You invested a lot of money in your mixer, so it can be a bit of a disappointment when you run into a little trouble. Like all machines, mixers may hit a few kinks along the way, but you can be prepared to do some quick fixes yourself and save time waiting for repairs. While not everything is easily fixed at home, most machines have a few basic components that are likely to break, so the issue is simply narrowing them down. Your mixer's owner's manual will give you a quick summary of the different parts of your machine and may provide a few troubleshooting tips of its own. Different models and brands may vary, but there are a few basic issues that are universal to most models.
Your mixer comes factory-tuned to run the mixer blade just barely higher than the bottom of the bowl. Over time, this setting can get a little loose or bumped out of configuration, causing your mixer attachment to scrape the bottom of the bowl. While this might seem alarming, it's actually quite normal and can be fixed easily on your own. If you have a mixer with a head that tilts, you will need to tilt your mixer up and adjust the screw near where the paddle attaches. By tightening or loosening this screw, you will change the height of the attachment and help it clear the bottom of the bowl. Other models adjust the height of the bowl using a screw at the base of the mixer. All you need is a screwdriver and your mixer will be working smoothly and quietly once again.
If your machine won't turn on, there are a few potential culprits. While this might seem like basic appliance 101, check to make sure that your appliance is plugged in and that the power switch is on. Sometimes a flurry of kitchen activity can dislodge the plug from the outlet, making a fix for this issue very simple. The other most likely culprit for a power failure is your worm gear. The worm gear is a small plastic mechanism that operates as a failsafe for your motor and can sometimes get a little shredded in the process of protecting your machine. With a small tool kit, you should be able to take apart your mixer, remove the old gear and order a new one for around $20. Simply put the new one on, grease up your motor and your machine will be working like new again.
Every now and then you will find that your mixer has a loose part or a part that gets stuck; this is normal in machinery. Remember to regularly grease your motor to keep the machine from seizing or stalling. If the pin won't push in, check the spring; usually it is just caked with old grease and only needs a simple cleaning. Once it's clean, coat it in a small amount of vegetable oil and work it in. For a loose and wiggling head, the likely culprit is simply a loose pin or screw. Turn and adjust the pin or screw (depending on your make and model) to get the head nice and tight again.
Mixers are made to be the workhorse of the kitchen, which is why a little care and repair can go a long way in helping them last for years.