Huff-n-Puff Treadmill belt cotton on deck

Why Lubricating Your Treadmill Belt (Properly!) Is Vital To Your Treadmill's Health

Before writing this article, I had a difficult time deciding what the more important topic would be, treadmill lubrication or keeping your treadmill (or any other machine) clean and free of dust and debris. While both are at the top of this list I decided to focus on treadmill lubrication first. My reason for doing so is due to my belief that treadmill lubrication is widely misunderstood while machine cleanliness is a much more intuitive concept. We’ll focus on machine cleaning next month.

Do I need to lubricate my treadmill? The simple answer is yes. Moving parts generate friction, the higher the amount of friction the harder the machine, and each individual component, has to work.
How do I lubricate my treadmill? Glad you asked, we made a video!
I haven’t ever lubricated my treadmill, is it too late? At this point, it certainly couldn’t hurt. Although irreversible damage may or may not have already occurred with some components, the rule, “better late than never,” applies to treadmill lubrication. To know, without a doubt, if any components have been damaged, refer to our amp draw article to make that determination.
Can components of my machine be damaged by a lack of lubrication? Yes, I’ll outline everything below:

  • $250 each, Belt and deck – premature wear resulting in increased friction load.
  • $150 each, Front and rear rollers – increased friction load will result in these components having to work harder to keep the machine moving, wearing them out prematurely.
  • $300 Drive motor – increased friction load will result in the motor having to work harder to keep the machine moving, wearing them out prematurely.
  • $250 Motor control board – the increased load on the moving components will require a larger amount of power to flow through this board. The higher the power flow, the higher the heat buildup inside the board, the faster the board will trigger an internal thermal overload switch or blow a component out completely. This is the number one indication of lack of lubrication we see in the field. Often, we receive service inquiries stating the treadmill drive motor will not engage on startup. The majority of the time we find this is due to a blown motor controller, due to a worn walking belt and deck, due to a lack of lubrication.
  • $50 Various electric components – The high amount of power flow can overload the machine’s power switch, circuit breaker, and wiring. Check out this video showing electrical components being overloaded. Fun to watch, not fun to experience!
  • $$$ Electricity – The harder the machine has to work, the higher the electric consumption, the more you pay the power company.

If you are tallying this up as we go, you’ve come to $1400. This does not include the government’s portion, shipping or labor. At that point, it would likely be a better idea to replace the machine entirely. I can’t speak for everyone, but I know my budget does not include disposable treadmills!
How will lubrication (or a lack of lubrication) affect my treadmill? The entire purpose of lubrication in any scenario is to reduce friction as well as dispersing heat. By reducing the amount of friction between the belt and deck surfaces, the entire drive system will run more efficiently and will need to perform less work for the same result. This will also reduce the wear on all drive system parts extending their usable life. To summarize, lubrication benefits your wallet more than anything else.

Due to a lack of lubrication resulting in increased friction, this treadmill deck laminate cracked from overheating

What type of lubricant should I use? That all depends on your machine. Paraffin used to be the most common lubricant used, but that has been replaced by silicone in recent years. Either way, consult your manual or contact your manufacturer to determine the correct type of lube to be used. Our 100% silicone lubricant is approved for use on ALL machines that require a silicone based lube.
Can’t I use WD-40, 3 in 1 oil, or anything else? Absolutely not. Belt and deck surfaces are engineered to work with the specific lubricants mentioned above, nothing else. Using an unapproved lubricant can deteriorate the two surfaces resulting in what we have taken to calling, “cotton candy belt.” Most belts are two-ply, the rubber layer you walk on and the cotton underside that glides along the deck surface. Unapproved lubricants have been known to break down those cotton fibers, causing them to begin scraping off as they run along the deck surface. These fibers will begin bunching up, resulting in clumps very similar in texture to cotton candy and can be found under your belt, in your motor compartment, and around your machine. Once a belt begins disintegrating, the friction levels will skyrocket very quickly. Lubrication with an unapproved lubricant will do more harm than good.

“Cotton candy” resulting from the incorrect lubricant deteriorating the underside of the walking belt
One of the most extreme examples we have seen, incorrect lube and a very excessive amount of friction have caused both the belt and deck to deteriorate

How much lubricant should I apply? That will vary by machine and use. Paraffin systems should have a coat of wax applied to the deck. It sounds silly, but this is literally like coloring, apply pressure to the wax brick, it will transfer to the deck surface as you move it and leave a white, waxy layer. Silicone systems should have a bottle with a nozzle of some sort. Squirt out about a half ounce on each side of the deck. Look at the wear marks from your shoes on the walking belt, you want to apply this lube on the deck, under those wear marks. No matter which type of lubricant your machine requires, do NOT allow any lube to land on any exposed surfaces, especially one you may walk on. In the event it does happen, clean it up immediately to avoid the risk of injury. Simple Green is our cleaner of choice as it will not chemically harm any of the machine’s components. After the lube has been applied, “walk” it into the machine. This is done over the course of two to four minutes at a slow, roughly two mile an hour, speed.
Can I overlubricate my treadmill? Yes, you most certainly can! Start small, you can always add more. Overlubrication can cause a number of issues. First, the excess lube will be flung out from under your belt at high speeds, your carpet, walls, and anything surrounding your machine could become soaked with silicone. Trust us, it’s not fun to scrub out of carpet or clothing. Second, excess lube will also be flung into your motor compartment. This will coat the interior of your motor compartment with a fine (or heavy, depending on the amount used!) film of lube which will bind to dust floating around in that enclosed space that has been drawn in by the motor fan. This results in a layer of grime that builds up in the motor compartment as it has no way to escape without opening it up and wiping it out. The lube flung into the motor compartment can find its way into the drive motor or onto the motor control board. Within the drive motor the lube will heat up and smell (best case scenario) or short the motor requiring replacement (worst case scenario). In the event it splatters onto the motor controller it may also short that out, resulting in a required motor control board replacement. Lastly, lube can come into contact with the drive belt between the front roller and drive motor causing it to slip. Odds are the drive motor and front roller pulleys will be able to be cleaned off, but the rubber drive belt will become impregnated with this lube and will require replacement. No matter what, over lubrication isn’t cheap!
How often should I lubricate my treadmill? This will vary greatly by the amount of usage your treadmill experiences. Some machines will have internal timers or odometers that will prompt you to lube your machine after a set number of hours or miles, however, these are just set intervals that have no relation to actual machine performance and need and are approximations only.
How do I know when my treadmill needs to be lubricated? The basic rule to follow is that you should be able to touch your deck surface, under the walking belt and feel a slightly waxy or oily coat of lube on the deck. Check under the area where your feet contact the walking belt. In the event you cannot feel a residue left from your last application of lube, it needs more. For a more in-depth explanation of how we make this determination using amp draws, please see our amp draw article.

