Stepper Motor Vibrating but Not Turning: How to Fix?

Stepper Motor Vibrating but Not Turning: How to Fix?

Have you ever encountered a stepper motor trembling and refusing to turn? If so, you’ve come to the right place! This article provides an in-depth look at troubleshooting a stepper motor vibration issue and offers useful tips on how to fix it. You’ll find out what could be causing your motor not to function properly, as well as the necessary steps for resolving such issues. So, keep reading if you’re looking for answers from our epic guide on fixing stepper motors that are vibrating but not turning!

Stepper Motors in General

Stepper motors are electric motors that move in precise, discrete steps. They have a wide range of applications including industrial automation, robotics, and 3D printing.

Stepper motors convert electrical energy into mechanical motion through the use of small coils and magnets mounted on a shaft inside the motor. When an alternating current is passed through each coil in turn, it creates a magnetic field that interacts with the permanent magnet field on the shaft to create movement.

The step resolution of stepper motors depends on how many coils they have and whether they’re unipolar or bipolar. Unipolar steppers have one winding per phase, while bipolar steppers have two windings per phase. Bipolar steppers offer more torque than unipolar ones, but require more complex driver electronics.

Stepper motors can be driven using either open-loop or closed-loop control. Open-loop systems rely on the motor’s step resolution and don’t use feedback to adjust motion. Closed-loop stepper motor systems include an interface to measure position and velocity information that is used to adjust movement accordingly.

One of the advantages of stepper motors is their ability to offer accurate positioning without requiring expensive encoders or other feedback devices. Another benefit of stepper motors is their simplicity – they are easy to assemble, have few moving parts, and require minimal maintenance. They are also readily available in a variety of sizes, torque levels, and speeds to meet different application requirements.

Stepper Motors in General

Stepper motors are relatively inexpensive compared to other types of motors, making them ideal for a wide range of applications. Despite their advantages, stepper motors are not without drawbacks. They can be prone to resonance if operated at the wrong speed, and they may suffer from torque ripple due to the fact that each step only produces part of the total torque available. Additionally, some types of stepper motor drivers require complex programming and can be difficult to set up correctly. [1], [2]

Reason Behind the Stepper Motor Vibrating but Not Turning

Stepper motors normally vibrate or shake while they are running, but sometimes they may not turn properly. This is definitely out of the norm and could indicate a problem with the motor or its components. Common causes of stepper motor vibration include incorrect wiring, poor quality drivers, incorrect current settings, and damaged bearings.

Malfunctioning power supply

An issue with the power supply is one of the most common causes of stepper motor vibration. If the voltage or current supplied to the motor is incorrect, it can cause excessive vibration and prevent it from turning properly.

To fix this problem, make sure that the correct power supply settings are being used and check for any signs of loose connections or damaged components in the power circuit.

Reason Behind the Stepper Motor Vibrating but Not Turning

Incorrect connections

Another common reason for stepper motor vibration is incorrect wiring. If the connections are not tight, or if they are wired incorrectly, this can cause excessive vibration and stop the motor from turning properly. To fix this problem, check all of the connections between the motor and its driver, ensuring that they are secure and correctly connected.

High take-off frequency

Take-off frequency that’s too high can also cause a stepper motor to vibrate instead of turn. This is because the motor has trouble generating enough torque at high speeds, which can lead to excessive vibration and poor performance. To fix this problem, reduce the take-off frequency until the motor runs smoothly without any vibration.

Insufficient current

If a stepper motor is not receiving enough current, it can vibrate but not turn. This is often caused by incorrect settings on the driver or controller. When setting up a stepper motor and its associated electronics, it’s important to ensure that all components are properly calibrated and configured for the particular motor being used. If insufficient current is causing the vibration, increasing the current should correct the problem.

Insufficient voltage

The other common cause of a stepper motor vibrating but not turning is insufficient voltage. Stepper motors need the correct amount of electricity to operate properly, and if the voltage is too low, the motor will struggle to turn and may start vibrating instead. Check that your power supply is providing the correct voltage for your stepper motor. Also, make sure all wiring connections are secure and free from corrosion.

