The more care and attention the treadmill belt gets, the more the machine’s life expectancy. Therefore, it is necessary to look for the possible problems associated with the treadmill mat and how to properly fix the treadmill belt.
What are the problems that can creep up?
After time and regular use, many problems can pop up, like display issues, irrelevant speed, non-working motor, or burning smell. But one widespread problem with the treadmill is slipping off the treadmill belt. This has been a most known issue among treadmill users that caused sudden breakdowns and disturbance in their workout routines.
There are many possible reasons for the slipping that can be fixed at home with guidance from the owner’s manual. It mainly depends on the machine’s brand, age, and condition.
The older the treadmill, the more difficult it gets to maintain the needs. The running belt comes aligned with the running deck.
But once started using it, and after an optimum use, it can get stretched and require realignment. Timeliness is the safety key to minimizing the damage or downtime of a treadmill if one understands its functions correctly.
When looking for a solution to fix the treadmill belt slipping, it is essential to understand why it happened in the first place. When the root cause is understood, finding a permanent solution for the problem becomes easy instead of using the trial and error method.
5 Reasons For treadmill belt slipping
Lack of lubrication
The treadmill machine is designed so that the running belt runs over the deck with the help of a series of rollers. They keep the belt attached to the deck and rolling to complete the circuit. Excessive and daily use of the treadmill for workouts causes healthy friction between the parts.
The friction is necessary to keep the treadmill running when the power cord is turned on. But, to let it operate smoothly, it is required to keep the friction between the parts low, for which regular lubrication is suggested.
Working on a treadmill becomes problematic when the parts lack the proper lubrication. Irregular lubrication of the treadmill belt can increase the friction between the parts and result in a slipping belt. This is the most common reason for treadmill belts slipping.
Also, what kind of lubricant is used plays an important role. If the water base silicone solution is used, it evaporates soon, making the lubrication procedure more repetitive than necessary.
This becomes the most irritating hurdle in your workout. It is also essential to note that unnecessary lubrication can damage the treadmill belt.
The drive belt is too loose ( How To Fix The Treadmill Belt? )
The drive belt is an integral part of the machine fitted at the front, running between the motor and first rollers under the deck. They are positioned similarly due to the treadmill belt running in the center alignment. It supports the completion of an operating circle of the treadmill belt over the running deck.
All kinds of drive belts wear over age and use, but when not taken care of on time, the belt tends to wear out quicker than expected. There can be many reasons for it, but it dramatically impacts the working of the treadmill.
In addition, it can turn into a circuit breaker when the drive belt happens to be improperly fixed or in loose alignment.
When stepping on the treadmill, the belt stops along with the front rollers and pulley, indicating the worn-out drive belt. If the drive belt between the front rollers and motor is loose, the treadmill belt starts slipping.
The drive belt is easy to tighten, but this solution will only last a while. Also, overtightening can increase the operating amp, later burning the motor.
The walking belt is too loose or tighten
The walking belt is the part on which one runs or walks. This is the part made which is misunderstood as made up of rubber, but in actuality, it is made up of PVC, most commonly on which one steps the feet to run and walk. As a result, the belt tends to get stretched and slips from the track when used for a long time.
When the tension on the walking belt is less or significantly tightened, the belt tends to slip from its center alignment, causing workout disturbance. Similarly, over-tightening creates pressure in the motor’s working. It causes the treadmill belt to slip, damaging the other expensive equipment parts.
Some general guidelines exist as a safety key for the distance between the running deck and the running belt. These specifications are suitable for most machines for understanding and maintaining the treadmill belt. The distance between the treadmill belt and the deck is usually about 2-3 inches.
Not following the distance as per specification results in rising problems resulting in slipping the treadmill belt. When the observed length exceeds the specified one, the belt is said to be loosened, which causes easy belt slipping accidents.
In contrast, when the observed space is less than 2 inches, the belt is too tightened, causing more tension and slipping.
There can be an additional problem in the loosening or tightening of the adjustment bolts when the plastic ones are used for the fitting. After a time, these plastic adjustment bolts get fatigued and restrict the tightening of bolts.
This keeps the belt loose than necessary and causes the continuation of the treadmill belt slipping issues.
