What To Do When A Treadmill Is Stuck On Incline

Treadmill stuck on incline


By Simon Gould

It’s great to have a treadmill at home. You can go on it whenever you like as opposed to a gym. You can have a TV on or the sounds of your choosing. There’s no traveling involved and you choose the treadmill that’s best for you. The only problem is if it goes wrong. At a gym, they can handle it. At home, you have to deal with it. So what do you do if it’s stuck on an incline?

The first steps

Don’t force anything, you don’t want to damage the unit. Try turning off the treadmill and then turning it back on. If that doesn’t work try unplugging the machine for 30 or so seconds and then plugging it back in. These are obvious but worth trying. It could be something you start having to do every time but you’ll get used to it.

Check who the manufacturer of your treadmill is and perform a reset. The link below explains how to do a reset for the leading makers of treadmills. Hopefully, yours is there. If not check the manual, if you’ve kept it, and this will explain a reset. They may call it a factory reset. This may wipe any custom programs you’ve made but is safe for the treadmill.

Calibrate the incline

This is where the treadmill will test its own incline and could correct the problem of it being stuck. It will go to the extremes of its incline. It will go to maximum and then back down all by itself. Consult the manual for how to activate this feature. Not all treadmills have it and it may not be in the manual. Contact the manufacturer if you can’t find instructions on how to do it.

Some treadmills have you press a series of buttons to make it do this. When you do activate this feature, ensure you don’t stand on the treadmill. When it’s doing any self-diagnostics, let it complete the function and test it yourself afterward. Doing this or resetting the treadmill should solve one that’s stuck in most cases.

Check the warranty

You need a manual and receipt to tell you this. Check if the warranty is still valid. If that’s the case then don’t do something that could invalidate the warranty. Such as tampering with the motor or unscrewing covers. If it’s under warranty then call or email the manufacturer to get them to come and repair it.

If the treadmill is under warranty then the repair should be free. Always ask anyway. If you want to download some manuals, email or phone the manufacturer. It may be worth trying even outside the warranty, they will bill you but then they’re the experts of their own equipment. Manufacturers’ information can be found here:

Repair it yourself?

Of course, there are those of you out there who have the know-how, and confidence, to do it yourself. Maybe you have an electrical background. Maybe you assembled the treadmill. You will know there is a special incline motor and a repair may be quite easy if there is some wire that’s tripped or some other electrical problem.

To help the electrical and treadmill experts out there, there are useful pages on the internet detailing repairs people have done themselves. They are maybe worth a look. This page of incline self-repairs features many different makers so you may find it helpful. This self-repair is helpful if you have an Icon treadmill (they make Proform and NordicTrack).


The treadmill is one of the most expensive items for your home. If it goes wrong it will need to be sorted as soon as possible. For those of us who regularly exercise on them, as the government tells us to. Then even a week without a treadmill will affect your exercise routine and your fitness may suffer.

To ensure your treadmill is working at its optimal you need to regularly maintain it. This may not stop the incline problem from occurring but is worth doing. There are different things you should do after each use, monthly, bi-monthly, and more. I would advise an annual service from a technician too. Anything to get your treadmill working and you exercising again.

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

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