What To Do If Microwave Turntable Is Not Turning Smoothly.

A microwave turntable not turning smoothly may not be a serious problem. But it can easily cripple the performance of your appliance. But what causes this issue in the first place?

Your microwave’s turntable won’t rotate smoothly because its drive motor is faulty, the tray coupling cracked or damaged, or the roller guide cracked. There may be obstructions around the table, keeping it from turning smoothly as it should. It’s also possible that the touchpad is faulty.

In this guide, you’ll learn what to do if the turntable of your microwave isn’t working.

Keep reading to learn more.

microwave turntable not turning smoothly

5 Reasons Your Microwave Turntable Is Not Turning Smoothly

Here’s a summary on why the turntable is not working smoothly and what you can do to fix the problem.

1.Turntable drive motor is faultyLook for any visible damage signs or use a multimeter to test the turntable motor for continuity, then repair or replace the motor if it is necessary.
2.Tray drive coupling cracked or damagedCheck if the drive coupling has cracks or any sort of damage. If there is any damage, get a new one for replacement.
3Roller guide cracked or damagedCheck the component for cracks or any damage. If worn out, get a new component for replacement.
 Obstructions around the turntableRemove the glass tray and circular turntable guide from the microwave and clean them with warm soapy water. Rinse with clean water and wipe them dry. Fix them back into the microwave.
5.Faulty Touchpad and Control PanelSome brands include a key specifically for the turntable, so check whether it is responding properly. If not, the touchpad and the control panel could be defective, replace them.

1. Check the Turntable Motor

Your microwave may be having problems with its turntable because the motor has issues.

To test the turntable drive motor for continuous electrical flow and get a new replacement if the motor fails the continuity test.

  • Unplug the microwave from power, unthread all the screws securing the appliance to the kitchen cabinet, and carefully tilt to remove it.
  • Place the appliance on a sturdy surface, open its door and remove the turntable and its support.
  • Use a screwdriver to unthread the screws holding the microwave’s rear access panel.
  • Squeeze the tabs to disconnect the wire harness then set the panel aside.
  • Disconnect wires from the turntable motor.
  • Touch the turntable drive motor terminals with the multimeter to check for continuity.

If the motor fails the continuity test, replace it with a new one. To do this:

  • Install the new turntable drive motor by connecting its terminals to the appropriate wires. Connect the rest of the wires appropriately, replace the rear access panel, and use screws to secure it.
  • Replace the microwave turntable and its support ring.
  • Put the appliance back into the kitchen cabinet, secure it firmly with screws, and plug its cord back into power.

Now try warming a cup of water just to see if the table starts rotating.

2. Inspect the Tray Drive Coupling

Microwave ovens feature roller guides and motor-driven couplings that power the turntables. The majority of microwaves come with a three-sided coupler attached to the motor shaft.

Tray Drive Coupling

If you notice that your microwave’s turntable is not turning as smoothly as it should, it’s could be because it has a Glass Tray Drive Coupling problem. 

A Glass Tray Drive Coupling can either strip out or get broken.

Before replacing the coupling, you should inspect it to confirm that it is defective.  To do so, carefully pull the coupling from the motor shaft and inspect it for visible damage.  

You should replace the tray coupling if damaged. To do so:

  • Turn off the microwave’s power supply.
  • Open the microwave door, remove the turntable tray and support, and check the support ring to make sure that the wheels are not cracked and they turn freely.
  • Remove the old coupling and discard it.
  • Install the new coupling by aligning it with the motor underneath and make sure it drops into place.
  • Clean the area where the support ring goes and set it back in place.
  • Reinstall the tray and make sure it turns freely and the replacement is complete.

Now it’s just a matter of testing the turntable to determine whether it’s turning smoothly.

3. Troubleshoot the Roller Guide

If your microwave has a problem with the roller guide, likely, the turntable will not turn smoothly.

You will find the roller guide right below the turntable. It is with the collaboration of the drive coupling and this part that the turntable can rotate smoothly.

Like a majority of components, inspect the roller guide for faults before replacing it. Check for cracks, wear, or damage. Replace the roller guide if it shows signs of cracks, damage, or wear.

