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ProForm is a popular fitness equipment brand specializing in treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, and rowers. ProForm treadmills are offered in a series of three tiers: Pro, Carbon, and City—most expensive to least, respectively. Prices vary quite a bit between the three series. 

The Pro 900 is priced at $1,800, the mid-tier Carbon T7 is priced at $999, and the City models are priced well under $1,000. The features and technology on each ProForm treadmill are different depending on the model you own, but overall ProForm has a lot of similarities that exist in each model. 

Although this guide is to help you with a DIY approach to fixing your treadmill, you will still need to refer to your owner’s manual because every model is a little different. With any large piece of exercise equipment you decide to invest in, there will be regular maintenance you will have to tend to in addition to a treadmill repair here and there. Common treadmill problems include belt tightness, misaligned belt, incline responsiveness, and treadmill console malfunctions. So without further ado, a guide to troubleshooting ProForm treadmills.

Tools Needed

In addition to having your owner’s manual handy, you will benefit from also having these tools:

  • Hex key (aka Allen wrench), included with the ProForm purchase 
  • Phillips head screwdriver 

Now, let’s take a look at common problems and how to troubleshoot.

Console Not Working Properly

Possible causes: Not connected to the internet, firmware not updated, or factory reset required.

Not Connected to Internet

Be sure you’re connected to the internet to get your console display working properly. Much like a standalone tablet, the touchscreen console relies on a wireless internet connection to connect to iFIT and download apps. Most ProForm treadmills have built-in touchscreens, however their budget-friendly series called City has a tablet shelf so you can utilize your own smart device. 

Using the touchscreen to navigate, select Settings in your main menu, then select Wireless Network Mode. Make sure that the Wi-Fi checkbox is marked with a green checkmark. If it is not, touch the Wi-Fi menu option once and wait for a few seconds. The console will search for available wireless networks. When Wi-Fi is enabled, the console displays all available networks. 

monitor on proform carbon t7 treadmill

Firmware or Software Updates 

For the console to seamlessly work with the iFIT app, subscribers will need to keep the firmware and software updated. While running any updates for iFIT, to avoid complications with the treadmill itself, do not turn off the power or remove the key while the software or firmware is updating. Owners of exercise machines with iFIT programming can contact iFIT customer support (different from ProForm support) through a live chat on their website. 

When updating, the console screen will show the progress of the update. According to ProForm, when the update is complete, the treadmill will turn off and then turn back on. If it does not, press the power switch into the off position. Wait for several seconds, and then press the power switch into the reset position. It may take a few minutes for the console to be ready for use.

Unresponsive Console

If the console is unresponsive, freezes, or does not boot up properly, a factory reset might be necessary to reboot the control board. It’s worth noting that resetting to the factory default settings will erase any customizations you’ve made to the console. 

According to the user manual, resetting the console requires two people. Start by turning the treadmill’s power switch off. After the treadmill is turned off, you can locate the small pinhole opening for the set button on the right side of the console. You’ll need to bend a paperclip and use the straight edge to press and hold the reset button inside the teeny tiny opening. 

This is where the second person comes into play: While one of you is continuously holding the reset button down with a paperclip, the other person will need to press the power switch into the on position. Keep the paperclip pressing on the reset button until the console turns on. 

According to the manufacturer’s directions, when the reset is complete, the console will turn off and then back on again. If it does not, use the power switch to turn the treadmill off and then on again. 

Belt is Slow

Possible causes: Walking belt is overtightened or belt needs to be lubricated. 

Over-tightened Belt 

The last thing you want is your treadmill to slow down right when you hit your top speeds. ProForm treadmills have great cushioning and support, but an over-tightened belt will make you feel jerked around on your walk or run. According to the manufacturer’s directions, when the belt is properly tightened, you will be able to grab either edge of the treadmill belt and lift two or three inches off the deck. To loosen the belt, ProFom first suggests removing the safety key and unplugging the power cord. Next, use the hex key that came with your ProForm to turn both idler roller screws counterclockwise by just a quarter of a turn. 

