If you use your treadmill regularly, then expect that sooner or later, it will require replacement. And if asked, when should I replace my treadmill? On average, a treadmill can last for up to 10 years. With proper care and maintenance, it will last a bit longer.

Keep reading this piece to determine if you need to purchase a new one.

First, Know Your Way Around Treadmill Parts

If you want to maintain the integrity of your treadmill for a longer period, your first step is to become familiar with its parts and how these components work together. You will be able to diagnose treadmill issues better if you know every component’s function and when it’s working appropriately.

1. Deck

The deck houses all other treadmill components. It is the least vulnerable among all treadmill parts. You have to know how to remove the hood of the deck if you want to do some repairs, clean, or lubricate the treadmill. If you own a NordicTrack treadmill, check our maintenance guide here.

2. Motor

Non-manual motors include a motor that usually rates at 3 horsepower. Read the warranty label of the treadmill’s motor first before purchase since the motor is the most expensive part to replace. A motor that produces strange sounds during treadmill use indicates problems.

3. Belt

The belt is usually the first to show wear and tear but it is also one of the easiest to replace. You can even do it yourself. User manuals typically cover how to replace a treadmill belt. Find out how much treadmill belt replacement costs in this article.

It is a must to maintain a clean treadmill belt to guarantee its functionality. If you notice that your treadmill is not running smoothly, inspect the belt and check if it’s time to lubricate it. If your belt requires a replacement, make sure the replacement part is compatible with your treadmill model.

4. Rollers

You will have to change the rollers of your treadmill eventually. Rollers keep the belt aligned and help the treadmill work smoothly. Treadmills with ill-fitting rollers will cause the belt to break down rapidly. Thus, before buying a treadmill, make sure that the model’s rollers have a good size and have solid quality for optimal performance.

5. Electronics

Treadmills often include electronic features but the most common would have to be their electronic display. Treadmill electronics are fragile thus if you want to buy one, make sure that the model offers good warranty backing on its electronics since they are the most bothersome to fix or replace.

For treadmills that make use of electronic consoles which are computer-controlled, protect them from power surges by connecting them to an AC outlet that is grounded properly. If possible, use a dedicated circuit for the equipment.

6 Signs Your Treadmill Requires Replacement

To answer the question ‘When should I replace my treadmill?’, there are ways in which you can determine if your treadmill needs replacement. Here are several indications.

1. Shaky, Damaged Treadmill Frame

The extent of treadmill frame damage depends on how frequently it was moved, regular use, and if other components hit the frame. Look for a treadmill that offers excellent warranty backing for the frame.

2. You Have Used Your Treadmill For More Than 7 Years

You may need to replace it if it’s quite old. Treadmills that have been used frequently for 7 years or more might have succumbed to wear and tear. Cheaper ones usually break down before this period while high-end ones usually last for more than 10 years if taken care of properly.

3. Damaged Parts With Expired Warranty

Treadmills are often accompanied by warranties that feature several lengths for different components. Some models may include lifetime coverage for their frame and motor, several years’ coverage for its components and electronics, or a few years’ coverage for labour.

If the components or electronics are damaged and the warranty has expired, then buying a treadmill replacement is a must.

4. The Motor Makes Odd Noises

Treadmill motors should produce minimal noise at best during use. The motor must also retain a uniform noise output overall. Motors that produce odd noises or high-pitched sounds are not working properly. If you hear these sounds, you must stop using the equipment at once.

The treadmill motor is prone to clogging so be sure to clean around the motor frequently to prevent the build-up of dirt and debris. Check the warranty of the treadmill as well if it offers lifetime coverage for the component.

5. Unresponsive Electronics

Do not use your treadmill anymore if the electronics have become unresponsive. Electronics that refuse to work indicate a short in the equipment’s electrical connection. This is dangerous as well since it can lead to an electrical fire or cause electrocution.

6. Did Not Answer Your Needs

Maybe your preferences have changed by the time you bought the treadmill, or it does not have the specific new features more advanced treadmills include. If the treadmill does not cover your needs anymore, it is time to replace it.

How To Determine If Treadmill Belt Needs Replacement

As mentioned previously, the treadmill belt is prone to wear and tear. It is usually the first component that succumbs to damage. So, ‘when should I replace my treadmill belt then?’ Treadmill owners often find themselves asking that question, too. Here are ways how to determine if the belt needs to be changed.

1. Do The Shuffle Test

Turn the treadmill off and try shuffling your feet back and forth on the belt. A treadmill belt that functions properly should be able to glide effortlessly. If the belt jolts or shakes and refuses to glide smoothly, then it’s time to change the belt.

2. Walk On The Belt

Turn the treadmill off and push against the treadmill’s dashboard. You must be able to walk freely on the belt. If the belt refuses to work as expected, it’s time for a replacement.

