I love my Dyson DC59 Motorhead cordless vacuum. It’s so very convenient to vacuum anywhere, anytime. However, it has one drawback – at least, it’s a possible drawback if you don’t know how to fix it.
Sometimes, my Dyson DC59 cordless vacuum will start pulsating off and on constantly while I’m vacuuming with it. I’ve encountered this problem on two separate occasions, and the fix turned out to be something different each time.
The first time, I emailed Dyson support, but I’d already tried everything in their response. I’d tried everything Dyson’s website had to offer before contacting support.
Here are five things to try if you encounter a problem with your Dyson cordless vacuum pulsing off and on. Mine is a DC59, but these tips may apply to other, similar Dyson cordless vacuums, such as V6 and DC58.
The only tools you’ll need are a coin such as a nickel or quarter, plus something long and skinny like a flat-head screwdriver or a butter knife.
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Make Sure the Battery is Charging
Ensure that the power cable did not partially disconnect from either the wall or the vacuum while it was charging. It’s remotely possible that the rechargeable battery has stopped charging, but it’s more likely that it’s somehow not getting plugged in properly or it’s getting knocked off kilter when it’s charging.
The vacuum can easily fall over and pull the plug partially out of the wall. Flashing blue lights on both sides of the motor indicate that the battery needs charged. If you find that the battery isn’t charging at all and you need a new one, you can buy one online. You can also find a replacement Dyson charger for DC58/59 Motor Head at this link.
Check the MAX Button
If the MAX button lights up and flashes when your Dyson cordless vacuum keeps pulsating on and off, hold the power button and depress the MAX button to turn off that function. You may have to try a few times to get the hang of it.
I had this happen to me, and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how or why MAX had gotten activated. I’m also not sure why it’s there if it causes problems when it’s turned on.
Look For Clogs in Attachments
Try the Dyson vacuum without the long sweeper attachment and see if you still have the problem. If not, then you may have a clog somewhere in that attachment.
Look down through the tube with a flashlight. Check to see if there are clogs on the sweeper end or if the roller is tangled up in fibers. It’s easy to use a coin to remove the roller assembly and clean the whole area thoroughly.
A reader of this post suggested I add something that fixed his problem – check the valve at the top of the wand where it attaches to the cannister. Make sure it’s free of debris and that the valve opens and closes freely.
Remove the Dust Bucket
It can be challenging to completely empty the dust bucket sometimes. It’s a minor inconvenience for me, since I just use an old butter knife. Even so, debris can bunch up in hard-to-reach places.
Fortunately, removing the dust bucket for more thorough cleaning is pretty simple. Simply pull the red release tab once to open the flap and a second time to detach the dust bucket. If you think you could use a replacement, you can buy a Dyson Bin Assembly, DC58/59 at this link.
Rinse the Filter
You know that blue cone-shaped filter you’re supposed to rinse monthly? If you’re like me, you might pull it out occasionally, see that it looks clean as a whistle and put it back in.
I’ve found that you really do need to rinse the filter regularly, even if it looks clean on the outside. Follow the vacuum’s instructions to rinse it under the sink for a minute or two, twisting and squeezing gently as you rinse.
Squeeze out the excess water and let it dry at least 24 hours. When it’s completely bone dry, return it to the Dyson. If you can’t get the filter completely clean or it looks worn, you can pick up a new one for about $16.95.
Here’s a great tip left by a commenter – try removing the filter, and see if the vacuum runs smoothly without pulsating. That should tell you whether the filter is the problem. The vacuum won’t suck properly without the filter, but at least you’ll now whether a clogged or faulty filter is causing your Dyson to pulse off and on.
Here are some additional replacement parts you might want to consider at some point:
- Dyson Cyclone, DC58/59
- 4YourHome Wall Dock Docking Station Designed To Fit Dyson DC58 DC59 DC61 DC62 Replaces OEM 965876-01
- Genuine Dyson Charger, Assembly Ir Dc31/34/35/44/56
- Dyson DC59 Animal Handheld Slim Extension Tube / Rod (Purple)
- Dyson Brush Bar, Dc59
- Dyson V6 Absolute Cordless, Stick Vacuum, Hepa Filter 966741-01
- Dyson End Cap, DC59
- Dyson DC30, DC31, DC34, DC35, DC44 Digital Slim, DC56, Washable Pre-Filter Designed to Fit Dyson Vacuum Cleaners; Replaces Dyson Pre-filter Part 917066-02
- Dyson Genuine Handheld Tool Kit DY-913049-01
- Dyson V6 Motor Head Cordless Vacuum
Some readers have pointed out that your Dyson cordless vacuum might have a flap inside the vacuum head that can get stuck. Disconnect the attachment, locate the flap and gently push to make it pop loose. Thank you to those who have provided this tip!
This post was originally published in January 2016 and updated in April 2018.