How to Adjust Treadmill Belts: Keeping the Machine in Tip-Top Shape

Natalie Cecconi
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What Are the Benefits of Using a Treadmill?

If you’re looking for a versatile addition to your home gym, then look no further than the treadmill. Packed with proven benefits and backed with scientific research, it’s a proven cardio machine with many health benefits that aren’t limited to human use. With households finding more time for pets, treadmills are steadily increasing in popularity with the family dog. They have also been proven to assist with mobility problems in old age.

Despite these compelling benefits, everyone from animal to aged veteran relies on the quality of the belt. This is what makes a treadmill durable, long-lasting, and safe to use.

One of the most important parts of any treadmill is the path of the belt. This is where all the abuse is inflicted as users walk, run, and jolt on the belt in all directions. It’s why many belts go out of alignment relatively quickly. After a certain number of miles, it becomes extremely important to consider an alignment of the belt. This can be done on a regular basis in order to help keep your belt in good condition.

How to Adjust Treadmill Belts?

Treadmills are great machines. They give you the ability to stay fit while watching your favorite TV show or listening to your favorite music. A treadmill is also a great alternative for people who live in bad weather conditions; you can still run in your own living room whatever the weather is outside.

However, many people don’t know that treadmill belts have to be properly adjusted in order to run smoothly.

Also, over time, belts tend to stretch and loose their initial tension, especially if the machine isn’t used every day. To top it all, if it’s left unused for a while, the rubber will slowly dry up, making it even harder to run properly.

So, if you’re not familiar with how to properly adjust treadmill belts and if your 'pet…..err..' treadmill no longer runs as smoothly as it used to, this post is for you.

Treadmill Turned ON

But Not Moving.

If your treadmill doesn’t move when you turn it on, there are a few possibilities as to why this is happening.

The first thing to do when you’ve got a treadmill that’s not moving forward while you’re on it is to make sure that your emergency stop is moved away from the belts. Give it a try.

If this works for you, move on to the second step.

Switch the power source to a different outlet.

Shut off your treadmill, and unplug it from the source.

Disconnect the power cord from your treadmill and reconnect it to a different outlet.

Turn on the power source, and re-plug your treadmill.

If the treadmill still doesn’t move on, it’s time to move on to the third step.

One last move to try if your treadmill is still not moving, is to connect to the treadmill for a service call.

Treadmill belts need to be adjusted every 3 months. If all of these things still do not work, the treadmill belt may need to be replaced.

Treadmill Turned OFF

When was the last time you cleaned and lubricated the treadmill belt? When was the last time you checked the treadmill slope and adjusters?

These are great questions to ask yourself before you turn the treadmill ON. You do not want to start or continue your workout with a machine that is not in a proper working condition.

The first thing you need to do is adjust the position of the treadmill belts using the motor controller. With the treadmill turned OFF, move the treadmill freely along the track. Do this both in a clockwise and counterclockwise direction until you find the most balanced and best running position of the belt.

Remember, there should be a gap of between 3 and 4mm between the belt and the motor controller. This gives enough space for the treadmill to move freely. While doing this, it is also important to check the slip/no slip settings of the treadmill.

If the belt is either slipping or not slipping at all, you need to adjust this setting. There will be a wire running to the status board on top of the control panel and a small button below this wire. Press the button and make sure that the wire moves on its own. No movement means that the wire is not attached properly. This will allow you to adjust the slip setting accordingly.

Next, you need to lubricate the treadmill belt using a belt lubricant tool. Use the lubricant sparingly to avoid messy spills.

Final Thoughts

Maintaining treadmill belts and keeping the track clean is the best way to significantly extend the lifespan of your treadmill’s motor.

It will make the machine perform smoothly and quiet, with longer intervals before a belt adjustment is needed.

It’s also a good idea to periodically check the machine for any loose screws or cracked parts.

These are the basic tips you will need to keep your treadmill in top shape:

Clean and lube the treadmill belts at least once a year.

Clean and remove any excess lube, dirt, dust and debris from the track area.

Clean the belt carefully, especially the area where it rubs against the slat.

Always use a clean and damp cloth to safely clean the belt.

Keep your treadmill as dry as possible since humidity can accelerate corrosion.

Replace broken belts immediately.

Vacuum the internal works once a week to prevent any dust and other particulates from interfering with the internal workings of your treadmill.

Inspect all cable, pulley, and spool bearings monthly to prevent them from wearing down over time.

When all else fails or the belt is badly worn out, its time to replace the belt. Broken belts break. That’s just a fact of life.