How to Repair Common Treadmill Issues?

What are some common treadmill problems? 

There are several complications that arise during the use of a treadmill on a continuous basis. Most of these issues can be avoided with proper care and maintenance but Murphy’s law is a real thing and just in case – here are a few problems that are encountered during regular use:

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  • Burning smell: If you happen to be in the midst of a workout session and get a whiff of something burning – you could be frying the electronics in your machine. It is important that you discontinue use immediately and unplug your machine as there could be a short in the wiring or in the motor, or there is a chance the belt is creating friction against the deck because of dirt or other issues. Proper inspection is needed to ascertain the issue.
  • Treadmill shuts down: A treadmill will stop and shut down when it is overheating, when the belt is worn, when there is excessive friction, and when error codes appear. At this time, inspecting the deck and the belt or running an amp draw test are the best options for first steps in figuring out the issue.  
  • Noisy operations: When a treadmill starts to get incredibly louder, there are quite a few things that need to be inspected. A part could be misaligned, worn, loose, or fraying, or it could even be the bearings in the rollers. Careful inspection will help determine the issue so repairs can happen.
  • Belt slows down: Stepping on a treadmill belt should not slow it down in the least. If this happens it could be caused by a worn belt or deck, the belts are too tight, the motor is not working properly and the brushes need replacing or adjusting, or the controller has simply stopped working.
  • Walking belt slippage: It is important to correctly adjust the belt after lubricating or changing the belt as it will slip if not adjusted appropriately. On the other hand, you must be careful not to overtighten as this could cause the electronic components to fry with use. Once adjustments have been made, if the belt keeps slipping then it is important to check the motor/drive belt.
  • To lube or not to lube: When you question yourself on whether or not to lube your treadmill, keep in mind that even when fitness equipment says lube is not needed, it really is – no doubt about it. Treadmill Doctor lube is the very best and actually repels dirt – it is named World Famous Lube for this very reason. 

What are the aspects of Treadmill operation?

There are quite a few aspects for consideration by consumers when it comes to the peak operations of a treadmill.  Here are a few components of the treadmill which must work in tandem for optimal exercise conditions.

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Walking belt

Great importance is placed on keeping the walking belt clean and free of dirt and debris. Friction is the enemy of the electronic world and guess what a simple layer of dirt causes? Yes indeed! Friction! When heat builds up as you walk or run there is a higher draw on the components that enable the treadmill to operate at peak condition. One of the best products that repels dirt and keeps the walking belt properly maintained is World Famous Lube.   

Motor

Treadmills contain motors that rate from 1.0 to 5.0 HP or CHP and if you are on the well-built end of the human spectrum – definitely larger is better as this part is central to keeping the treadmill moving! It is of utmost importance to choose a treadmill within the user’s individual weight limits as the motor carries the weight load and will wear out if it is less expensive and not designed for continuous use. Also – better quality motors make less noise when in use.

Console

Conveying work out data, the console is important for up-to-date information or choosing programs for exercise sessions. Being easy to use is also a great convenience in a console and when it stops working you might think you need to toss your treadmill and start over! Do not fret as Treadmill Doctor has engineered a replacement for the console called the Treadmill Doctor Rescue Kit which includes all parts to get you up and running!

Rollers

Maintaining peak operations also revolves around the simple yet incredibly useful roller. This component keeps the belt from slipping and enables smooth and flowing operational use. Once again – dirt and dust are the enemy as it can accumulate and cause issues! Regular inspection and merely wiping off built up mess will extend the longevity of your treadmill as replacing parts can be expensive.  

Deck

Wood for treadmill decks is held to a high criterion and textured to create less friction between the deck and the walking belt. This textured surface allows for more space between the deck and the belt so less heat is created meaning less wear and tear on the treadmill. There are also decks that are specially formatted to lessen painful impacts on knees and joints. This shock absorption feature is considered superior over walking or running on actual concrete or asphalt by some exercise fans.

Tips for Troubleshooting Common Home Treadmill Problems 

There are quite a few common problems that arise with continuous use of a treadmill. Many of these issues can be addressed in the comfort of home without calling in professional help, which in turn can get expensive. Some of these issues include:

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Walking belt slipping

A recently lubricated belt will slip if it has not been adjusted correctly or there is too much friction. There is also a chance that the pulley on the front roller lost its ability to properly grip and is causing the belt to slip. Additionally, the drive belt that travels between the front roller and the motor might be worn or misaligned.

The walking belt will not stay centered

The belt should be centered whether someone is using the treadmill or whether it is running by itself. After making adjustments, if the belt does not stay centered, it could be because of a few different issues. Rollers with plastic sleeves could be the problem as the belt will not stay centered if this plastic sleeve is not directly in the center of the roller. There is also a chance that the endcaps on the treadmill are cracked causing the belt pressure to be uneven and the walking belt to track to the side. Checking the belt seam would also help as seams separate as they age and if they are not properly maintained.

Squeaking or loud noises

If you do not have mice in your household. hearing a squeaking noise can be disheartening to say the least. Fear not, as treadmills have multiple reasons for noises and squeaking and while not all are an easy fix, they are mostly easy to test! Noises are a result of a fraying belt, a loose pulley, a worn motor belt, a misaligned part, or even faulty bearings in the rollers.

Treadmill does not rise

First, check to make sure your treadmill has an incline feature. (JOKE) If there is only a slight movement there could be a jam in either the motor or gearbox which can be easily checked by removing the incline motor and trying to run it outside of the treadmill. Moreover, incline sensors could be causing the issue, or the motor might not be receiving voltage. All of these issues are straightforward to check if you are mechanically inclined and have a handy voltmeter.  

