By Simon Gould
Unfortunately treadmills require regular maintenance. You can’t continually use then and have them at home and not do something to help keep them working well and quietly. After about every 3 months they will require lubrication of the belt to help reduce wear on the motor. But not any old lubricant or oil will do.
What oil do I use then?
The oil you need to lube a treadmill is silicone based. These are sold here at Amazon* for a reasonable price of only $13 at the time of writing. This is the one to go for if your manufacturer doesn’t recommend any specific oil themselves. If they do then always buy what they recommend. This way if anything goes wrong with the treadmill, then the technician can’t blame it on the lubricant.
Don’t use ordinary household lubricant
Lubricants like WD-40 are for metal and not treadmill belts. You can use a silicone based lube for the metal parts as well as the belt. A special treadmill lube will come with an applicator to make it easy to apply to the gap between the belt and deck. Silicone oils are thin lubricants whereas greases are thick lubricants. You need to keep thick lubricants like you use on gears away from treadmills.
How to lubricate a treadmill belt
Sometimes the manufacturer will make their own lube for you to use and in this case it’s obvious to buy and use that. Lubricating the belt is easy and involves loosening the belt first of all. This involves a screwdriver and you loosen the screws at the end of the belt or deck and this loosens the belt. You then apply the lube the whole width way along the belt.
Sometimes it will be an Allen wrench which will loosen the bolts and the back of the deck. You usually only need a few turns anti clockwise. When you’ve applied the lube you need to retighten the bolts at the back of the deck. Don’t over do this or you could damage the treadmill when it’s in operation. Using your hands, lift the belt and there should be 2 to 3 inches of give for the perfect amount of tension.
When you’ve applied the lube, allow the machine to run by itself for say 5 minutes at 5 mph. This ensures the lube is spread everywhere along the belt and where the motor touches the belt so it lubricates that bit. You can use the lube on any parts of the motor or treadmill that are squeaking or making a noise and this should help prevent or reduce that.
Lubricate other parts of the treadmill too
While you’re using the lube it may be an idea to apply it to the metal parts of the treadmill which touch each other. These will prevent any noises like squeaks and make the parts last longer. Parts can soon wear easily if they’re not well lubricated. Particularly lube the metal bearings. You should lube the belt every 3 months, so lube other essential parts at the same time.
It’s really important that you regularly maintain your treadmill as doing so can make the treadmill last anything from 7 to 12 years. You can pay someone else to maintain the treadmill for you but that will cost a lot in that the initial call out will cost the most. But paying someone is something you may want to do if you can afford.
Lubricating the belt will take around 5 to 10 minutes and there are plenty of videos of it on youtube to help guide you as to what to do. I think it’s easier watching a video of someone else doing it than explaining it in writing. Nearly all treadmills work the same way where lubricating goes you won’t find any variation. Remember though to just stick to special treadmill lube to do the job and you can’t go wrong.
Thinking of buying a treadmill? Here’s my favorite, I always recommend it when asked*