Tips for Home Treadmill Repair

man standing in front of a treadmill in his home

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If you're devoted to treadmill workouts, when your go-to exercise equipment isn't running properly, your fitness can suffer. But with all the parts and pieces of a treadmill, it may be difficult to determine the issue and whether you can fix it yourself or if you'll need an expert.

Dan Thompson, owner of Huff-n-Puff Fitness Repair in the Chicago area, explains that the most common issues are that the treadmill won't start or operate; the walking belt slips or sticks; or you hear new noises, such as knocking, ticking, squeaking, or scraping. (As with any machine, moving parts will make noise, but if it's become noticeably louder or doesn't seem normal, a problem might be developing.)

Most Common Treadmill Parts That Need Repair

According to TreadmillDoctor.com, the most frequent problems occur with the belt, motor, and electronic functions. Here's what to look for:

  • Belt: Over time, both the walking belt and drive belt will loosen and will need to be tensioned and aligned. This is most likely the problem if the belt stops or hesitates with every footfall. It's important to determine which belt needs to be tensioned because over-tensioning either of the belts can result in a malfunctioning motor control board.
  • Motor: Most treadmills come with warranties, but if your motor burns out past that date, you may need to replace or at least recalibrate it.
  • Electronics: Whether your control panel isn't turning on or the treadmill suddenly stops, an electrical problem may be to blame. It could be as simple as swapping in new batteries, but there may be more complicated solutions like adjusting the wiring.

Depending on your mechanical and electrical comfort levels, you can attempt a repair yourself or get help with the diagnosis from your manufacturer's customer support line. You may also be able to find videos online showing how to do simple repairs.

However, if you remove your machine's motor cover and immediately think you're in too deep, it's probably best to call a professional. As with any other specialty piece of equipment, a professional repair technician will be able to spot and test for an underlying cause that may not be immediately apparent to you.

Where to Find a Professional

Doing an online search for treadmill repair can be confusing—you want to ensure you're contacting someone who can help solve your problem, but often there are too many options. These sites offer listings of treadmill repair providers or customer reviews to help guide your search.

  • TreadmillDoctor.com: This site has a comprehensive list of certified service providers for the U.S. by state and Canada. You can contact the providers yourself from their listings or purchase their service to connect with a provider.
  • Angie's List: A subscription service, Angie's List allows you to search ratings and recommendations for treadmill and fitness equipment repair in your area. A free subscription now gives you access to the listings, or you can get additional benefits with paid plans.
  • Yelp: See rankings, reviews, and contact information for providers in your area on this popular platform.

What to Ask When Arranging a Treadmill Repair

If you're not well-versed in mechanical or equipment repair, knowing what questions to ask can seem overwhelming. Here are a few pointers on basic but important points to clear with the service provider:

  • Fees for a housecall: A treadmill is a large, heavy item. It's likely that you want someone to come to you to do the repair rather than having the difficulty of taking it to a shop. Find out in detail how to set up an appointment and what the charges will be just to come to the house.
  • Warranty-covered services: While the parts may be under warranty, the time of the repair provider may have to come out of your pocket. Be sure to read the warranty that came with the treadmill and be prepared with the date you bought it, receipt, and other documents. If you lost the paper warranty, you may be able to find one on the manufacturer's website.
  • Time needed for repairs: If the treadmill has to go to a shop, get an estimated time for the repair so you know how long you'll be without it. Ask how you'll be kept updated about the progress of the repair and if any additional charges will be made if they discover more parts that need repair or replacement.

Unfortunately, sometimes it might be more expensive to fix your treadmill than to buy a new one. Ask about options for recycling or donating the treadmill if it's beyond repair and whether you'll incur more charges for having it disposed of properly.

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