Welcome to my guide on treadmill belt adjustment. If your treadmill doesn’t feel right, like it’s skipping or hesitating. Your running belt or your motor drive belt could be loose. If one of the belts are loose it’s important to tighen the right one. Or maybe it’s running to one side. That could cause damage to your belt. Maybe the problem isn’t the belt tension at all. Maybe your running belt and deck are worn or dry. We’ll teach you the finer points of treadmill belt adjustment so you can find a right solultion.
Treadmill belt to one side?
If your running belt is to one side you will need to address that first. If its in the middle and slipping, go the the next step. Crouching behind the treadmill you will see an end cap either side of the running belt. They will have holes in them normally with Allen head bolts, one in each end cap. Most are Allen head bolts need a 6mm or 5mm Allen key to adjust. Some are Phillips head screws.
On the side that the belt is running over to, turn the bolt clockwise to tighten 1/4 of a turn at a time. Then I would start the treadmill and walk on the opposite side of the belt pushing it over to the middle. I would then let it run without me on it and see if it stays in the middle. I would keep repeating this step until the belt stays in the middle. Run the treadmill for a few minutes at 4 km/h and check that the treadmill running belt stays centered. Its important that the treadmill belt alignment is correct before going to the next step.
Is your belt slipping?
It’s dangerous to run on a slipping treadmill belt so follow these few steps and exercise safely. Firstly how do you know when your treadmill belt is slipping? Well, when your feet come down on the treadmill it will feel like the belt is stopping for a split second. You will feel unsteady and feel like you could easily lose balance. It can cause you to fall or become unstable (physically). This can be very dangerous and if you fall on your treadmill it will very easily graze your skin and spit you out the back of your machine. This is no way to exercise. You can in most cases have your treadmill running a lot smoother and will help prolong the life of your treadmill. Or you can get us the service your machine.
Servicing Treadmills safety
Ensure your hair or clothing can’t get caught in the treadmill rollers or belt. Be very careful as treadmills can cause serious injuries if you get your hair, fingers or clothing caught in the rollers. If you need to tie your hair back make sure you tie it properly. If your hair falls unexpectedly it’s more dangerous than not lying it back at all. I’ve seen the results of someone getting their fingers caught in a rear roller of a treadmill and both her arms were fulling bandaged. If you handy with tools and you want to service your own fitness equipment by all means, just take care.
Check treadmill belt for friction
Make sure your treadmill has been lubricated between the treadmill belt & deck. Lack of lubrication can cause the belt to grab on the deck momentarily causing the belt to slip on the rollers. Check out my article on how to lubricate your treadmill. It’s very easy to lubricate your treadmill and it will prolong the life of your machine.
Which belt is Slipping?
Walk on the treadmill at about 4 km/h and try and stop the treadmill belt running with your foot. If the belt is loose it will stop while the motor and front roller keep turning. To see what’s slipping you will need to remove the treadmill motor cover. Unplug the treadmill from the wall and remove the motor cover. Once you have removed the cover plug the treadmill back in. Be careful as there is 230 volts to this area. So be very careful with pets and childeren. I recomend no children or pets in the room when you have the cover off. Restart the treadmill and if you try to stop the treadmill running belt with your foot and the roller stops with your belt then the treadmill motor drive belt or the front roller pulley is probably the problem.
Adjust your treadmill belt
Once you have the belt centered properly, make sure it wasn’t just friction causing the problem. Once you’ve indentified it needs adjusting you can start the treadmill belt adjustment. Adjust both bolts evenly 1/4 of a turn at a time clockwise. Between each time walk on the treadmill at 4 km/h and try to stop the treadmill belt. It should slip for a moment and then grab. Keep repeating this step until the belt is tension properly.
Test and fine tune
Once you think you have the treadmill running belt tensioned properly carefully increase speed until you’re running. If it doesn’t slip then you’ve successfully tightened your treadmill running belt. It may just need some fine tuning.
Other problems causing the belt to slip
If tightening your bolts doesn’t stop the belt slipping, your motor belt may be the cause. If you try to stop the belt and it makes a grinding noise, it could be your roller pulley. Or your belt and deck maybe so worn the friction is causing the belt to slip. You will need the belt and deck or just the belt replaced.