Treadmill Maintenance Guide

Treadmill Maintenance Guide

In this Treadmill Maintenance Guide you’ll find:

  • General treadmill maintenance tips, including how to lubricate a treadmill, how to oil a treadmill belt, and best-practice treadmill cleaning tips that can extend the life of your machine
  • Simple treadmill repairs that you can do at home, including how to adjust running belt tension, how to align the running belt and how to fix a treadmill belt that slips
  • A range of Elite Fitness treadmill manuals
  • Troubleshooting tips for treadmill belts, console errors and common treadmill motor issues
  • If you can’t do the repair yourself: How to book a treadmill repair or treadmill service with our qualified service agents, or in one of our dedicated centres for treadmill repairs in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland

We’re proud that our equipment is built to last, but as you will have been advised when you purchased your treadmill, there’s a little elbow grease required to maintain things in order to extend the life the treadmills, and importantly, to make sure they’re safe for you and your family to use.

As you’re going through this checklist you should always look out for suspected faults, and wear and tear. In which instance, do not try to repair or adjust anything other than the maintenance that is outlined here. This is important for your safety and to maintain your warranty (please see the section about your warranty and servicing, at the bottom of this guide).

Lubricating the running deck

Lubrication is the most important part of owning and maintaining your treadmill and thankfully it’s quick and easy once you get the hang of it.

Insufficient lubrication will cause the belt, running deck and motor to wear out and break. So a little effort in maintenance can mean no expensive repairs in the long run.

When you notice that friction of the running deck is increasing (you’ll feel a distinct jerky movement of the belt when in use and it may be noisier than usual)or the motor begins to heat up fast as you use the treadmill, lubrication is absolutely essential. But even if the deck seems to be running OK, it’s still important to lubricate it periodically.

How often should you lubricate the running deck?

With average usage (30-minute workout sessions 5-7 times a week for 30-45 minutes), we recommend that you lubricate it every four to six weeks.

You should however consider that the need for lubrication depends on the running styles and weight of its users.

Naturally, heavier users weight mixed with and slower speeds put particular strain on the deck and components, therefore will demand more lubrication.

What lubricant do I use on my treadmill?

Treadmills are lubricated with Silicone Oil formulated for each specific treadmill model and brand. You can purchase these from any Elite Fitness outlet.

You can order our Elite Silicone Oil online as well:

How to lubricate the deck on your treadmill

Once you have the right oil, follow these steps:

  1. Stop the running belt, so the belt seam is located on the top and in the centre of the deck.
  2. Turn off the treadmill at the wall – safety first!
  3. Lift the running belt up.
  4. Position oil nozzle between the belt and the board approximately 200 mm (8″) from the front of the treadmill. Apply the Silicone Oil from the front to the rear of the treadmill on each side of the treadmill. Try to reach the spray as far into the centre of the running deck as possible. Don’t apply to the walking surface of the belt.
  5. Rotate the belt by hand one-half a revolution, reaching the part of the belt that wasn’t lubricated, and repeat the spray process.
  6. When you’re done, turn the treadmill on and run it for around three minutes on a low speed to distribute the silicone oil.

At this point, the treadmill is instantly ready for use.

Here are some video instructions on lubrication (this is for brands ICON H&F Treadmills, but may still be helpful for other machines):

How to clean your treadmill

Turn off your treadmill at the wall for safety.

Wipe down any dust and sweat from treadmill surfaces, especially the handlebars and console, with a damp cloth or towel. Please do not use solvents.

Use a small vacuum nozzle to carefully vacuum around all visible components (belt, running deck, side rails etc.). To clean the underside of the treadmill, lift the running deck to the storage position. If you have pets, vacuum around the motor compartment more frequently and try to keep the area around the machine as hair-free as possible.

Consider how clean the areas are where your treadmill is being used, and being stored. A dusty room or cupboard is not ideal as dust, carpet fibers and dirt is easily collected in crevasses, and in and around the motor.

We recommend that a treadmill mat is placed underneath the treadmill to reduce the amount of dust collecting inside the machine.

How to clean mold off your treadmill

A treadmill that has been stored in damp conditions, or that has been cleaned with excessive water and not properly dried may develop patches of mold. Avoid treating these with bathroom mold surface cleaners. Instead, wipe down as usual, using a diluted vinegar solution if you wish to kill any remaining spores. Dry your treadmill well and then follow the lubrication advice above – the lubricant will discourage mold regrowth.

You should also consider moving your treadmill to a drier location.

Your treadmill cleaning kit

A treadmill represents an investment in your wellbeing and fitness, so regular cleaning and lubrication to keep your machine in good working order makes sense. However you won’t need to use solvents or strong household cleaners. A simple treadmill cleaning and serving kit can be comprised of:

  • Damp cloth or sponge
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Screen wipes for the console unit
  • Treadmill lubricant

Placing a treadmill mat beneath your machine

Consider using a treadmill mat beneath your machine, as these protect both your floor surface and your treadmill by dampening the vibrations caused by running. A treadmill mat will also reduce the noise your machine makes.

What causes a running belt to slip?

Not all of us are ‘perfectly aligned runners’ of course, so very often we see belts pushed to one side due to a user’s running style where there’s more weight on one foot.

If the belt is allowed run across to one side for long periods of time the edges of the belt can be damaged or slip off. You can adjust the alignment yourself.

A belt can also slip because of no lubrication, or the belt may be too loose and need tightening.

Never fear – we’ve got some tips on these DIY maintenance adjustments below.

Note though that any damage to the belt caused by the lack of necessary adjustments and maintenance may not be covered by the warranty, so do take care to carry out these things.

