Treadmills can be found everywhere; in most homes, gyms, and hospital facilities. As with any other machine though, they are subject to wear and tear over an extended period of usage. And may need treadmill repairs every now and then. For an uninterrupted workout routine, therefore, there must be some time and expenses allocated for the treadmill’s repair and maintenance. But what do you do when your treadmill eventually breaks down or gets squeaky? Do you get someone to help you or can you do it by yourself? Read on to find out how you can easily repair your treadmill.
While you can seamlessly handle most of the basic maintenance practices alone, it is usually advised to leave the technical repair in the hands of a good technician. This is simply due to the fact that a technician has more knowledge and experience on how to fix a treadmill. He has handled more treadmill problems and can thus easily diagnose the situation. There are also numerous quality brands on the market if you are looking for the best treadmill, all with different designs and functionality. According to what type it is, it may need special care that can only be provided by a trained professional. That said, treadmill repair costs are generally low and will not cost you an arm and a leg.
A good technician should be able to spot the problem fast and utilize his skills to rectify the errors. It is more cost-friendly to have a permanent one who will regularly check up on the treadmill at a decent budget. If one is not readily available here are some tips on how you can troubleshoot your treadmill with just about no stress. In case you still cannot get it to function properly, you can go ahead and contact a treadmill technician.
A treadmill breakdown can be a nightmare to the fitness enthusiast. It has plenty of parts that could individually be faulty, causing the entire machine to break down. In such frustrating situations, it is difficult to assess whether the problem is easy to solve by yourself or if it is serious enough to require an expert’s diagnosis. Not all scenarios are that serious and you can simply follow the tips below to solve the treadmill problem without flinching. If you have decided to service the machine by yourself, make sure to have the service manual from the manufacturers and have read through the instructions.
Repairing the treadmill once you have already established which component is problematic is a piece of cake. Different affected parts would call for different actions. The pointers below highlight how to diagnose the source of the problem and what to do in each setting.
The motor is the main part of the treadmill. It is the part the mechanically rotates when powered up to move the walking belt. The motor energy in a treadmill is measured in horsepower. Different exercise levels will require different horsepower, whether it is for walking, running, or jogging.
How the treadmill motor could get damaged
Most people do not know how to fix a treadmill motor but it is quite easy. In most cases, damage to the treadmill motor occurs following excessive loading. This total load on the motor is determined by the weight of the user, the speed at which they are either running or walking, and how much friction is generated in the mechanical parts of the treadmill. Users are advised against running the machine when the feet are already on the conveyor belt. What happens here is that the motor will demand some high current from the controller. Consequently, this results in damage to the motor itself by demagnetization, or damage to the controller.
When there is too much friction being produced during a workout, the treadmill will stop working to prevent damage to the motor. So this explains why sometimes the treadmill just powers off during a workout. In other cases, the treadmill might also not start despite the console display powering up. This is as a result of damage to the motor control board or the drive motor. If you can hear the buzz of the drive motor but still experience no movement, you need to replace the drive motor.
How to replace a treadmill motor
First, begin by unplugging the treadmill from the wall power outlet. Use a screwdriver to remove the hood covering the motor bracket. You will then remove the motor by removing the mounting and pivot bolts from the motor-mounting bracket. Disconnect the motor wires and remove the motor bracket to expose the drive motor.
You can now install the new drive motor on the bracket and put back the motor mounting and pivot bolts, remembering to only loosely tighten them. Pass the drive belt above the pulley and tighten the loose mounting bolts. Reconnect the motor wires and reinstall the motor hood. Power on the treadmill after plugging it into the power outlet for use.
The walking belt is a key part of the treadmill as it also plays an important role in its functioning. As you continue using the treadmill over time, the walking belt will loosen up and subsequently be misaligned in the process. Maintenance of the belt includes regular tension checks, alignment, and lubrication. Accumulation of dirt on the treadmill can also cause a mishap. The belt, therefore, needs to be kept clean by using a damp cloth to wipe it consistently. Finding the best treadmill for walking can be beneficial if you wish to use it for walking as they have better walking belts.
