How to Repair a Jammed Microwave Turntable

microwave interior with glass turntable
What You'll Need
Distilled white vinegar
Old toothbrush
Continuity tester
Replacement motor belt (optional)
Replacement motor (optional)
Replacement motor wires (optional)

Microwaves come with many features and differences, but one thing that is fairly standard is the microwave turntable. This handy gadget sits on multiple little wheels and allows food to cook evenly while the microwave is running. As a simple addition to the microwave, it can become very annoying when the turntable becomes jammed or stops rotating. To determine the cause of the jam it is important to be sure the motor is still working effectively and doesn't need to be replaced. In some instances, the turntable stops working due to a motor malfunction rather than debris in the track. To troubleshoot this issue and repair the jam, follow these steps.

Step 1 - Check the Track

Look at the turntables base, guides, wheels, and track to be sure that excess food goo, melted cheese, or some other substance hasn't gummed up the space. If the wheels cannot turn, or the track is blocked, the turn table will not rotate. Unplug the microwave before spraying or cleaning. Use an old toothbrush and some vinegar to cut grease and grime from the track space. Allow the vinegar to sit for 10 minutes before brushing away any debris.

Step 2 - Check the Turntable Belt

microwave turntable belt without glass

Remove the outer case which covers the microwave's face. Use a screwdriver to unscrew the casing screws around the edges and the rear of the microwave. Place all screws into a small bowl so they do not get lost. The face place will slip off and the turntable motor can be seen. The motor is directly beneath the microwave floor. Check the belt of the motor for wear or breakage. If excess friction is occurring when the belt turns, the turntable can become choppy and appear jammed. If broken or badly frayed replace the belt.

Step 3 - Check the Motor

Use the continuity tester to check the motors windings to see if the motor is still functioning. Touch the probes of the continuity tester to the electrical contacts on the motor. If the tester does not light up, the motor is no longer functioning and needs to be replaced. At the same time, inspect the wires and electrical connections going to and from the motor. Any frayed, dislodged, or oddly bent wires could be causing electrical shorts and stunting the functionality of the motor. Carefully replace the damaged wires even if the continuity tester shows the motor to be working.

Step 4 - Lubricate the Bearings

Once the motor and belt have been checked, and the track has been cleaned, move the turntable around with your hand. The belt should flow smoothly within the motor and the continuity should flow. If the connection is choppy or difficult to move, the bearings need to be lubricated. Spray a bearing lubricant onto the axles of the motor to return ease and flow of the turntable.

Step 5 - Replace the Face Plate

Return the microwave to the upright position and replace the face plate.