A Beginner’s Guide to Treadmill Maintenance
Maintaining your treadmill is as important as regularly servicing your car; you don’t have to do it, but your treadmill won’t work as well if you don’t put time and effort into a regular maintenance schedule. We know more than anyone that treadmill maintenance isn’t rocket science, but it’s not something you’re taught in school, either.
Equipping yourself with the proper knowledge about how to service your treadmill (as well as some money-saving tips) will help you keep your favorite piece of workout equipment running smoothly. We’re here to take some of the guesswork out of treadmill maintenance and provide you with our expert advice on how to keep your treadmill running in top condition.
Why Servicing Your Treadmill is Important
Treadmills are made of dozens upon dozens of moving parts. The more features you have, the more things could potentially stop working. Some of these things you may not care about, like the heart rate monitors or certain settings you never touch.
But when one thing stops working, it’s usually indicative of more problems to come. Regular tune-ups and light cleaning can keep your treadmill working hard for you day after day. Most treadmill upkeep you can do yourself, though occasionally you will want to hire a professional to do some of the more detailed work.
Keeping your treadmill working properly will also motivate you to use it more often. If your treadmill sits half-working and dirty in the corner, you’ll be less inspired to go for a run and more likely to turn to the TV instead of getting in a good sweat session.
If you want to keep up your momentum to achieve your fitness goals, you should spend some time caring for your treadmill; it’ll reflect back to how you take care of yourself.
Common Maintenance Problems
If this is your first time owning a home treadmill, don’t be daunted by the idea of maintaining it. Some things you can do yourself, and sometimes the better option is to call in a professional. When you try to fix it yourself versus calling a servicing company depends entirely on your comfort level. Do be cautious, however, that trying to fix certain parts of the machine yourself may void your warranty.
The most likely thing to need some extra care on your treadmill is the belt. You may need to tighten or loosen the belt over time, and always make sure it’s on straight so you don’t get excessive chaffing along the edges. Your treadmill manual will probably come with instructions for how to do this, but if it doesn’t there are numerous videos online that will walk you through the process as well.
Depending on how much you use you treadmill, your motor may wear out or need to be recalibrated. Most treadmills come with a warranty, so always check to see if you’re within the warranty period; otherwise, this is likely a scenario where you’ll want to call in a professional.
One of the best things you can do to keep your treadmill parts from wearing out is to keep it away from moisture that might cause it to rust. You don’t need to rush out to buy a de-humidifier to keep next to your home treadmill, but you should get into the habit of wiping down the treadmill of any sweat or water bottle spills after every session. Keep a designated towel near your treadmill so you’ll never forget.
Keeping your treadmill free from dust and debris is also important. Tiny pieces of rubber from your shoes or dust and hair that’s floating through the air can get caught under the belt or even make their way to the motor. Vacuum around your treadmill once a week, and if you have any pets that shed, try to keep them away from the machine as much as possible. If that’s simply not possible, consider placing a treadmill mat underneath to make cleaning easier.
Lubricating the underside of your treadmill belt is a simple process that you can do yourself to keep your belt and walking deck working nicely. This is also something that the manufacturer may have included instructions for; if they did not, there are several resources available online. Lubricating your treadmill at least once a year is ideal.
Easy Ways to Save Money While Keeping Your Treadmill Working Great
If you do have to call in a professional, consider doing a little research before you hire the first company that pops up on Google.
They’ll probably do a perfectly god job, but they’ll often charge more than other individual repairmen. Independent workers can charge less for the same service because they don’t belong to a larger organization, though you should still look up reviews to ensure their work is comparable in quality. Asking friends for recommendations is also a great way to get a better price on repairs.
Replacing parts as they wear out is crucial to the longevity of your treadmill. Don’t wait too long after you start to notice more than normal wear and tear on your belt to get a new one. Just as you should replace your running shoes after a certain number of miles to save yourself from a more costly injury, replacing treadmill parts as you need them is critical. It might cost you more in the short-term, but it will prevent you from having to purchase an entirely new machine.
The last piece of advice we have for saving money on maintenance is to check the machine every time you use it to ensure that all the fixtures are tightly secured, the belt is straight, and nothing is wobbly or misaligned. Taking 30 seconds at the end of a workout to look over your treadmill can save you hundreds of dollars. Small problems are easy to fix, but if they aren’t addressed in time the repairs can compound and lead to your machine wearing out prematurely.
To make treadmill maintenance easier to remember, create a reminder for yourself to clean and tune your machine in your phone or write it in your planner. At the end of the day, a treadmill is piece of complex hardware that will wear out over time. Preventative treadmill maintenance is your key to uninterrupted workouts, achieving your fitness goals, and enjoying your treadmill for years to come.