Reason Behind the Stepper Motor Vibrating but Not Turning

Poor driver pin orientation

Driver pins are responsible for delivering the correct amount of current to each coil in the motor. If the orientation of these pins is incorrect, it can lead to stepper motor vibration and a lack of movement. This is because the wrong amount of current will reach each coil, causing them to be over or under powered and unable to rotate properly. It’s important to ensure that the driver pin orientation is correct before running a stepper motor. [1], [2]

How To Fix a Stepper Motor Vibrating but Not Turning

Now that we’ve discussed the various causes of stepper motor vibration, let’s look at how to fix this problem. In this section, we’ll provide you with several tips and steps to help identify the cause and resolve it quickly.

Check the circuit

The most important step you can take to resolve any stepper motor issue is to check the circuit. The first thing you should do when troubleshooting a stepper motor vibration issue is to ensure that all components in the circuit are properly connected and operating correctly.

To begin, turn off power and disconnect any external devices from the stepper motor, such as limit switches or encoders. Next, inspect each connection in the circuit for loose wires or improper wiring. If everything appears correct, use an ohmmeter or multimeter to measure resistance and voltage along the various points of your circuitry setup. If this reveals an abnormality, it could be indicative of a more serious problem that requires further investigation.

How To Fix a Stepper Motor Vibrating but Not Turning

If you hear vibration but the stepper motor doesn’t rotate, keep an eye on driver’s connections, as they are often the cause of this problem. If the driver is connected to your motor, disconnect it and test again.

Check the load

If the circuit checks out, then it’s time to check the load.

If you are using a stepper motor with an attached load (such as a spindle or a belt), make sure that it is configured correctly. Check the torque rating of each component and ensure that they all match your system requirements.

If load is to blame, simply change it for a load that better suits your system. For example, if you are using a stepper motor with an attached spindle and the torque requirements of the load exceed the capacity of your motor, then replace it with one that has a higher rating.

Also, inspect any belts or chains for signs of wear and tear, such as fraying or stretching. Excessive tension could cause vibration in your motor, so be sure to adjust them if needed. Finally, check the shaft coupling between your stepper motor and the load for proper alignment and secure mounting screws.

Check the frequency of input pulse

If the circuit and load check out, then it’s time to check for an issue with the stepper motor’s input pulse frequency. If you are using a stepper motor with an attached control system, make sure that the control system is configured correctly.

For your particular application, confirm that your controller board is outputting the correct pulse frequency at the right rate to drive your stepper motor properly. If not, increase or decrease it accordingly until you find the optimal setting. For example, if your stepper motor requires a 200 Hz input frequency but receives a 400 Hz signal instead, this could cause vibration within the motor due to incorrect timing of pulses. [1], [2]

How To Fix a Stepper Motor Vibrating but Not Turning


What happens if a stepper is wired wrong?

If a stepper motor is wired incorrectly, it will not be able to rotate properly, if at all. This may cause the motor to make strange noises or vibrate excessively. If a stepper is wired wrong, there are usually two possible causes: either the wires were connected in the wrong order or incorrect power supply voltages were used. In both cases, it is recommended that the wiring be checked and corrected before further use of the stepper motor. Additionally, it is important to ensure that the correct voltage levels are used as too much voltage can damage the motor’s winding insulation and lead to permanent damage.

How do you troubleshoot vibration?

Vibration is one of the most common issues that can affect stepper motors. It is caused by an imbalance or misalignment in the drivetrain components, such as unbalanced pulleys or belts. To troubleshoot this issue, start by visually inspecting all the drivetrain components for any signs of damage or wear and tear. Check for cracks, excessive wear on bearings, warped pulleys, etc.

If there are no obvious signs of damage and you still hear twitching/vibrations from your motor, proceed to check for any loose connections – be it screws/nuts/bolts that hold your motor together. Make sure everything is tight and secure before moving on to diagnose other potential causes of vibration.

How do you fix a vibrating motor?

When a stepper motor is vibrating but not turning, the most likely cause is that the power supply is inadequate for the motor’s needs. To fix this, you should first make sure that the voltage and current your power supply is providing to the motor are at least as high as what is listed on the stepper motor’s data sheet. You should also ensure that any additional components (such as drivers or controllers) are correctly configured to provide enough power.

If the power supply meets these requirements, then it may be necessary to adjust the timing of pulses sent from a controller or driver in order to reduce vibration. This can often be accomplished by reducing the step size (the amount of movement per pulse), increasing acceleration, or changing other parameters such as microstepping settings. In some cases, it may be necessary to add a damping mechanism to vibration.

