The 3 Simple Treadmill Repairs That Anyone Can Do

Treadmill

We love home treadmills for the convenience they provide. They save us time traveling to and from the gym while allowing us to exercise whenever we have free time. We get all the exercise we need within the convenience of our own home, regardless of the weather outside. On the negative side, there is probably no gym employee in your home if something happens to go wrong. Fortunately, treadmill repair is easier than you may think. There are several easy steps you can take if your treadmill is not working perfectly. Here are solutions to three of the most common problems with home treadmills.

For basic treadmill repair in the United States, all you will need are work gloves, a Phillips head screwdriver, Allen wrenches, and a wrench set.

Treadmill Repair for When the Treadmill Does Not Go at the Right Speed

One frequently needed treadmill repair is with the motor controller. When you choose the speed on the treadmill’s control panel settings, there is a motor controller that tells the motor how fast or slow it should go. If the treadmill doesn’t seem to be moving at your chosen speed, a problem with the motor controller is the most likely cause.

Fortunately, the motor controller is easy to replace. Just follow these seven steps:

  • Step 1 - shut off the electricity
  • Step 2 - remove the motor cover using a Phillips head screwdriver
  • Step 3 - remove the motor controller by disconnecting the wires and mounting screws
  • Step 4 - position the new motor controller on the frame
  • Step 5 - reconnect the wires and the mounting screws
  • Step 6 - reinstall the motor cover
  • Step 7 - restore power

If you require more information on this particular treadmill repair, including close-up photos of the controller itself, read how to replace a treadmill motor controller.

When the Treadmill Motor is Not Working

A treadmill rotates when the motor turns the walking belt. If the motor stops working, the treadmill won't move. This kind of treadmill repair is not as easy as replacing the controller and it may sound intimidating, but it's still quite easy to do.

For detailed instructions, with clear photos, read how to replace a treadmill motor or follow these 12 steps:

  • Step 1 - shut off the electricity
  • Step 2 - remove the motor cover using a Phillips head screwdriver
  • Step 3 - remove the 2 mounting bolts from the mounting bracket
  • Step 4 - remove the pivot bolt nut and slide the pivot bolt out
  • Step 5 - release the drive belt from the drive motor pulley and pull out the motor
  • Step 6 - disconnect the motor wires
  • Step 7 - remove the motor bracket and reinstall it on the new motor
  • Step 8 - mount the new motor on the frame bracket and reinstall the mounting pivot bolt
  • Step 9 - loosely tighten the nut on the motor mounting pivot bolt then reinstall the 2 motor mounting bolts leaving the bolts loose
  • Step 10 - route the drive belt over the motor pulley
  • Step 11 - pivot the motor to tighten the tension on the drive belt and then tighten the motor mounting bolts
  • Step 12 - finally, reconnect the motor wires on the new drive motor

When the Treadmill Feels Unstable

There are two main parts to a treadmill. The walking belt is the surface your feet touch as you run or walk on a treadmill. The walking board supports the walking belt which provides a smooth, stable surface.

If either the belt or the board becomes worn or warped over time, the belt can slow down or rub against the walking board. Normally, you can see if the board or the belt is the problem simply by looking at them. Fortunately, both are easy types of treadmill repair.

How to replace the walking belt

  • Step 1 - shut off the electricity
  • Step 2 - remove the motor cover using a Phillips head screwdriver
  • Step 3 - remove the right side foot rail by folding the treadmill up and engaging the latch
  • Step 4 - remove the screws under the walking board that fasten the right side foot rail to the walking platform
  • Step 5 - release the latch and unfold the treadmill by lifting the right foot rail up and off
  • Step 6 - remove the walking belt by turning the right side roller adjustment Allen screw to release the walking belt tension
  • Step 7 - lift the rear roller up and out of the mounting bracket
  • Step 8 - remove the front roller adjustment nut and screw
  • Step 9 - lift the front roller up and out, then fold the treadmill up and engage the latch
  • Step 10 - remove the front and rear corner screws that fasten the right side of the walking board to the frame
  • Step 11 - release the latch and unfold the treadmill
  • Step 12 - lift and hold the right side of the walking platform up and slide the walking belt off the walking board and belt rollers
  • Step 13 - install the new walking belt
  • Step 14 - lift the right side of the walking board up and slide the new walking belt over the walking board and belt rollers
  • Step 15 - rotate the adjustment screw to apply tension to the belt. When properly tensioned, you should be able to lift the edge of the walking belt 2-3 inches
  • Step 16 - reinstall the right foot rail and the motor hood
  • Step 17 - restore power

When you have finished, check the belt tracking. First, put the key in and start the treadmill. Set the speed to the slowest setting and let it run for minute or so. Use an Allen wrench to adjust the rear rollers to center the walking belt as needed.

If the belt is tracking to the left of center, turn the left roller adjustment screw clockwise half of a turn. If the belt is tracking to the right of center, turn the left roller adjustment screw counter clock-wise half of a turn.

Repeat until belt is tracking in the center.

If you would like more detailed instructions for replacing the walking belt, with clear photos, read how to replace a treadmill walking belt.

How to replace the walking board

  • Step 1 - shut off the electricity
  • Step 2 - remove the motor hood by removing the screws that fasten the motor hood to the belly pan
  • Step 3 - remove the side foot rails by folding the treadmill up and engage the latch Remove the screws from under the walking platform that fasten the side foot rails to the walking platform
  • Step 4 - remove the walking board by having a helper hold the treadmill up in the folded position because the latch will not hold the treadmill up after you remove the 2 left-side mounting nuts
  • Step 5 - remove the 4 corner nuts and screws that fasten the walking board to the frame
  • Step 6 - lower the treadmill and then slide the walking board out and remove the cushions from the walking board
  • Step 7 - reinstall the cushions on the new walking board
  • Step 8 - position the new walking board inside the walking belt and slide the walking board onto the treadmill frame
  • Step 9 - reinstall the 4 corner mounting screws in the walking board to help stabilize the walking board as you fold it upright
  • Step 10 - fold the treadmill up and have your assistant hold it in the up position
  • Step 11 - reinstall the corner mounting nuts and the foot rails by lowering the walking board and reinstalling the side foot rails and mounting screws
  • Step 12 - reinstall the motor hood and mounting screws
  • Step 13 - restore power

When you have finished, check the belt tracking. Put the key in and start the treadmill. Set the speed to the slowest setting and let it run for a minute or two. If the belt is not tracking in the center, remove the key and unplug the power cord.

Use an Allen wrench to adjust the rear rollers as needed to center the walking belt. If the belt is tracking to the left, turn the left roller adjustment screw clockwise half of a turn. If the belt is tracking to the right, turn the left roller adjustment screw counter clock-wise half of a turn. Repeat until belt is tracking in the center.

After replacing either the walking belt or the walking board, you should lubricate the new parts. Spread the lubricant on the belt or board. Then, run the treadmill for several minutes on medium speed to disperse the lubricant evenly over the walking board. Walk on the belt for a few minutes to evenly spread the silicone lubricant across the walking board.

If you would like more detailed instructions for replacing the walking board, with clear photos, read how to replace a treadmill walking board.

Conclusion

As you can see, treadmill repair is easier than you may have thought. To prevent the need for frequent treadmill repair, here are some general maintenance tips to keep your treadmill running smoothly.

  • Wipe down your treadmill after every use, especially if you have been sweating heavily
  • Vacuum the area under and around the treadmill, especially if you have a pet or two
  • Lubricate your treadmill at least once a year
  • Make sure the walking belt is aligned and centered
  • Install a treadmill mat underneath the machine

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