How to Repair a Treadmill That is Sticking

Treadmill belts can stick if they are damaged, have the incorrect amount of tension, are off-center or require lubricant. A sticking treadmill belt is a major safety concern because it can cause you to fall off the treadmill or suffer a muscle, joint or ligament injury caused by sudden awkward movements while exercising. By performing some basic maintenance on your treadmill belt, you can eliminate sticking and be back on your way to achieving your fitness goals.

A pair of empty treadmills at the gym. (Image: bennymarty/iStock/Getty Images)

Step 1

Inspect the belt. Activate your treadmill at a low rate of speed and allow the belt to complete several revolutions. If the belt is torn or cracked, you will need to replace it. Refer to your owner's manual for proper replacement parts and instructions, or have your treadmill serviced by a professional technician.

Step 2

Turn off your treadmill and unplug it from its power outlet.

Step 3

Lubricate the belt. Loosen the belt by turning the screws on the front and back portions of your treadmill's walking deck several turns counterclockwise. Lift the belt and apply lubricant to the deck in accordance with the instructions on the bottle; refer to your owner's manual for the type of lubricant recommended by the manufacturer. Retighten the screws, turn on your treadmill and allow it to run for five minutes at the low rate of speed.

Step 4

Clean and lubricate the rollers. Loosen the rollers in accordance with the maintenance instructions in your owner's manual; this is usually accomplished by loosening the screws or bolts that attach the rollers to the walking deck. Lift the belt, use a cloth to wipe down the rollers and apply the recommended lubricant as directed by your owner's manual.

Step 5

Adjust the tension of the belt and center it. Locate the adjustment and centering screws on the front or rear of the walking deck; refer to your owner's manual for the exact location of these screws on your model. Decrease the tension if the belt appears too tight by turning the adjustment screws counterclockwise; increase tension if the belt is too loose by turning the adjustment screws clockwise. To move the belt to the left, adjust the centering screw on the right of your treadmill; move the belt to the right by adjusting the centering screw on the left.

Step 6

Test your treadmill at a low speed for several minutes, readjusting the belt if necessary.

Things You'll Need

  • Dry cloth

  • Lubricant

  • Screwdriver

Warning

Never work on an electrical device that is plugged into a power outlet. Doing so can result in severe electric shock.

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