Money, time, and optimism; the investment that goes into buying a treadmill is quite huge. So the last thing you need is the machine to falter. Below are some of the reasons why treadmills produce a squeaking sound and some ways to fix the problem.
Treadmills can sometimes produce a squeaking sound during a running session. The best way to fix the problem is to turn off and unplug the device, clean the motor, lubricate the surface and the pivot points, and decrease the distance between the board and belt to avoid friction. Check the treadmill belt for any damage, and replace if needed.
What Causes a Treadmill to Squeak?
A squeaking sound is quite common when it comes to treadmills. Even when you invest in one of the most reliable models, you can still face this issue. Some of the most common reasons for this are mentioned below:
A Belt Misalignment
A misaligned belt is a cause of concern and certainly one of the biggest reasons why treadmill belts squeak. It usually happens when the belt is either too loose or too tight. It can also happen when the installation surface beneath the belt isn’t leveled properly.
There are two main ways in which a misaligned belt can harm you. Firstly, it will produce a squeaking sound that will frustrate the person using it. Secondly, it will cause you to lose your balance, and you may slip while walking and running.
Lubricate the Belt
A good and durable belt is less likely to face this issue. However, in some instances, your squeaky treadmill may arrive with the belt not lubricated properly, or it might need to be re-lubricated. In both these cases, your belt is likely to produce a squeaking sound.
Additionally, you may have to read the manual provided by the company to see if the belt’s friction setting is set to too high. This can not only put a lot of strain on the motor, but it will also result in excessive friction between the surface and the belt strip. Moreover, if not fixed, this strain on the motor can also result in the unit collapsing altogether.
When unsure, you can simply put the settings of your belt on medium friction and increase the longevity and efficiency of the motor inside.
Noise from the Treadmill Motor
A good motor is one of the integral parts of the treadmill and one that needs proper care. The motor inside a treadmill creates static electricity. This is strong enough to attract things like dirt, debris, lint, and even hair from the surroundings. As a result, you might find muck forming inside the motor.
Due to an overwhelming amount of dirt and debris, the motor can malfunction and start making strange squeaking noises. Additionally, this can result in your motor overheating and ultimately burning out. It is hence recommended that you pay special attention to the care and maintenance of your machine.
Metal on Metal Contact
Treadmills, like every other machine, come with their own set of pivot points. These are made of metal and can rub against each other slightly to create an annoying sound. Metal-on-metal contact is quite common in treadmills, so you shouldn’t worry about it too much. If you experience this problem, don’t worry, we have you covered. Below is everything you need to know to fix the problem.
Things You Can do to Stop Treadmill Squeak
So, how to fix a squeaky treadmill?
Treadmill squeaking is not just extremely annoying, but it can also significantly hamper your performance. Therefore, it is suggested that you take some much-needed steps to ensure the treadmill doesn’t squeak anymore. Here are all the things that you can do.
The first step is the most obvious, but also the most important one. To prevent dust, dirt, and hair from disrupting the function of your motor, you can make a habit of cleaning your treadmill weekly. You can clean the rollers and belt each month and ensure deep clearing of the muck. However, people who use treadmills for hours every day are requested to do a thorough cleaning once every two weeks.
Moreover, if your machine is placed on the carpet, it is more likely to attract hair and dirt. You should also ensure proper cleaning of the carpet to avoid that.
As mentioned above, if a treadmill belt squeaks when running, the belt can be either too tight or too loose, which can result in a squeaking sound. In instances where your belt is too tight, you can get it fixed by simply checking the distance between the board and the belt. You need to ensure that there is a small distance between the two. If you feel that the belt is too tight, you should loosen it. Similarly, if it’s loose, try decreasing the distance between the board and belt.
Prevent Wear and Tear
When it comes to wear and tear, there is only so much that you can do. For starters, you should always look for a belt that is both durable and comes from a reputable brand. However, prolonged usage may also result in wear and tear of the machine. This is why you need to keep a constant check on any broken parts of the machine. Make sure to either get them fixed by the company or get them replaced. This is because a continued squeaking sound will result in permanent damage to the treadmill. As a rule, you can check for wear and tear every two or three months.
It goes without saying that lubricating your machine is one of the most important things that you need to do. Most people assume that since treadmills come with appropriate lubrication, they won’t require any additional care. However, that is not really the case. You can buy any good lubricant and make sure to apply it to the machine at the end of every month. This will not only reduce the friction between the belt and the surface but will also prevent any strange noise coming from the unit.
Like we mentioned above, a disruptive motor can be a cause of great concern for users. The motor is also the heart of the machine and something that influences the functionality of the treadmill. This is why you are required to clean the motor after every six months. However, if you only use the machine very rarely, you may clean it after a year or so.
Cleaning the motor also sounds scary, but it really isn’t. First, you need to remove the walking board to expose the motor inside. If you are unsure of how to remove the board, you can look up the instructions on the manual as different machines follow different steps for the removal.
Once you are done with that, you can use a good and reliable cleaner for your motor. Many people use the same cleaning equipment that they use for their motorbikes, car, or other machines. This does far more harm than good. This is why you should keep a separate set of cleaning equipment for your treadmill.
Moreover, you should place your treadmill on a completely non-charged surface to ensure a reduction in its static energy. You can also use a blower or a vacuum cleaner to clean the inside of the motor. However, if you see any sparks, or any unusual activity occurring in the motor, you should stop what you are doing and instantly call your mechanic.
Avoiding Metal on Metal Contact
This is one of the most common issues people face and one that they least bother about. To avoid contact between metal surfaces, first, figure out the pivot points of your treadmill. Once you know these points, you can simply add a lubricant to them to avoid squeaking.
A treadmill is not cheap, and the last thing you want is to be unable to use it for the right purpose. Squeaking is a very common problem with treadmills, but it shouldn’t scare you or discourage you from using the equipment. You can follow the steps mentioned above when you hear a strange squeaking noise from the machine. However, in some instances, you may need to get your treadmill checked by a professional if your treadmill squeaks when running, and it just keeps doing that.
But remember, the key is to fix the problem as soon as you detect it. Your whole exercise regime is at stake here!