What you will need to do is remove the variable speed control (older models will just have the on/off switch, and the cord reel pedal with no variable speed control) housing which is held on by two silver colored screws. Once you remove these screws, you can lift the black colored housing off of the red motor housing. Make sure you pay attention to where the two lead wires go into the connector below, the connector block will actually have numbers on each terminal, and it may help to just write down which numbers the variable speed motor controls sit in. Once you remove the black housing, you will see there is another black screw (or two) that need to be removed, along with two other black screws that are on the front of the housing. Once you have removed all of the black colored screws you will be able to access the motor and cord compartment. It may be that the springs that hold the cord reel have gone bad and loosened, and you may just have to replace the entire cord reel. Unfortunately this is the Achilles Heel to the Miele canisters. Let me know if you have any other questions that I can help you with.