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What Are the Causes of a Noisy Treadmill?

author image Joy Johnston
Joy Johnston has been an online journalist since 2005. She has served as senior producer for the health news website Sharecare and as a digital producer for the "Atlanta Journal-Constitution," where she helped develop the health channel. Johnston has also covered ways to stay fit in Atlanta.
What Are the Causes of a Noisy Treadmill?
A treadmill should not be noisy when operating. Photo Credit: AAGAMIA/Stone/Getty Images

A treadmill workout should not create a symphony of squeaks, screeches and whines. If you're experiencing loud noises while operating your treadmill, maintenance may be required. To prevent operational issues that can result in costly repairs, perform routine maintenance on the belt, motor and other components as recommended in your treadmill model’s instruction manual. Check your warranty to see if repair service is inclusive and to ensure you do not void your warranty by attempting repairs yourself. Always unplug the treadmill before performing any maintenance tasks, and if you're inexperienced or unsure in any way, call in a service professional instead of attempting to fix the problem yourself.

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Belt Issues

Make sure belts are properly adjusted; loose or tight treadmill belts can cause the machine to malfunction. A misaligned belt can create squeaking, screeching and whining noises. Belts can get off track if your treadmill is not installed on a level surface. Follow your treadmill owner’s manual regarding belt lubrication. Maintain a low level of belt friction for optimum performance and to protect your treadmill’s motor.

Motor Issues

A treadmill motor clogged with debris can begin to make strange noises. Because treadmills emit static electricity when in use, they're notorious for collecting dust, lint and hair. It's important to clean the motor routinely, according to manufacturer's instructions, to prevent a buildup of debris that can cause the motor brushes to malfunction. Place your treadmill on a mat to reduce the static charge effects. If you smell or see smoke, with or without odd noises, immediately discontinue use and unplug the machine. Call your treadmill's manufacturer for service recommendations.

Component Issues

Multiple treadmill components can malfunction and cause your treadmill to operate with excessive noise. Loose pulleys can make a screeching sound, while loose bearings make a grinding noise. Malfunctions are common on treadmill control boards. If your control panel flashes an error code, beeps or makes other noises, refer to your treadmill’s instruction manual to learn how to reset the control board if necessary.

Maintenance Tips

Performing routine maintenance on your treadmill is the best way to prevent problems that can cause a noisy ride. Dust and clean your treadmill every other week, paying special attention to the belt and the deck. Check belt tension monthly. Quarterly, check the belt and deck for wear and tear and lubricate if recommended. Clean motor brushes. Semi-annually, remove the motor cover and vacuum out all debris. Inspect and replace damaged belts as needed.

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