A personal treadmill is unrivaled in terms of convenience and safety. There is comfort in knowing that you have a warm, dry, safe place to run at any time of the day or night, even though it may not be the most interesting way to exercise. That’s presuming it functions properly, of course. Nothing is more annoying than stepping onto your treadmill only to discover that it isn’t functioning properly or, worse, not at all.
To ensure proper operation and extend the lifespan of a treadmill, routine maintenance is required. Lubricating your treadmill belt is one of the simplest ways to perform regular maintenance. The complete instructions are provided below.
What is a Treadmill Belt?
It’s a simple and easy task to lubricate your belt, but it helps to be familiar with the basic terms and anatomy used in treadmill usage. The treadmill belt also referred to as a running or walking belt, is a circular piece of rubber that freely wraps around two rollers on either end of the treadmill and the stationary treadmill deck. The belt itself is the part of your body that moves when you run. The front roller also referred to as the drive roller, rotates when the treadmill is turned on. This rotated front roller is what carries the belt over the deck and rear roller.
Why You Should Lubricate Your Treadmill Belt
According to Jon Fasulo, owner of TreadmillFixation, a full-service treadmill repair business with a location in the Philadelphia region, every time you step on the treadmill belt, it presses up against the walking deck and causes friction between the belt and deck. As friction increases, the motor will have to work harder, which could lead to early failure of the motor and motor controller. Lubrication serves as a buffer to lessen friction between the deck and the belt and to reduce unnecessary stress on the motor and controller.
The owner’s or service manual should be read first to determine the manufacturer’s recommendations, suggests Scott Eastman, senior test lab manager at Nautilus. You can usually find instructions on how often to lubricate your treadmill in the manual. Fasulo concurs with Eastman’s advice to read the owner’s manual first and adds that some premium home and business brands, including NordicTrack, Spirit, Precor, and Life Fitness, have maintenance-free belts that do not require lubrication. If you don’t heed their advice, some manufacturers might threaten to revoke warranties.
How Often to Lubricate Treadmill Belt
Popular treadmill manufacturers recommend lubricating treadmills after every 3 months, roughly 40 hours of use. Nevertheless, this general advice might change based on how frequently the machine is used. Because they are used for more hours each week than running treadmills, walking treadmills, for instance, require lubrication more frequently. Similar to how compact/domestic treadmill models might need more frequent lubrication, heavy-duty treadmill models might too.
In conclusion, how often you lubricate your treadmill depends on how often you use it. Strangely, some modern treadmills have a warning on the monitor that says they need to be lubricated.
Step-by-Step Guide to Lubricate a Treadmill Belt
Unplug the Treadmill
Unplug your treadmill from the wall outlet before applying lubricant. As you work on the equipment, it cannot start up, which is crucial for your safety.
Lay Down the Towels
No matter how careful you are, some lubricant will inevitably drip from the treadmill. Towels should be placed along the edges of your exercise equipment for this. Consequently, the floor won’t develop any long-lasting grease stains. To remove any remaining lubricant from the treadmill’s exercise equipment after you finish, be sure to save a few clean towels.
Expose the Treadmill Deck
You must first expose the lower portion of the treadmill belt after placing the towels on the ground. Lift the running belt’s edges and loosen the rollers to accomplish that. Alternatively, if the screwdriver is the appropriate size and type, you can use one. Continue to the next step once you can see the other side of your treadmill.
Apply Lubricant to the Treadmill Deck
As previously stated, lubricating a treadmill is very easy, especially if you use silicone spray designed specifically for treadmills. The lubricant only needs to be evenly sprayed across the deck, anyway. As soon as the lubricant exits the spray can, though, be sure to inspect its consistency. If the mixture is too thick, wipe off any extra treadmill oil to keep the belt from getting too slippery and making use risky. Additionally, wipe off the sides of the deck with silicone spray.
Move the Running Belt
Apply a light coating of grease to the entire running belt after lubricating the deck. By doing this, you can be sure that your treadmill’s underside is properly lubricated. In order to ensure that the entire running belt is lubricated, move the belt while applying the lubricant.
However, avoid lubricating a certain area of the belt excessively. Otherwise, the belt might get too slick and be risky to wear.
Wipe Out Excess Treadmill Lubricant
Most of the time, 1 to 1.5 oz of 100% silicone gel is sufficient for proper treadmill lubrication. However, if you used more, there’s a good chance that you used too much lubricant. But more importantly, it shows that you must remove any extra grease before using the machine. Wipe any grease from the running belt’s top or side at the same time.
Tighten the Running Belt
In order to maintain security, return the running belt to its original position and tighten the screws. Once the belt is tightened properly, its edges don’t lift off the deck by more than 1 to 2″. However, regular use causes the belt to loosen over time, so it needs to be tightened occasionally.
Test the Treadmill
After lubrication, turn on the machine and plug it back into the wall outlet to make sure it is operating properly. To distribute the lubricant evenly throughout the belt, let it run slowly for about 3 minutes. Around three miles per hour is the ideal speed for this task. If you operate it more quickly than that, the lubricant you applied might splash off the machine.
Finally, test the machine by walking on it. If the belt seems a little slick, remove any extra oil and give it another try.
What Can You Use to Lubricate Treadmill Belt?
Never use WD-40 or any other type of oil on a treadmill; always use a lubricant designed specifically for them. Your treadmill belt could become damaged if the incorrect lubricant is used.
Many manufacturers of treadmills advise using 100% silicone, which is available as a spray or liquid. Some companies give away bottles when you buy one of their treadmills. Additionally, many companies sell their own lubricants.
There is a misconception that Teflon brand lubricant is suitable for use on treadmill belts. Teflon isn’t entirely silicone, so using it as a lubricant for your treadmill belt might not be the best idea. When in doubt, we advise consulting the treadmill’s manual to see what the maker recommends.
Final Word: Routine Maintenance
Treadmills require routine maintenance, just like other exercise equipment, to keep them functioning properly. It’s a part of that maintenance routine to know how to lubricate a treadmill belt. As you’ve seen, lubricating a treadmill is a simple and quick process. However, it will ensure that your equipment performs at its best and lengthen its lifespan. However, it’s imperative to double-check everything we’ve covered in this article, including picking the ideal lubricant for your particular treadmill model. More importantly, lubricate the machine as soon as you purchase it. Depending on how frequently you use it, repeat that process every 3-6 months.
How Long Do Treadmill Belts Last?
1-ply treadmill belts last for about 300 to 500 hours, depending on how they’re maintained. In essence, this corresponds to 3 to 5 years for a typical treadmill user. 2-ply belts, on the other hand, last for about 5 to 10 years.
Can You Use WD40 to Lubricate a Treadmill?
Your treadmill’s belt, electric motor, or other moving parts could be harmed if you use WD40 to lubricate them. As a result, you ought to stay away from using it or other products with a petroleum base to lubricate your exercise equipment. Instead, seek out treadmill lubricants made entirely of silicone.
How Do You Know If Your Treadmill Needs Lubrication?
To check if your treadmill needs lubrication, touch the deck underneath the running belt. It’s time to lubricate the deck if you can’t feel a thin layer of oily or waxy lubricant on the surface.
How Many Lubricants Do Treadmills Need?
A treadmill needs to be lubricated about once every three months using 1 to 1.5 oz of lubricant.