This belt is in the process of being replaced, but you can see the wear marks created by users feet. On a machine with a belt still in usable condition, the lube should be applied to that area especially. Also, note the large ball of “cotton candy” that collected on the left side of the machine

My machine is under warranty, why does it need to be lubed? For the same reason oil changes and basic maintenance are required on brand new cars that are still under warranty. Yes, warranties are a valuable addition to any machine, however, they do not last forever and failures are much more likely after the warranty expires if a machine has not been properly maintained. Warranties specifically state they apply to manufacturer’s defects only, not neglect or abuse.
After lubricating my treadmill, what else will I need to do?

  • If your treadmill features a folding deck, don’t fold it up immediately after applying silicone lube. There is a chance any unabsorbed lube may run down your deck and drip on to your floor. Put about 5 miles on the machine prior to folding it again.
  • Your walking belt will absorb silicone lube, check it one and three days after applying to ensure it doesn’t need another application. Sometimes multiple applications are necessary to fully saturate the cotton under-layer.
  • If a belt and/or deck has already been damaged, lube will help, but not solve the whole problem. Some machines we see are not worth replacing parts on, but are still running. in those instances, we advise our customers to keep the machine well lubricated to squeeze the last little bit of life out of their machine if they are not interested in purchasing a replacement.

When in doubt, Contact Us, or your manufacturer. Treadmill lubrication is vitally important to your machine’s health and will go a long way toward ensuring your machine will last for years of use. Call us out for a preventive maintenance service that includes lubrication or purchase lubricant if you would rather do it yourself. Either way, we are happy to help!

89 thoughts on “Why Lubricating Your Treadmill Belt (Properly!) Is Vital To Your Treadmill's Health”

  1. Hi
    I have an Everfit treadmill with auto lube I cannot find out how much I should use, as the belt is totally sealed, the old method of using silicon on the rollers is not used according to the manual the model is RS M480, I cannot find out a manufacturers site and the seller can offer no help, A squeeze pack of silicon liquid is supplied as an accessory with the treadmill, As this is my first treadmill I have no knowledge of using an auto fill for the lubrication, there is a small rubber opening above the motor housing where you upend the silicon squeeze pack’ it just says lubricate regularly, regards Dave

  2. Thanks for the cotton candy mention. I switched lubes to a cheaper one from eBay that was supposedly 100% silicone but much thinner than the reco’d brand. Used for 3 months, seemed to work fine, then looked under the belt and found mass quantites of cotton candy. I wonder if I ruined the belt.

  3. Hi Roger,
    Unfortunately, it sounds like it may have. Something else could have caused the cotton underlayer to begin coming off, but it could have been the lube as well.

  4. So I lubed up my treadmill because it was getting hot.. it’s only a year there’s a slight stick when I walk and the treadmill is still over heating. Any solution?

  5. Hi Kelly,
    Sounds like there is definitely something else going on there. Do you have the ability to perform an amp draw test? Having those readings will point you in the right direction when it comes to pinpointing the issue. You can see our amp draw instructions page for more details, let us know what you find!

  6. Can you redo this instruction? I’ve read it and have no idea how to lube a treadmill. Pictures would sure help. Do you offer written instructions with pictures? I have a very old ICON that probably needs replacing but it just continues to turn. The only issue to me is my Garmin beats per minute, which are s series of spikes, so I assume the treadmill is constantly changing speeds although it feels smooth to me.

  7. My Treadmill has power and everything but just won’t turn on (no lights even with the key on). It also stopped while I was on the treadmill. Is this because I didn’t lubricate it?

  8. Thank you for your comments David. This post was more written as a guide as to why lubrication of your treadmill is important as opposed to how to a step by step guide on how to lubricate your treadmill, as that is covered in most machine owners manuals. If you would be able to provide me with the model and serial number of your machine I’d be happy to look that up for your specific machine.

  9. I have a NordicTrack EXP 1000x treadmill with the factory belt. Recently it has been cutting off (tripping the pop-out fuse) at about 4 miles or so while running or even walking (uphill, max incline) I assume this is belt/deck interface friction as it has some “stick” when it shuts off…even after I have liberally applied a silicone lubricant with one of those deck wands. Under the belt is a foam pad on top of the deck, which has a clear plastic sheet covering the foam (less surface friction with added impact relief). I do not see any signs of fatigue of permanent damage, luckily.
    This belt does not have a fiber backing. Would there be an advantage to sticking with the factory belt over a 2 ply fiber-backed belt?
    My thinking is the treadmill would benefit from the fiber-backed belt over another single ply rubber, but I just run on it so what do I know 😀 Wanted some professional input before I put money into this one. I figure $80 is cheaper than a new treadmill!

  10. Hi DJ, thanks for your question. Are you able to perform an amp draw on the unit? That would provide a definitive answer as to whether or not the belt needs to be replaced, though from what you describe I do believe it is a safe bet.
    Although we do always recommend OEM parts, there are reputable aftermarket belt retailers out there. As long as the belt is made for your unit you should be ok. While tackling this project I would also recommend replacing the mylar sheet underneath the belt. Those do not last forever and it is always best to mate two new surfaces together. When replacing that sheet, take care to ensure the rubber pad beneath the sheet is free of any and all debris. Even a small granule underneath the mylar can raise that sheet enough to create a wear spot which will wear prematurely.
    Let us know how it goes!

