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On your sewing machine, it is possible to adjust the needle position to regulate the needle if it is not the same for the straight stitch and the zig-zag stitch. Normally this is an adjustment with the screw to align the needle in the correct position. On this type of machine, the needle position does not really move or can be adjusted. You can use this guide here from Kenmore on how to regulate your needle and adjust it. Just keep in mind if you try to do this one the needle can hit the feed dog and break on you. www.manualslib.com/
My Kenmore 158 13010 needle is left of center. How do I get it to center and or how do I adjust it left to right and center. I don't have the manual, but it is a problem.
It sounds like you are between settings from straight stitch to zig zag and just need to get it cleaned and clicked back correctly.
Carefully click through all of your settings (zigzag and straight) and see if the needle moves at all.
If it is NOT moving at all or is struggling to move, open the front case carefully clean the gears. Sometimes dust gets into the gears and prevents it from clicking back between stitches.
If it is moving correctly through the other stitches and just not going back to the straight stitch, something may be bent, so you will want to have it checked by a professional. Do you have a sewing shop nearby that offers troubleshooting services?
I have one of the old Kenmores and I find it performs much better overall with just a good cleaning. The front panel opens, clean there--the case pops off...clean there and most importantly, the undercarriage is a total dust magnet so clean there often.
Never use canned air as it makes things worse. I find that an old toothbrush works well...just have your strokes be away from the machine, not into the machine.
If you have a small hand held vacuum cleaner, I sometimes run that over the machine (not touching it...just over it) and it sucks away the dust.
Post back with an update!
How do you adjust the needle on a Kenmore sewing machine?
Here is a site that has a PDF file or an online file that you can follow. The instructions are easy and it will help you adjust the needle on your sewing machine. www.manualslib.com/
The needle position on my Kenmore 385.19233 isn't centered. It's too far right. How do I fix this?
Check your stitch width control and have it set to 0. This should put the needle in the center. If this is not working please watch this video. www.youtube.com/