Concept 2 PM3 Monitor Not Working

Concept 2 rowing machines are one of the top choices when it comes to at home cardio machines.

They offer a great value for money and have a fantastic range of models to provide something to suit every individual.

If your Concept 2 rower PM3 monitor not working or the display readout is growing dim, then let’s review the most proven troubleshooting steps you should follow to safely and successfully fix this issue.

Without further ado, let’s get right into it!

Why Your Concept 2 PM3 Monitor Is Not Working?

concept2 rower picture from my home gym

The PM3 monitor is an important part of exercising on your indoor rowing machine.

While a Concept2 unit still works even when its screen doesn’t, you still need a workable console so you can go through your workout programs and keep track over workout metrics like time, distance or estimated calories burned.

Most of the Concept2 PM3 monitor problems are the result of low batteries.

Concept 2 PM3 Monitor Not Working – Troubleshooting Guides

The first step in troubleshooting your PM3 monitor is to replace the batteries to see if it fixes the issue. 

1. Replace The PM3 Batteries

The Concept2 Pm3 monitor requires two 1.5 volt alkaline D Cell (LR20) batteries. Do not use lithium or 3.6 volt batteries, as there is risk of fire or explosion.

Try not to use old and new batteries together or alkaline, standard, and rechargeable batteries together. 

If the Pm3 has been exposed to cold temperatures, allow it to warm to room temperature before you insert batteries. Otherwise, you may damage the console displays or other electronic components. 

Start off the Concept 2 PM3 battery replacement by using your fingernail to slide the battery compartment cover off. You will see the three batteries inside.

concept2 pm3 battery replacement

Next, replace the old old batteries with the new ones with the same orientation (the (+) side facing up).

You will need to reinitialize your PM3 display monitor after changing the batteries.

Here is how to reinitialize Concept2 PM3 monitor:

  1. Press Reset.
  2. Keep Reset pressed while you press the up button.
  3. Release Reset.
  4. Release the up arrow button.

2. Perform A Pm3 Factory Reset

If your PM3 display monitor does not boot up properly, or if the console freezes and is unresponsive. A factory reset to the factory default settings might be your solution.

Doing this will erase all custom settings you have made to the PM3 monitor. 

There are two methods to use in order to perform a factory reset to your Concept2 PM3 monitor, we will go through each one of them.

concept2 rower picture from my home gym

Here is how to reset Concept 2 PM3

#1 Method:

Turn off Concept2 rowing machine. Then press and hold down Display and Units buttons and use a paperclip to depress and release the “Reset” button in the back of the monitor.

Continue holding the buttons down for at least 7 seconds or until the display flashes “Setting Factory Defaults” shows briefly and then you can then take your fingers off the buttons.

#2 Method:

Remove the PM3 battery and USB cable if attached. 

Next, hold down the Units and Display buttons, re-install the batteries, and continue holding the buttons down for at least 7 seconds or until the display flashes “Setting Factory Defaults” shows briefly. Then, release the buttons.

3. Check The Pick Up Wire

First you need to check if the pickup wire is securely plugged in on the back of the monitor. 

Ensure the plug is inserted completely. 

concept2 rowing machine in a commercial gym

Next, unplug the PM3 pickup wire and inspect it for frays or breaks. This is the wire that leads from the bottom of the monitor to the flywheel. 

You basically need to check the wire connections and pins.

These pins sit inside the plastic casing that connects the wire to the controller or console. You need to make sure none of the pins have been broken or bent. 

If a bent pin is found, carefully bend it back into place.

Identify and check any pinch points the pickup wire may have. Pinch points are any place the wire moves between two parts. 

If this wire is damaged anywhere, you will need to replace it.

If no damage was found, reconnect the pickup wire and plug your machine back in.

You would also want to inspect the PM3 pickup wire port on the bottom of the monitor. If there is a crack in the port, the monitor will need to be replaced.

If the PM3 wire and port look fine, securely plug the wire back into the monitor.

4. Update The PM3 Firmware

concept2 rowing machine picture from my home gym

Firmware is the computer program embedded in and running your Performance Monitor. 

While actively rowing or skiing, certain values (pace, watts and calories) are missing. Means you need to update the Pm3 to the latest firmware.

Running the latest version of the firmware can also extend the life of batteries, as newer firmware uses the microprocessor more efficiently.

But first, you need to check your current PM3 firmware version. Here is How to do so:

From the Main Menu, Select More Options > Utilities > More Utilities > Product ID.

The firmware version will be listed as the top line on the Product ID screen.

To update the firmware in your Performance Monitor, download and install the free Concept2 Utility software onto your computer.

Restart your computer once the Concept2 Utility is fully installed on your computer. You can update your PM3 firmware through your computer using either a USB flash drive or a USB cable.

5. Check The Model Type

If the performance monitor on your Concept 2 comes on and you can navigate the menus, but when you begin rowing or skiing, the monitor numbers are stuck at zero, then you need to ensure the model type on the monitor matches the indoor rower in use.

concept2 rower picture from my home gym

Here is how to check the PM3 model type:

  1. On the Main Menu, choose More Options.
  2. Choose Utilities > Product ID. 

Look at what appears next to “Model”. This should be D or D/E for Model Ds, and D/E for Model Es and Dynamic Indoor Rowers.

If you have retrofitted a monitor to an older indoor rower, this should read C, B or A according to the indoor rower you have. 

However, if this doesn’t match the indoor rower model you have, you need to take the following steps:

  1. From the Main Menu, select More Options > Utilities > LCD Contrast.
  2. Press Change Units or Units three times.
  3. Press Change Display or Display three times.
  4. When the Set Rower Type screen appears, press the button next to Change Type until the correct indoor model is displayed:

D or D/E for Model D Indoor Rowers.

D/E for Model E and Dynamic Indoor Rowers.

C, B or A as appropriate for the indoor rower you have, if you’ve retrofitted a monitor to an older machine.

  1. Select Set Type to save the setting.

Final Tip

crossfitter exercising on a concept2 rowing machine in a commercial gym

If none of the above fixes work and the PM3 monitor continues to be unresponsive, then the monitor is probably damaged and needs to be replaced.

You can call Concept2 customer service for a new part or service.


It can be quite frustrating when your PM3 monitor stops operating properly as it should be.

After this article you will be willing to know the reason why your Concept2 PM3 display monitor is not working and the necessary steps to take in order to safely and successfully resolve the issue.

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