Treadmill Creaking Noise

A creaky treadmill can be a real problem. It’s not only annoying for the person who is using it, but it can also be a distraction to your surroundings.

If you find that your treadmill creaks, there are a few things you can check before contacting customer support. 

Let’s look at the causes of treadmill creaking sound. And the practical solutions to fix the problem. 

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

Why Is My Treadmill Making Creaking Noise?

Sole f80 treadmill on a carpet behind a grey colored wall

There are many reasons why your treadmill might be making creaking noise. The most common one is usually caused by a poorly lubricated belt. 

However, it may also be caused by belt misalignment, a collection of dust, or loose contact in the pivot points.

Loose Parts

The pivot points in the treadmill machine are made of metal. Over time, they can create a loud creaking sound when they make contact.

If this is the problem, It is recommended to tighten them regularly and apply some lubricant to the pivot points to fix this.

Creaking noise can also indicate that the nuts and bolts that hold the treadmill together may have loosened very slightly. 

Therefore, you should check if there are any loose parts on your machine and carefully tighten them. 

Misaligned/Loose Belt 

Misalignment on the walking belt is another common cause of treadmill belt creaking sound. This issue usually occurs when the belt is not tensioned properly. 

When your belt is putting too much friction on either of the rollers because it isn’t aligned properly, the creaking sound can often be heard.

This in turn can cause the running belt to slip to the sides and scrape the edges, which can produce loud creaking or scraping noises. 

Collection of Dust

It only takes a few days for dust to accumulate from the area around the treadmill on a machine and make it creak. 

The issue will even get worse if you don’t do a regular cleaning routine to  your equipment after each use, as then you are just adding more and more layers of dirt onto it.

When the debris and dust builds up, it can cause the motor to malfunction and then begin to produce weird noises including creaking. 

This might also cause the motor to overwork itself or overheat and burn out.

Horizon treadmill in my garage gym

Unlevel Surface 

The floor level is one of the main causes of creaky sounds. This is because the treadmill elements will be subjected to undue stress if the surface is uneven, which could result in a creaking sound.

Therefore, it is important you check the machine is situated on an even floor.

Lack of Lubrication

When a treadmill belt is not properly lubricated, it will create a creaking sound because of the produced friction. This can lead the drive motor to burnout because of the excessive effort to rotate the belt.

A treadmill which lacks lubrication can also harm the belt and lead to premature degradation. 

The proper lubrication allows the running belt to glide smoothly along without producing such annoying sound. 

How To Stop Treadmill Creaking Noise?

white male athlete in gray shirt running on a treadmill

There are numerous things you can try to get rid of the creaking noises produced by your exercise equipment.

But before making any alterations, make sure your treadmill is sitting on a flat, level surface.

Clean the treadmill

A clean treadmill machine can reduce the friction between the parts and make it easier to glide when you are working out. 

You should clean the machine once in a week as part of your general treadmill maintenance to make sure that your treadmill parts don’t have any dirt or debris on them. 

Cleaning a treadmill can also prevent the motor from getting serious issues while increasing the lifespan of your machine. 

To clean a treadmill belt, use a slightly dampened washcloth with warm water, then add a small amount of mild soap to wipe down the entire belt surface

Try to vacuum any accessible areas around and beneath the belt to prevent any dust buildup.

Also take the time and try to carefully clean and dust the motor area on your treadmill about once a year. Just make sure to refer to the owner manual of your specific treadmill model and follow the instructions provided so as to avoid damage to the motor or any related parts.

Lubricate the machine

Black woman standing on treadmill during cardio workout

Without proper lubrication, your treadmill’s belt and deck could rub and create too much friction.

On your treadmill, there are various metal on metal pivots points. Over time, they’ll start making a loud creaking sound when they make contact. What you need to do is to lubricate them.

First, lift up the deck to get the treadmill into a folded position, then apply a grease lubricant to all the pivots points down there.

The next thing to do is remove the motor cover. Loosen those Philips screws and then pull the cover off.

After you have access to the incline motor, apply some lubricant grease to the incline pivots.

Next, using the T-wrench or Allen wrench, loosen the rear roller tension bolts 10-15 counter-clockwise turns. This should give the belt enough slack for you to lift it.

Reach under the treadmill belt and use a piece of cloth to wipe it down to ensure it is clean prior to applying any lubricant.

Lift the belt as far as you can, then squirt the silicone oil in a zigzag pattern on one side of the running deck surface. 

Do the same on the other side, using about ½ bottle of silicone lubricant on each Side.

Make sure to not apply the silicone oil on top of the running belt. 

Once you are finished, lay the running belt down and then retighten both rear roller adjustment bolts clockwise the same number of turns loosened.

While staying off of the machine, plug it on and allow it to run at about 3 mph for about 5 minutes, so the lubricant can be evenly distributed.

Once the belt is fully lubricated, make sure it is properly centered and tensioned, then wipe any excess oil from the sides with a damp cloth.

Adjust the belt

picture of a female person using a treadmill

A creaking treadmill belt is usually a sign that the walking belt needs adjustment. 

Adjusting the running belt is easy and the only tool needed is the Allen Wrench or Hex Key that came with the machine.

Below are instructions on how to adjust the treadmill belt and stop the creak sound.

  1. Power down and unplug the Tread. Use the 6mm Allen key from the toolkit that came with your Tread to tighten the Idler Roller Screws.
  2. When tightening the belt, turn both the left and right idler bolts the same distance and direction.
  3. Turn on the Tread and briefly walk and run on the machine to make sure the belt isn’t slipping. 

Prevent over-tightening, which could cause other unwanted issues. You know you have reached the proper tension when the belt lifts about 3 to 4 inches off the walking platform.

Final Thoughts 

There are many reasons that cause a treadmill to start creaking or making other annoying noises. The most common one is usually caused by a poorly lubricated belt. 

Creaking sounds may also be caused by belt misalignment, a collection of dust, or loose contact in the pivot points.

After today’s article, you will be willing to prevent the creaking noises produced by your treadmill machine.

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