Has your treadmill ever briefly stopped while you were running? If it has, you might have a slipping belt.
Your personal treadmill can be a great advantage. But with great convenience comes great responsibility! You are now in charge of keeping your treadmill running smoothly and a slipping belt is not an uncommon issue.
I’m probably not the first treadmill owner to waste precious time waiting for a repair service simply because I didn’t know the answer to this question. Can it be fixed from home?
I’ve got good news for you. Depending on your model, a slipping belt is generally quite fixable. So in this article, I'll answer the question on how to fix a slipping treadmill belt!
Why is the belt slipping?
There are several reasons why your treadmill's belt might be slipping, so it is essential to pinpoint the cause in order to fix the problem.
You can begin by checking if the belt is lubricated. Not enough lube will create friction between the belt and running deck, hindering a smooth run.
If the deck is lubricated, the slipping might be caused by a loose walking belt that needs to be tightened.
If you have ruled out the above, it could be a loose drive belt causing your troubles. The drive belt sits under the motor hood and can be a bit more complicated to fix from home. It's recommended to leave this for a professional.
Two other reasons why your belt might be slipping could be if the pulley keeping the front roller intact has lost its grip, or if the belt is simply worn down and needs to be replaced.
How to Diagnose a Slipping Belt
When you run, a slipping belt will stop moving for a brief second. You may notice it early on if you land a little harder than usual.
There are different ways you can diagnose a slipping belt to help you identify the issue.
Checking the lubrication of the belt can be done by sliding your hand gently underneath the belt on one side. Ideally, it should feel smooth. But if it's dry it means that friction is created, hindering a continuous run. In this case, lube is required.
Treadmilldoctor.com recommends that you slide your hand under the belt at either side and try to lift it. Usually, you should be able to raise it about two to three inches above the deck. If you can lift it higher than this, it is too loose and needs to be adjusted.
Alternatively, you might be able to check this issue by gliding your arm under the belt, and see how far you can reach. You should be able to reach the middle with some effort. If it's too loose and needs adjusting, your arm will easily slide to the other side.
A worn down belt might not be obvious, but you can check this by sliding your hand underneath. If dust or crumbs are felt, it means the belt might be deteriorating.
How To Fix A Slippery Belt?
Now that you have identified the cause of your slipping belt, I’ll explain how to fix it. Most of the time this is quite an easy job.
Keep in mind that it’s important to know your limits. If you feel unsure just leave it to a professional.
How to Lubricate?
It’s always advised to use the type of lube recommended in the instruction manual.
You may want to clean off dust from the deck before applying any lube. If too much is left, it could damage your treadmill further. You can do this by loosening the belt a bit. Then lay the treadmill on its side, and dust away.
To apply the lube, squeeze half of the packet on one side, and the second half on the other side. Tighten the belt if loose, switch on the treadmill and let it run by itself for five minutes.
Walk on the belt for an additional minute or so and it should be running smoothly again.
How to Make Adjustments
To tighten the walking belt, you'll need an Allen wrench or hex key. At the end of your treadmill, you should be able to see a couple of roller bolts. Insert your tool and turn clockwise.
It's important to tighten it evenly, so do it little by little. For example tighten by half a turn, and repeat on the other side. Be sure to stop often and check that you don't over-tighten it.
You may also be able to tighten a loose drive belt by following your treadmill's instruction manual. However, it is not recommended if you're a newbie as it may damage the treadmill further. For a loose drive belt, you’re better off calling a professional.
If you are in need of equipment to make these adjustments, here are a few links below.
- An allen wrench set to adjust the tightness of the belt.
- A lubricant which can be used on various types of treadmills.
If you need more instructions you might want to watch this youtube video below:
What Not to Do!
Fixing your slipping belt can be fairly easy. However, there are some things you should avoid doing.
Do Not Over-Tighten
If you keep tightening both the drive or walking belt it can cause a more significant problem. A tight drive belt may raise the amp draw. This will likely cause electronic or motor issues.
If the walking belt is too tight, the seams may suffer damage and even break, at which point it must be replaced entirely.
Don’t Over Lubricate
Do not lubricate your treadmill belt unless it’s needed. Lubricating too much can lead to further damage. Try to avoid getting lube on the top as it may become slippery and you could get hurt while running.
When to Call for Help
If you've exhausted all of the self-repair possibilities or you feel unsure about doing it yourself, call for help.
You should also call a professional if you suspect that the walking belt is worn down and needs to be replaced.
A treadmill's instruction manual will usually tell you what can try to fix on your own, and what should be left to a professional.
Now you know a bit more about how to fix the slipping belt on your treadmill. It is relatively easy, but know your limits to avoid further damage.
Diagnosing the cause of the problem is essential. If you're not sure, you may cause more damage. But don't worry, the problems are usually easy to spot.
Just remember to follow these steps. Begin by checking if lube is needed. Next, check if adjustments are required, and make sure the belt is in good condition. Finally, be confident! Chances are you are more than able to fix the problem.