An easy guide to treadmill maintenance

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With home fitness becoming popular, more people are investing in building their home gyms. Treadmills are a popular choice for home workouts. Aside from its ease of use, it allows people to do aerobic exercises such as running and walking. 

As it gets used over time, you’d need to consider treadmill maintenance. Treadmill tuneups are essential to keep your equipment functioning properly and extend its longevity. 

Here’s how to get your treadmill up and running!

What you’ll need

  • A damp cloth or sanitising wipes

  • Screwdriver

  • Cleaning cloth

  • Belt cleaner

  • Belt lubricant

  • Replacement key

  • Surge protector

Time of completion: This could take up an entire day, from cleaning the parts to adjusting the treadmill. If you hire someone to do treadmill repair and preventive maintenance, it will depend on the condition of your equipment.

Learn how to maintain a treadmill in 6 easy steps

1. Sanitise your treadmill after every session

person cleaning a treadmill

Wipe your equipment down after every use with sanitising wipes or a damp cleaning cloth. This prevents moisture from building up in the metal parts that could cause rusting and promote bacterial and fungal growth. 

2. Do a deep clean

Debris will build up in your treadmill, so it’s important to keep the equipment clean. Every month, clean the deck and belt, as well as the exposed parts of the treadmill. Every four months, clean the treadmill motor by following the instruction manual of the equipment.

3. Check for loose ends

person checking out a treadmill's power cables and lines

With repeated use, the bolts and screws in the treadmills will loosen over time. Every week, make it a point to check and tighten any loose bolts and screws. Take the time to also replace any worn-out components. Make sure to use replacement parts from the machine’s manufacturer to prevent damage to your equipment.

Also, look into the treadmill belt’s alignment. It should be at the centre of the deck when functioning properly. But over time, the belt may start to slide off the centre, so make sure to align the belt by following the manufacturer’s instructions.

4. Lubricate the treadmill parts

The treadmill belt constantly moves with every use, and the underside always rubs against the equipment’s components such as the rollers and motors. These movements create friction and may wear away your treadmill. One way to prevent premature wear and tear is by regularly lubricating the moving parts.

Depending on your treadmill, you may need to keep it lubricated to keep it running smoothly. Check the instruction manual to determine if your treadmill needs lubrication.

When lubricating your treadmill, make sure that it is unplugged. Then, loosen the tension bolts with a screwdriver. Once loosened, slightly lift the belt and apply the lubricant starting from the middle up to the belt edges. Plug back the treadmill and allow the lubricant to disperse evenly on the running belt by setting the pace at 1.5km/h and walking on it for four minutes. Once done, tighten the tension bolts again.

5. Keep the tension

person walking on the treadmill to test belt tension

Treadmills will have pre-adjusted belt tension. However, with continued use, the belt may stretch out, resulting in the belt loosening and slipping off the deck. If you notice the belt is slipping or loosening, tighten its tension to prevent wear and tear to the belt and the deck.

To do this, check the recommended belt tension in the instruction manual before tightening the tension bolts. After adjusting the bolts, test out the equipment at 1.5km/h before making more adjustments needed.

6. Replace the belt

Over time, the treadmill belt will inevitably wear out. While keeping the machine well-oiled will help make it last longer, belt replacement will be needed at some point. To determine when it’s time to replace it, check the belt for signs of wear every three months. Change the belt when it appears worn out and rough.

How often do you need to service a treadmill?

This depends on how often you use your treadmill. If the equipment is used every day, it will need regular maintenance. Check out our quick schedule below for an idea of when to expect treadmill tuneup.



Sanitising the treadmill

Every after use

Deep cleaning 

Every month for the whole equipment, every four months for the treadmill motor

Belt lubrication

Every 3 months

Belt tension checking and belt alignment

As needed

Checking for loose screws and bolts


What are the common issues treadmills run into? 

When a treadmill is not properly maintained, these are some of the common issues that you may encounter:

  • Electrical problems - The machine may have a faulty outlet. There may also be issues with the power cables not working.

  • Smell of burning rubber - This could be a result of an overly tightened treadmill belt creating a lot of friction. It may also be motor problems caused by short-circuiting, debris buildup, or items stuck in the motor. Be wary of the burning smell as this may be a fire hazard.

  • Inconsistent treadmill speed - This may mean that the belt needs more lubrication or replacement. If the problem is in the motor, it may be best to call a technician to work on it.

Get information on how much it costs to repair a treadmill to set a budget for regular treadmill maintenance.

Keep your treadmill running in top condition

Keeping your treadmill in tip-top shape will need effort and time. If you find that you don’t have the time to do this on your own, get the help you need and find a Tasker!

Simply post a task on Airtasker today to get your treadmill serviced.

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FAQs on how to maintain a treadmill

Treadmills are an expensive piece of exercise equipment that will need regular maintenance to not only make it last longer but also help you save money on replacement and even gym fees!

Keep your machine clean and sanitised and check if the different parts are working well. Sanitise your machine after every use and do a deep clean every month. Tighten any loose screws and bolts, align the treadmill belt to the centre, and keep the machine well-lubricated. Finally, check the equipment for worn-down parts and replace them immediately.

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