Howto fix IRobot Roomba left or right wheel

My Roomba 530 started to spin around his right wheel few week ago. It happened few times and then more often and after that it was doing only this… So I tried all the iRobot suggested “repair” method, but there’s not a lot to do on iRobot  website regarding problem with your right or left wheel. So I was faced with the reality, I will have to buy a new right wheel module. It’s not that expensive you can find it on ebay for around 20$ shipped but I’m the kind of guy who don’t like to buy replacement part when I can fix it!

After few test and diagnostic, I confirmed that the problem was the right wheel. It was unable to spin, but if I just pushed a little bit the roomba, it start working. So I put the roomba on it’s back and tried to move both wheels and found out that the resistance on both wheel wasn’t the same and after a closer look I was pretty sure there was hairs stuck in the wheel module. Then I opened the roomba and I took few pics of my adventure in case that my idea will work, it can always help someone else! If your problem look like mine, you can follow those steps, maybe you will be able to fix it! If anyone found a way to open the wheel contained in the wheel module let us know I was unable to find anything on the net regarding this..

This is a “Try at your own risk” repair. This had fixed my wheel but I don’t know yet if it will last for weeks or months.. do this only if you’re desperate and you tried all other option suggested by iRobot support.

Ok so here’s the first step I tried before doing the main repair, you should probably try every step before, in case your problem is not the same as mine!

Try the iRobot suggested fix method

If you roomba say “Please Inspect and Clean Roomba’s left (or right) Wheel” or if, like me, your roomba spin around a wheel and if you push it a little bit it started to go straight and then restart to spin.

Try those url from iRobot support website :

Fixing hair stuck in the wheel module

If those steps fail for you, and you contacted iRobot support and they told you you’ll need a new wheel module or you feel a different resistance when you spin the wheel, maybe you’re like me and there’s hair or anything stuck in the wheel module. You can try those steps, again, at your own risk.

The idea I had was to used a hair removal mousse, to “soften” the hair stuck in the wheel mechanism. Here’s how to open your roomba 500 and insert the veet foam into the wheel and add oil for lubrication after that.

  • Put your roomba on it’s back. You can put a towel or something smooth under it if you don’t want to scratch the top. Unscrew the side brush and remove it with a flat screwdriver. On the main plate you can see 4 screw with arrow pointing, unscrew them.

  • Remove the plate, and you’ll see the battery. Pull out the battery carefully.

  • Now you should have removed battery and you should be able to locate both side wheels.

  • Remove those three screw.


  • Pull out the wheel module gently. Now you should have the wheel module in your hand. I took a picture to show you how to “open” the module but I didn’t remove it on this picture. you can do it like this but it’s hard to keep everything clean…
  • As you can see on the picture, take a thin knife and you have to insert the knife horizontally in the small crack between the inner plastic piece and the rubber wheel. You’ll feel the plastic moving.. be careful to don’t cut or damage the wheel or the plastic.. When your knife is between both parts, lift the knife as it is on the picture so you’ll see a small crack. this is where you’ll need to spray the hair removal mousse… I didn’t show it on the picture because it was already done, and I don’t want do this again.. it’s not easy as it could seem, you may need another hand to keep everything in place and put the hair removal foam… Put a decent amount of foam, you want it to reach the center of the wheel where the air are stuck.

  • After you put the foam into the wheel let it “work” for almost 10 minutes.
  • Roll the wheel and see if you still feel a resistance if you don’t it look good!
  • I wiped the extra foam and I added oil or something to lubricate the center of the wheel. Be careful don’t put too much oil or lubricant because hair and dust will stick to this!

That’s it, put everything back in place. and try your roomba. Mine took almost 5 minutes of “under supervision” first run. After that the wheel was fine!

Let me know if this helped you or if you have another trick to fix the wheels! This is certainly not the best way to do it, but maybe my wheel will survive 1-2 months more!



Author: Arsenick

Hi all! I'm a 27 years old guy from Quebec city, Canada. I've been playing with Linux since 1998 and start to earn my life using Linux and FOSS around 2005. Since then I've earned few certification and courses including CLP10 (Certified Linux Professional from Novell), RHCE (RedHat Certified Engineer) and JBOSS Administration course. I'm a Linux sys admin and I'm working here in Quebec city for a small company who are RedHat Advanced partner since few years. So I'm trying to always keep me updated on new technology and new RedHat product. The best way I've found to do it is to use and contribute to the Fedora Community. So I've joined the community in mid 2009 as a Fedora Ambassadors, I still learning how everything work in a opensource community, but I really liked what I saw at the 2009 FUDCON in Toronto.

25 thoughts on “Howto fix IRobot Roomba left or right wheel”

  1. I had done all of the above and cannot understand why Roomba didn’t design the wheels so that you can open them up. Thanks for the Hair Mousse removal idea. I will be trying that! Thanks again…

    1. it’s probably easier to seal everything and keep dust and hair away from the mecanism then to build the wheel in a way you can open it up for cleaning will probably mean hair and dust would easily enter in it too… My wheel still working fine here, now the repaired wheel spin a little bit easier than the other wheel hehe

      Let me know if this work for you!

      1. There were 2 screws on my Roomba wheel on the side. I removed those and then with a knife popped it open. I thought I broke the week from the spindle (the rod that was holding the wheel) a bunch of hair came out (not kidding). Then I simple put the wheel back on the spindle and with a small hammer I tapped on top of the wheel to get it back in the rod… Wholla the misalignment of the wheel was gone and Roomba is working like a charm.