For replacement:

  • Turning off the microwave’s power supply
  • Opening the microwave door and take out the turntable
  • Remove the old roller guide and install the new one
  • Restore power to the unit and with a cup of water test if the glass tray is spinning smoothly.

4. Remove Obstruction from the Glass Tray

Another possible reason why your microwave’s turntable is unable to smoothly is that there could be destruction on its part.

This may have resulted from the accumulation of food particles underneath the turntable, hence the distraction in motion.

To fix this problem:

  • Unplug the microwave from power.
  • Open the door and remove both the turntable and the circular turntable guide.
  • Wash them thoroughly so that the particles stuck come out.
  • Wipe them dry with a clean cloth and fix them back in the microwave.

Plug the unit back to power, put in a cup of water, and press the start key to see if the turntable is working.

5. Replace the Touchpad or Control Panel If Faulty

Some microwaves come with buttons specifically designed to control the turntable.  

So if you notice that the turntable is not turning smoothly, the key dedicated to controlling your microwave’s turntable may be defective.

You can test if the keys are defective by pressing every button on the control panel to find out which ones respond and which ones don’t.

And the best you can do to a faulty touchpad and control panel is to replace it. To do this:

  • Unplug your microwave from power.
  • Open the cabinet by removing the grill, vent, or grate depending on your microwave, then unthread the screws securing the back panel.
  • Remove the cabinet housing from the back of the microwave.
  • Locate the capacitor and discharge it.
  • Remove the touchpad control panel by unthreading the mounting screws used to secure it.
  • Carefully, detach the touchpad control panel from the microwave and gently disconnect the wires connecting to the control panel.
  • Unthread the screw and washer holding the ground wire.
  • Next, remove the main control board by disconnecting the ribbon connector and unthreading the screws securing it so that you are left with the faulty touchpad and control panel.
  • Prepare the new touchpad and control panel for installation by removing the packaging wraps.
  • Align the main control board with the new touchpad and control panel, secure it with screws, and connect the ribbon connector.
  • Connect all the wires back to the main control and thread the ground wire with a screw and washer.
  • Fit the new touchpad control panel to the microwave and replace its screws.
  • Replace the cabinet housing and the back panel and hold them with screws.
  • Replace the grill, grate, or vent depending on your microwave.
  • Plug the unit back to power and test if the turntable button is working.

Microwave Turntable Does Not Rotate And Makes Noise

The microwave turntable is supposed to turn and as it turns heat is distributed evenly to the food being cooked.

Often, when you hear noise, it means a section of the turntable track is dirty, causing the roller ring to get stuck.

Simply clean the turntable to fix this problem.

In addition, check the turntable to make sure it is well positioned so that it runs smoothly.

microwave turntable

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can a Microwave Turntable be Repaired?

The possibility of repairing the turntable assembly depends on which part of the assembly is affected.

For example, you can repair the turntable motor but won’t be able to repair the turntable and its support, roller guide, and drive coupling since they are made of glass and plastic.

What you can do to avoid all these is to clean and maintain the turntable frequently. That way you will also get the best out of the appliance.

2. What Voltage is a Microwave Turntable Motor?

A microwave turntable motor is a high torque motor that is capable of making a big glass plate together with a plate or cup of drink go in circles.

This rotation is done at a speed of 6 RPM at a normal operating voltage supply of 220 volts.

The rotation speed is designed to be that slow to ensure your foods or drinks don’t spill when the turntable is rotating and your foods and drinks get heat uniformly.

3. Why is My Microwave Turntable Jerky?

The reason why your microwave’s turntable is toing and froing in a jerky motion is that you have a faulty motor.

Apart from causing the turntable to turn in a jerky motion, a faulty turntable motor may make your microwave make grinding noises.

You will need to either repair or replace the turntable motor to solve the problem.

4. What Kind of Motor is a Microwave Turntable Motor?

The turntable on your microwave runs by a single-phase permanent synchronous magnet motor. In the turntable motor, the stator axis is aligned with the rotator’s coil axis.

You will find electric timers and single-phase permanent synchronous magnet motors with reducers on most microwave models.

Final Thoughts

I have had instances when my microwave’s turntable simply didn’t turn smoothly. And when I found out that it was because of these errors, it became easy for me to fix each problem without spending a dollar in repair service.

You, too, can do the same.  

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