Tips On Testing Your Treadmill Motor

Women testing their treadmill motor

Bojan Milinkov/Shutterstock.com

By Simon Gould

The treadmill motor is the heart of the machine. Without it the belt doesn’t move and you don’t move when you turn it on. As with other components if the motor is faulty it’s a case of replacing the motor. There is no need to buy a new treadmill. Some motors have lifetime warranties on them, you will need to check with the manufacturer if this is the case with your machine.

Removing the cover and testing the motor

This requires some degree of technical expertise and shouldn’t be attempted by anyone who’s unsure or not confident in what they’re doing. The first and most important part is to unplug the treadmill from the outlet. Then you need to remove the motor cover. You’ll need a screwdriver and there should be a few screws either side of the motor and then remove the cover to reveal the motor.

Now the motor is available to you, you need to locate the 2 wires which connect to the power supply. You need to disconnect these. This is why you need some electrical expertise ideally to undertake this procedure. Using a battery, like a car or cordless drill, connect the wires to the battery briefly to check the motor turns.

It doesn’t matter if you connect the power wires the wrong way the motor will just run backwards. Don’t leave the power connected from the battery for too long. This is just a check to see that the motor is not the problem if you have a fault. If the motor doesn’t turn then it is likely it will need to be replaced.

When you’re done, replace the motor and the wires and components. Don’t leave them open to the dirt and grime that could collect on them. When you’re organizing the repair or replacement, let the technician know on the phone and when they arrive the steps you’ve taken. Then the engineer can do the repair for you and your treadmill will begin working again.

If the treadmill motor definitely doesn’t work

If you’ve tested the motor, you’ll be able to tell if it’s the problem causing your treadmill not to work. That’s usually the reason for testing the motor. You may want to think about replacing the motor. If you’re able to test the motor, then you may be able to replace it yourself. A new motor costs around $200 to $300. If you can’t do it yourself then labor will bring this up to around $500.

You need to consider if it’s cost effective to replace it. A good treadmill can last up to 12 years, if it’s well looked after. If yours is very old, then it may be worth replacing the whole treadmill for a new one. Rather than throwing money at a machine that could develop other problems in the near future. Even a lifetime motor warranty may not cover wear and tear.

Maintaining the treadmill motor

Taking the cover off the treadmill motor is something you should be doing regularly. As part of normal treadmill maintenance, you should be vacuuming inside the motor cover. If it’s working when you’ve tested it, then some maintenance while the cover is off is a good idea. The motors aren’t very powerful, being only around 2 to 3 horsepower, but vital for a working treadmill.

When ever you vacuum the home, consider doing the treadmill motor as well by removing the cover. Once every 2 weeks is a good number to aim for. There’s a lot of dust buildup in the motor compartment. Be careful around the wires and the control board. A regular maintenance schedule is a must to follow. There are procedures you can do every week, month and more. Here is my treadmill maintenance schedule.

Thinking of buying a treadmill? Here’s my favorite, I always recommend it when asked*

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