3 Great Ways On How To Tell If Treadmill Motor Is Bad?

Treadmills are considered one of the most efficient exercise equipment. But do you know the reason behind its effectiveness? It’s the motor. The motor is often referred to as the heart of the running machine. You must know how to tell if treadmill motor is bad. To use the machine right, you must be technically skilled.

Several characteristics indicate a defective motor. From the burning smell to the overheating, you must pay closer attention. The motor undergoes quite some beating and may easily fall prey. Keep reading to distinguish between motor qualities and conditions. 

Signs to Pay Attention to 

Burning Smell

When you detect a burning smell, know your motor has gone bad. Unplug the treadmill immediately if there are strange odors. Check the motor, and clear the debris and dust. Call the technician if expert intervention is required. 

Stagnant Belt 

You may also notice a non-moving belt due to treadmill motor failure. If the belt has lost connection to the motor, the belt may not move. The belt also makes a squeaking noise if the motor operates abnormally. 


If the treadmill belt is getting hotter than usual when being used, pay attention. Overheating can be due to debris or dust stuck in the motor. Removing them and starting over will likely solve the issue. 

How to Test Your Treadmill Motor Using a Drill Battery

  • The first thing to start with on your way to testing the treadmill is to determine the motor type: C or DC type. Most treadmills have DC motors; however, it’s best to check. 
  • Quickly grab a drill battery and a pair of screws. Insert the screws in the spare terminals of the motor wires. 
How To Tell If Treadmill Motor Is Bad?
How To Tell If Treadmill Motor Is Bad?
  • The motor wires are usually black and red. The red wire is called positive, while the black wire is negative. 
  • You will see little sparks on connecting the screws with the drill battery. If the motor spins perfectly, there are no issues, and the problem is elsewhere.

This is how you can test your motor and see how it works. Having high-tech tools for testing your motor may not be possible, and a drill battery can come in handy. 

Which Motor Should you Choose for Your Treadmill? 

Most treadmill users bring down the selection on the running machine. Most people find the DC motor ideal for home, while the AC motor gets higher commercial votes. A DC motor treadmill with 2.0 HP is excellent for light jogging and running.

3.5 or 4.0 HP will be suitable if your requirement is athletic usage. If you are a single user with mild body fitness goals, a motor with 2.0 HP is nice to go with. Therefore, the use or the intensity of the workout will have much say. 

How To Tell If Treadmill Motor Is Bad?
How To Tell If Treadmill Motor Is Bad?

Understanding Peak Duty and Continuous Duty Motors

Continuous duty indicates the amount of horsepower delivered irrespective of the user’s weight. At the same time, the peak duty is the maximum horsepower the treadmill can deliver. 

A quick tip is to look for a running machine with a minimum of 1.5 HP continuous duty HP. 

How To Tell If Treadmill Motor Is Bad? [ Final Thoughts]

Excessive load is one of the most common reasons your treadmill motor can go wrong. After reading this, you know how to tell if the treadmill motor is bad and how to fix it. 

Remember additional tips on motor power to make an intelligent buying decision. It will create fewer hassles and even lesser motor failures. 

FAQs: How To Tell If Treadmill Motor Is Bad?

  1. How much do you need to spend to replace a treadmill motor?

Quality treadmill motors can cost anything between $ 200 and $ 300. Expect to pay about $ 500 or more for a new motor and additional costs. 

  1. How important is the motor in a treadmill?

It is the motor that does most work on a treadmill. Ensure buying a quality treadmill to avoid overheating and constant repair costs. 

  1. What is a treadmill without a motor called?

A few terms for non-motorized treadmills are manual treadmills and self-propelled treadmills. 

  1. Do treadmill motors wear out?

Electric motors usually last about ten years when maintained properly. Lubricate the machine regularly and take regular care to increase the life span.