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We have a saying here at GGR: Take care of your equipment and it will take care of you. Your treadmill is a big part of your fitness routine, and regular maintenance is critical to keep the machine running at its best. 

Lubricating the treadmill belt is a big part of the upkeep process. Without lubrication, the treadmill’s deck and belt could rub, causing too much friction. And too much friction can lead to major damage to both the belt and the motor. 

Wondering how to lubricate a treadmill? We’ve got you covered, because our commitment to you doesn’t stop once we’ve helped you find the best fitness equipment for your home gym. In fact, we’re super pumped that you’ve found the best treadmill for your cardio needs, and we want to help you get the most out of its lifespan by sharing some maintenance tips. When it comes to treadmills, a considerable portion of machine maintenance focuses on the belt. This article will review how to lubricate a treadmill so you can keep your machine running smoothly—pun intended.

Signs Your Treadmill Needs Lubricant

There are a few ways to know if your treadmill needs lubricant. The simplest way? Stick your hand under the belt. It’s good practice to check under the treadmill’s belt every now and then. (Be sure the machine is off and unplugged before you do!) It should feel oily or waxy, and if it doesn’t, it’s time for some lubricant. 

However, there can also be other signs that your treadmill needs lubricant. If you’re one to listen to your jams while on a run or walk, take an earbud out every now and then to listen to the treadmill at work. If you notice any squeaking or loud noises, your treadmill may need a refresh on lubrication.The belt may also need lube if it feels slippery or sticky when in motion. A slippery belt can be a common issue for treadmills, but thankfully it can be an easy fix.

Walking On Treadmill Belt

If your treadmill is new, check under the belt before applying lube as many new treadmills come pre-lubricated. If you’re unsure, check the user manual or call the company to confirm.

How Often Should You Lubricate a Treadmill?

Once you figure out how to lubricate a treadmill deck, you might wonder how often your treadmill actually needs it. The frequency may vary between treadmill manufacturers, but the general consensus is that the average treadmill user should lubricate the running belt once every three months or after approximately 40 hours of use. That is unless you’re logging more miles than the average person. If you’re putting down some intense workouts on your treadmill, you may need to lubricate the belt more frequently.

It’s also important to note that treadmills in warmer climates may need lubrication applied more frequently. The warmer the climate, the faster the lube can dry out. 

Check the owner’s manual for specific recommendations for your treadmill and be sure to regularly check your machine’s parts.

Tools Needed To Lubricate Your Treadmill

You really don’t need anything fancy to lubricate your treadmill. The most important thing you’ll need is the correct treadmill belt lubricant for the job. You may also need an Allen wrench or a screwdriver to loosen the treadmill belt.  

Most treadmill lubricants are 100% silicone oil, or silicone-based. You should not use petroleum products like WD-40 as they can ruin your treadmill. Your machine’s user manual will specify the type of lubricant your treadmill requires. Some companies even sell specific lubes for their machines.

How to Lubricate a Treadmill: Step-by-Step Guide

Lubricating a treadmill can look different between brands. For example, how to lubricate a NordicTrack treadmill may not be the same as how to lubricate a Horizon Fitness treadmill. However, in general, you can expect to:

  1. Start by shutting off your treadmill and unplugging the machine (for safety reasons). 
  2. Using your hand, reach under the belt to feel for lubrication and dirt. You may need to loosen your treadmill’s belt to be able to fit your hand underneath.
  3. Using a cloth, wipe underneath the treadmill belt to ensure it’s clean before applying the lubrication.Wiping Under Treadmill Belt
  4. Starting on one side of the treadmill (approximately one foot from the hood and a few inches from the edge), disperse the lubricant under the belt in a zig-zag pattern moving toward the end of the deck surface.Applying Lube To Treadmill Belt
  5. Repeat on the other side of the belt. 
  6. Now that the lube is in place, retighten the belt and plug the machine back in.
  7. Turn the treadmill on and let it run for about five mins at around 3 miles per hour, so the lubricant has a chance to spread evenly.

And voila! You’ve successfully applied lube to the running deck. It’s relatively simple, and it helps keep your treadmill running strong. Oops, another pun! That’s the last one, I promise.

Final Thoughts on How to Lubricate a Treadmill

You and your treadmill are on a roll. To keep your workouts top-notch, it’s essential to keep up with your treadmill’s regular maintenance, including properly lubricating the belt. While recommendations can vary between brands, most treadmills need to be lubricated every few months. So it’s important to check under the belt every now and then, and if it doesn’t feel oily or waxy, it’s time to add some lubricant.

  • Regular treadmill maintenance includes lubricating the belt.
  • Signs that your treadmill needs lubrication include squeaking noises, a sticky or slippery belt, and no oily or waxy feeling under the belt.
  • Before checking or lubricating the belt, always turn off the treadmill and unplug the machine. Safety first!
  • Only use silicone-based lubricants to lubricate your treadmill.

Once the lube is applied, allow the treadmill to run for about five minutes at a slow speed to disperse the lube across the belt evenly.

FAQs About How to Lubricate a Treadmill

What can I use to lubricate my treadmill?

Most treadmill lubricants are 100% silicone or silicone-based. Check the treadmill’s manual for specific recommendations or call the treadmill company. They might even sell lubricant specifically made for your machine. Do not use WD-40—this could ruin your treadmill.

How do I know if my treadmill needs lubricant?

If you check under the belt and can’t feel the oily or waxy lubrication, it’s time to reapply. If you notice squeaking sounds or unusually loud noises, chances are your treadmill needs lubrication. Or, it likely needs lubricant if your treadmill belt sticks or slips during a workout.

Can you use WD-40 to lubricate a treadmill?

No, you should not use WD-40 or any other petroleum-based lubricants on your treadmill, as they could damage or ruin the machine. You should only use silicone lubricants.

How often should you lubricate your treadmill?

Lubrication needs may vary between treadmill manufacturers, but the general rule of thumb is every three months or after 40 hours of use. That is unless you’re logging some intense miles on your machine. Of course, keeping an eye on things between now and then doesn’t hurt. Frequently checking under the running belt can help you know when it’s getting close to the time for lube.

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