  11. Thank for the input Dan!
    I will do an amp draw during my next workout and monitor to see if I get an increase as the workout progresses (my bet is yes due to thermal component resistance increase and belt friction increase). I plan to pop the brushes out on the motor to verify those are still good as well, otherwise I will replace them with the belt and Mylar.
    Always good to have a seasoned professional’s opinion 🙂

  12. Treadmill belt appeared dry and had a lot of static. From what I saw on first look, I needed to lube the belt so I bought 100% silicone lube and applied it as I saw online. About 3 weeks later the motor started growling and was replaced. I have only had this treadmill a few months and while looking around I saw that my belt is a “maintenance free” belt and I maybe shouldn’t have used silicone on it. I have seen some places where they say this is ok, others quite the opposite. I was wondering your opinion if that was possible/likely the cause of the motor failure and if there was a way to salvage the belt to/and preserve the new motor. By cleaning it etc. I have had no negative effects or cotton candy appearance that I’ve noticed, the silicon lube solved the static problem, and belt has looked far healthier on top and the same on bottom.

  13. Hi David thank you for your questions!
    The drive motor grinding you described was more than likely due to bearing noise. We’ve not seen a single instance of walking belt lubricant causing this, it is all but impossible the two would be related, so you have nothing to worry about there. As you’ve said the belt has been performing better since being lubed, it sounds like lubing it has been beneficial.
    At the risk of attracting the ire of some manufacturers we service, quite simply, we have yet to come across a belt that performs well without maintenance. Not to say it isn’t possible, we just have not seen belts marketed as maintenance free hold up as well as belts that are lubed regularly. “Maintenance free” sounds great on a machine’s spec sheet as no one wants to purchase a project. Maintaining a workout routine is enough of a challenge without adding another item to a to do list. However, at this point in time we do not believe the advancements made in belt technology are an adequate replacement for routine lubrication.
    Bottom line, when questioned, we always say this: as long as the machine is under warranty, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. The last thing anyone would want would be to invalidate a parts warranty by not following the listed requirements. Once the machine is no longer under warranty, lube it as you would any other belt to protect your investment.
    As always, the numbers don’t lie, amp draw readings are the best way to know with absolute certainty. Once out of warranty, if a belt’s amp draws are high, try lubing it. If the amp draws drop, you’re in good shape. If they do not, you’ll have to replace the walking belt you would have needed to replace anyway. The cost of lube is much lower than the cost of a new belt, it is well worth giving it a shot!

  14. I recently applied a large amount of aftermarket silicone lubricant and have experienced immediate performance issues, including cotton candy. What should I do next? Replace belt? How do I effectively remove the residual lubricant?

  15. Hi Neil, thank you for your question. Can you elaborate as to what issues you are experiencing with your machine? At this point, I would recommend trying to soak up as much lube as possible. Wipe all excess of the deck, and, depending on how much is left, more may seep out of the belt and onto the deck, wipe all that up as well. Do NOT apply any cleaners or degreasers to the underside of the belt or the top of the deck surface, I am hopeful they are still salvageable, doing so would require them to be replaced. To remove lube from the walking belt that has already been absorbed, place very clean cardboard or paper grocery bags between the underside of the walking belt and the deck surface. The lube should seep into the paper/cardboard and those can be thrown away once saturated. Naturally, they will need to be removed prior to using the machine again, so place a sign on the console or move the safety key to another location away from the machine as a reminder those need to be removed.
    Please update me on how things go, as well as what specific issues you are experiencing, we’ll try to get this resolved without replacing any parts!

  16. Hi there I bought a second hand discovery xfit7 treadmill am just want to know if the deck needs lubrication can lift one side of belt up slightly but not the other side as it sits under the side frame.thanks.

  17. Hi Derek, thank you for your question! I’ve looked this machine up and see what you are talking about, the best solution would be to remove the steprails on each side to more easily access the underside of the walking belt. I was not able to find any documentation regarding this machine online as the manufacturer is no longer around, but these rails should attach either from the top or bottom of the deck. If you happen to have an owners manual for this machine it may also include an exploded diagram. If so, if you could send me a picture I’d be happy to look it over to pinpoint exactly how these attach for you.

  18. Hello! I am a first time treadmill owner of a used Pro-Form 380e treadmill. It had been sitting in the previous owners garage for months before it was gifted to me. When I walk on it it feels like the belt is slipping. I read the manual and adjusted the belt to make sure it was centered but it is still slipping at times. The next idea was to lubricate the belt but the manual says – “Your treadmill features a walking belt coated with high-performance lubricant. IMPORTANT: Never apply sil-icone spray or other substances to the walkingbelt or the walking platform. Such substances willdeteriorate the walking belt and cause excessivewear”. Does that mean it never needs to be lubricated?

  19. Hello Andrea, thank you for your question! I’ve looked into this unit, I believe it to be about ten to twelve years old, is that correct? You would certainly be safe to lube this walking belt as you are well beyond your warranty period and after this much time your machine is almost certainly in need of lubrication, despite the directions in the manual. The best way to know for certain is to perform an amp draw test.
    If your walking belt has been tensioned properly and you are still experiencing slippage, tensioning your drive belt would be the next step. In the meantime, do not overtension your walking belt as that will put unnecessary stress on the components of the machine.

  20. I bought a used proform 1500. I know they aren’t the best, but for $50 its6a good investment even if it does in a year.
    The manual says don’t lubricate with silicone as it has a plastic sheet between the tread and the deck. Based on the friction sound and slight slowing when I walk on it (no such sound when it’s running without me on it) I think some lube would do it good. It may also be dusty/dirty under the tread. If I lube, does it go between the tread and the plastic or between the plastic and the deck… or both?

  21. Hi Kevin, sounds like you got a great deal!
    Thank you for your question, you bring up a good point. Lubricant should be applied to the top of the mylar (plastic) sheet. Put another way, the lube should be applied between the mylar sheet and the walking belt. Applying lube between the mylar sheet and deck will likely result in a mess as the lube will not be able to penetrate either of those surfaces, and just pool underneath.

