When to Buy a New Treadmill Belt

By Contributing Writer

  • Overview

    Taking good care of your treadmill can extend its life and prevent injuries. A good treadmill should last at least 10 years, and a casual walker who only uses the machine a few times a week may not have to worry about replacing the belt. However, if you are running on your treadmill every day, the belt will probably not last the full life of the treadmill. There are a number of warning signs that indicate it is time to think about replacing your treadmill belt.
    • Step 1

      Examine the visual condition of the belt. If your treadmill belt looks excessively worn or is starting to curl upwards around the edges, it is time to buy a new belt. If your treadmill belt is fraying, stop using the treadmill immediately. A frayed treadmill belt can snap while you are exercising and cause serious injuries.
    • Step 2

      Make note of any changes you feel while you are running or walking on the treadmill. Sometimes you will get the first indication that your belt is worn out when you notice a marked difference in how the belt moves over the treadmill. If the belt actively slows when you step on the treadmill, or if you feel the belt pausing or sticking while you are running, you either need to lubricate the belt or replace it.

    • Step 3

      Listen to the motor. If your treadmill motor sounds louder than normal or is making strange noises, that could be an indication that it is time to buy a new belt. A worn-out belt puts stress on the motor and makes it work harder, which can damage your treadmill. There are other potential treadmill problems that can lead to strange motor sounds, so it is best to have a repair technician look at your treadmill if this is the case.
    • Step 4

      Make a note of when you bought your treadmill and how often you use it. If you use your treadmill every day, you might have to replace the belt after three or four years. After you've spent three or four years running or walking on your treadmill, evaluate the belt and see if it needs to be replaced.
    • Step 5

      You can extend the life of your treadmill belt by wiping down the area between the belt and the deck once a week and lubricating the belt at least every three months.
    • Skill: Easy
    • Tip: On most treadmill models, there are two screws or pins located on the rear of the deck that tighten or loosen the belt. If you are having any problems with your belt, try tightening it first before you replace it.
    • Warning:
    • Never run on an excessively worn-out or frayed treadmill belt. Injuries can occur.

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