Aligning the running belt on your treadmill

The best way to monitor belt tracking is during exercise. Look down as you walk or run – the belt should run in the centre of the treadmill.

Alignment is not usually needed if:

  • the treadmill is placed on an even, solid, horizontal surface and the belt is correctly tensioned, and
  • the alignment of the belt is straight to begin with.

How to adjust treadmill alignment yourself:

The alignment of the belt is adjusted easily by turning the two bolts at the back of the treadmill. Follow these steps:

  1. Increase the treadmill speed to 5 km/h (while no one is on it).
  2. If the belt drifts to the left, turn the left adjustment bolt 1/4 turn clockwise and the right adjustment bolt 1/8 turn anti-clockwise. If the belt drifts to the right, turn the right adjustment bolt ¼ turn clockwise and the left adjustment bolt ¼ turn anti-clockwise.
  3. Once the belt is centred as it turns over, the adjustment is correct. If not, continue to make small, incremental adjustments as above until the belt is correctly aligned.

Adjusting the belt tension of your treadmill

The belt should be as loose as possible, without slipping on its rollers. But if you do notice it slipping you will need to adjust the tension on it.

Here’s how you can do this from home:

  1. Turn the same screws as those used for aligning the running belt (above).
  2. Increase the treadmill speed to 5 km/h (3 mph) – with no one on the machine.
  3. Turn both adjustment screws an equal amount, ¼ turn clockwise.
  4. Try to slow the belt down by holding onto the handrails and braking as you walk (as if you were walking downhill). If the belt slips, turn another ¼ turn and repeat the test.
  5. When braking heavily, the belt may slip. If the belt keeps slipping despite repeated adjustments, please contact your local Elite Fitness Store.

If turning these screws does not affect the belt tension at all, please contact your local Elite Fitness store before using the treadmill again. It’s possible that the walking belt is worn out and must be replaced.

How long does a treadmill belt last?

Each machine is different and you will be guided through the belt replacement process by our team. But on average, if you’ve carried out the above maintenance, a good belt should last the average user at least 2-5 years.

How much does a replacement treadmill belt cost?

Replacement treadmill belts range in price depending on the make and model of the treadmill, and whether the belt is intended for home or commercial use. Contact our service department for a quote.

Tightening fixing screws on your treadmill

Check the tightness of all fixing screws once a year, and tighten where they’re loose. Do not overtighten them though (it’s a fine balance).

Resetting your treadmill

If the electronic components of your treadmill are not working (or perhaps you’ve recently performed maintenance), you might need to just reset it.

Most treadmills have a reset button and or a few buttons on the console that need to be pushed – check your manual for instructions (most are online).

If it’s still not working give us a call.

How to fix an E1 error on a treadmill

The E1 error is a general code displayed by treadmills when the reed switch – or speed sensor – is unable to detect movement in the belt.

A simple cause for this is too much friction from the belt overloading the motor and triggering a safety cut out. To test for this you can first turn your treadmill off at the wall then manually rotate the belt. If it fails to turn freely, or creates an unusual noise, then your belt likely needs lubrication. Follow the advice above and switch your treadmill back on to see if the error code has gone.

However if the reed switch itself has been damaged, or the motor is malfunctioning then your E1 error will likely require professional help. Contact the Elite Fitness Service Centre for further assistance.

Treadmill motor troubleshooting

Treadmill stops suddenly while in use

A treadmill is designed to stop running if there’s too much resistance. This is a safety precaution to preserve the motor and to avoid excess heat which can start a fire.

The resistance will more than likely be from one of the issues we’ve outlined above (belt alignment, no lubricant, dust etc). Make sure to carry out all the home maintenance listed here, before starting it up again.

Also, this may sound silly and obvious, but double check cords are not loose in the wall or in treadmill sockets. Sometimes they can be knocked out of place.

If your machine still continues to turn off, it may be an issue with the motor. Unplug it from the wall and call your service providers.

Treadmill going at erratic speeds

This can be electrical or mechanical and may not necessarily be a fault with the motor. Call your service provider if this happens.

Treadmill more noisy than usual

A treadmill motor clogged with dust and debris can begin to make funny noises. Because they emit static electricity when in use, they can collect dust. Might just need a clean. Or, carry out maintenance as we’ve touched on here.

Smell or see smoke?

Immediately discontinue any use and unplug the treadmill. Call your treadmill’s manufacturer for service recommendations.

Storing a treadmill

Your treadmill should be kept somewhere dry – never in a damp spot to collect mould.

Be careful it’s not too hot either, to look after the machinery inside.

Store it away from any dust, lint and hair, and when it’s up, vacuum around it. Some of our customers cover their machines with plastic or a cover which is a great idea.

Your Elite Fitness treadmill warranty and servicing

Please remember that any damage caused to the equipment due to the disregard of this maintenance guide will not be covered by warranty.

If you have spotted or suspect defective components, they must be replaced immediately – the equipment must not be operated. This is for your own safety.

Any servicing must be performed by an authorised service representative at Elite Fitness Equipment. The golden rule is that if you’re unsure, give us a call and we’ll be happy to advise you on next steps.

How much will a service cost?

We can provide comprehensive service options to both retail and commercial customers, including service agreements tailored to you and your treadmill use.

If you’re after a one off service just drop us a line for a quote. The price will range based on the model, existing or suspected issues and where in New Zealand you are based.

We do operate a free call centre to help you resolve issues if you wish to carry out some user maintenance yourself and need a helping hand.

Elite User Manuals

Written by the Elite Fitness Team,

January 10, 2020