Air fryers have become extremely popular in recent years as a healthy alternative to deep frying. They use rapid air circulation and high heat to produce crispy food with significantly less oil than traditional fryers.
While air fryers have many benefits, they can occasionally break down or stop working properly. When this happens, you may wonder if it’s possible to repair your air fryer or if you’ll need to purchase a replacement.
The good news is that many common air fryer problems can be fixed with simple troubleshooting and inexpensive replacement parts. With basic mechanical skills and the right guidance, you can often get your air fryer working again and avoid the cost of buying a new one.
In this article, we’ll provide an overview of the most frequent air fryer issues and how to diagnose and fix them. We’ll cover problems like overheating, failure to turn on, buzzing noises, broken control panels and more. We’ll also discuss when it may be best to call in a professional repair technician or replace your fryer.
Common air fryer problems and solutions
Air fryers can develop a variety of technical problems over time. Here are some of the most frequent issues along with potential solutions:
Fryer won’t turn on
If your air fryer won’t power on at all when you press the button, there are a few likely culprits:
- Faulty power cord – Try using another outlet, checking for loose plug connections, or replacing the power cord if damaged.
- Tripped circuit breaker – Check the breaker connected to the outlet and reset if needed.
- Faulty outlet – Test a different outlet to see if the issue is with the wall power source.
- Failed control panel – If the outlet works but buttons don’t respond, the internal controls may need replacement.
Unit overheats or shuts off while cooking
Air fryers rely on a properly working thermostat to maintain the right temperature. If your fryer overheats, it could indicate:
- Defective thermostat – Most air fryers have a thermostat or thermal fuse that can malfunction resulting in overheating. These parts may need replacement.
- Clogged ventilation – Make sure the air vents and circulation pathways aren’t blocked by food or debris.
- Fan problems – A broken cooling fan will prevent hot air from properly venting.
Burning smell coming from unit
A burning odor typically means something is overheating. Potential causes include:
- Wiring issue – Faulty internal wiring can short circuit and overheat. Have a technician inspect the wiring.
- Motor failure – If the fan motor isn’t turning properly it can burn out. Replace the motor.
- Heating element – The heating coils may be overheating or failing. Replace the heating element.
Basket won’t rotate or spins slowly
If your air fryer basket stops rotating or turns very slowly, it may be due to:
- Obstruction – Built up food residue or dropped items can jam between basket and housing. Clean thoroughly.
- Motor issue – Motors can seize up or lose power over time. Have technician test the motor.
- Gear wear – Gears connecting motor to basket that have become stripped or damaged need replacing.
Loud buzzing, clicking or rattling noise
Unusual noises coming from your air fryer could indicate any number of problems such as:
- Obstruction in fan – Built up grease or dirt can create noise in fan. Clean fan area thoroughly.
- Damaged fan – Replace fan if bent, off-balance or worn out.
- Motor issue – Noisy, grinding or rattling motor needs servicing or replacing.
- Loose internal component – Have technician inspect and secure any loose wiring, brackets, etc.
Display not working
If the display shows odd numbers, errors, or nothing at all, the causes can include:
- Bad wiring to display – Check for any loose or disconnected wires leading to display.
- Control board issues – The internal computer boards that run the display may need troubleshooting.
- Faulty display – Replace the digital display component if defective.
Strange plastic burning smell
A burning plastic odor usually means the air fryer housing or internal parts are melting from excessive heat. Potential fixes:
- Ventilation issue – Ensure vents aren’t clogged so heat can properly dissipate.
- Thermostat problem – Have a technician test the thermostat and replace if faulty.
- Wrong location – Don’t use air fryer in enclosed spaces; keep several inches of space around it.
When to attempt DIY repairs
Many common air fryer problems like a broken display or loud fan can be repaired at home with basic tools and mechanical competence. Issues that are generally safe for DIY repairs include:
- Display/button problems – Replace control panel or buttons.
- Noisy fan – Clean or replace fan.