Static shock during use

Believe it or not, the static charge has been measured in the thousands and can cause tremendous issues with the treadmill’s electronic components as well as making you jump out of your skin. As you walk or run (add in swinging your arms) you build up an electric charge, which in turn, will shock you good and fry your electronics. A common solution for this challenge is to simply lube your walking belt or use a grounding strap which can be purchased in both a single and multi-use format. 

When Should You Seek Professional Help? 

While seeking help is not always the most desirable outcome of common treadmill issues, when you have reached the end of your knowledge and Google search ability, it is important to reach out to a professional who can point you in the right direction to get you up and running. In these kinds of circumstances, it is hard to know who to trust as believe it or not – there are people out there who will take advantage of you in a heartbeat!

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Speaking of trust, Treadmill Doctor has helped diagnose treadmill issues for over 25 years and our CEO initially started out with a stethoscope listening and identifying problems in deadbeat treadmills. Since then – Treadmill Doctor has provided both residential and commercial consumers thousands of parts along with repair services and technical support for a myriad of issues. An open forum on the Treadmill Doctor website tackles issues occurring in all types of fitness machines and there is a technician who answers questions within a 24-hour period of them posting.

At the same time, it is of the utmost importance to seek professional help if you do not have the tools or the mechanical aptitude for repairing machines with electrical components. Safety should always be the first consideration in any circumstances. 

Where can you find reliable treadmill repair services? 

Here is a list of the top 5 reliable sources for treadmill repair services.

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  • Treadmill Doctor: The Best of the Best! Treadmill Doctor has over 25 years of service with the goal of keeping older fitness machines in perfect working conditions. Treadmill Doctor offers free diagnosis over the phone, email, chat services, and text messaging, as well as thousands of parts for purchase and service visits by qualified technicians. Last but certainly not least, Treadmill Doctor has reviewed many brands of ellipticals, bikes, and treadmills for insights to help consumers in their quest for the perfect machine to aid in their individual journeys towards better health.  
  • Sears Home Services: Sears offers repairs services for a myriad of appliances and fitness machines and has been around since the dawn of time. Their website touts more than 7 million annual repairs and promises guaranteed quality work along with easy scheduling and payment plans. In addition, their website offers home improvement and the ability to purchase home warranties.
  • Fitness Machine Technicians: Fitness Machine Technicians is a franchise of over 45 owners who provide both maintenance and repair services for fitness equipment in several states across America and up into Canada. They are committed to expanding their reach allowing consumers to use a zip code finder on their website to find available service providers in their current location. A part of their website is dedicated to careers, allowing people to search for open positions and start their own franchises.
  • Treadmilloutlet.com: This site offers both repair services and the ability to purchase fitness equipment along with the numerous accessories needed for a full workout session. In addition, they have an actual storefront where they assist others in selling fitness equipment on consignment as well as provide rental services in Northern California. They have great client reviews and have been around since 1998.
  • Gym Tech Fitness: Gym Tech Fitness offers repair services in the New York tri-state area which embraces both New Jersey and Connecticut. They have tailored their services to include diagnostic capabilities, emergency services, equipment assembly, along with promising swift turnaround time and complete transparency on pricing.

Preventative measures before any treadmill malfunctions 

The first step in the line of preventative measures before using a treadmill falls with identifying the power source. The consumer must be aware if they have regular house fuses or GFCI outlets before plugging in their treadmill as treadmills have a high-power draw and are not compatible with GFCI outlets.

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Second, a careful inspection of the treadmill is desirable to see if the deck and belt are clean and ready to use. Additionally, if one is mechanically inclined, they can remove the hood to inspect the motor, drive belt, and other components before using. If a wire is hanging loose or crimped your treadmill will not start and if there is too much dirt and debris accumulated, there is a risk of frying the electronics.

Space is also a necessity in the use of treadmills in a home or gym setting as well as a level surface. If there is not enough space, not only can you damage yourself, but you can damage surrounding items or walls. This really happens so make sure and allow enough space for safe operations.

Last but definitely not least, consumers should keep children and pets away from treadmills, especially during exercise sessions. Luckily safety keys exist and will stop treadmill operations if pulled quickly from the slot in emergency situations. 

Final Verdict

It is important to keep your treadmill in peak condition so you can keep yourself in peak condition. As a preventative, proper maintenance and care are imperative in ensuring the longevity of your fitness machine. Also keep in mind that if you do have any issues with a treadmill – Treadmill Doctor is only a click, text, email, or phone call away. 

FAQ

Can we repair our treadmill?

We want to say a heartening yes, but honestly – some manufacturers have stopped making vital parts to their treadmills which makes repair difficult to say the least. Treadmill Doctor has filled this hole in manufacturing by creating improved electronics and motors and even keep them on hand for fast shipping when needed. 

Is it worth repairing my broken treadmill?

New treadmills are expensive, even more so now than ever before. If you can follow directions and find the parts needed, repair can be as easy as clicking your heels together three times. With the technical support available online through email, instant messaging, text messaging, and even phone services – all questions are answered posthaste at Treadmill Doctor.

What to do If your Treadmill doesn’t start?

If your treadmill does not start, take a quick second and make sure it is plugged securely into a non-GFCI outlet. Next, check the breaker in your house to make sure the fuse has not blown. If you have a voltmeter and are mechanically inclined – further instructions can be found here at Treadmill Doctor. 

What to do If your Treadmill slows while running?

If your treadmill slows while in the midst of use, there might be a number of issues at hand. When the treadmill is powered off, step on the belt and try to walk in the normal direction of use. If it is hard to turn – you might have a friction problem. If the belt moves freely then there is either an output issue with the board or the motor has gone caput. If both of those components test okay, then there might be a signal generator at fault. You can find answers for any issue concerning treadmills at Treadmill Doctor. The Doc is IN! 

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