  22. Great, thanks for the quick response Dan. Glad I waited for a reply. I couldn’t find this info anywhere, and I was leaning towards doing it the wrong way!

  23. Hi Dan, thanks for the previous info. I ordered a belt from Horizon (machine is LS10.0T) and they suggested that I get a new deck too. I declined since it seemed like a sales pitch, but I really don’t know. Apparently some decks are flippable but mine might not be. Anyway, wondering if you have thoughts on if/when decks need replacing. I see the photos show lots of small surface cracks but I don’t think mine has that. It sounds crazy to replace the deck every time you replace the belt but who knows. Also, do you have a theory about how many miles you should be able to get out of a belt? Thanks very much.

  24. Certainly Roger, that’s what we’re here for!
    Decks are often recommended with belt replacements, especially if they are worn. After you remove your old belt, run your hand along the entire deck surface that will come into contact with the belt. If it is perfectly smooth, as smooth as glass, and not showing any visible signs of wear, then you should be good to go. If there are any surface irregularities at all, these will only worsen over time and will result in your belt wearing out prematurely. Looking up pricing for this unit, your new belt retails for $226.79 (plus about $20-30 for shipping), a new deck is $149.99 (plus $50-70 for shipping). If your current deck is worn, you’d also risk damaging the motor control board due to a high amp draw, that retails for $237.59 (plus about $20-30 for shipping). I’m 99% certain that the deck for this unit is not flippable, but Horizon would be able to tell you with absolute certainty.
    Most belts are rated to last between 4000-5000 miles, though regular maintenance will play a large factor in belt life. Just like with a car, a regularly maintained vehicle will always outlast a poorly maintained one.

  25. I have a Sole F63. Back in July it stoped working. I talked to Sole the day it broke and they said I need a new circuit board. Then I called again today and they asked me to look at the deck and belt. The underside of the belt edge was slightly darker than the middle (barely noticeable). The deck looked fine. Smooth. They still told me that I need a new circuit board, but this time they said that I need a new belt too. What do you think? If I buy the new circuit board and just lube the deck will I be ok or do I need a new belt? What is the best kind of lube for the money?

  26. Hi Dayna, thank you for your question!
    If after hitting the start button the treadmill counts down to zero but the belt does not start moving, yes, you are likely in need of a new motor control board (MCB). However, the number one cause of MCB failure is high belt and deck friction. The damaged MCB is usually the presenting symptom of the high friction root cause. SO, to fix this permanently, you likely do need a walking belt.
    The only way to definitively determine if a walking belt is needed is by performing an amp draw test. Unfortunately, the machine does need to be running to perform this test, so the MCB will need to be replaced prior to this. Once that is done, take an amp draw and reference the following,
    “Unloaded, a very healthy machine should be consuming no more than 2 amps. A moderately healthy machine will be reading 2-4 amps, a mediocre reading is 4-6 amps and anything over 6 amps will undoubtedly signal an issue that will require diagnosing. Loaded readings will be different depending on the weight of each user, but the general rule is that a very healthy machine should be consuming no more than 4-6 amps. A moderately healthy machine will be reading 6-8 amps, a mediocre reading is 8-10 amps and anything over 10 amps will indicate an issue that will require diagnosing. Regardless, the loaded reading should be no more than 4A more than the unloaded reading.”
    If your amp draw is high, replace the walking belt RIGHT AWAY. Do not use the machine in the meantime either, as doing so could damage your board and shorten its life. Usually, manufacturers will not warranty that part again as they consider that misuse as opposed to a manufacturer’s defect.
    If your amp draws are under 8-10 amps loaded, then you will likely be ok just lubricating your belt. In this article we outline our lubrication recommendations.
    As far as the best lube, we’re obviously partial to our 100% silicone lubricant that is approved for use on ALL machines that require a silicone based lube. Regardless of which lube you chose, make sure it is 100% silicone (additives will likely degrade the belt and deck surfaces) and avoid aerosols as those additives WILL degrade the belt and deck surfaces.
    Thank you again for your question, as always, please let us know if you have any follow up questions, we’re always here to help!

  27. I bought my treadmill new and have used it a lot (4-5kms a day, every day). I have kept the deck lubricated but it sheds lots of white flecks? Mostly after I have lubricated the deck. It looks like the belt is deteriorating but it’s only 12 months old?
    The deck also gets quite hot under foot when I’m running, even though I’ve lubricated it…would the belt tension being too high cause it to heat up?

  28. Hi Lan, thank you for your question!
    Would you be able to send a picture of those flecks to with, “Blog Question” in the subject line? You’re describing an unusual situation so we’d like to see exactly what you’re talking about. Also in that email, please include the make and model of your treadmill as well as the type of lubricant you’ve been using.
    Belt tension is likely not the culprit behind the heat generation between the belt and deck, the vast majority of belt and deck heat is generated from the friction of those two surfaces. It is normal for this to occur, but as always an amp draw is the best test to determine if everything is within specifications. Do you have the ability to test that?

  29. My Vision treadmill has a wood deck that has a laminate on top of it.
    I think I should be using a wax lubricant but not 100% sure.
    No info in manual. Dealer no longer in business.
    How do I determine what type of lubricant should be used.

  30. Hi Carl, thank you for your question. Over the years, Vision has used multiple lubricants. The best bet would be to contact them directly at 800-335-4348. Have your serial number handy when you call them and they’ll be able to make that determination for you.

  31. Hi Dan, thanks for the helpful advice. I have a NordicTrack Elite 4000, its a refurb and not done many miles yet (maybe 250km). While under warranty the motor and control board were replaced but the issue has now begun again (out of warranty). The motor stops during runs, but the control panel keeps merrily ticking along. It feels like there is quite a bit of friction and this is causing the issue, I have a 2 ply belt and it felt bone dry. I’ve applied a load of silicon oil but the problem has got worse (which might not be the lube’s fault). The treadmill belt seems fine, as does the deck. I’ve fiddled with the belt tension but it hasn’t helped (though I might have made the wrong adjustments). Do you have any suspicion what might be wrong? I unfortunately haven’t got the gear (and may not have the skill!) to check the current. Thanks in advance!