- Power cord issues – Replace cord.
- Basket won’t rotate – Fix jammed obstruction or replace gears/motor.
However, more complex repairs involving internal wiring, thermostats or heating elements do require technical skill. Unless you have training and experience with electrical and appliance repair, it’s advisable to have a professional technician handle issues like:
- Electrical short/bad wiring
- Not heating up properly
- Thermostat/heating element failure
- Strange burning smell
Safety should always be the number one priority when troubleshooting an appliance. Be cautious about attempting to fix issues that you aren’t fully confident handling.
Cost of professional repairs
If you opt to hire an appliance repair technician to service your air fryer, expect to pay $50-150 per hour for labor. The total cost will depend on:
- Complexity of repair – Simpler fixes take less time.
- Cost of parts – Replacing parts like motors or control panels add to the cost.
- Technician’s rates – Prices range from $40/hr up to $150/hr.
- Travel fees – Added cost if house call or long drive to shop.
Here are some examples of average air fryer repair costs:
|Repair||Parts||Labor Time||Total Cost|
|Replace power cord||$10||0.5 hr||$60-$100|
|Fix jammed fan||$0||0.5 hr||$50-$100|
|Replace control panel||$40||1 hr||$90-$150|
|Replace heating element||$60||2 hrs||$160-$250|
As you can see, costs add up quickly. Simple 30 minute repairs may start at $50 while bigger jobs can easily exceed $200 with parts and labor.
Deciding between repair vs. replacement
When your air fryer stops working properly, should you repair or replace it? Here are some factors to consider when deciding:
Age of the fryer
If your air fryer is only a year or two old, repairs are probably worthwhile. But for older models, replacement parts may be hard to find and repairs less cost effective.
Cost of repair vs. replacement
Compare the total estimated repair cost to the price of buying a similar new air fryer. If repairs are more than 60-70% of replacement cost, a new unit may be the better option.
Frequency of issues
Occasional minor repairs are OK. But if you’re having constant problems with the fryer needing service, it may mean time to replace it.
Availability of your model
Repairs tend to get very difficult if an air fryer model has been discontinued and parts are scarce. Replacing may be better than trying to repair an obsolete model.
Do you want to upgrade?
If the broken air fryer is a basic model, you may decide this is a good chance to upgrade to a larger capacity or more feature-filled fryer.
Carefully weighing these factors will help you choose whether to repair or replace your malfunctioning air fryer.
Tips for maximizing air fryer lifespan
With proper care and maintenance, you can get many years of service from your air fryer and minimize repair needs:
Follow manufacturer guidelines and clean all grease and food debris from fryer basket, pan, and vent areas after each use. This prevents buildup that can lead to overheating and mechanical issues.
Don’t overfill basket
Overloading the basket blocks airflow, resulting in uneven cooking and potential overheating. Don’t exceed recommended capacity.
Use proper oils
Only use recommended oils – light vegetable or canola oils work best. Avoid heavier oils that may cause residue buildup or breakdown over time.
Give it space
Don’t let anything block the exhaust vent or hot air intake vents during use. Allow several inches of space all around the fryer.
Unplug when not in use
Always unplug your air fryer when finished cooking. Don’t leave powered on to avoid potential electrical issues or accidental turn-on.
Following these tips will help ensure your air fryer stays in good working order for as long as possible!
Air fryers are fairly simple appliances that can often be repaired at home with basic tools and mechanical skill. Typical issues like broken control panels, jammed fans and gears are usually easy fixes. But electrical and heating element problems do require professional service for safety.
If your air fryer stops working properly, first diagnose the issue. Simple fixes like replacing a faulty power cord may only cost $50-100. But for more complex repairs, costs can easily exceed $200 when factoring in technician labor and parts.
Carefully weigh the repair costs against the lifespan of your unit and cost of purchasing a new replacement model. With regular maintenance and care, your air fryer should provide many years of reliable service. But if repairs become frequent or parts are unavailable, replacement is the wiser option.