Ellipticals are a favourite home gym equipment. They are impact-free, easy to use and great for a full-body workout. However, several exercise routines later, you might be asking: why does my elliptical make squeaking noise?

Ellipticals have several moving parts working together. And these parts can produce squeaking sounds when you do not clean, lubricate or tighten them. Sometimes, squeaks can also come from an old elliptical that needs replacement parts.

The elliptical noise can come from any section of your machine, though. And there are plenty of reasons why it’s squeaky.

The best way around it is to understand the root causes so you can apply the most effective solution.

Here’s a rundown of the potential origins of a noisy elliptical and how you can fix them.

I’m giving routine maintenance suggestions, too, to keep your machine squeak-free for longer.

Why Does My Elliptical Make Squeaking Noise?

Here are some of the most common causes of a squeaky elliptical.

Unsecured nuts and bolts

Some parts can loosen up over time as you use your fitness machine repeatedly.

And loose connection bolts can misalign elliptical parts, causing the squeaking noise.

Usually, you can spot loose bolts on the frame, arms and console.

Screws may be missing or have fallen out, too. Also, after years of use, old small parts might need replacement.

Solution: Make it a habit to inspect bolts, screws and fittings every month. Ensure that they are all intact and in good condition.

Use the toolset included in your machine for tightening if needed. Tweaking with an Allen key or Phillips screwdriver should typically do the trick.

Ideally, remove the outer shell to inspect the internal bolts first. After securing the internal screws, check the outer ones next.

Dust build-up

Dust particles can settle on your elliptical, and over time, grime starts to accumulate.

The moving parts are the typical target, particularly the section where the belt meets the wheels.

Soon, the dust build-up will cause clogging. Then, the parts will not move as seamlessly as before, and friction will eventually create noisy squeaking.

Solution: Avoid this problem by wiping down your elliptical every after use. Regularly vacuum your workout area, too.

Occasionally, give your elliptical a thorough cleaning and dusting.

You can do this by detaching its shell or plastic cover. Check your instruction manual on how to do this correctly.

Then, use a dry cloth and vacuum cleaner to clean the inside. Remember not to use a wet cloth as moisture left inside the machine can lead to rusting.

What Causes the Elliptical Squeak

Unlevelled surface

If you are trying to find out “why does my elliptical make squeaking noise”, check the flooring.

As you exercise, elliptical parts go through lots of twisting and turning, also called torsional force.

And when the surface is uneven, these parts may be moving under undue stress or poor alignment.

The base of your elliptical may also be hitting the floor unnecessarily, resulting in scratches or early damage.

More importantly, you are risking unwanted injury when working out on an unbalanced elliptical.

Solution: Try moving your elliptical machine to a levelled area. Remove any object or furniture near it to avoid vibrations or accidents.

Ideally, allow at least 30 to 60 cm of free space around the machine.

Better yet, lay a suitable mat in between your floor and equipment.

This accessory should protect the surface, reduce noise and shield your machine from dust particles.

An interlocking exercise floor mat is a great option to suit any size of fitness equipment.

Not enough lubrication

Friction can also create an elliptical noise due to a lack of lubrication. You have to lubricate your elliptical at regular intervals. 

Lubrication frequency depends on your machine model and product usage, though. But doing so will keep the internal parts running smoothly.

Solution: Use the recommended lubricant of your elliptical manufacturer. Parts that need it include bolts that join the handlebars to the lower arms.

Also, make sure to lubricate bolts that connect the roller arms and mainframe crank.

After lubricating, use the elliptical to help distribute the oil evenly on the rollers.

Then, wipe off any excess grease as this can attract dust and filth.

Worn-out parts

Other than squeaking, ellipticals may also produce knocking or clunking sounds.

One reason for this is the rotating arm might be hitting the plastic housing of the flywheel.

Another reason is a worn-out drive belt. When you routinely check the inside of your machine, look for rubber pieces inside. If you find some, it’s a sign of belt wear and tear.

Usually, you’ll encounter these problems in an old elliptical.

Solution: Consider contacting a service professional to assist you in buying and installing replacement parts.

You might want to look for your receipt and warranty first before making consultations.

How can I Prevent My Elliptical from Squeaking

How can I Prevent My Elliptical from Squeaking Again?

You don’t have to wait and ask why does my elliptical make squeaking noise before taking care of your machine.

Instead, follow this routine maintenance and tips to prevent it from happening prematurely.

  • Wipe it down after each use. Use a dry cloth. Follow your product manual to know which parts to clean. Remember not to use a wet cloth to avoid rusting. Avoid spilling any liquid on it, too.
  • Vacuum around your elliptical weekly. Add this to your cleaning schedule to avoid dust accumulation. Also, set a monthly thorough vacuuming to clean the inside of the workout machine.
  • Have a consistent lubrication routine. Follow your manufacturer on which lubricant to use and where to apply it. Do this regularly based on the recommended lubrication interval. Usually, you will need to relubricate every 4 to 6 months, depending on the frequency of use.


The extra steps needed to take care of your elliptical may seem tedious. But regular maintenance can do more than remove elliptical squeaks.

It can also preserve the quality of your elliptical exercise machine and protect you from costly repairs or parts replacement.

After all, ignoring a minor squeak can result in severe or irreparable damages.

So, find the noise source, troubleshoot it and maintain your elliptical from time to time.

Also, I recommend investing in a well-made machine like the NordicTrack Commercial 9.9 Elliptical to avoid issues like this.

Aside from noise-free pedalling and excellent customer service, you’ll get plenty of training programs and incline options!

1. What kind of lubricant should I use on my elliptical?

Usually, a red or white-lithium ball-bearing lubricant suits most ellipticals. An aerosol spray lubricant is also ideal for reaching tight areas like connection bolts. Refer to your manual for details or contact the manufacturer to be sure. Also, find out if you can do the lubricating yourself to avoid voiding the product warranty.

2. Can I use WD-40 on my elliptical?

WD-40 is not a suitable lubricant for ellipticals or any exercise equipment. WD stands for “water displacement”, and this product is only for cleaning purposes. It will dry up immediately and not leave any lubrication, ruining your fitness machine within days.