Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!
Even in this day of computers, tablets, and smart phones some people still like to use an electric typewriter. Repairing one can be a challenge, as you will probably need to do the work yourself. This is a guide about fixing a Smith Corona typewriter.
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
My typewriter allows me to type, but only half way through the first line of my paper. Any ideas as to why that is and/or how to fix it?
Your tab keys are probably set wrong. Reset the tab keys.
I plugged in my Smith Corona electric typewriter (color gray and portable) into a 230 volt socket and it needs only 110-120 volts. It turned off suddenly and smells bad, but no smoke came out. It burned. It didn't burn like a burnt piece of wood. Can it still be fixed? If yes, what does it need to have replaced? There are a lot of electricians in my place.
By David from Philippines
Nope. You've fried the circuitry and modules.
Other than buying a new typewriter you might try a shop that repairs typewriters. They may have the elements to repair the typewriter if they think it is savlvageable. Of course you might try out the typewriter in a 110 volt receptacle to make sure the circuit boards are cooked.
Can it be repaired by an electrician? And by the way, my country uses 230 volts instead of 110 volts. I don't like to plug it in a voltage converter, it may get worse. I don't see any typewriter repair shops in here because its all computers and printers. You know that most of the old stuff is fading away from the world.
I know what's the problem in here. I checked it a while ago and it was a fuse. Where can I get a fuse for this typewriter in Philippines? This brand is SL575 Spell, Right Dictionary.
Thanks anyway, I found a repair shop for my typewriter. Maybe I can convert it to 220 volts instead of 110 volts.
My IBM Selectric just started acting odd. Once turned on, and when the carriage return button is pressed, the carriage moves all the way to the left and stays there, and the machine hums. Normal typing is impossible. Turning the machine off is the only "remedy".
What could cause this?
so the carriage return is sticking or freezing. I would look for a typewriter or electronic repairman who would fix it. This may be difficult or even impossible, but worth a try. Also try googling your machines name and you might get some advice especially if you add your town or city and country
Sometimes you can get very helpful advice from the original manufacturers if they are still about. I'd check to see if there are other extant makers of electrical typewriters. E-Bay might provide some leads.
Otherwise you could find an electrician who works with small appliances and ask him to have a go.
Sorry I can't help more.
Lots of good information at the following link, videos too:
Parts were no longer available for mine but a local technician fiddled with it and made it work. He reached underneath and pushed something up. When I retired he bought it from me for parts.
IBM Wheelwriter Series II lost memory, an acting strange. Is it beyond repair?
I have a Sears Electronic II electronic typewriter, it has the disc or wheel with type on it. It starts and everything seems to work when I hit any key the disc spins to the proper position, but the plunger that forces the letter to the paper does not move. It can be moved with forceps, but makes no movement when it is supposed to. Any ideas where to look? Thanks.
You might need a new print head. If you have the manual you can see the part numbers. You may be able to download a manual online if you turn over your typewriter so you can see the model number.
I have the model number but have been unable to find the proper manual. I will try to find a print head, thanks for the suggestion.
I've always been able to get help from Sears for any of their products so I would suggest you try them first and they also answer questions.
I bought an AT&T model 5300 electric typewriter and when I started it up and began to type my name after the first letter the typewriter stopped typing. Then it started beeping and the only solution was to turn it off. Also, the right margin key and the tab set key would beep when pressed. The shift lock key lights up when a number/letter key is hit.
You could try oiling the key. Typewriters became obsolete. You may be able to find someone to repair. Even parts are hard to find. Good luck!
I have a Smith Corona SL500 electric typewriter that I haven't used since got computer. When turned on the lock light blinks. The manual is missing. Would any one have an idea how to fix or where can get manual? Thanks for any ideas.
a-frugal-lady from Lewiston, ME
Hello Frugal Lady,
You may just have a genuine antique on your hands.
I had one until recently and decided I would sell it, but I remember that light going on and think it may be the shift lock light. Try hitting the shift key.
