Do you want to hear how my KitchenAid story ended? Sure you do.
To catch you up if you’re new, my KitchenAid mixer broke while I was using the dough hook, and it made me very, um, mad. Because those things are supposed to last forever. I’m a reasonable person, but, last I checked, eight years is a few months shy of infinity.
Well, KitchenAid got in touch with me after my post and said they were sorry but they couldn’t send me a new mixer. I told them I didn’t expect them to send me a new mixer. I wanted my mixer. To work. It’s not like I’ve been mixing small- batch cement in there for foundation repairs. Just normal batters, frostings, and the occasional dough.
As a courtesy, the KitchenAid people offered to send me a box and a shipping label to send the mixer back to them so they could give me an estimate for how much it would cost to fix it. In other words, they weren’t going to fix it for free, but they would cut me a break on shipping. And let’s not forget the complimentary cookbook they sent. Which I placed lovingly next to my broken mixer to fully enjoy the irony. Come on, Tammy, don’t be catty.
While I did appreciate the attempt at a gesture, this just didn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense. I’d just as soon pay a local place to fix it and skip all of the ridiculous shipping of a 30-lb. appliance. The hundreds of food miles I’d saved by eating locally would be undone in one fell swoop. Plus, who knows how much their estimate would be? And I’d probably be so fed up by that point that I’d pay anything just to get my precious mixer back.
So, I decided to take matters into my own hands, literally. I’m not super-handy, but I can generally figure things out with an Internet connection and enough time. After all, the motor was working fine. What was broken was the rotating part into which you plugged the attachments. How hard could it be?
Luckily, two web sites I found have pretty good instructions on how to take apart your KitchenAid: one for standard kitchen mixers with the tilty heads, and one for the commercial kind that I have. Between the two, I was able to cobble together something resembling a game plan. I’ll only gloss over things here in my “scorned woman” version of the process. If you want to attempt the dissection yourself, you should head over to the other sites now.
I started unscrewing things, banging the hell out of other things, and prying still other things apart. Why, yes, that is a white sweater I’m wearing for the occasion. I will regret that.
Once I got the whole thing open, there was a ton of grease inside there. Moving parts require lubrication for maximum pleasure performance. After much scooping off and wiping down, I could see the problem.
A plastic gear that got shredded. This is actually the fail-safe gear that reader Margot had mentioned in a previous comment, which is built to fail in order to prevent the motor from self-destructing. Cost to replace it: less than $20, shipping included.
Here we are waiting impatiently for the part.
Apparently, I could have used this time to replace the old grease with new. I’ll let you guess whether or not that actually happened. Once I got the new worm gear, though, I lubed everything up really well before putting it all back together again. And did it work?
YES!!! Here it is, good as new. Okay, maybe not as good as new, but good enough (and just in the nick of time to make Husband’s birthday cake).
All in all, I saved myself a lot of time, money, and aggravation. Okay, maybe not time and aggravation, but there was also a certain amount of satisfaction involved, which balanced it out. Why do I think this isn’t the last time I’ll be taking this thing apart?
I hope this helps somebody else, too.