I was posting today in a thread over at Patternreview and the topic of servicing machines came up. I thought this was very interesting because there seem to be different views on maintenance. So my question is, do you service your machine yourself? What do you do with it? Or do you take it to the dealer for servicing.
I have a Janome Memorycraft 3000 sewing machine, one of Janome's low-end electronic machines. It does everything I want it to do, but the dealer (a big shout-out for Pocono Sew and Vac) www.poconosewandvac.com said not to oil it. It should never need oiling. Same with my Janome 300E embroidery machine. However, I know a few people have highly recommend oiling the 300E. My Pfaff serger, ancient by today's standards, is a 1991 or 1992 mechanical Hobbylock. Great machine, but it does need to be oiled and the manual is very specific about it.
The issue came up about teaching a prospective sewing student about oiling/preventative maintenance on their machine. I hesitate to make recommendations for specific machines and personally like to bring my machines in for servicing on a regular basis. I would recommend this to anyone, especially ones using an older machine that hasn't been used in a while. It just seems like common sense to me. One wouldn't learn how to drive on a car that hasn't been started in several years, would they? Why would someone want to learn how to sew on a machine that hasn't been serviced in what seems like forever. I would like to give sewing lessons. Not lessons in sewing aggravation. Starting on a new or newly serviced machine is what I would insist on for any student. And I would want proof (for an old machine) from my dealer that it has been serviced as they are the only dealer in our area that meets my high standards for quality and dependable service. They will let a customer know if it's not really worth it. They're not pushy, rather they state the facts and let the customer decide what to do.
There are the simple things every user should know like vacuuming/pipe cleaning lint and flossing thread tensions. But beyond that, I hesitate to make recommendations for things like oiling. Different manufacturers recommend different things and I'd like my students to hear what needs to be done from a reputable dealer.
If anyone thinks differently, I like to hear about it and why. If you teach sewing classes, what do you include about machine maintenance?