  32. Hi Matt, thanks for the question!
    Generally, when the drive motor stops and the console time keeps running, that’s due to a thermal overload, caused by high friction. Check the underside of the walking belt and the top of the deck again. Are they still dry? If so, apply more lube, half an ounce on the left and half an ounce on the right. Repeat if necessary. That cotton under layer will absorb the lube over time and will keep soaking it up until it is saturated. So, if it was bone dry before, it may have completely absorbed those first couple applications of lube.
    As far as the belt tension, you want it to be as loose as possible, but not so loose that it slips. This goes for both he drive and walking belts. Check those again as overtensioning can cause this issue as well by putting a high amount of strain on the roller and motor bearings, which will increase amp draw.
    Unfortunately, the only way to pinpoint this without guessing is by taking an amp draw. If unloaded amps are within spec, we know the walk belt and drive belt are not over tensioned and we know the bearings in the motor and rollers are spinning freely. If we see a large difference between the unloaded and loaded amp draws, we know there is a high amount of friction between the belt and deck.
    I know you said you don’t have the gear to test this, so contacting your local service provider may be your best bet at this point. Another option would be to purchase a Kill-a-Watt, as that would be the easiest way to take an amp draw. Looks like they’re $35 on Amazon at the moment, but currently $20 at Menards and Home Depot.
    Let us know what you find!

  33. Hi Dan. Similar topic of excess White dust. No noticiable ware from motor components or front roller area. I am getting a lot of this white dust and wanted to know if you had opinion related to this. 2months ago in this Blog, a Lan posted similar topic. Did you have any feedback on that?
    Keys Fitness Encore 6500HR > 12 years old.

  34. Hi Doug, thank you for your question. We did not hear back from Lan, so I’m still not certain what the issue was with that machine. Where is this white dust accumulating on your machine?

  35. Hi Dan,
    I hope you and your family are safe! I just got an Asuna treadmill and fresh out the box it says you should lubricate the machine before first use. I followed the instructions in the manual with the lubricant provided and when Running the machine it was fine but once I started walking on the machine it stared making a grinding noise. I’m about 145 and I’m super confused as to how to troubleshoot this brand new machine I hadn’t even used yet.
    Many Thanks!

  36. We’re all doing well here Lisa, thank you for asking, I hope all is well on your end also!
    A grinding noise will be tough to diagnose remotely, but let’s see if we can narrow a few things down. Does this happen without a user on the machine while it is running, or only when a user is on it? With the belt stopped, does this noise occur when a user jumps up and down on the deck to mimic running footfalls? Try this both toward the front, center, and rear of the machine. Even better, if you can send a video of the machine making this noise to, we’ll be happy to take a look at it for you!
    Other than that, contacting the manufacturer would be your best bet. Unfortunately I see they are currently closed, but you can try emailing them at
    Let us know what you find!

  37. that us my question…on the top part of my itread i cant lift up the belt to put oil…i dont understand the picture if i put the oil shere i walk or on the back part that faces the floor…where i could fit my hand. if i send you ghe diagram…can you let me know?

  38. Hi Tatiana, thank you for your question!
    We’d recently made a video explaining this process, take a look at that and let me know if you still have any questions. Also, if you’d like to send a diagram to we’d be happy to take a look at it for you.
    Enjoy your weekend!

  39. Hi Dan I have a Nordictrack T9.2 treadmill. Been working perfectly for 6 years then all of a sudden it throws the MCB on the garage circuit board only when pressing for speed. Incline functions etc work fine. Disconnected the drive motor from the circuit board and pressed for speed and it does not trip. Spoke to manufacturer and they said to replace drive motor which I did but problem still occurring. Had electrician check the socket circuit and found to be fine. Unscrewed the motor circuit board and check this but no scorch marks or broken solders. What could the problem be? Has my treadmill seen its final day!

  40. Hi Michael, thank you for your question!
    This one is tough, as from what you describe I would definitely have started with the drive motor as well. Have you checked the continuity between the drive motor and the ground pin on the power cord? If for some reason things are not grounding correctly, that could result in this issue. Other than that, even though you’ve checked the MCB throughly, there could be a short on it somewhere, which would cause this problem too. Another thought I had, have you pulled the board out and checked in between the green board itself and the mounting plate? If something is in between those, or between two points on the board, you could be shorting the board out there.
    Please let us. know what you find, I’m very curious as to what you discover!

  41. Dan–Hopefully this email finds you at a good time! Please advise me to making necessary steps to correct a problem I have. I own a Star Trac Pro 7300. I recently was forced to replace a belt that was previously on it, but without any circumstance in any part of the treadmill. I made attempts to replace the belt made by Treadmill Doctor specific to the STP 7300 they offer. Upon taking it apart and returning it to use, I have had fits with the belt continuing to slip. WE adjusted tension to the point it was working very effectively, even with my bodyweight in tact, until we used the “Ultra Wax” spray made by Ultra Belt Corp to wax the deck. After it was put down, the belt continually slips while walking and running on it. I am not sure if I should further adjust tension (have not attempted yet) or if its simply a matter to wait on the wax to run its course. I guess its possible the wax could have spread to the roll bars, but not sure if that would make this happen. I have searched the web to see if its a common event for the belt to slip immediately following a waxing, but have not come up with any results to validate that. Please advise me to what could exist and be the problem, if you will. Thank you.

  42. Hi Matthew, thank you for your question!
    Belt slippage can be a symptom from multiple causes. Because this was working before it was lubricated, take the motor cover off your machine and walk on the treadmill. Make the belt slip. As you do so, have another person look at the drive motor, drive belt and front roller of the unit. We know the walking belt is going to slip, but does anything else? Start at the drive motor and work your way back to the walking belt. Does the pulley on the drive motor slip? If so, the pulley is not tensioned on the shaft properly. Sometimes this can be caused by a setscrew that has come loose. If not, does the drive belt slip on the drive motor or front roller pulleys? If so, inspect that drive belt and the pulleys. Is there any lubricant present? If so, clean the lube off the pulleys and replace the belt. The lube will soak into that belt and no matter how much you try, you’ll never get it all off there to the point where it will be safe to use. If that is not the issue, look at the front roller pulley. Is that slipping on the roller itself? If so you can see the pulley spin as the roller stops. This is something that would require you to replace your front roller. If all these things are operating correctly and the belt is still slipping, the only other thing it could be is your walking belt.
    Take a look and let us know what you find, if you’d like to send us a video of everything we’d be happy to look that over as well!