The pulley on the front roller might have lost grip ( How To Fix The Treadmill Belt? )
The pulley fixed in the front of the equipment accommodates the weight on the treadmill belt and works to help the belt complete its operating cycle. However, if that pulley loses its grip over the belt and is misaligned, it results in the treadmill belt slipping accidents.
This can be observed when the pulley and the drive belt are in motion, but front rollers and walking belts are stationed when the treadmill is turned on for use.
Front rollers are the driving force of the belt, and if it gets out of alignment, the belt slips from its position, and treadmill running is interrupted.
Though this is a bit uncommon and difficult to understand for some unaware people or newly introduced to the machine, this is a critical issue that causes the treadmill belt to slip from the center alignment.
Worn out treadmill belt ( How To Fix The Treadmill Belt? )
Everything has a deadline that comes with it, and even a well-maintained treatment cannot add much to it. In addition, when used for a long time, and by many, the treadmill belt is worn out and causes slipping accidents occasionally.
When tried and tested every other way to prevent the slipping of the treadmill belts, nothing seemed to work out; the slipping belt became the popping signal of the treadmill belt getting worn out.
Also, when purchased secondhand, the treadmill running belt wears out more quickly than expected. This worn-out belt is all stretched out due to being used for a long time. There needs to be a permanent solution to prevent the multiple slipping of the belt.
How to fix the slipping treadmill belts
The most advised solution for slipping off the treadmill belt is to regularly keep the running belt lubricated. To keep the friction between the belt, deck, and rollers at a minimum, it is essential to lubricate the system at regular intervals. This helps in the optimum working of the treadmill helping in the regular workouts.
While lubricating the belt, it is essential to follow the process correctly. In the case of the machines that come up with the tag of no-maintenance, a detailed follow-up of the owner’s manual is suggested, or the help of the authorized professional for regular up-to-date lubrication.
Also, a silicone-based lubricant is suggested for regular lubrication but not the one with a water base because it evaporates sooner than expected and increases the number of times a treadmill needs to be lubricated. This might result in over-lubrication of the machine creating a chance of belt damage.
Generally, a treadmill is supposed to be lubricated on completion of 40 hours of working or three months, whichever falls sooner. When used on a personal basis, lubrication is suggested once a year if the machine’s working hours are less than 10 per week.
But if it goes beyond ten working hours a week, lubrication is suggested to be done twice a year at least.
Sometimes inefficiency or inability to adjust the bolts can also result in loose settings that result in the belt slipping. Therefore, remember the number of times you turn the screw before loosening the belt for lubrication. And after lubrication, adjust the bolts in exact positions for better results.
Replacing or realigning the slipping drive belt
It is well understood that a drive belt plays a crucial role in the working of the treadmill and the significant disturbance it can create when not in the proper place. The drive belt, located between the motor and front rollers, can be fixed when loose.
It can be tightened as a temporary solution for the time being, but it might increase the pressure on the motor. The problem can also be treated with dressing spray, but this is not the permanent solution.
Realigning the drive belt or using dressing spray can lessen the number of belts slipping, but that is not the permanent solution to look forward to. Therefore replacing the drive belt is the best possible solution that saves from the hustle of slipping the belt.
This replacement should be done at the authorized service centers concerning the manufacturer’s manual. Outside repairs can result in voiding the warranty conditions.
Tightening of treadmill belt when too loose
When the actual distance is beyond 3 inches, the treadmill belt requires tightening, which can be done following the procedure stated in the owner’s manual.
Regular treadmill use stretches the belt, making it loose on the deck. This loosening disturbs the belt’s center alignment, frequently moving from the position. It can be confirmed with the specified allowed distance of 2-3 inches when lifted from the deck.
Tightening of the belt can be done with the help of a hex key or Allen wrench to adjust the rear bolts of the treadmill, the tool that usually comes with the treadmill when purchased.
Changing to metal settings is suggested to be safe from rising issues due to the inability to move bolts or adjust them as needed. This allows the proper and essential tightening of the loose belt to prevent slipping.
The plastic adjustment bolts that restrain the required tightening can be replaced with the metal ones using a fixing kit, or replacing the end caps can also work.
Loosen the belt in case of too much friction
Over-tightening the belt is also a serious problem. It creates unnecessary tension on the equipment’s motor, increasing the friction between parts.
