How To Troubleshoot a Noisy Treadmill

Sportsmith offers you a few steps on how to troubleshoot a noisy treadmill.

It is helpful to know if the noise occurs with or without a user. Or the noise is present in both cases?

  • Check the walk belt tension. Besides performance issues, a loose or tight belt can cause the machine to make noise. Click here to read more about how to tension a treadmill belt that is too loose.
  • Check the walk belt alignment. Besides performance issues, a misaligned belt can cause the machine to make noise. Run the machine at low speed and look for signs of the belt rubbing against the frame. Elevate the treadmill and inspect for belt rubbing under the machine. Ensure the belt guides (if equipped) are in proper position and are not bent. Adjust alignment if necessary.
  • Check the machine is level. A treadmill that is not level can wobble during use and cause noise. Adjust levelers as necessary. Machine should be level front to back and side to side. Avoid using your machine on a carpeted or uneven surface. Place a rubber mat over the carpet or move machine to a level surface.
  • Creaks or squeaks with a runner on the machine can be an issue in your incline motor or suspension.
    • Suspension includes areas like the deck frame, springs, and/or pivot points.
      • Pivot points are areas of high friction. This is where a bolt, washer, and nut attach to the base of your frame or any hinges on your folding type treadmills. Metal to metal requires lubricant to reduce wear and tear of those areas.
        • Synthetic grease works best; A spray lubricant works fine if you do not want to remove any bolts or hardware.
  • A loud grumbling noise getting louder and louder while speed increases, is a sign of a bad bearing. Any knocking noise coming from a treadmill is another sign of a bad bearing. This can be bad bearings in your front roller, rear roller, or drive motor.
    • Isolate the bearings in the front and rear rollers from the drive motor bearings.
      1. Unplug the machine from power.
      2. Remove the motor cover.
      3. Remove the drive belt from the drive motor and front roller.
      4. Push the treadmill walking belt with your hands to move it backward and forward. Listen for noise. Any noise during this test indicates issue with bearings in either front or rear rollers. To know if front or rear roller, loosen tension on the walking belt and turn each roller by itself.
      5. If no noise when pushing the belt, you will want to test the drive motor while the drive belt is off. Plug machine into power. Start machine and run at low speed. Listen for the noise. Do you hear knocking or grumbling while the drive motor runs with the drive belt off? If yes, then the issue is in the drive motor.
  • Often, simple care will save your treadmill from noise. You want to keep your machine clean and free of dirt, dust, and debris. The dirt, dust, and debris can build up over time causing the machine to make noise. You want to make sure and lubricate your treadmill as necessary. Lubrication is necessary to keep moving parts running smooth. Lubrication is necessary for any pivot points as mentioned above.

Some extra tips to help keep your treadmill running smooth and quite:

  • Always follow the manufacturer's steps for use and care of your machine. Giving attention to the recommended maintenance and cleaners.
  • Inspect your treadmill on routine for any signs of wear and tear or damage. Avoid use of the machine until such a condition is repaired.
  • Do not overload the machine. Your treadmill has a weight limit. An overload can cause damage to parts. Damaged parts can be cause for noise and improper performance.
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