If the above steps still do not resolve the issue, it is possible that there is a mechanical issue with the stepper motor itself and a replacement may be necessary.

Why is my stepper motor vibrating and not spinning?

There are a few potential reasons why your stepper motor may be vibrating but not turning. The most common causes of this issue include incorrect wiring, insufficient power supply, or mechanical misalignment.

Incorrect Wiring: If your stepper motor is wired incorrectly, it may cause the motor to vibrate without turning. Check the wiring diagram for the type of stepper motor you’re using and compare it with how you have everything connected.

Make sure all connections are correct and secure before attempting any other troubleshooting steps.

Insufficient Power Supply: Insufficient power supply can also cause your motors to vibrate without turning. Your stepper motors will require enough current (amps) in order to operate. Make sure your power supply is providing the correct amount of amps, and that it’s clean and efficient.

Mechanical Misalignment: Mechanical misalignment can also cause your motors to vibrate without turning. If the motor shaft isn’t aligned properly with its load, it will be put under extra strain which can result in vibration without any motion. Check for mechanical misalignments and make sure everything is correctly aligned before trying other troubleshooting steps.

Why is my stepper motor just vibrating?

There are a few reasons why your stepper motor may just be vibrating and not turning. First, it could be due to an electrical issue such as the driver not being able to provide enough power or an intermittent connection. Second, it might be a mechanical issue such as incorrect load alignment, too much friction on the shaft, or improper gearing. Lastly, it could be due to a software issue — either no steps are being generated by the controller or they’re getting lost in transmission.

How do you stop a stepper motor from vibrating?

The most common cause of a stepper motor vibrating but not turning is the lack of electrical power. To stop this vibration, it’s important to ensure that the stepper motor has enough power to operate properly. This includes making sure that the voltage and current drawn by the device are sufficient for its operation. It also means checking that all connections are firmly in place and correctly connected to the driver board or controller.

If there is still vibration after ensuring that all connections are secure, then you may need to adjust the current settings on your driver board or controller. You can do this manually or with software tools depending on what type of board or controller you have. Some boards have adjustable current limiters that can be adjusted without disabling the power to the motor.

It is also important to check that the stepper motor is correctly wired and that all wires are connected in the correct order. If any of these connections are incorrect, this can cause a misalignment between the rotor and stator resulting in vibration rather than turning.

Finally, it’s worth checking for any physical obstructions or debris that may be preventing the motor from operating correctly. This includes both inside and outside of the device as well as behind it if necessary. Once any such obstructions have been cleared away, try running the stepper motor again to see if this fixes the problem.

Can stepper motors be repaired?

Yes, stepper motors can be repaired in most cases. The first step is to diagnose the issue and identify what part of the stepper motor is causing it to vibrate but not turn. Common causes for this type of problem include faulty wiring, damaged or worn bearings, misaligned components, and faulty electronics such as drivers and power supplies.

Once the cause of the issue has been identified repair or replacement of the necessary parts may be required. In some cases, simply rewiring any faulty connections or replacing worn out bearings may resolve the issue without needing further repairs.

If more extensive repairs are needed on electronic components such as drivers or power supplies, professional assistance may be needed in order to ensure that all components are functioning properly.

Useful Video: Stepper Motor Won’t Spin But It Vibrates Problem & Solution


Stepper motors are an essential component in many types of machines, but if they’re vibrating but not turning, it can be quite a hassle to diagnose and fix the problem. The good news is that there are several steps you can take to pinpoint the exact source of the issue and make the necessary repairs. With this guide, you should now have all the information you need to get your stepper motor running again!

We have discussed the common causes of stepper motor vibration without turning, including loose fittings, damaged bearings, worn wires and electrical interference. We have also addressed how to address each issue one by one. By systematically troubleshooting the problem, you should be able to identify the source of your issue and make any necessary repairs quickly and easily.

First, check for any loose wires or connectors. Next, inspect the motor’s internal components such as coils and bearings for signs of damage. If everything looks good inside, try replacing any worn out drive belts or gears before moving on to other potential causes like driver board settings or electrical noise interference. Finally, if all else fails, contact the manufacturer or a qualified repair service for more in-depth assistance.

Good luck and happy fixing!