Of all home fitness devices, the treadmill requires the most care and regular maintenance. This is due to its design: while you walk or run on the upper side of the treadmill’s wide belt, the underside is constantly rubbing against parts such as the motor, the rollers, etc. Therefore, lubrication is essential to ensure smooth movement.
Determining when lubrication is needed
By lubricating your treadmill regularly you help to ensure the most comfortable workout possible. Above all, you protect both the running mat and the motor from premature wear and tear. Under normal use, you should lubricate the device every three months, or every 130 miles. If you use your treadmill more intensely, check more often to determine if maintenance is necessary. Don’t wait until you hear squeaking or some other sound that would indicate unwanted friction.
So, how do you check? Loosen the belt. Start by unplugging your treadmill – a necessary precaution before you do any sort of maintenance work. Then, loosen a bolt with an Allen wrench or a screwdriver, depending on the model. See your user’s model for detailed instructions.
Once the treadmill belt is loosened, lift it up slightly and put your hand under it. If the inner surface is dry, with no apparent coating of oil, it’s time to lubricate. On the other hand, if you remove your hand to discover it has some oil on it, there’s no need to lubricate.
Lubrication in 6 steps
If you haven’t lubricated your treadmill for 3 months or more, or if you find you need to add some oil to it, don’t worry. The process is simple. You can do it yourself.
Step 1 :
Get a suitable silicone-based treadmill lubricant. You can find this by getting in touch with the customer services who are more than happy to supply. Be careful: do not use oil or grease that have been manufactured for other purposes. This may clog the treadmill or, even worse, damage it.
Step 2 :
Unplug your device and loosen the belt (see above).
Step 3 :
Lift the belt slightly, and spray the lubricant underneath. Approximately 3-5 applications on each side should do it.
Step 4 :
Reattach the mat, then turn it on at a slow speed (about 3 mph, an average walking speed) for 5-6 minutes. This should be sufficient to distribute the lubricant over the entire inner surface of the belt.
Step 5 :
Unplug the treadmill again and use a soft cloth to wipe off any excess lubricant on either side of the belt.
Step 6 :
Tighten the belt back into place, and plug in the treadmill. You’re now good to go: you can use your treadmill. See you in 2-3 months for the next tune-up!
Make sure your belt stays tight
The treadmill’s belt should always be tight. But it can get looser over time. You’ll need to tighten it in the following situations:
- After about 20 hours of treadmill use, checking to see if you need to tighten a few bolts, as well as the belt.
- After a period of regular use.
- As soon as you hear any odd noises, or if you notice abnormal operation (the mat skips, causing you to experience jolts that disrupt the usual smooth running of your treadmill), or the motor overheats.
- If you can lift the running mat by MORE than 1-2 inches, on either side.
As you can see, maintaining your treadmill isn’t complicated. But don’t forget that this maintenance is essential to prolong the life of your device. So think about doing it regularly. Remember that your treadmill strengthens your glutes and calves, sculpts your abs, and improves the look of your entire body. Clearly, it’s taking care of you: so take care of it!