Meanwhile, I did a Google search and found the Smith-Corona website that has some operating manuals:
Check out the various manuals (you need Adobe to open the pdf's) and see if you find a solution. Play around with the keys. You probably can't break it! Before you do anything, first try shutting it off, unplugging it and doing a fresh start-up, just to see if it resets.
An old secretray who started out on manual typewriters in the 1960s.
No longer offerred on the website
My Royal Aristocrat Cavalier electric typewriter turns on and hums, but the keys won't depress or work. Help please.
I have a South Corona SC100 typewriter. It will turn on, but does not register that the keys are being pressed. There seems to be nothing else wrong with it. What could be the problem?
I plugged in my typewriter and it acts like it is getting no power. It will not turn on and no keys are working. Is there a reset or another key that needs to be used? It is a Royal Aristocrat.
There is no reset key, as most home typewriters pre-1990s (they built typewriters until 2010-2011 when "Brother" shut down their last factory) weren't computerized yet. The main power chord is one possibility, or your transformer inside the typewriter might be dead. Another possibility is the power switch, or a fuse--assuming your's has a fuse. If none of this helps, then the next step is to try to find someone who knows more about that typewriter than I do. I have 17 typewriters, almost evenly divided between electric and manual; I've had that same power issue with my electrics before; it's almost always repairable; sometimes easily, sometimes, less so.
When I hit the return key on my Adler Satellite II, the carriage returns, but the platen does not advance.
By Cyrus K.
I have the same problem with my Smith Corona! Any help would be much appreciated!
I work in an assisted living community, and one of our sweet ladies has a Selectric that she loves to use. Unfortunately, recently, it has stopped working. It does turn on, but then the key ball just spins. It does not stop and you cannot type. Any suggestions? I would love to be able to assist her with this issue.
By P Jones
I just acquired an old Smith and Corona Electra 220 typewriter and am hoping to get it in proper working order. The typewriter is in near perfect condition except for the fact that the "V" key does not work. If I press the key the arm does not move and the bit that holds the ribbon where the key strikes has a complete spaz. Interestingly enough, I can move the arm manually with my finger, but I can't move any of the other keys this way which leads me to believe that something has become disconnected. All of the other parts work well and if I can get this key to work then I'll have a great typewriter. Thanks for the help.
By David W.
There is a bar that connects the key face with the finger key. You will need to look inside the typewriter and carefully reconnect them. You should see the "V" bar dangling inside and the hook to connect it to will stand out as different than the rest of the bars.
My Brother Model 7300 electric typewriter powers on. The space bar, tabs, return, and shift all work fine. However, no letter or number key does anything. This is the Correct-o-Ball xl-1. Inside it looks totally mechanical so no electronics involved that I can see. Any help?
I have a Canon CS10 electric typewriter. I starts OK, but when I type any of the buttons, the typewriter hangs it self up repeating that letter until another letter is depressed.
I'm quite technical. Does anyone know what the problem can be and can help me with tips on solving my problem?
Despite modern ages and having a lot of computers, laptops, etc. in use by me, I have a typewriter located at both my flat and at my office premises which often come in very handy indeed!
The Canon CS10 I have, which I thought would last for a long time, hence bought a lot of accessories for it.
I would be very grateful for any tips on how to solve this problem.
I have a Canon ES 33-ll/ES 43 typewriter. The electric typewriter works great except that the "T" key just stop working.
By Matt S.
I have a Silver Reed Ex 56 typewriter. It is in good shape, except when turned on, the carrier moves noisily all the way to the right. It stops there, sputters loudly, and will not return to the start margin. I've oiled the run bar, and replaced the inked ribbon and correction ribbon. Any ideas? Thanks!
By Donald M
The carriage on my electric Royal Satellite TA seems to be hung up and makes a buzzing noise when the return key is pressed. Any suggestions?
By Gaynelle M.
The lights on our Adler 805 continually blink on, but it will not start. Please advise what we should look for.
By Lorraine J.