Cuisinart Food Processor Won’t Spin—What To Do?

Honestly, we would find ourselves lost among heaps of vegetables to be cut, meat to be minced, and dough to be kneaded without our beloved food processors. Thus, the sight of a damaged processor is an unwelcome one. For instance, what if the blades in the Cuisinart food processor stop spinning? How would you cope with such a nightmare in the kitchen? Let us find out.

Your processor may stop spinning due to one of many different reasons. The first could be a defect in one of the major components of the machine. It could be a broken shaft, jammed blades, or worst, a burnt-out motor. If everything seems mechanically fine, then perhaps the fault lies in the way you use the machine. Overburdening the bowl, overheating the motor, rust, or even cracks on the work bowl can contribute to this issue. 

But how are you going to pinpoint the exact reasons for damage and effectively eliminate them? It's one thing to know the cause. However, applying the fixes can be a bit troubling. So, it's best to get a general idea of what you have to do to fix it. If you'd like to learn more, keep reading ahead.

Top view of a jar on food processor filled with ingredients for making a smoothie. Cuisinart Food Processor Won't Spin—What To Do

Can a Food Processor Be Repaired?

If properly maintained, food processors aren’t the most demanding kitchen appliance. Otherwise, you’ll have to get their many components repaired to reap their many benefits. Lucky for you, most food processor parts can be bought as separate accessories for replacement purposes.

Food processor with accessories on white background.

All Cuisinart Food products come with a three-year warranty. If there are damages within this period, contact their customer care service to submit a warranty claim. This action would save you the cost of reinstallation.

Otherwise, you’ll have to start by dissecting the symptoms to find out the exact issue. Once you have determined that, you can figure out your solution as per the issue and work to eliminate it. Let's take a closer look at some of the potential problems:

A Damaged Motor

The motor is the workhorse of your food processor. It consumes the electrical power that in turn allows the whole system to operate. Should it be subject to any damage, the system shuts down, including the blades.

If your blades do not spin and the motor creates a buzzing sound, it is a sign of damage. Luckily, all Cuisinart food processor manuals contain a motor replacement guide explaining how to assemble it, possible troubleshooting issues, and their solutions. Therefore, unplug the power and use the manual to perform a thorough examination of the machine.

What Exactly Damages a Motor?

On most occasions, the issue does not lie with the motor itself. Different components of it, for example, the switches that turn it on, are damaged. These are easily replaceable. 

A worst-case scenario would be the burning of motor coils. These coils control the functioning of a non-electrical rotor that in turn powers the switches and so on. Thus, damage in such a case would mean the malfunction of the whole motor. You will have to get a complete motor replacement, and repair would no longer be an option. 

How Do I Reset My Food Processor?

Fortunately, there’s one last antidote to apply before totally giving up on your motor. Try a motor reset. If there's no mechanical damage to the motor or any other component, the processor should function normally after a motor reset. 

Cuisinart food processors come with a reset button on the base of the machine. To use it, unplug the power and separate all components. Now, put the power back on, hold the activator button down using any narrow stick and press the ON button simultaneously. 

If this process sounds too complicated, we'll include a video from the manufacturers demonstrating how to reset the food processor: 

Broken Drive Shaft

The motor for your food processor connects to a vertical drive shaft/stem, which is in turn connected to the blades. As it supplies power, the shaft turns the blades to perform their intended function. Thus, the spinning motion is as much creditable to the shaft as it is to the motor.

Cut off the power supply for the machine and separate its parts. Check the drive shaft for signs of breakage, wear-and-tear, or any form of technical damage. Turn the shaft by hand to see whether it is hard to spin. Should you notice these symptoms at any point of the inspection, you will have to consider replacing the shaft

Click here to get a detachable stem for 11-cup Cuisinart models.

You must always buy Cuisinart accessories after checking with your model number.

