NordicTrack Commercial 1300 Elliptical Resistance Not Working

NordicTrack elliptical trainers are one of the most popular choices for home cardio machines. 

Some of the common issues people have is with the resistance not working on the machine.

If the resistance on your NordicTrack Commercial 1300 elliptical machine stops working, then let’s review the most proven troubleshooting steps you should follow if your NordicTrack Commercial 1300 elliptical resistance not working before calling the manufacturer or a repair person.

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

NordicTrack Commercial 1300 Elliptical Resistance Not Working – Troubleshooting Guides

nordictrack elliptical machine picture from my home gym

An elliptical machine is designed to simulate the difficulty of running on different types of terrain. Typically, this is done by controlling the resistance which can be adjusted using a knob on the console.

There are many reasons for why your NordicTrack Commercial 1300 elliptical resistance may not be working. Common issues include power supply problems, resistance motor not getting enough power, or the resistance motor being broken.

The following troubleshooting guides will help you identify and fix your NordicTrack Commercial 1300 elliptical resistance problem.

1. Check The Power Source

If your NordicTrack Commercial 1300 elliptical resistance stops working, the first thing to do is to check the elliptical machine’s power source.

The elliptical power source is the most likely reason for the resistance to stop working. It is what provides power to the resistance motor to respond and operate. If it isn’t working, the resistance won’t work either.

First, unplug the power supply for about 30 second and then plug the NordicTrack back and you should hear the servo motor resetting itself.

Check that it is plugged in properly and that there are no loose wires or other objects in contact with the power cord.

Make sure you are using the appropriate voltage your NordicTrack Commercial 1300 elliptical requires. If the cord has been damaged then you may need to replace it with a new one.

2. Check The Resistance Motor Voltage

There is a small motor under the shroud that operates the resistance motor. It is about the size of a roll of half dollars. You want to use a multimeter to see if the console is actually sending power to the resistance motor when you manually adjust the resistance on the console.

If the resistance motor receives no voltage from the console when you manually change the resistance, then your NordicTrack elliptical console not working and needs to be replaced.

However, if the resistance motor gets power from the console but still doesn’t run, then the resistance motor needs to be replaced.

Next, unplug your elliptical from the power outlet, and check the wire harness connections between the console and the resistance motor.

Through the use of a multimeter, check the continuity between the wiring and the resistance motor.

If any wires are no longer working, replace them immediately.

nordictrack elliptical machine picture from my home gym

3. Check The Flywheel Magnet

When you change the NordicTrack commercial elliptical resistance level, but there is no actual change in resistance, then you need to check the flywheel magnet.

proform elliptical machine picture from my garage gym

Pry up the lower upright covering using a slot screwdriver, then slide the cover up to release it from the side shield.

Next, slide the right side shield off to expose the flywheel magnet.

Look inside the unit and find the magnet, which is located near to the motor and flywheel. There is a cable running upwards from the motor and is attached to the magnet housing.

If you adjust the resistance now, the cable should move up. This is supposed to make the magnet closer to the flywheel and increase its strength.

If the magnet gets stuck and doesn’t move upwards, then do the following:

To fix this problem, you will need two wrenches. You have to move to the opposite end of the machine, towards the front, and you will see it is connected with a nut and bolt. 

Using the two wrenches, hold the bolt while loosening the nut about ¼ turn.

This should lessen the pressure on the magnet housing and allow it to move freely and not bind. 

Get on NordicTrack Commercial elliptical assembly to reassemble everything back together.

Once it’s all back together, check to see if the resistance works again.

4. Replace The Resistance Motor

If the power cord is plugged in securely and the resistance still does not work, then you will need to replace the NordicTrack Commercial 1300 resistance motor.

Replacing the NordicTrack elliptical machine resistance motor with a new one is a very easy task to accomplish. 

1. Remove the pedal arm

Remove the right pedal arm cover screw, and then pull the cover off.

Using an Allen wrench, remove the bolt at the pedal arm and crank arm connection by turning it clockwise.

Carefully remove the pedal off the crank arm and push it forward the machine.

2. Remove the side shield

Using a Phillips screwdriver, remove the screws attaching the right side cover, then pull it off to uncover the elliptical motor.

nordictrack elliptical machine picture from my home gym

3. Remove the resistance motor

Using a wire cutter, cut the wire harness container on the NordicTrack Commercial 1300 frame base to release the motor wires, and disconnect the wire harness from the motor.

Take the tension off the resistance cable. To do this, loosen the resistance cable by pressing down on the part of the eddy mechanism using a flat head screwdriver.

Next, pull off the cable from the resistance motor.

Using the screwdriver, remove the screws that mount the resistance motor to the frame of the elliptical and place it aside.

4. Install the new resistance motor

Line up your new machine’s resistance motor with the hole on top of your old elliptical, so that it is centered in the same place as it was before, and tighten down all screws on top to hold it into the frame.

Replace the resistance cable to the motor and reset the tension.

And finally reconnect the wire harness to the motor 

5. Reinstall the side shield 

Line up the side shield, and reinstall the side mounting screws

6. Reinstall the right pedal arm

Push the right pedal arm to the end of the crank arm shaft and attach it.

5. Check The Drive Belt

The elliptical machine drive belt is what connects the electric motor to the flywheel. It is also responsible for transmitting power from the electric motor to turn the flywheel. 

If the drive belt becomes loose, the resistance may slip or not work at all, even when you turn it on to the highest setting.

For safety reasons, turn off the NordicTrack elliptical and ensure the machine is not plugged in.

nordictrack elliptical machine picture from my home gym

The best way to check if a belt is loose is to look for signs of wear on the teeth of the wheel or if you can feel any slack in between the two wheels.

First you need to disassemble the NordicTrack elliptical until you have full access to the drive belt.

 The drive belt is on the right side of the machine. It is a large band that encircles the flywheel on one end and the crank spindle on the other end.

You will need to remove the shields on the right side of the machine.

After you have done that, loosen, but do not remove the idler bolt. Then tighten the belt adjustment bolt until the belt is snug and tight.

You should only tighten the belt enough to prevent it from slipping. You can test this by turning the crank pulley.

After you have tightened the belt enough, you should tighten up the idler bolt to hold your adjustments in place.

If the drive belt is still slipping after you tighten it, this is when you know you need to replace the drive belt. 

To do this, loosen the pivot bolt and then the adjustment bolt. Walk the drive belt off the crank pulley.

After the old belt has been removed, replace it with a new one. After this step, you are done.

6. Check The Console

If the NordicTrack Commercial 1300 resistance problem still occurs after you replace the resistance motor, then there is a software issue on your display console.

A NordicTrack elliptical console replacement is what is going to fix it. But first try to do the following before deciding to replace the console.

elliptical machine console

Remove The screws securing the console to the upright assembly. Lift the console and confirm that the cable connections are secure. 

Remove the cover from the console’s battery bay and install a fresh set of batteries.

Pack everything back together and turn on the NordicTrack elliptical. If the resistance problem is still there, then your console needs to be replaced.


If your NordicTrack Commercial 1300 elliptical resistance not working, there are a few things you can do to fix it. 

First of all, make sure that the machine is properly plugged into a power source. 

If it still doesn’t work after this, check the wire harness connections between the console and the resistance motor.

You may need to replace the resistance motor if it gets enough power but doesn’t work appropriately.

If you have tried all the steps but still your NordicTrack Commercial 1300 elliptical machine resistance is not functioning, you should call NordicTrack customer service at 866-538-6117.

The customer service team will help you diagnose the problem and offer solutions.

Scroll to Top