How to Repair Soda Pop Vending Machine

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I will be explaining simple solutions on how to repair common soda pop vending machines. This is quite a bit of challenge to me when im diagnosing the soda pop vending machine.

Most vendors think that when there is a problem with the soda pop vending machine, they normally just pinpoint it to the compressor or blower.

I myself is not knowledgeable when i was doing my soda pop vending machine diagnostics. Normally you always wanted to get things done as soon as you arrive your location.

I have soda pop machines that are more than 10 to 15 years old and is still functioning properly without the need of changing the compressor.

According to my experience in the vending machine business i have several problems that i have encountered when servicing the machines.

Common Soda Pop Vending Machines that i myself encountered on my daily routine

  • Soda pop vending machine is accumulating ice on the refrigeration unit ( the aluminum fins that you see ) whenever you open your soda pop vending machine.
  • The fan is working good but the temperature is not cooling the soda pop vending machine
  • Soda pop machine beverages inside is warm to touch and not cooling anymore
  • The soda pop inside the vending machine is not in its correct temperature but its just cold to touch which is not enjoyable to drink
  • When depressing the selection nothing comes out even thou there is still soda pop inside your soda pop vending machine
  • Some selections have the intermittent dispensing of soda pop, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. There are also whirling of motors sometimes when you close the soda pop machine after servicing


Actual Solutions of the soda pop vending machine according to my experience

Burned Out Motor

When you are not careful loading the soda pop on your vending machine properly using the wrong size cans and bottles. Not closing the internal gate properly. Those factors above normally will result into burned out motor

Its very straightforward when you are testing the motor that is in question. Customers will tell you that sometimes the selection 1 doesn’t dispense on certain occasions, but most of the time it works. This comes to mind that the motor is almost to its service end life.

If you have an account with Coke or Pepsi, you simply bring the bad motor and have it replaced. But if you are super busy with hundreds of soda pop vending machines than you tape a key on the soda pop machine wherein the Coke or Pepsi technician can access it and fix the problem even you are not present in the location.

You should always bring extra locks with spare keys in case you find a soda pop vending machine that is in question so that it will easy for the Coke or Pepsi technician to fix it. Normally the technician will call you before going to the location and just clearly tell them where the key is located and put the key inside the cash box or leave it where it is originally placed.

Before i had in good faith on a location where i simply took out the lock and put a note on the soda pop machine notice for repair and soon some products where missing as reported by an onlooker who called me which is way back when i was still new in the business.

When that incident happened i never remove the lock anymore with a notice of repair.

I presumed that maybe if given the opportunity 1 out of 5 persons here in Vancouver, BC Canada will surely try to get a freebie without anyone noticing. I was too naive and thought Canada was a world-class country where everyone is very honest.

In the Philippines where i spend a great deal of life there, never be complacent with your personal items. Leaving a mobile phone in a few seconds unguarded will miraculously disappear.

There are hundreds of shopping malls in the Philippines where there are abundant used personal items for sale at a ridiculously ultra low price. As a store owner and hungry for profits will snap up cheap used items offered by anyone without any questions.

Back to Canada.

Is it because the life is somehow though here and $1.25 soda pop is affordable ? I’m sure it is not. Maybe people who can get away with stolen products gets an adrenaline rush and just for the heck of it. heh ( im joking )

Try to check your soda pop manual which you can surely do it yourself fixes for the burned out motor.

Bad Soda Pop Selection Micro-Switch

All the soda pop machines have three micro-switches per selection. If your soda pop machine have nine selections than you will have none micro-switches.

  • The first switch is the switch that lets the customer if the soda pop beverages is sold out. There is a small metal or aluminum lever inside the pop machine and if the pop are loaded than the switch is working properly if the sold out light is off. If you play the lever up and down the sold out light should function accordingly to your diagnostics.
  • The second switch is the selection button. If this switch is working if the pop is dispensed when depressing the selection button.
  • The third switch or the last switch activates and energize the motor to turn so that the soda pop will come out. If the soda pop doesn’t come out when depressing it than it needs to be changed.

If you are unsure if the switch is working or not than you can simply remove the three wires on a working selection and try to connect it to the selection switch that is in question.

It is the easiest way to diagnose without using a multi meter or tester. This the most simple diagnostics that you can perform on selection micro-switches.