  43. Hello, so your website is the only forum I have found so far for treadmill questions and answers so I would greatly appreciate if you could answer my question. I believe I have recently over lubricated my treadmill. I used the silicone based lubricant it came with in the packaging. After watching how to videos I believe I applied it wrong. I thought I was applying it the best way, but I believe I damaged my treadmill. I hope it is still fixable and would really appreciate your opinion on what I should do. I applied the lubricant while my treadmill was folded up and onto the rollers that the treadmill spins on. I also applied it to the drive belt (which I read on this page that, that is bad). The only symptoms that my treadmill has had is it seems to be “sticking”. When I walk on it, it slows down or stops completely if the speed is low. I do not believe I have damaged any electrical compartments, because upon observing it, when it stops completely everything is still spinning. The motor, a “ninja star” looking wheel Next to the motor, the drive belt, the “pizza dough roller” that spins the actual treadmill walking belt. Everything is still spinning while the walking belt stops. Please if you have any advice on what I can do, this treadmill was very expensive and would hate for it to go to waste because of this. If we can FaceTime or Zoom or Skype or any type of video call service I would greatly appreciate it, I would love to show you my treadmills symptoms and accept your advice I have read all your reply’s on this page and you seem very experienced. Please reply to My comment and email if video Chat Would be possible. Thank you in advance! I hope to hear from you soon.

  44. Hello Jose, thank you for your inquiry!
    With the sticking you are describing, it does sound like the lube may have gotten onto the drive belt. Unfortunately, the belt will absorb that lube and it is impossible to clean it. The drive belt will need to be replaced. The metal pulley on the drive motor will need to be cleaned off, that’s best done with a nylon brush, we like to use Simple Green as a cleaner. The pulley on the front roller will also need to be cleaned off, but we do not have as good luck with this because it is plastic, and not metal. So, try to clean this off, but you may end up needing to replace the front roller as well.
    I hope this all goes smoothly, let us know what you find!

  45. Great page Dan, thank you, very informative. I have an old Precor M9.25i (s/n starts with 2Z) that I use regularly and it would seem to be in need of lube (based on symptoms / amp draw / and I never lube it). But the manufacturer does not recommend lube, I even called them to clarify because the owners and service manuals simply don’t mention lube. Spoke to customer service and then technical service and both indicated – no lube. If I’m going to go ahead and try lubing it anyways, should I try silicone or wax based? Treadmill is 20yrs old, far from warranty-coverage. Based on information above and various information I can find elsewhere online, it can be problematic if I use the wrong one (silicone vs wax). I did have the treadmill serviced a couple of years ago when belt was slipping and I believe they waxed the deck at the time based on the invoice, but that serviceman retired & moved. Any suggestions for which lube to use? Thank you!

  46. Thank you Steve!
    If you decide to proceed with lubing it, you are correct, once wax has been applied to it, you want to continue using wax.
    With wax, a coat should be applied to the deck, then “walked in” to the belt by slowly walking over the entire deck surface. This may need to be done a few times to fully impregnate the belt with the wax.
    Let us know if you have any other questions!

  47. I have 7 year old NordicTrack c2150 Treadmill. Just replaced walking platform and walking belt.
    Everything is working fine. But I noticed that after 10 minutes, the walking platform gets really hot. The motor is not hot at all. I did not tighten the belt too much. I tried to adjust the belt and it did not help. I applied one tube of ICON lube after replacing the platform. What else could be the issue?

  48. I have a LifeSpan treadmill with a 1-ply belt. I started getting an error code when the treadmill just stops after some amount of time running, and the manufacturer said I have to replace the MCB. I’m hoping they’re wrong and lube will fix the problem. I have a Kill-A-Watt and unloaded at 4mph it draws 2amps but loaded with 175lb man it draws ~8-9 amps. Lubing once with 1oz of silicon lube did not seem to change this at all. Does it just need more lube?

  49. Hello Gavas, thank you for your question!
    Heat between the two rubbing surfaces is normal. The only way to know with absolute certainty if the heat is within specifications is to take an amp draw. In the meantime, run your fingers across the surface of your deck. Your fingers should come out slightly oily. If they do not, apply another tube of lube. After walking the lube in for about 5-10 minutes, check the deck surface again, and apply another ounce of lube if needed. Depending on how dry the belt is, a “thirsty” belt can absorb quite a bit. Once you feel lube on the deck though, do not apply more! Let us know how it turns out!

  50. Hello Laura, thank you for your question!
    It sounds like your loaded amp draw is definitely high. Run your fingers across the surface of your deck. Your fingers should come out slightly oily. If they do not, apply another ounce of lube. After walking the lube in for about 5-10 minutes, take another amp draw. If it is still high, check the deck surface again, and apply another ounce of lube if needed. Depending on how dry the belt is, a “thirsty” belt can absorb quite a bit. Once you feel lube on the deck though, do not apply more! If the amp draw is still high after that, you will likely require a walking belt replacement. Let us know what you find!

  51. Hi Dan, I lined some more until the deck feels oily but it has not significantly improved the amp draw. Before I buy a new belt, is there a way to see whether the belt is bad? Or is it possible there’s something else wrong? Motor? MCB? Thanks!

  52. Hi Laura, thank you for your question!
    From what you described, the issue sounds like a problem with your belt and maybe deck. If your unloaded draw is still around 2A and loaded is around 8-9A, the belt and/or deck will be the culprit. You’ll need a new walking belt, and check your deck as well. If the deck surface is perfectly smooth, that will not need to be replaced, but if there are any rough or worn spots, you will need a new deck. Some decks are flippable, where both sides are usable. Check with your manufacturer to see if your machine has one of these decks, they aren’t cheap!

