situation.

Suction Problems

Step 1

Check the floor cleaning head's height setting if the problem occurs when you are vacuuming flooring. Make sure it is set to the correct height for the surface you are cleaning. This inspection should also be made if the suction appears to be too strong — for example, if the vacuum is lifting loose rugs, or you find it very difficult to push it over the floor. Examine the agitator within the cleaning head. If it is worn, it may not be loosening dirt from carpets and rugs so the suction can remove it. This problem requires you to take the vacuum to your nearest Kenmore service center.

Step 2

Make sure the hose collar is firmly secured to the floor cleaning head. Check the hose for holes, as this will immediately reduce the effectiveness of the suction created when you turn on the vacuum. To ensure that there are no clogs in the hose, disconnect the hose collar from the floor cleaning head. Turn on the vacuum, stretch out the hose to its full length and then let go, allowing it to return to its normal length.

Step 3

Open the dust bag holder. If the bag is full, remove it, dispose of it and place a new bag in position. Before doing so, clear the dust bag holder of any dust or dirt that has accumulated inside it. Check the motor safety filter, which is located at the bottom of the dust bag holder. If it is dirty, replace it with a clean filter. Open the exhaust filter cover, which is located on the front of the cleaner, just above the floor cleaning head. If this filter is dirty, replace it.

Step 4

Check the attachment you are using if the suction failure occurs when you are cleaning surfaces above the floor. Remove any obstruction that may have become lodged in the attachment. If it is clear, check the suction hose for obstructions as detailed in Step 2.

Other Difficulties

Step 1

Make sure the vacuum is firmly plugged into the socket if it fails to function when you turn it on. Check your fuse board or breaker box as well. If a fuse has blown, or a circuit breaker has been thrown, rectify the situation. If the cleaner's light fails to function, lift the light lens off the front of the floor cleaning head, change the bulb and replace the lens.

Step 2

Make sure the agitator foot control is in the "On" position if the agitator fails to turn. Remember also that the agitator will not turn if the handle is in the upright position. Make sure the suction hose is securely in position on the floor cleaning head. Check the agitator overload trip switch. If it has been thrown, reset it. This problem can also be caused by the tripping of the thermal protector. Allow the vacuum to cool before you reset it.

Step 3

Check to make sure that neither the bag nor the filters need to be changed if the cleaner's performance indicator is red. However, bear in mind that this can happen when attachments are being used.

Step 4

Wipe the dirt sensor optics inside the bag container if the dirt sensor system fails to operate. This should only be done with a soft, dry cloth. Always clean the dirt sensor optics when the bag is changed, or when the red or green dirt sensor lights in the switch cover stay on permanently.


Neil Greenlees

Belfast-based Neil Greenlees was made redundant in March 2009 after working as a reporter for 26 years. For most of his career he was a senior journalist with ''The Ulster Star," a weekly newspaper covering the Lisburn and South Belfast areas. Greenlees holds the National Council for the Training of Journalists Pre-Entry Certificate.