3. Inspect Under The Belt

Slightly raise the belt and let your hand run throughout the belt’s bottom. Inspect the part where your feet usually land when starting the treadmill – this is the belt part that undergoes plenty of wear and tear. If the bottom of the belt feels rough and uneven, then it is time to replace the belt.

4. Check The Belt’s Age

A majority of 1-ply treadmill belts typically last up to 5 years with average use while 2-ply belts last for up to 10 years. Age is more difficult to determine for treadmills that have been purchased second-hand. Thus, if you have plans to buy a second-hand treadmill, see to it that you are made aware of the treadmill’s age by the seller.

When To Call Professional Services For Help

Asking for professional help must be done if you are not too sure if the belt has broken down or if you do not know how to replace the belt yourself. If you have done specific solutions like lubrication but the problem seems to persist, then it’s time to ask for help from a professional service so they can determine the exact cause of the malfunction.

You do have to consider the fees for replacement procedures, though, and see if the whole deal will be more cost-effective for you. If your treadmill is very old and has undergone a lot of previous repairs, then maybe it’s high time that you replace the equipment.

Still, you can first have a chat with a professional technician about it and ask them if a repair is still a practical solution.

Keep Your Treadmill Functional At All Times With These Maintenance Tips

Having a treadmill at home pays off. For one, it assures you of regular exercise. You also get to save on expensive gym memberships. However, if you want your treadmill to keep running appropriately, you need to treat it right to extend its life. A regular maintenance schedule is required to keep the equipment in tip-top shape. Below are several tips you must remember for a well-maintained treadmill.

1. Keep The Treadmill Clean

The common cause of premature belt malfunction is dirt buildup. Thus, you have to clean it regularly. Dust between the belt and deck at least once every week. Make sure that the spot where you position the treadmill is relatively free from dust to reduce the amount of dust getting stuck between the deck or belt.

Wipe down the display with a gentle solution like non-phosphate cleaners. Pour a few drops on a damp soft cotton cloth or rag. Wipe the handrails and traction strips using a solution of water and mild soap. Moisten a rag or cloth with the solution and wipe those parts with it.

Wipe or vacuum the deck area between the treadmill’s frame and belt.

Do the following steps for once-a-month clean-ups

  • Unplug the treadmill and let sit for 10 minutes. Remove the motor cover and vacuum inside the motor area. Be careful not to touch the electronics directly.
  • Slide a clean rag or cloth under the belt and wipe the deck beneath it. Turn the belt 180 degrees and repeat the steps.
  • If recommended by the manufacturer, lubricate under the belt.
  • Inspect the tension of the drive belt and adjust it if needed. Check the tread belt tension and tracking as well and adjust as required.

2. Adjust The Treadmill Belt Correctly

Stretching leads to premature tread belt wear so make sure to adjust the belt every so often. Use a proper sized Allen wrench to tighten the belt adjustment screws – tighten them in a clockwise motion. A 1/4-turn in a clockwise direction will tighten the belt sufficiently.

The screws for the belt are typically found at the treadmill’s rear end. However, keep in mind that some belts need looser running compared to other models so do not be alarmed if the belt is a bit loose even when you haven’t utilised the equipment yet. To be sure, check the user manual first before making adjustments.

When making belt tracking adjustments, keep the belt running at a low speed of 3 mph.

3. Keep The Belt Aligned Properly

Belt tracking adjustments can also be utilised to align the belt correctly. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on belt tracking to keep it from getting misaligned or thoroughly stretched. Be careful not to overtighten the belt when adjusting its alignment. Incorrect belt tracking should be avoided as well to prevent roller knocking.

4. Use The Treadmill On A Level Floor Surface

If your treadmill makes squeaking sounds, it must be operating on a non-level floor surface. A majority of treadmills include level adjustment in the rear supports.

5. Check The Power Cord

Keep the power cord away from areas where people can accidentally step on it. Make sure that the power cord is positioned away from the incline mechanism.

6. Keep The Belt Lubricated

The belt of the treadmill must be lubricated every so often. Check the user manual for instructions – they will specify the type of lubricant fit for the job. Steer clear of using oils or silicones unless the manufacturer says so. Always follow the manufacturer’s directions to a tee specifically concerning the right lube and the application schedule.

7. Avoid High Friction Between Deck And Belt

Low-friction contact between the belt and deck should be maintained to prevent motor damage. Follow the treadmill manufacturer’s recommendations for correct belt and deck maintenance.

8. Use Grounded AC Outlet

Lots of modern treadmills now include computer consoles. However, console crashes happen and if you want to protect your treadmill from such issues, you should plug the unit into a properly grounded AC outlet.

We hope this piece was able to provide an answer and solutions to the ‘when should I replace my treadmill’ question. Take care of your treadmill the way you would other machines, and you will be guaranteed more use of this popular fitness equipment.