  53. Hi Dan
    I recently bought a second hand reebok treadmill and after wiping it down I lubricated the belt. It’s first use was fine but I used it today and noticed a smell of overheating? I put my hand in the cover of the motor and it was roasting hot, I later opened the cover and the motor was still very warm, I didn’t feel any heat anywhere else. I had also followed instructions to align the belt and wondered if I have tightened it too much? I hope you can help me solve this problem as everything looks good apart from this motor obviously overheating due to level of heat and smell.

  54. What if your proform treadmill only goes to 10% incline? Do these workouts still work effectively? I used to love to hike prior to moving where I ma years ago. I miss it as it helped me lean out. Hoping I can simulate the benefits without running. Thank you.

  55. Hello Viv, I’m sorry it took me so long to respond, I did not receive a notification regarding your question.
    The smell you are describing can come from the walking belt and deck, the drive motor, or the incline motor, the circuit boards, or any combination of those.
    Are you able to take an amp draw? Doing so would be able to either confirm or eliminate belt/deck friction as the cause, and could pinpoint belt tension as the culprit as well. Remember your machine has two belts, the walking belt you walk on as well as the drive belt connecting the drive motor to the front roller. These both need to be adjusted to the correct tension to work properly, over-tensioning one or the other will not eliminate slippage if the other belt is slipping, and will cause a high amp draw as well as premature wearing of parts. Motors will heat up as they run, but the heat you describe sounds excessive, so my suspicion would be that there is an amp draw issue, which would require an amp draw to fully diagnose.
    Let me know what you find, and thank you for your question!

  56. Hello Brian, thank you for your question!
    We’re not personal trainers, but we do have a former trainer here on staff, and yes, using a treadmill (or elliptical) at an incline is beneficial and will increase the effectiveness of a workout.
    Check out this article we found from the Iowa Heart Center outlining 5 benefits to incline walking.

  57. Hello,
    I have a new NordicTrack X22i treadmill that keeps cutting off during workouts. The treadll work fine for my first few workouts, then it just cut off 25 mins into a workout. I checked under the belt and it felt dry, so I figured it needed lube. I order and applied the manufacture’s lube and it seemed to help for a couple of days, but it stopped again today. Checked under belt again and felt dry. About 2 weeks had since I applied the initial .05oz of lube and I’ve only used the treadmill a few times since.
    What could be causing this?
    I’m a bigger guy, could the friction from my weight be causing this issue?
    Thanks, appreciate any advice.

  58. Hi Rick, thank you for your question! At the risk of sounding like a broken record, do you have the ability to take an amp draw of your treadmill? That’s the only way we will know for certain if the shutdowns are caused by high amperage.
    From the symptoms you describe, it sounds as if your treadmill may be in need of more lube. Did you apply .05 ounces or .5 ounces? .05 is too small of an amount to have an effect, and .5 ounces may have even been too little. Reach under your walking belt again and run your fingers across the deck. Your fingers should come out of there with a slight amount of silicone on them. If not, things are too dry, and your treadmill is in need of another application of lube. Dry belts do have a tendency to soak lubricant up until they are fully saturated, that may be the case here.
    As a bigger guy, yes, the amp draw will be higher, which will make your machine more susceptible to an overcurrent shutdown. I looked it up, and this unit has a 300lb max user rating.
    Let us know what you find!

  59. I actually applied .5oz of lube, then another .5 and it still feels kind of dry. The deck feels slightly slick from the application, but not very much. I used the lube kit from the manufacturer, it included a foam stick used to apply to the lube. The foam seems to have absorbed quite a bit of the liquid, so I wonder how much actually made it on the deck/belt.
    Is it better to apply the lube directly to the deck? I see that’s how’s it done in your instructional video. I’ll purchase the amp meter tool and check the readings.
    Appreciate the help.

  60. Thanks Rick!
    Sounds like your belt may have soaked most of the lube up, try applying another quarter ounce at a time and see if that improves things.
    We generally apply lube directly to the deck as we already have the belt loosened to inspect the deck. Without loosening it, the ancient Roman sponge-on-a-stick method can be easier. We do find that they will soak up a bit of lube until they are saturated, try to squeeze that out on the topside of the deck as you apply it. Another reason we apply directly to the deck is those sponges can get messy, be sure to have a large zipper bag at the ready after applying!
    Let us know how your amp draws come out after you receive that meter!

  61. my belt(platform) is creasing and bunching up in the middle i have a horizon elite

  62. Hi Ernie, have you checked your deck surface? Usually when we see walking belts fold over we find the deck has a spot under the folded area that has worn through the laminate. Check the whole deck from the front to the back and let us know what you find!

  63. Hello
    I have a big bubble in my treadmill belt and a loud squak of a noice like a distressed duck!
    I have centered the belt and tightened it.
    2 days ago I lubed it and thought maybe too much sprayed out and wiped it immediately. Yesterday, at a 10 incline it started jerking.
    Please help enlighten me about the bubble as I have gone down the google rabbithole and everyone talks about slip belts amd I cannot get a straightforward response on the bubble issue. I decided to read all your comments and your site appears to be the most informative and honest.
    Thank you

  64. Hi Wendy, thank you for your question!
    It’s tough to say without seeing it, but the bubble sounds like it is due to the layers of the walking belt separating. If so, this walking belt is worn past its usable point and must be replaced. Generally when we see damage this severe, the deck is worn through as well, likely in the same area the bubble is located. If so, make sure you replace the deck as well.
    Please let us know what you find!

  65. I have this same problem. After I incline slightly the grinding goes away. It’s only at zero incline and with weight on it it grinds. Can’t figure out why.

  66. Hi Jeff, thank you for your comment!
    It is odd that it only makes this noise when at a 0 incline, can you check under the belt for any debris? Unfortunately this issue is tough to diagnose remotely, as of now I’m wondering if maybe after inclining the machine your feet are in a slightly different position, resulting in the noise not occurring. Let me know what you find!