Cracked Bowl

Your work bowl is where all the action is going to take place. Any cracks or splinters on its surface will ultimately be detrimental to the whole system. The bowls are plastic structures, so harsh storage and washing could cause the surface to break. 

Juice and fluids from the food will penetrate from the cracks all the way to the motor. The liquids will damage how the motor functions, potentially leading to more serious damage. 

The easy route to solve this problem would be to purchase a replacement bowl. 

Glass cup with blades of mixer above top view

Jammed Blade

Perhaps none of the internal components of the processor are damaged, the power is on, the motor is running, yet the blades remain in place. In this case, you might have a broken or jammed blade problem.  

If the blade is stuck, the processor likely shut off midway during functioning. It happens because of storing excessive amounts of food in the working bowl, causing it to get overworked. Otherwise, large pieces of food may also interrupt the operation. 

How To Fix It?

Here, you should follow the maximum food limit as defined by your processor manual. For food residue, unplug the processor and give the working bowl a thorough clean before use. 

However, if the issue persists, then the blade likely has some physical damage. It could have worn out, disassembled from the shaft, or broken. In this case, a replacement would be the only way out.

If you are eligible for a warranty claim, you can save the cost by getting a replacement from Cuisinart. Otherwise, replacement parts and accessories for food processors are readily available. Before buying any piece, make sure you double-check its compatibility with your Cuisinart food processor model.

Can a Food Processor Overheat?

If your processor stops spinning midway and the motor shuts off, it is a sign of overheating. This abrupt stop is, in fact, a safety feature that prevents fire and burning out.

In this case, you will have to be patient with the machine. Allow it a chance to recover from the heat and regain optimum temperature. Let it rest for anywhere between two to twenty-four hours before replugging it. 

If the issue persists, we are afraid a whole motor replacement might be in your near future.

Can Food Processors Rust?

Many components of a Cuisinart food processor are made of metal, such as the blades. Improper and irregular cleaning habits for these parts create sites for rust. Rust on the blades could hamper the motor’s working, causing the system to collapse.

In the long run, take up efficient cleaning practices to avoid such a situation. For now, use the following steps to remove rust off the blades and give a thorough cleanup to the processor:

  1. Disassemble the system, placing each part separately on the countertop to be inspected. Bits of food and rust can hide between any of the components. Thus, take the whole assemble apart.
  2. Wash every part with soapy water.
  3. Grab the blade wearing rubber gloves to ensure safety. If it has rust, use sandpaper or a scratch pad to scrape the rust off the surface. Rinse it with soap and water again to remove any residue substances.
  4. Do not soak the motor into the water. Use a wet microfiber cloth to do the deed. 
  5. Let every component dry before putting it back. Remember that moisture creates sites for rust.

Should your machine be rusted excessively, you should look into getting a blade replacement or a new Cuisinart food processor, especially if you can make a warranty claim.

How Long Should a Food Processor Last?

Food processors are generally not too demanding for maintenance, and frequent cleaning alone could help pass the years. On average, a food processor lasts for seven to ten years. However, with top-tier brands like Cuisinart, the lifespan is only extended due to top-notch manufacturing.

Since food processors don’t always come light on the pocket, such durability makes them worth the money. Additionally, warranty claims further add on to the number of years!

High angle view at genovese pesto sauce in food processor bowl. Cuisinart Food Processor Won't Spin—What To Do

Final Takeaway

Just because your Cuisinart processor stopped spinning does not mean wasted money and long afternoons cutting vegetables for dinner. With some input from your side - including a few essential considerations - you can quickly get it back to work. We hope you found the information above helpful.

Before you go, would you like more insight on how long a food processor should last? We cover the topic in-depth in our post - How Long Does A Food Processor Last?

If you need a replacement, you'll most likely want to know what options you have from Cuisinart. We can help give you some ideas. If you'd like to learn more, check out our post - Which Cuisinart Food Processor Should You Buy? [Inc. The Largest, The Smallest And More)

Until next time - we hope you've found your fix!

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