Use your manual to locate the idler roller screws at the back part of the deck, flanking the belt. While mindful to keep the belt centered, check to see if this first quarter turn allows you to gently lift the belt away from the deck. If not, repeat these quarter turns and gentle pulls of the belt until you achieve the proper tension level. 

tread on proform carbon t7 treadmill

Lubrication 

ProForm advises against using silicone spray to lubricate the belt of their treadmill platform. Although many treadmills offer instructions to apply lube to the belt at home, the ProForm manual  explicitly reads to never apply any substances to the walking platform (including silicone lubricant) unless instructed by an authorized representative. If the belt is slow and you’ve already checked for an over-tightened belt, you’re going to need to get on the phone with ProForm’s support line at 1-833-680-4348. 

Related: ProForm Pro 2000 Review

Burning Smell

Possible causes: Friction on the walking belt or motor issues. 

Friction

If you start to smell burning rubber, use the stop button to stop the machine, switch the power off, and unplug the treadmill. You could be up against unwanted friction of the running belt on the treadmill deck (instructions on how to address belt tightness in the last section). You can test the tightness of the belt to the frame by seeing if you can gently lift either side of the running belt off the deck. 

Motor Maintenance 

ProForm strictly advises not to dismantle the motor hood unless you’re on the phone with support and have been advised to do so. With that said, there are some things you can do to maintain things around the motor, and it mostly has to do with cleaning. 

Dust can build up around the belt and motor hood, and can eventually make its way into the motor, leading to an unpleasant burning smell. To prevent dust build-up (and bad smells), be sure to wear clean, dry shoes every time you use your machine and make regular cleaning part of your routine. The ProForm user manual warns against spraying anything directly on the treadmill belt—instead, with the treadmill switched off, take a damp cloth and give the exercise machine a good wipe down. Follow up with a dry towel to remove any excess moisture. 

Surge Protection

To prevent any burning smells related to electrical problems, plug the power cord into a surge suppressor and then plug that surge suppressor into an outlet that is at least 120-volt and  capable of carrying 15 or more amps. To avoid blowing the circuit, do not plug anything else into the surge suppressor or the outlet except for low-power devices such as cell phone chargers.

Motor Not Functioning

Possible causes: Motor malfunctioning or hardware problems.

Powering Off Mid-Use

For the average home gym owner, it’s going to be hard to tell when and if your treadmill motor is not functioning. A common motor issue is the treadmill turning off in the middle of your workout. According to the owner’s manual, the first step is to check if the power switch was tripped. If so, ProForm advises to wait five minutes and then press the switch back to the on position. The second option is to remove the key from the console, and then reinsert it. The detailed instructions and troubleshooting manual suggest that if you try these options and the treadmill still will not run, it’s time to call support for help at 1-888-533-1333.

Coop running on the Proform Pro 9000 treadmill

Inconsistent speeds

If you’re having issues with the treadmill belt not responding to speed requests or being erratic with speed, it could be a wiring issue with the reed switch or speed sensor not properly communicating with the motor control board. However, it could also be a faulty drive motor. If the belt is in good shape, not slipping, and is tightened properly, the issue is more likely to be under the motor hood—the area ProForm user manuals don’t want you to touch unless you’ve been in contact with support at 1-888-533-1333.  

Stuck on Incline

Possible cause: Calibration needed.

If your treadmill is stuck on incline or not responding properly to incline or decline requests, you likely need to calibrate the treadmill. The good news is, calibration is doable on your own. Every model is different, therefore you will need to refer to your owner’s manual. Regardless of what ProForm model you own, plan to step off the treadmill for the calibration process. 

Touchscreen Calibration 

If you have a touchscreen console on your treadmill, navigate to Settings on the main menu and find the “maintenance” option. Here, you should be able to find “calibrate incline” and touch “begin” to start calibrating. The treadmill will automatically transition to the highest incline setting and then back to the lowest point. When it’s done, you can tap “finish.”