Bad Thermostat or Low Refrigerant / Freon

All the soda pop vending machines have a certain humming sound.

This sound is the blower and the compressor running together. If your compressor is running or it is not running than you might have low or zero refrigerant anymore.

Try to locate the temperature control on your soda pop vending machine which you can spot with a small round cylindrical shaped coin.

For initial diagnostics try to turn the temperature counterclockwise below three ( 3 ) and listen if the compressor will turn off and try to turn the knob clockwise above five ( 5) and the compressor should be activated.

If none of those works above than you might have the following problems :

  • A bad thermostat control
  • Low Freon or Refrigerant

Since i do not know how to test the thermostat than calling your technician will be the best bet.

In the future i will provide an article on how to test a thermostat control and how to know if the refrigerant is low or if there is a leak.

Simple soda pop vending machine maintenance which will save you hundreds of dollars

Bear in mind to buy the following tools when maintaining the refrigeration unit.

Lint Free cloth

Screw driver

Please see the pictures which i took on my actual maintenance which i did on one of my soda pop combo vending machine. The pictures will clearly point out on how to do it the cheapest and quickest way without buying expensive air compressor or hand vacuum.


This covers the majority of the soda pop vending machine problems that i have encountered when i was regularly doing my vending machine business.

The problems that i noted above is all that i have encountered on maintaining at least a hundred soda pop machines either if it is a standalone soda pop machine or a soda pop snack combo machine.

Be sure to choose an honest technician professional that charges reasonably.

I’m sure you will find an honest and reliable repair professional since the compressor is very expensive and some technicians will over charge you on the parts plus the time needed to have it repaired.

22 thoughts on “How to Repair Soda Pop Vending Machine

  1. Hello there thank you Francis for helping me to solve a simple problem on how to repair my pop machine. With your help i was able to stop the leaking problem on one of my pop machines.

    1. Hello Patricia,
      I also have issues with some of my pop machines that occasionally have the coin issue problems.

      There are some suggestions that have helped my problems:
      a. unplug the soda machine and plug it back again after 1 minute to reset the soda pop machine. On numerous occassions, it works for me.
      b. unplug the soda pop machine and remove the coin mech top portion where the coin passes thru, try to clean it with a dab of alcohol and water so that it will recognize the coins
      c. the last resort will be to change the coin mech on your soda pop machine and it should workout
      d. if the above steps do not work then the motherboard of your soda machine needs to be replaced
      I hope it works out well with you.

    2. Hello PAtricia,
      I have also have some occassions that the coins inside the pop machine just comes out and found out that if your light bulb inside your pop machine flickers then there is some voltage fluctuations which will cause the coins to dislodged

      The solution is to disconnect the light bulbs or change to new ones if you wanted well lighted soda pop machine

  2. i don’t usually write posts or comments on articles but your blog was so convincing and is written with such diligence i had to praise. great work !

    1. I’m glad to know that you found this article to be very helpful for you. I document some of my activities on some of the articles which might be helpful for you on arriving some easy to solve problems

    1. here are some models of soda pop vending machine that does not have a manual thermostat. most probably it is an automatic built-in thermostat

    1. Probably one of the soda switch selection is shorted. So whenever someone inserts money the selection that is shorted is chosen by default.

      You can unplug your soda machine and try to remove the 2 wires connecting to all the soda switch selections.

      Then you can try to test the soda switch selection one at a time to see if the switch is working. Then you will be able to figure out which soda switch selection is the culprit.

  3. i have an older pop machine accepts the coins but does not dispense the pop, i hit any of the buttons and nothing happens,wondering if someone jilted the machine looks like it moved, could it have done something to a relay or something? Thanks if you could help great! Mark

    1. Hello maybe you can try to remove one column and empty the contents of the pop and see if the motor works. If not maybe the motherboard is the question.

      Try to go to diagnostics mode and do test vend.
      Try to unplug the pop and since the pop machine is old, plug and unplug all the connections on the board and power and try to test vend

      If nothing works then it might be the board, i think it is cheaper to get a used old pop machine rather than fixing it since it will be more expensive

  4. Looks like the same compressors I have which are installed in MAX vending machine could u line me up to where to get parts in Ontario

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