    2. After you remove the wheel module, the wheel is only held in place by a friction pin. You can use a hammer and a driver to drive the pin out. Ay the black plastic of the motor cage on a flat work bench and put your driver on the sliver pin in the center of the wheel. A couple good hammer his and the wheel is free. Grab the offending hair, reverse the process and you are good.

  2. I have 11 Roombas on 1 of mine this did not work. I swapped wheel modules and found one left wheel is what I consider to be bad. After a second cleaning it still did not fix the lazy or erratic wheel module. I was able to remove the gear cover and cleaned and regreased the gears. This did not work either. It’s odd that the wheel works but is lazy. This caused the 560 to buck, tends to turn to the right and wears the rubber wheel tread. Again the wheel module works but not as good as it should.
    I haven’t swapped wheel motors or circuit boards yet but will soon.
    I was told that the 500 wheel modules have some sort of circuit board sensors? There is no sensors in the gear case or wheel.

  3. My 5xx stopped with one motor not rotating. There was significantly higher resistance on invalid wheel. I just disassembled gearbox, removed all cogwheels inside of gearbox. Then the wheel could be rotated almost without any resistance. This acknowledged that no hair removal is necessary. Then I resembled it back and the wheel worked again. It is much easier do this few steps to detect if there is problem with hair inside of if the wheel or the gearbox is just misaligned than to force wheel and use gear removal foam. There was almost none hair in place described in article after 24month in duty, even if I have to clean my brushes full of hair after every one cleaning.

  4. The red wire from the module connector on the motor circuit board had come loose on my wheel module. I resoldered it and it’s working fine again. Very satisfying to repair it myself. :)

  5. I followed the easy instructions and recommendations, but I used Dust Remover instead and it seems to be working fine. Thanks for the advice.

  6. Hi, I was wondering if anyone has used Roomba Repair Kit services? My Roomba has the 9-beep error and was wondering if someone can tell me about this companys products.

  7. hi …..i have a problem with the right wheel of my 564 roomba….if i turn it to one side its going fine….but when i turn it to the other side its go very hard…..when i take the wheel with the motor out its work fine but when i connect it again its running hard again…..

    1. Did you mange to find what it was? I have exactly the same problem. When i take the module out it’s working fine. But when I put i back in it’s turning fine one way, but very hard the other.

  8. I ordered a replacement module from iRobot and replaced mine. It solved all my problems. No more random stopping. Also, I had the 9-beep error before that and ordered a solderless repair kit online to fix that problem. I think the site was EESolutions.

  9. Thank you for your help. I used one side of a very sharp tweezer to pull/cut the hair out and then used a silicone lubricant. One thing to mention is that 2 of the screws holding the wheel gear in do not come out completely, so don’t get frustrated with that (as I did :). Again, thanks for taking the time to post pictures and instructions!

  10. Thanks for your help!
    Eventually I cleaned the wheels with compressed air, but you really need another pair of hands to do that.

  11. Hi, I have another idea that worked fine for me! Use at your own risk, it is not safe for your hands or eyes (if something is broken and flies to you). Use glases and gloves for protection.
    Step 1: Dissasembly the gear box and remove the first gear (the one near the blocked wheel).
    Step 2: Put a drill to the blocked wheel so the drill could move the wheel. One hand in the drill and another in housing of the roomba’s wheel. You must be sure your hands are able to perform the next step safely. Better try first at medium speed.
    Step 3: Be careful, and go with the drill at max speed for 20 seconds. Be patient and repeat this step. The hairs will be burned by the heat generated by this operation.

    Have fun.

  12. I have the Roomba 650 and one wheel spins and the other does not move at all. I have taken it apart and cleaned it, it was spotless, there is no dirt or hair blocking it and the circuit board is clean and the wires are connected. Does anyone have any other suggestions on what the problem could be?

    1. On my 650, I also went through all the steps at several websites with no luck. I couldn’t even force the R wheel to spin with my hand, no matter how hard I tried. I put everything back together, and then out of frustration, put it on the floor…. and moved the whole unit using my hands. With the tires gripping on the hardwood, the wheel released…. and has worked fine ever since. Weird!!!

  13. I have the 880 – after following the excellent instructions here I ended calling customer support. Purchased the 880 back in Jan 2015 (out of warranty), it’s kinda obvious that they are having troubles with (at least) the left drive wheel. Their solution to me is they are sending me a complete Roomba 880. I only have to pay for the return shipping of the old complete unit.
    Awesome Service…. :-)

  14. irobot roomba 600 – you can remove the wheel with small screwdrivers. the only tricky part is tapping the 5/32 and 1/5″ stainless steel pins out of the casing (they are press fitted) for both the blue cover and for the wheel cover. i used a hammer and a nailpunch and tapped them out. Be careful the 1/5″ pressed pin on the wheel cover has a spline on the outer end. if you look closely you can see it. i took the wheel and wheel cover and placed on a surface with a hole in it(wood) and tapped the pin inward (if you were to put wheel back on. Tap inward). only goes one way. once all removed you will see a ball of hair between the wheel cover and the wheel itself.

  15. I had this issue on an 870. I could feel the much higher resistance on the left wheel (why does it always affect the left one?), but couldnt get rid of it by spinning it as hard as I could.

    I went pretty Rambo, drilled a hole into the wheels plastic cover and pulled out as much dirt as I could with a tweezer. That didn’t work. I then got a lighter and put the hair on the inside on fire while gently rotating the wheel so that I would hit most of it (please note, the plastic on the wheel does start to burn after a few seconds of exposure to open fire). I then regreased the axis with a bit of bike chain oil.

    Worked for another 2 months or so. Now I’ve replaced the wheel after it failed again, but might try the hair remover method next time.

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