For those lucky enough to own a Nordictrack 9.9 elliptical, they get to enjoy loads of benefits, from cardiovascular health to better stamina. The elliptical is also popular for providing low-impact exercise for older folks and people with joint conditions like arthritis.

But with ownership of the equipment also comes a responsibility. It is your duty as an owner to give it the care and maintenance it requires for consistent functionality and longer service life.

So how do you maintain your elliptical? Maintaining an elliptical cross trainer can be broken down into 4 broad components below:

  1. Routine maintenance
  2. Preventive maintenance
  3. Storing your elliptical
  4. Know when to call for professional help

Each of these components contributes to extending the lifespan of your elliptical so read on as we go through them.

1. Routine Maintenance

Cleaning The Elliptical

Cleaning your elliptical machine requires a lint-free towel or cloth, a gentle detergent, and warm water. The towel you use should not be sopping wet; a damp one will do your elliptical fine.

Post-workout Cleanup

Clean the elliptical following every workout to guarantee that it’s free from sweat and grime that builds up during your routine. Sweat contains chloride and prolonged exposure to this mineral can corrode machine components.

Monthly Cleanup

Once every month, perform a more meticulous cleanup on the entire elliptical. Wipe down the unit’s external parts specifically the rollers and the rails if your elliptical includes them.

Half-year Cleanup

Switch the elliptical off and disconnect it from its power source. Remove its plastic covers and vacuum all dirt and dust that has accumulated inside it. Be careful not to let the vacuum hit any internal components.

Unplug The Elliptical After Workout

How do I maintain my elliptical and protect it from electrical shorts? It’s pretty simple and I think anybody who owns home fitness equipment or any electronic appliance should do this – unplugging the elliptical following each use.

Unplugging safeguards the elliptical’s electronic components from power surges and disturbances. Today’s lineup of ellipticals now feature larger touchscreens with plenty of electronics backing them up and if you damage those items, repairs can get very expensive.

In addition, unplugging also saves electricity and helps you cut energy costs.

2. Preventive Maintenance

Elliptical Trainer Lubrication Procedure

One of the most important procedures that elliptical owners need to perform on the equipment is lubrication. Ellipticals contain movable components and if these parts are lubricated regularly, they will have a longer lifespan.

Check to see if all lubrication has worn down or leaked

Lubricants produce a thin film between the surfaces of those moving components so they do not get in direct contact. That way, those parts will not succumb to premature wear. With regular use of the elliptical, you need to lubricate specific points of the unit every 6 months.

Purchase lube and follow manual instructions

Most ellipticals already come with their own lubricant but if your unit does not include one, purchase a lube that is recommended by its manufacturer. Follow the instructions mentioned in the owner’s manual and wipe off the remaining lube.

Remember though that some warranties require owners to perform the lube job themselves while some will state DIY lube jobs will only void the warranty. Refer to the owner’s manual to resolve this issue.

Rear-Drive Elliptical

Nuts And Bolts Check

If you want to save up on elliptical repairs, better inspect relevant parts to prevent breakage. That is why checking the equipment’s nuts and bolts is another essential maintenance procedure.


Check your elliptical for loose nuts and bolts. This will only take a few seconds to do. Use necessary hand tools to tighten them but be careful not to overtighten those nuts and bolts.

Once every month

Perform a more in-depth inspection of the elliptical for loose nuts and bolts. Have necessary tools on hand and inspect the tightness of moving components and bolts. Everything must move effortlessly and should not create any excess noise.

If you hear some rattling or squeaking, check it further to see if something requires lubrication, tightening, or other procedures.

Do not forget to inspect the plastic components, console, and power cords for cracks, splits, or other signs of damage. Replace any item that shows such indications.

Elliptical Levelling And Stabilising

How do I maintain my elliptical trainer to retain its solid build? You have to make sure that it is placed in an advantageous position – at a level, flat floor surface so it will not put plenty of stress on the frame during workouts. Stress can damage the frame and also lead to loose nuts and bolts.

Working out on a trainer that is not stable or straight at all is not only uncomfortable. At worst it can lead to muscle imbalance and even injury.

  • To help level and stabilise your elliptical, make sure that it’s positioned on solid flooring
  • Do not put it on carpeted floor surfaces since carpets are soft and can lead to a wobbly elliptical
  • To keep the machine stable at all times, use a rubber mat or treadmill mat under it as well

Securing Drive Belt

The drive belt in ellipticals connects the pedals to the unit’s flywheel. Over time, elliptical drive belts stretch and lead to slipping.

If the drive belt slips:

  • Tightened it enough to prevent slippage
  • Be careful of over-tightening to avoid over-stressing the bearings

If the drive belt still slips after tightening:

  • You may have to change to a new one
  • Choose a belt that matches the old one
  • Best to get in touch with manufacturer and ask about drive belt replacements

3. Elliptical Trainer Storage Tips

How do you maintain your elliptical and prevent it from wearing out fast? One good way to preserve its quality is to store the unit properly if you don’t use the item so often.

Storing when not in use:

  • Look for a dry, dark spot with moderate temperature in your home
  • Turn the elliptical off and disconnect it from its power source
  • Remove the batteries from the console (if applies)
  • Place the elliptical cross trainer in the storage area and cover it with a tarp (to prevent dust buildup)

Using the elliptical cross trainer after storing for a while (a few weeks or more):

  • Inspect the equipment meticulously first for any dirt and dust buildup, lubrication, and the like
  • See if the components move effortlessly as they should even before use
  • Step on it and see if you hear any unnecessary rattling or squeaking
  • Based on the length of the storage, the movable components may require lubrication
  • Replace a new set of batteries for the console (if applies)

4. Calling For Professional Help

To answer the ‘how do I maintain my elliptical’ question, you have read the owner’s manual, done your research, and followed all instructions on proper elliptical upkeep. However, problems might still come about eventually, particularly if you are dealing with an old elliptical trainer.

Before doing repairs, you have to read the warranty first to prevent voiding the warranty. If you are not too sure how to handle the issue, the smart thing to do is to contact a professional technician. A technician who knows how to do elliptical repairs can provide a solution that will fix the problem ASAP.

There are common elliptical problems that you can fix on your own. However, some complicated issues are best diagnosed and repaired by a professional technician. Stick to safety by acknowledging your gut and just call a technician you can trust.


How to maintain your elliptical is not that simple. However, it is not that difficult either. Regardless, you still need to perform those steps if you want an elliptical that works without a hitch.

Maintenance procedures are also needed if you want your elliptical trainer to last for a longer time. Be certain to educate yourself before making an elliptical purchase, and this includes a comprehensive elliptical review and knowing how to take care of it properly.