The first and most important part of owning a treadmill or any piece of equipment is preventative maintenance. If you’re not currently doing this, get started today!
Elements necessary for a good preventive maintenance program on your treadmill:
Screwdriver – philip’s and flat blade
Sockets and allen keys depending on the model Cloths for cleaning grease
Now let’s get started!
ALWAYS UNPLUG THE TREADMILL OR ANY EQUIPMENT BEFORE SERVICING!
Remove the hood or engine cover. There are probably between 2 and 8 screws. Now vacuum the dust around the motor and drive mechanisms. What you can’t get to with the vacuum, use a small cloth or brush. A clean motor does not clog or overheat.
After you’ve cleaned around the engine, look for any grease fittings, they are usually found on commercial grade units, but yours may have some as well.
For those of you who have never seen one, they are about the size of a pencil eraser and have a hole in the end. They are usually found in bearings. If you don’t have a grease gun, you can purchase a small gun and grease at your local auto parts store for less than $10.00.
If your unit is chain driven, wipe excess dust off the chain and apply a small amount of grease to the chain, also grease the drive chain and lift chain as needed. Use white lithium grease if available.
Check all drive belts for wear, look for cuts and nicks, and replace as necessary.
Loosen the walking belt, most treadmills have a bolt or screw on each side at the rear of the unit. Loosen them, push the rear roller toward the walking platform until the belt is slack enough for you to look under.
Lift the belt up and inspect the underside for wear. If it appears worn or burned, the belt should be replaced.
Inspect the walking deck for wear, you will be able to tell if it is worn. If it has small worn grooves or footholds, it should be turned over or replaced.
Many treadmills today have walking decks that can be flipped over. If your deck is worn, turn it over, but it is recommended that when you turn the deck over you replace the walking belt.
Clean the deck and the underside of the belt with a soft cloth; Depending on the model of your treadmill, you should lubricate the walking deck at least every 6 months. Some units use silicone spray or gel. Another use of wax. Check your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendations.
After cleaning the belt and deck and lubricating the deck as needed, center the belt on the walking deck and tighten the screws at the end of the treadmill.
Turn each bolt the same amount to keep the belt centered. Tension the belt until it does not move freely on the rollers. Then, using CAUTION, straddle the belt and turn the treadmill on to a low speed.
Wait for the belt to start moving and then step on the belt. If it stops, it’s not tight enough. Take off the belt and tighten each side 1 turn and then put the belt back on.
Repeat as necessary.
Once you can walk on the belt at a slow speed without stopping or slipping, increase your speed to 3 miles per hour. This should be a brisk walk. If your unit has side rails, hold the rails and try to stop the belt with pressure.
IF OK, increase speed to 5 MPH. Run on the treadmill, if you feel it slipping, tighten the bolts another 1/2 turn each. Repeat if necessary.
If the belt is not centered, stand behind the treadmill and run the belt at full speed if the belt runs to the left. Tighten the left bolt or screw 1/2 turn and loosen the right bolt or screw 1/4 turn until the belt is centered.
IF the belt runs to the right, tighten the bolt or screw on the right side 1/2 turn and loosen the bolt or screw on the left 1/4 turn. Repeat as necessary, this should center the walking belt.
Always clean the treadmill after each use, perspiration is very corrosive.
If your treadmill tilts, increase the elevation to maximum and vacuum below.
If it doesn’t lean, take it out and vacuum.
Most operational problems are easily seen, detected, and repaired. If the cause of a problem is not obvious, follow a logical process of checking each system component.
Repair your treadmill
It would be impossible for me to list every problem from every treadmill manufacturer in this report, but here are some common problems:
The walking belt is not centered. See preventive maintenance procedure for belt centering.
No power, verify unit is plugged into a live outlet, ALWAYS USE CAUTION when working with electricity. Try another output if necessary.
If you know the outlet is live then unplug the unit and check the fuses, you may need to lift the cover for this.
IF you have power but the motor won’t turn, you either have a bad power supply or the motor brushes are worn. Contact the manufacturer for information.
If the engine is cranking, make sure the drive belt is not loose or broken. Tighten or replace as necessary.
The walking belt moves, but a loud squeal is heard.
Loosen the belt and see if the noise goes away, if it does then you may have a bad front roller. Sometimes you can spray the roller bearing with a lubricant like WD40 and this will solve the problem, but the roller may need to be replaced.
If the noise does not go away, the motor bearings are probably bad and the motor will need to be replaced.
Elevation does not work, unit will not go up or down, or is stuck in elevated mode.
Unplug unit and check lift motor fuse, replace if necessary. Check the hoist system for broken chains or cables, make sure something hasn’t gotten caught in the gears.
If your unit is equipped with limit switches for the upper and lower limits, check them to make sure they are not tripped. These are usually small micro switches located around the hoist gears.
ALWAYS LOOK FOR LOOSE OR BROKEN WIRES FOR ANY PROBLEMS YOU HAVE.
You have power to the treadmill but the control panel does not work.
If your drive requires a key or magnet, make sure it is inserted correctly.
You may have a faulty control panel and will need to replace it.
Check for broken or loose drive belts under the cover.
The treadmill will run for a short time, and then it will blow a fuse, break, or simply stop.
Either the belt or the deck, or both, are probably worn and need to be replaced. Try to lubricate the deck first. If this does not help, then you will have to replace the worn parts.
Perhaps the belt is too tight and is causing the motor to draw too much current. Try the belt adjustment procedure in preventive maintenance.