Buying a treadmill is like buying a car.
You’re happy riding it at first, but then reality hits, and you realise all the maintenance work involved.
Of course, nobody is pressuring you to do this routine maintenance – but you’ll have to if you want that running band to last.
And it’s not that tedious as you’d first suspect.
Keep reading the article below as we discuss three* easy ways to keep your treadmill in tip-top shape for longer.
* only two ways if you own a manual treadmill, yaaay!
What Maintenance Does a Treadmill Need?
There are three easy tasks to ensure your treadmill works smoothly.
Here’s the tl;dr side of things:
First, you have to lube it properly to ensure the belt moves smoothly when you’re running. Secondly, you must ensure the belt is centred so as not to wobble and become dangerous. And lastly, you’ll want to keep the motor cover clean if you don’t want dust and debris clogging that motor.
Of course, if you have a manual treadmill, you can skip that third step.
That said, let’s find out how to lubricate a treadmill:
1. Lubricate Your Treadmill Belt
If you just bought a treadmill, you’ll have to lubricate it about every three months or so. If you live in a warmer part of this world, you’ll have to do this more frequently.
That’s definitely not the case in the UK.
How do you know if it’s time to lube that belt?
Well, you can simply pop your arm under that belt and feel the deck. Is it nice and waxy? If the answer is yes, you don’t need to do anything just yet.
What happens if you don’t lubricate your treadmill?
In this case, your treadmill can get damaged more quickly – especially the deck and motor. Here’s why:
When the belt doesn’t run smoothly, the increased friction ruins the deck, and the engine has to work harder against this friction.
Imagine how expensive it is to repair a ruined deck and motor.
The solution is easy:
Get a silicone lube and ensure things are running correctly. Here’s how to lubricate your treadmill:
- Use a lubricating stick specifically made for this task, with its convenient handle and sponge.
- Add lube to the sponge.
- Lift the belt gently and move that lube stick up and down, slowly but firmly, just like in a YA romance novel.
- Repeat on the other side.
Alternatively, you can try a silicone spray, but that method isn’t as efficient for spreading the lube underneath the deck.
Pro tip: Ensure that lubricant is 100% silicone, with no extra additives to eat through the belt.
2. Center Your Belt
Centring the belt is similar to rotating the car tires after some time in that they have the same purpose: realigning your machine.
Here’s why that happens:
When you walk or run on the treadmill, the belt naturally slips to one side or the other. That action is caused by stretching and the hit of your steps.
Luckily, the solution is straightforward, and it only requires an Allen wrench.
- Get to the holes at the tip of the deck.
- Get the Allen bolt head slightly loose to get to the back roller.
- Again, you’ll need to be gentle but firm, just like in 50 Shades of Grey, as you pull on the belt to adjust it.
- Ensure that there’s an equal amount of space at each side of your treadmill’s belt when you’ve finished.
3. Clean Beneath Your Motor Cover
This step is pretty straightforward too. You’ll have to do it if your treadmill has an open back/floor design. In this case, the cover is more prone to catching dust and debris from your environment.
Cleaning that cover is essential if you want to protect your treadmill’s engine.
Here’s how to clean beneath your treadmill’s motor cover:
- Grab a screwdriver and take out the cover.
- Get a hand vacuum or small duster to clean beneath the motor cover.
Pro tip: Don’t use any liquids because your treadmill may shortcircuit.
- Install the cover again.
How often should you clean the motor cover?
A good rule of thumb is to clean your motor cover every time you lubricate your belt, meaning every 10-12 weeks. That’s an easy way to remember you have to do it.
Warning: If you have shedding pets around, try to clean your treadmill more frequently.
Treadmill maintenance is essential to prolong your running belt’s life. Otherwise, excess friction and slippage can damage your machine’s other parts.
Besides, it can increase your risk of accidents.
So, why risk all that? Just take an hour or so every ten to twelve weeks and ensure the belt runs appropriately.
Alternatively, you can purchase a low-maintenance, easy-to-use treadmill if yours no longer functions correctly. This article discussing the best treadmills for your needs is the perfect place to start.