How to fix a slipping treadmill walking belt
When the walking belt becomes too loose it can start slipping and producing squeaky sounds. Eventually, this causes the belt to slow down or stop entirely. This can be caused by a loose drive belt. A clear indication that the drive belt is loose and worn out is having no movement when you step on the treadmill though the motor keeps running. In this case, you are advised to replace the drive pulley instead of tightening it, to avoid compromising the functioning of the motor. To confirm a loose walking belt, try lifting it from the sides. It should allow a 2 or 3-inch allowance, anything higher than this will need tightening up. Slipping can occur when there lacks proper lubrication too.
How to Lubricate the Walking Belt
Generally, the treadmill should be lubricated every 3 months, roughly at about 130 miles. This is of course subject to change if you use it more frequently. Without sufficient lubrication, you are bound to hear a squeaking sound during a workout.
To confirm this, unplug the treadmill from the power source. Use a screwdriver or wrench to loosen the bolts and loosen the belt. Touch its inner surface to feel for any oil, and if it is dry, you have to lubricate it. The best lubricant to use on a treadmill is silicon-based lubricant. Other types have a tendency to clog and even damage the treadmill parts. Slightly lift the belt and apply the lubricant sparingly underneath. Fix the belt back and power it to a slow speed to evenly distribute the lubricant on the inner surface. After this, wipe out the excess on the sides and tighten it accordingly. Plug it on and it’s ready for use.
Other electronic parts of the treadmill can also be problematic at times. If there is no console display, check the power cords, batteries and any visible wires for any need to replace. Sometimes, you may experience a burning smell that could stem from a short in the wiring, the electronics or the motor. Such situations require immediate action as they pose a fire threat.
Manual, or non-motorized treadmills, are advantageous over manual ones for many reasons. They do not require an electrical connection and can thus be conveniently placed anywhere. Another great feature to note is that these treadmills run purely on muscle power. The belt only starts moving following the action from your feet. As you gradually accelerate, the momentum increases and helps to keep the belt in motion. It is said to be a better option for professional athletes and sports enthusiasts as it provides a high-intensity workout and helps build the lower body muscles. The ProGear 190 is one notable mention in this category. With a 230-pound user weight limit and a two-lever inclination, it has easily made a name for itself in the industry and is widely used all over the world.
In the event that your manual treadmill needs troubleshooting, here are some useful tips to get it back running:
Set the back end of the treadmill to the lowest inclination setting. Get onto the conveyor belt and set it in motion by running until it gains momentum. Step back to its rear end and watch how it moves. There should not be as much space between the side rails and the belt on either side. If there is any sign of this, locate two adjustment bolts or knobs on the deck. Turn the right knob to the left by a quarter and the left knob to the right by a quarter turn to shift the walking belt to the left. Check and ensure the belt is well lubricated to prevent a repeat of this.
NordicTrack was established many years ago and has been in the game longer than most companies. They produce quality machines with great features. The downside is that they have limited models with the Bluetooth feature. The NordicTrack T Series treadmills seem to have this problem eliminated though.
ProForm is from the same company as NordicTrack. Most consumers hence compare it to the NordicTrack treadmills which are said to be a bit better in quality. An exception in this brand is the Proform Performance 600i, a sturdier make that offers great value for money.
The treadmill’s longevity is plainly determined by the level of care and maintenance it gets from time to time. It is a machine that can serve you and many other people for years, whether it is in your home or at the gym. Some treadmills can be quite pricey, with some makes going for more than 2000 dollars. However, you can find the best treadmills under 1000 with pretty decent features and performance. Seeing that these machines are a great long-term investment, it is important to take care of them well so that they serve you even longer.
A treadmill should ideally be placed on level ground for properly balanced movements between the walking belt and the drive motor. Wipe it regularly after use to prevent dust accumulation. Ensure you perform regular oil checks to make sure the belt is always well lubricated.
Treadmill repair does not have to be a daunting task anymore. While some instances might only require the help of a trained eye, you can be able to solve the more common but minor problems with these instructions. Big brands like NordicTrack and Proform offer long-term warranties that you can apply to get parts repaired or replaced in case they are faulty. Hence you need to look out for warranties and the availability of spare parts when making the purchase. All in all, you should be prepared to make a treadmill repair even if you buy a reliable or expensive treadmill. This will save you time and even money as you finally know how to repair your treadmill in case it breaks down.