This Is What the Inside of Your KitchenAid Stand Mixer Looks Like
My stand mixer recently broke down, so I rolled up my sleeves and tried to fix it myself. I was shocked by what I found.
Like many of us, I have been tackling the more intimidating food projects that I’ve never had time for in the past. Babka has been on that list for a while, so I enlisted my red stand mixer, Babybel, to help me with the task. Very long story short, I succeeded, but Babybel got injured along the way. The recipe called for the dough to knead for more than five minutes, and after getting very warm, Babybel stopped working. I could hear the motor running, but the silver knob, the one you attach the paddle to, would not spin. I called the company and was told that my warranty had expired. They recommended that I take Babybel to a shop where I could pay to have her diagnosed, and then pay to have her fixed.
The problem is that I am very much my father’s daughter, and for 33 years I have heard that man say the words, "why would I pay someone to do this when I can do it myself?" Additionally, have you ever taken a stand mixer on the New York City subway? Me neither, and I plan to keep it that way.
A quick internet search led me to a repair video hosted by Mark, a gentleman who thoroughly guided me through every step I would need to take. His video informed me that the likely source of my problem was a bruised worm gear (item number W10112253, if you’re curious). I checked to make sure I had all the tools, ordered the $13 worm gear online, and we were in business.
I started by removing several screws followed by the metal band under the logo. Then I hammered a small drill attachment into the main silver knob to remove what is called a roll pin. If you look at the silver knob that spins on your stand mixer, you will see a little dot. That’s it! Somehow, that little piece of metal is one of the few things holding our stand mixers together. (More on these roll pins later.)
Next, I pried the entire spinning part off, which revealed more screws. I removed those, along with some in the back. This is where things got SPICY. I lifted the top shell, which revealed what was inside. Mark prepared me for what was about to happen by saying, "this is perfectly normal." However no one, not even Mark, could have prepared me for the cesspool of grease that sits inside all of our stand mixers. Mine had a little more than a cup of this black slime, and I know this because once I recovered from the shock, Mark had me remove the grease so that I could access the defunct worm gear.
The worm gear is held together in its structure by another roll pin, which is even more difficult to remove because it spins and does not lay flat. Though I eventually got it out, it took me about an hour (59 minutes, 45 seconds longer than it did Mark). If I had to do this again, this is the part that I would do differently. I improvised and used a hammer and drill bit to pry the pieces apart because it’s what I had. I can only speculate, but I suspect it might have been easier if I had invested in a punch tool, which is what Mark used.
From there it was smooth sailing. I removed the worm gear and saw that it was very bruised, which made me feel confident that Mark had correctly diagnosed the problem. I replaced it and worked backwards to put everything back together.
I’m happy to report that Babybel is as good as new. If you have the tools, I highly recommend taking on this project should your stand mixer suffer the same problem. My wallet is grateful, and as for my father? His exact words were, "How proud am I? I can’t measure it."