How To Lubricate a Tread Belt

If a tread belt runs on front and back rollers, and is held in place by tension, why would you want to lubricate it? Wouldn’t that make it slip? Not if you do it right. The real purpose of lubrication is to prevent the belt from drying and cracking, which could shorten its life substantially. With its belt properly lubed, your treadmill will also operate more smoothly, extending the life of all its moving parts.

For the correct lubricant, see your owner’s manual. This is important because some belts require silicone-based lubricant, while others must have a zinc-based lubricant, depending on the material the belt is made of.

The first step is to unplug the treadmill. Clean underneath the treadmill with a vacuum cleaner, using the nozzle attachment to clean inside the treadmill as much as possible. Clean the belt with a damp cloth or mild soap. Allow it to dry. Adjust the belt tension according to the manual.

Then lift up a side of the belt and apply a thin line lengthwise to the underside of the belt. Turn the belt with your hand until you have completed one turn. Go to the other side of the belt and repeat. After application is complete, plug the treadmill back in and run it on the slowest speed possible for a few minutes, without getting on it. This will distribute the lubricant across the underside of the belt and allow the lubricant to work itself into the belt.

You Are Done!

After a few minutes, try walking on the treadmill and gradually increase its speed. If you used too much lubricant, the belt may slip. In that case, unplug the treadmill again, wipe off the lubricant with a clean towel, and tighten the belt a bit. This should eliminate any slippage due to over-lubrication. A belt may continue to slip if it is worn or stretched and needs to be replaced.

Some machines say that no lubrication or “No Maintenance” is required. However, even on these machines, some lubricant will extend the life of your belt. Lubricating once every year or two should suffice, depending on how often and how hard you use your machine.

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