New Treadmill Noises
As you begin to use your new treadmill, you may notice a variety of noises coming from your machine. As your treadmill is broken in with time and use, you may notice that these “out of the box” sounds lessen, however, your treadmill will always generate some operating noises that are completely normal.
Thumping: Walking Belt Stiffness
Every new treadmill will have a thumping noise originating from the walking belt. This is because the belt is brand new and stiff. By the time you receive your treadmill, the sections of the walking belt that move over the rollers have become accustomed to the round shape of the rollers, making it harder for the belt to move at first. This stiffness will make a thumping noise. You will also notice the seam of the walking belt that runs diagonally across the width of the belt. The seam is twice as thick as the rest of the belt because it is where the belt is fused together. Whenever the seam passes between the rollers, it will make a thumping noise.
Treadmill belts become less stiff over time with regular use, and you may notice that the walking belt noise lessens as you continue to use it in your exercise routine. The belt needs time to soften up and break in before the noise dissipates. Depending on how often the unit is used, it could take a few weeks or a few months for noise to decrease.
Squeaking: Unlevel Treadmill Feet
Getting the feet level on a treadmill is essential to the health of the equipment. An uneven treadmill will flex more than it’s designed to, which may result in squeaking from the frame as you walk on it. Over time this unevenness may exert excessive shear stress on the deck, causing premature delamination. Premature delamination in turn leads to increased friction; faster wear on the belt, deck and motor; and higher energy consumption. Keeping your treadmill level is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to lengthen the life of your treadmill. Need assistance? See our article: “How to Level Your Treadmill.”
Scraping: Walking Belt Tracking
Another telltale sign of an unlevel treadmill is when the belt slips left or right and starts to scrape the edges. Again, annoying noise, but it’s also not good for the components to keep running the treadmill this way. Leveling the treadmill often does the trick.
If after leveling the treadmill you still notice the walking belt slipping to one side, you may need to adjust the belt tracking to move the belt back to the center of the deck. Need assistance? See our article: “How to Adjust Belt Tension and Set Tracking.”
Troubleshooting Treadmill Noises
The vast majority of the issues we see with treadmills that start hesitating, snorting, or grunting have to do with leveling issues. So, like with new treadmills, we’d start treadmill troubleshooting there. Need assistance? See our article: “How to Level Your Treadmill.” If leveling doesn’t solve the issue, it may be that your treadmill is in need of lubrication.
Grinding/Squealing: Belt/Deck Lubrication
People tend to forget that their treadmills need silicone lubrication just like their cars’ engines need regular oil changes. As a part of your routine maintenance schedule, belt lubrication and cleaning should be performed every 90 hours of use, or earlier if you notice that the deck is dry or dirty. The early signs of a belt in need of lubrication is belt hesitation, extreme power consumption (do your lights dim every time you step on the belt?), and an assortment of noises. Need assistance? See our article: “How to Lubricate Your Treadmill.”
Scraping: Walking Belt Tension and Tracking
As belts get used they stretch, so the rollers may need to be adjusted from time to time to compensate for the lengthening of the belt. To fix a slipping belt, follow the instructions in your treadmill’s Owner’s Manual or see our article, “How to Adjust Treadmill Belt Tension and Set Tracking,” but be careful not to overdo it. If you go too far you may stretch the belt out more and damage its integrity, or induce too much tension on the roller bearings, and so forth. Make small ¼-turn adjustments to the roller tension and test patiently.
Noises from the Motor
A treadmill motor clogged with debris can begin to make strange noises. Because treadmills emit static electricity when in use, they're notorious for collecting dust, lint and hair. Place your treadmill on a mat to reduce the static charge effects. It's important to clean the motor on a monthly basis to prevent a buildup of debris that can cause the motor brushes to malfunction. Need assistance? See our article: “How to Clean Your Treadmill.”
Noises from the Console
From time to time, you may encounter an error code on your treadmill’s console panel. If your console panel flashes an error code, beeps or makes other noises, refer to your treadmill’s Owner’s Manual or visit our library of self-service articles.
- Treadmill Troubleshooting: TRX2500, TRX3500, TRX4500, TRX5500
- Treadmill Troubleshooting: TR150, TR200, TR260, TRX1000
- Treadmill Troubleshooting: TR300, TR6.4, TR6.6
Prevention and Maintenance Tips
Performing routine maintenance on your treadmill is the best way to prevent problems that can cause a noisy ride. See our article, “How to Clean Your Treadmill” for cleaning procedures and a standard maintenance schedule.