Manual Calibration

For a non-touchscreen treadmill press and hold the stop and speed increase buttons at the same time. While holding the buttons, insert the safety key. The machine will now be in calibration mode. Press the stop button once. Then, press one of the incline buttons to begin the calibration.

Once the treadmill is initiated into calibration mode, the machine performs the same process of moving into its highest position and then back to the lowest. When the machine stops moving, you will know the calibration is complete and you can remove the safety key from the console to exit calibration mode.

Treadmill is Suddenly Noisy

Possible causes: Misaligned running belt or over-tightened belt. 

Belt Off-Center

ProForm treadmills are known for a nice quiet ride, especially the Carbon T10—so if you’re hearing odd noises, it’s best to stop and check things out. Squeaking or whining sounds is a common indicator of a misaligned belt. If this is happening, start by removing the safety key and unplugging the power cord. 

According to ProForm, if the belt has shifted to the left side, use the hex key to turn the left idler roller screw clockwise half of a turn. If the walking belt has shifted to the right, approach with the same intent, but turn the left idler roller screw counterclockwise half of a turn. Be careful not to overtighten the running belt. Then, plug in the power cord, insert the key, and run the treadmill for a few minutes. You can repeat these steps until the belt is centered.

Related: ProForm Carbon T10 Review

What Should I Do If None of These Tips Work?

None of these suggestions for troubleshooting ProForm treadmills worked? The good news it, it’s not a lost cause. Here is what you can do next:

Check Your Warranty

ProForm offers a decent warranty to its customers. Most ProForm treadmills back up your purchase with a lifetime warranty on the frame and the motor. For parts, they offer a five-year warranty and two years on labor. However, ProForm does require new customers to register products and activate the warranty within the first 90 days of the purchase on the ProForm website.

Contact Customer Service

There are times when you just can’t do it alone. You can call the ProForm Customer Care line at 1-888-533-1333 Monday through Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (MST), or Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (MST). You’ll need your model number and serial number handy for a call with customer service. Use the front cover of your owner’s manual to locate where these numbers are located on your specific ProForm model.  

Reset the Treadmill

If it’s the console giving you trouble, double check the unresponsive console section. If it’s not the console, you can reset the treadmill by using the off switch located on the front side of the treadmill all the way down at the base. This switch is not only a method to turn the treadmill on or off, but also serves as the circuit breaker switch to reset the machine. To reset the treadmill, the process is simple: flip the switch into the off position, wait for five minutes, and then press the switch back in.

Final Verdict 

If you’re currently experiencing an issue, this guide can help you while troubleshooting ProForm treadmills. If you’re not currently having issues, but perhaps in the vetting process of a purchase, here is something to consider: Take your regular treadmill maintenance seriously. Avoid the treadmill getting dusty, use it with clean shoes, and turn the console and machine off according to the user manual’s preferred method. The more you can maintain the machine, the less likely a problem will occur. 

Troubleshooting ProForm Treadmills FAQs

Why is my ProForm treadmill not working?

The reality of owning a treadmill in your home gym is that there are a multitude of things that can go wrong with a treadmill. Not to beat this point to death, but the owner’s manual (for your specific make and model) will be one of the most helpful resources when troubleshooting a treadmill that is not working properly.

How do I get my ProForm treadmill to work?

With any exercise machine, if it’s not working, it becomes frustrating because the root problem could be one of any number of issues. These are, in fact, pretty complex machines. When troubleshooting with the owner’s manual and online resources, it is possible it won’t be enough and getting on the phone with customer support might be your best option.

How do you fix a treadmill that won’t turn on?

The first thing to do is double check that the power cord is plugged in and the power switch is set to the on position. Sometimes the circuit can get tripped and the switch will be in the off position. If that happens, when attempting to turn the treadmill back on, the safety key must also be in place.

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