Solved! Roomba Brush not Spinning! (4 Ways to Fix)

You’ve been working hard on maintaining your household, and your Roomba has been working just as hard to ensure it’s clean. That is, until the day you notice that your Roomba isn’t picking up the dirt anymore – instead, it seems to be sitting in one place, moving around in an aimless circle.

You check its dustbin and see that it still has plenty of room left to hold more dirt, so you know it must be something else causing this problem…and later, you discover that the side brush isn’t spinning.

This article will outline some of the most common reasons behind this problem and offer troubleshooting tips to fix it.

Why is my Roomba brush not spinning?

The most common reason is that the brush is tangled with hair or debris and needs to be cleaned. Another possibility is that the drive belt or gears that power the brush are poorly lubricated. If you’ve checked for debris and everything looks clear and fine, it’s likely a problem with the motor itself.

So the problem could be,

  • The Brush Module is Jammed!
  • The side brush motor is poorly lubricated!
  • The side brush module is damaged!

How to fix it if the Roomba Side brush not spinning?

First, check the side brush for any dirt or debris blocking it from spinning. If you find any, clear it away and try again. Next, double-check if the side brush is installed correctly. Then check the Roomba’s brushes for damage. If this is the case, replace the brushes.

I will explain all the possible reasons in detail so that you can easily understand which thing you should do to fix the problem. Before that, look at the bellow table for a better understanding.

Reasons Solutions
Tangled side brush Untangle the brush
Jammed Gearbox Clean the Gearbox
Poorly lubricated Gearbox Lubricate the Gearbox
Damaged brush Module Replace it

1. Untangle the side brush

As mentioned, one of the most common reasons the Roomba side brush stops spinning is tangled with hair or other debris.

Generally, while cleaning, a lot of hair and debris get caught up in the side brush, and if you don’t clean it regularly, it will stop spinning, and sometimes it will shout. To clean your Roomba’s side brush, follow these steps:

☞ Remove the Screw

Unscrew the side brush

Use a Phillips head screwdriver to remove the screw that holds the side brush in place.

☞ Clean the side brush

Clean roomba side brush

Carefully remove the side brush and use a pair of scissors to cut away any tangles. If the brush is particularly hairy, you may need a razor blade to shave away the excess hair. Then replace the side brush and screw it back into place.

Be careful not to damage the bristles in the process

When you’re finished, press the “clean” button on your Roomba, and it should restart spinning. If not, move on to the next step.

2. Clean the side brush module/gearbox

Clean roomba side brush module

Another potential reason that might be causing this problem is the jammed brush module. Dust and dirt accumulate in the Gearbox while the Roomba performs its job.

Although it’s normal, you must clean the Gearbox every month. If you ignore this, you might face this kind of problem. To clean the Roomba side brush module/gearbox, follow the below steps.

☞ Unscrew the four screws

Unscrew the gearbox

Start by removing the four screws on your Roomba’s back cover and the four screws that hold the gearbox cover in place.

Carefully remove the cover, careful not to lose any small parts inside.

☞ Clean dirt or debris from the Gearbox

Clean roomba side brush gearbox

Take a look at the gears inside the Gearbox. If dirt or debris is blocking them, use a small brush or toothpick to clean it.

☞ Put the Gearbox in its place.

Once the gears are clear, replace the cover and screw it back in place. Now, test the side brush to make sure it’s spinning freely.

If it’s still not working, you may need to replace the entire Gearbox. Move on to the next step.

3. Lubricate the Gearbox

Lubricate roomba side brush gearbox

A poorly lubricated gearbox is another reason the Roomba side brush is not spinning correctly. Though it is uncommon, the side brush’s motor can often work as it is. In most cases, some amount of WD-40 can fix this issue.

✔ First, you’ll need to remove the bottom plate of your Roomba. This will give you access to the Gearbox.

✔ Once the bottom plate is off, you’ll see the Gearbox. It’s a small metal box with a few gears inside.

✔ Take a can of WD-40 and spray the gears inside the Gearbox.

✔ Allow the WD-40 to sit for a few minutes, then wipe it off with a clean cloth.

Finally, put the Gearbox back together just as it was before. After some time, restart your Roomba and check if the side brush is spinning correctly.

Additionally, if you contact iRobot and describe the side brush’s behavior, they will send you replacement parts if you have a warranty.

4. Replace the side brush module/GearBox

Replace Roomba side brush module

If none of the above troubleshooting methods fix the problem, it is time to replace the Gearbox with a new one. Fortunately, replacing the gearbox/side brush module isn’t complicated. Follow the below steps:

  • First, remove the screw from the side brush module.
  • Pull the side brush module out of the Roomba.
  • Insert the new side brush module into the Roomba.
  • Replace the screw in the side brush module.

Now test the Roomba to make sure the side brush is spinning correctly.

If it still doesn’t work, the motherboard may have a problem. In this case, contact iRobot customer service and describe your issue. They may help you fix the problem.


1. How often should I replace my Roomba side brush?

If you notice that your Roomba’s cleaning performance is declining, it may be time to replace the side brush. Ideally, you should replace the side brush every 2-3 months. This will ensure that it is always in good condition and can continue to clean your home effectively.

Replacing the side brush is easy and only takes a few minutes. Simply remove the old brush and snap the new one into place.

2. How do I test my Roomba brush motor?

Testing the motor of your Roomba’s side brush is relatively easy. Follow the below steps:

  • Remove the brush motor from your Roomba.
  • Using a multimeter, test the continuity of the brush motor’s winding.
  • If the winding is open, the brush motor needs to be replaced.
  • If the winding is continuous, the brush motor is fine; you just need to clean the brushes.

You can also test the side brush motor by using a 9V battery. You need to wire the battery terminals to the + and terminals on the motor and see if it spins. If it works, then it’s likely the problem is the motherboard’s output. If not, make sure your connections to the motor are good, your battery is good, and then try again.

3. What does Roomba side brush do?

The side brush helps to clean along the edges of your room, where the Roomba may not be able to reach with its main brush. The side brush can also help remove pet hair and debris from your floor.

4. How long does a Roomba side brush last?

The side brush can last anywhere from six months to a year, depending on how often you use your vacuum. If you have a pet or live in a dusty area, you may need to replace the brush every 2-3 months.

5. Will my Roomba work without a side brush?

The short answer is “NO.” Side brushes are responsible for sweeping debris into the path of the main brush, which then sucks it up into the vacuum chamber. For this reason, running the Roomba without brushes will do nothing.

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