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Treadmill Maintenance

Once you have invested in a treadmill it is important to maintain it properly to keep it running smoothly. This doesn’t have to require too much effort as many treadmills sold these days are actually very low maintenance. Always read your user manual thoroughly and keep it handy as it is likely to contain important care and maintenance instructions relevant to your particular treadmill.

Keeping it clean

One of the most important things to do with any treadmill in terms of upkeep is to keep it free of dust and dirt. They do tend to attract quite a lot of dust and if this is allowed to build up it can lead to several problems including belt failure, motor overload or dangerous sudden speed changes due to dirty speed sensors. Once a week you should give your machine a good clean to avoid these problems occurring. Before starting, ensure that you unplug your treadmill from the wall socket. Use a dry clean cloth to dust the running belt and between belt and deck wherever possible. Do not use any cleaning solutions on the belt as they can make the surface slippery. Use a clean slightly damp cloth to clean the frame and console. Once you have finished wait until the treadmill is completely dry and then turn the machine on and test all your control panel and safety cut off functions.

Every few months you should remove the hood to very carefully get rid of any dirt from under the hood and the motor area using a brush and vacuum cleaner. Blow any dust away from electronic components and then vacuum it up rather than directly touching the electronics with the vacuum cleaner. Make sure you replace the hood correctly and that you always use the right screwdrivers. To minimise the amount of dirt the treadmill attracts in the first place, vacuum around and underneath the machine regularly and do not use the same pair of shoes outside as for exercising on the treadmill.

You should also take care to wipe down all treadmill surfaces after any particularly intense workouts as sweat is very corrosive and could cause surfaces to rust.

Deck maintenance

The majority of modern treadmills do not need any lubrication and you should check your manual before lubricating any of the components. Many treadmills have pre-treated decks and lubricating these may do a lot more damage than good. Other models may require initial waxing to reduce friction of the belt, but only wax or lubricate the deck if recommended by the manufacturer and always follow the directions for doing so. Low friction between the deck and belt is important as high friction will cause amp draw – power being pulled away from the motor and electronics and will end up damaging these parts.

Belt adjustments

You may sometimes need to adjust the tension and alignment of the treadbelt. If the belt is too loose or too tight it can cause wear and tear of both the belt and the deck. Belts often tend to stretch slightly the first few times you use the treadmill so check regularly in the beginning if it needs tightening. Tracking the belt is very easy on most treadmills. There will often be two belt adjustment screws at the rear of the machine. You will not need to turn the screws much – a one-quarter turn is often sufficient if tightening the belt due to initial stretching. Make sure to follow the instructions in your manual for tracking the belt, especially as on some treadmills the belt needs to be looser than on others. After the initial few months, you should not need to tighten the belt much.

You also need to make sure that the belt is properly aligned and again you should consult your manual’s belt tracking instructions. Any adjustments needed are usually minor and you should not have to do this on a regular basis. If you find that the belt is often poorly aligned it may be that the treadmill is not being kept on an even surface. On many treadmills there are level adjustments at the back so that you can compensate for an uneven floor. If this isn’t possible with your treadmill you will have to try to level the floor instead or move the machine to a more suitable space.

By following the above instructions, or of course the instructions in your user manual if different, you should get many trouble free years of use out of your equipment. If you are ever unsure about any care or maintenance issues related to your treadmill, do contact the manufacturer or dealer for advice. Improper handling of your treadmill may mean that you will not be covered by the warranty if anything goes wrong.

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