This average distance between the deck and the treadmill belt can range between 2-3 inches but can not fall below that, which is loosened up with the help of a manufacturer’s guide.
After lubrication, the belt might get overtightened and start slipping. It can be brought back to its original position if one remembers it or, as stated in the owner’s manual, with the help of an Allen wrench or hex key.
Realign the pulley and front rollers
When the pulley operating the circular motion of the treadmill belt or front rollers gets out of alignment or loses its position, the belt tends to slip from the centered alignment.
This situation can be fixed by drilling a pilot hole and putting a very short sheet metal screw to fasten the pulley, but the assistance of a technician is suggested. Otherwise, replacing pulleys or rollers is indicated as a better way for the machine’s optimum performance.
The alignment can be checked with the help of colored tape and a permanent marker, and then decide what can work out better, just tightening the pulley or replacing it.
At this stage, advice from a professional before taking any step is strongly suggested for warranty reasons, as mentioned before.
Replace the worn-out belt
When treadmill belt slips have become a usual problem in your workout schedule, and no other solution seems to work, it can be taken as a sign to replace the treadmill belt surface altogether.
But unfortunately, it doesn’t help to lubricate the belt repeatedly when the result is not as expected. Therefore, the best possible solution to this is the replacement of the treadmill belt.
Another sign is the separation of the seam, especially when the walking belt is always stitched to the seam. It is usually done to increase strength. If it comes noticed that the seam is separating, the belt should be replaced with a new belt immediately.
How To Fix The Treadmill Belt?
When purchasing a treadmill, new or secondhand, it is essential to be attentive toward the care and attention it needs. Once used, the treadmill might start popping up the issues like display problems or speed irrelevancy.
Treadmill belt slips for reasons such as lack of regular lubrication, loosen drive belt, out-of-alignment pulley or front roller, etc. But the most probable reasons for belt slipping are loosening the belt due to use or overtightening after lubrication.
All these problems come with solutions that can be implemented by one with the help of the manufacturer’s manual. Also, all the equipment like Allen wrench or hex key comes with the treadmill when purchased.
They can be brought from the market suitable to the model one owns. It is essential to take the actions mentioned in the manual for warranty reasons. Otherwise, it is best to take the authorized service provider’s help.
FAQs ( How To Fix The Treadmill Belt? )
Q.1 How do I stop my treadmill belt from slipping?
The most preferred and suggested way to prevent the treadmill belt from slipping can be achieved with regular lubrication. Resolving these issues with the help of the owner’s manual or a professional can prevent slipping the treadmill running belt.
Q.2 Does the treadmill belt slip when it is too tightened?
Keeping the optimum distance between the deck and the running belt is suggested. When the belt is lifted from the deck, the specified length is 2-3 inches.
Q.3 What are the signs of the need for lubricating treadmill belts?
Often slipping off the treadmill belt is the most highlighted sign of requiring lubrication. Along with that increased friction in the deck, motor, and belt, loud noise can also be taken as the sign of a treadmill needing lubrication.
Q.4 How do I know if my treadmill belt has optimum tension?
When lifted, the distance between the deck and the belt is supposed to be 2-3 inches, not more or less. If the space is observed to be more than the stipulated one, it needs tightening. If the distance falls short than 2 inches, as mentioned before, it requires loosening.
Q.5 When to replace the treadmill running belt, and what are the signs?
Unless the belt is torn up or damaged, immediate replacement is not required. However, constant working can lead to wearing the belt if the treadmill is used for a long time. It is enough to require a replacement with a new belt.
Q.6 How frequent lubrication is necessary for treadmill belts?
Regular lubrication is the key to optimum treadmill performance and long life. It should be done at regular intervals. Generally, it is advised to lubricate the treadmill after working for 40 hours or three months, whichever appears sooner.
Q.7 How to keep my treadmill belt at a center alignment with left rear roller bolt?
The treadmill belt is permanently placed and fixed with the center alignment, which is disturbed for various reasons. Centering the belt alignment is easy but only use the left rear roller bolt to adjust the alignment.
Q.8 How much does it cost to replace a treadmill belt?
It costs about $ 100 and $ 200 to replace the treadmill belt. However, several other factors like brand and quality plays a significant role.