Treadmill Front Roller Noise

Hearing rollers noise coming from your treadmill machine 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 get an unpleasant sound coming from the front of your machine, there are a few things you can check before contacting customer support. 

Let’s review at the most common causes of treadmill front roller noise. As well as the practical solutions to fix the problem. 

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

Why Is My Treadmill Front Roller Making Noise?

an old lady walking on a sole treadmill

If you hear clunking or grinding noises coming from the front of your machine, one of the possible causes is a bad roller.

There are many reasons why your treadmill front roller is making noise. The most common one is a bad drive roller.

However, it may also be caused by caused by a poorly lubricated belt, belt misalignment, or collection of dust.

Bad Roller

As part of the drive belt system, your treadmill has two rollers, one on the front and one on the back of the machine.

A bad roller can result in various treadmill issues. If you hear clunking or grinding noises coming from the front of your machine, one of the possible causes is a bad roller.

The treadmill running belt will not function properly if the roller cracks or the bearings go bad.

What you have to do in this instance is to visually inspect the drive roller to see if it has been damaged or broken.

Misaligned Belt 

Misalignment on the walking belt is another common cause of treadmill front roller noise. This issue usually occurs when the belt is not properly centered. 

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

This in turn can cause the running belt to slip to the sides and scrape the edges.

Collection of Dust

a Proform treadmill picture from my home gym

It only takes a few days for dust to accumulate from the area around the treadmill to make such disturbing noises. 

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 from the front of the treadmill. 

Lack of Lubrication

When a treadmill is not properly lubricated, it may cause the roller to make unpleasant sound because of the produced friction. This can lead the drive motor to burnout because of the excessive effort to rotate the belt.

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

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

Unlevel Surface 

The floor level is one of the main causes of the roller to make noise. This is because the treadmill elements will be subjected to undue stress if the surface is uneven.

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

How To Stop A Treadmill Front Roller Noise?

female using a commercial treadmill

There are numerous things you can try to get rid of the noise coming from the front of your equipment.

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

Adjust the rollers

A treadmill drive roller noise is usually a sign that the walking belt needs adjustment. 

Adjusting the 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 disturbing 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.

Replace the drive roller

a Proform treadmill picture in a room

If the front roller on your treadmill is defective, you can order a new roller for your specific treadmill model and replace it yourself.

To access the front roller, remove the screws on the motor hood to pull the hood plastic cover away from the treadmill. 

You have to loosen the walking belt in order to replace the front drive roller. To do that, turn the adjustment bolts on the back-end of the walking deck.

Once you are finished, make sure the belt is well oiled to keep it under good running conditions.

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 treadmill

picture of a female person using a treadmill

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 annoying 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.

Final Thoughts 

There are many reasons that cause a the drive roller to make noises. The most common one is usually caused by a bad drive roller.

A treadmill front roller noise may also be caused by a poorly lubricated belt, belt misalignment, or collection of dust.

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