  67. My treadmill will power up, all lights working, all systems go, but the belt does not turn at all. It reads as if it is running but it does not move. Please help. Pro-form treadmill

  68. Hello Chris, thank you for your comment!
    This could be a number of things, and we’d recommend a professional diagnosis to pinpoint the problem, but usually when treadmills start (on the console) but do not move the walking belt, it is usually indicative of a blown motor control board (MCB). However, and this is a big however, MCBs usually do not fail without reason. The blown MCB is likely the symptom of a high amp draw, likely caused by high belt and deck friction.
    In this case, replacing the MCB will just be a (costly) temporary fix. If the belt and deck friction was high, and remains high, that new MCB will fail soon after being replaced.
    So once again, there is no replacement for a professional, in-person diagnosis to fully diagnose all components of your machine, but this is where we would start!

  69. Approximately 20 years ago I purchased a true 540 HRC. We didn’t really use it too much for all these years until the last month when I started using the four times a week. I noticed the videos and websites that show that you should lubricate your belt. Tonight I lubricated it with silicone oil light purchased on Amazon. Couple things, your website that I got me scared but maybe I should’ve done it myself. Concerned about cotton candy and other things that can happen if you don’t do it properly. The other thing is that I noticed that it seem to be faster at 2 miles an hour than it has been. I guess that’s a good thing made my worries are all for nothing.

  70. Harold G Rishel

    My Sole F63 runs well for about 30 minutes. Then I notice a slow down, then it will overspeed and slow back down to the correct speed for a while. I have lubed the belt, should I do that a few more times? I have not opened it up, could it be a dirt or drive belt adjustment problem?

  71. Same problem as Harold G Rishel – my new F80 randomly speeds up. We have been keeping it clean and lubing it regularly.

  72. Christian Williams

    I’ve had an Epic 550 View treadmill for over 10 yrs. with over 4k mi. on it. The manual says to not apply a lubricant to the maintenance-free walking belt or it may be damaged. Both the inside & outside of the belt are in great condition with no freys, wear spots, or warping. The deck is also in great condition with no worn areas or scored/scratched surfaces. Belt speed and and speed changes are smooth with no noticeable drive motor strain.

    Will it be okay to apply a light amount of 100% silicone liquid lube to the deck surfaces? Also, have you ever reviewed this model? Online reviews seem mostly negative.

    The plastic motor housing shroud does not get hot after 45′ @3.5 -4 MPH. 5 yrs. ago I “walked” for 3 hrs. @2 MPH with no issues. I’m an Electronics Engr. and plan on measuring the amps, with & without load.

  73. I have a sole F63. When I start my run the belt seem to slip. After 10 minutes of running it operates normal. I have tightened and lubed the belt. Is possible to be over tighten and over lubed to cause this?

  74. Hi i have recently gotten a nordictrack e 3800 treadmill that i wanted to lubricate the belt but noticed it had a plastic sheet on the bottom can i lubricate the belt or is it one of those self lubricating ones?

  75. Hello, thanks for providing all this information and advice.

    We were gifted a pro-form crosswalk treadmill that is probably at least 10 years old but works just fine. I would like to lubricate the walking belt, but the manual I found online says the belt is pre-lubricated and to “never apply silicone spray or other such substances” to the deck or belt because they will cause belt deterioration.

    Given its age I think it is time to use some lubricant – any advice as far as the best product to use? Is it a bad idea to try silicone?


  76. Hi!
    I have a maxfree foldable treadmill that will no longer hold weight. The brand “maxfree” no longer sells treadmills or the oil they used. I bought the best selling silicone lubricant on amazon and tried to lubricate it last night. This morning, the treadmill would turn on and it would run but it wouldn’t hold weight and the belt would stop every time I stepped on it. Did I over-lubricate or could there be another problem? Is it fixable?

  77. Hi
    I stumbled over your page, which have been the most informative I have found. I am in doubt what kind of lubrication I should use, if it is okay with your silicone or I should find some wax instead? We have a old Life fitness T7 thread mill. T70-0000-01 , bought used. The machine looks like new, the belt seems very little used, but seems like it lacks lubricant, and it gets motor overload error the first 10 min of use until the belt gets warm and there is no issues afterwards.
    The manual says lifetime lubricated belt, but since it seems unused and just old I would prefer to save the $250+ on a new belt. Silicone or wax? Thank you in advance.

  78. Hi Harold, thank you for your question!

    The basic rule to follow is that you should be able to touch your deck surface, under the walking belt and feel a slightly waxy or oily coat of lube on the deck. Check under the area where your feet contact the walking belt. In the event you cannot feel a residue left from your last application of lube, it needs more.

  79. Hello, thank you for your comment!

    The basic rule to follow is that you should be able to touch your deck surface, under the walking belt and feel a slightly waxy or oily coat of lube on the deck. Check under the area where your feet contact the walking belt. In the event you cannot feel a residue left from your last application of lube, it needs more.

  80. Hi Christian, thank you for your question!

    At 10 years old, you’ve certainly gotten your money out of that Epic! At this point, lubrication would be a good idea, as no belt is truly maintenance free. That sounds good on the showroom floor, but does not work in real life.

  81. Hi Chris, thank you for your question!

    Generally when a walking belt that is tensioned properly is still slipping, there is another issue. This is usually the drive belt, may be the front roller/pulley assembly, or may be another cause. For something like this we’d recommend you calling a certified service provider in your area that is recommended by your manufacturer.

  82. Hi Serg, thank you for your question!

    Some older treadmills featured a mylar sheet covering the deck surface to reduce friction. These units should have the lube applied to the top of the mylar sheet, and underneath the walking belt.

  83. Hi Seth, thank you for your question!

    Silicone sprays (in an aerosol can) contain additives that will damage the walking belt resulting in the “cotton candy” effect. A 100% silicone lubricant would be best, naturally, we’re partial to ours!

  84. Hi Lindsey, thank you for your question!

    Unfortunately, tough to say. This could be a walking belt or drive belt issue, could be an issue with the front roller pulley breaking free of the front roller, could be a motor control board capacitor problem, or it could be a drive motor torque problem. Also, if the machine was overlubricated, the problem could be a slipping drive belt. With something like this we’d recommend you contact a certified technician to assess your unit.

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