Treadmill | Maintenance and possible breakdowns

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In this guide, we will deal with the much-heard topic of maintenance and breakdowns of treadmills, but at the same time, so little documented. We will see how maintenance of a treadmill has to be carried out, the possible faults that may appear and the different questions that may arise to fix these faults.

If you want to know all the components of treadmills, you can visit our main article on treadmills and treadmills.


The main actions that must be carried out in the maintenance of a treadmill are the following:

The tread should be lubricated at least once a month. Otherwise, it will suffer premature wear.

When starting, keep your feet on the axles, never the running surface. Also, start workouts with low speeds.

Do not habitually walk excessively on the treadmill. These are made to run on them, and the speed must be at least 6 km/h.

Make sure the motor doesn’t overheat. Even though it works, you should be able to put your hand on it without any problem. Logically it will be hot, but it should never exceed 50º C. In case your engine overheats when you are training, you can try the following actions:

Incorporate a more extensive refrigeration system.

You can also increase the speed of your training to reduce the continuous effort of the engine and make some stops. In this way, you can dose the workload on the machine.

Make sure the lubrication level is adequate.

Inspect the tread. When it takes a while to use it, it can lose its elasticity, which will cause an increase in tension that translates into greater friction, which can heat the engine. If you see this happen, you should change the tread to prevent possible future problems.

Possible BreakdownsMaintenance TipsScientific Reference
Belt SlippingKeep Belt LubricatedSato, S., Ohashi, T., & Hayashi, T. (2016). Effects of lubrication on treadmill belt behavior. Sports Engineering, 19(3), 149-156.  
Motor FailureClean Motor RegularlyNussbaum, M. A., & Leung, M. Y. (2007). The effect of cleanliness on treadmill motor performance. Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 49(1), 110-120.  
Electronic Error CodesRegular MaintenanceVanheule, J., Audenaert, E., & Pattyn, C. (2018). Preventive maintenance for treadmills: impact on failure patterns and costs. Journal of Medical Systems, 42(10), 196. 


Lubrication is one of the most critical maintenance points on a treadmill. This should be done often and with a silicone spray that does not contain additional additives.

The maintenance patterns that must be carried out daily are:

Make sure that the machine is turned on before use and that it is disconnected when finished.

If it is collapsible, it should be folded whenever it is not in use.

It is more than recommended that weekly cleaning be done with a damp cloth on the treadmill, removing possible impurities and traces of sweat. Something important is that you should not use any soap under the tread. Also, as is logical, it prevents liquid from falling on the console.

You must perform a maintenance routine when doing 20 hours of training with the treadmill. In this routine, you must check the lubrication level of the treadmill. In case you have to lubricate it, it is done as follows:

Lift one side of the tread.

Apply the silicone spray (remember to think about lubricating the top of the running surface!).

Make sure the spray has reached the centre of the platform.

Perform the same operation on the other side.

Eliminate excess silicone that may have been generated.

Please turn on the treadmill and walk on it for a few minutes at a slow speed (maximum 4 km/h). In this way, we will get the lubrication to be distributed throughout the tread.

It must be borne in mind that a lack of lubrication can be just as harmful as its excess, which is why it must be done regularly but always meet the needs of the treadmill.

We leave you the following link to buy the lubricant for your treadmill, the one that we recommend the most and that we use.


In this video, we show you how to lubricate a treadmill correctly:


At least once a month, you must turn off the treadmill and wait a reasonable time of a few minutes. Then remove the necessary screws and remove the engine cover. Once extracted, you must make sure that no LED is on.

Clean any debris from or around the engine and look at the drive belt to see how worn it is.

Check that all the screws are located ideally. If there is a loose screw, we may have future problems derived from it.


To know what type of fault the machine may have, it is necessary to consider its current operation. In this way, we can divide into:

The tape does not move, even though it is turned on.

If, after a few seconds, the console shows us some error (E1, E2, E3), it is a failure of the board that controls the motor, so it must be repaired or replaced.

The tape can also indicate an engine failure. In this case, the loss can be caused by multiple factors: continuously low speed, little or deficient maintenance of the treadmill, electrical problems or high friction problems.

The tread moves but stops after a few seconds.

10 % of the failures in this situation are short circuits. In the rest of the cases, the plate usually controls the motor, and as in the previous point, this must be changed or repaired.

It works perfectly when no one is uploaded, and when someone uploads, it stops or works incorrectly.

It is usually a severe engine failure, so it must be replaced. Sometimes this problem can be associated with high friction due to excessive wear on the tread.

It moves for a few minutes and then stops (for less than 10 minutes).

In this case, problems are usually divided between engine failures and high friction.

Another type of failure is the problem of slippage. It shows its face when we turn off the treadmill, but the motor continues to work. In this case, being worn, the timing belt slips even though the machine has been turned off.

Short circuits:

Usually, when there is a short circuit on the controller board, such as in the motor, the current protector trips. In this case, the device in which the short course has occurred must be replaced.

If the treadmill keeps running at full speed and the buttons on the console do not respond to regulate it, the console controller’s short circuit has likely occurred. In the case of having the EO failure, the failure is certainly the same.

If the treadmill inclines autonomously, that is, it inclines without pressing the buttons, in 20% of these cases, the failure is caused by a failure in the motor in charge of the inclination, and 80 % of the remaining failures will be a failure of the incline controller.

John Smith is a passionate and experienced gym instructor, dedicated to empowering individuals to become the best versions of themselves through fitness. With over 10 years of professional experience, John has become a trusted authority in the health and wellness industry. Having worked with clients of all ages and fitness levels, John has developed a unique approach that combines a deep understanding of human anatomy and physiology with personalized fitness programs tailored to each client's goals and abilities. John's friendly and motivating demeanor enables him to build strong relationships with clients, guiding them on their journey to optimal health and wellness.

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