Can You Over Lubricate a Treadmill Belt? (Yes, Here are Some Tips)

Woman Running On Treadmill in Gym

The idea of over lubricating a treadmill belt might seem like a good one at first especially if you are having issues with squeaking or the belt getting stuck on the track. However, over lubricating can bring its own set of complications that could cause your treadmill to have a shorter life span. So, is it possible to over lubricate your treadmill belt?

Over lubricating a treadmill belt will cause potential damage to your motor control board and cause excess dust to gather in the motor compartment. Excess lube can also be flung from the treadmill at high speeds, damaging carpet, floors, or walls unless you know how to apply it properly.

The specific amount of lube you need to use in your treadmill can be tricky to determine. So can the length of time between lubricating your treadmill belt. For this reason, we recommend reading the tips below on the best practices to follow when lubricating your treadmill belt. 

How Much Lubricant Should You Apply to a Treadmill

When applying lubricant to a treadmill, apply an even coating of wax directly to the deck if you are using a paraffin system. Silicone systems that have a spray nozzle should only use a half-ounce of lubricant on each side of the deck. 

It’s also important to clean the belt and deck before lubricating by removing any dirt or debris that might be present. This will help to ensure that the lubricant is able to properly coat the belt and provide the necessary protection.

Ultimately, how much lubricant you use depends on the type of machine that you have since not all machines will require the same type of lubricant. The paraffin system uses a wax brick so you can easily rub this on the deck until you see a white wax layer over the entire piece. 

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How to Apply Lubricant to a Treadmill Belt

First, it’s a good idea to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Each treadmill is different, so it’s important to follow the specific instructions provided by the manufacturer for lubricating the belt. These instructions will typically include information on how often to lubricate the belt and how much lubricant to use, which will be covered in this article.

To start, apply a thin, even layer of lubricant. When applying lubricant to the belt, use a thin, even layer to cover the entire surface of the belt. Avoid applying too much lubricant, as this can cause the belt to become slippery and make it more difficult to use the treadmill safely.

Apply the lubricant to a treadmill belt that gets the most use. You’ll know which areas these are by the wear marks from your regular use on the machine.

Generally, it’s essential to apply the lubricant in an efficient and clean manner. If the lubricant gets on exposed areas that are not the deck, you could be risking injury, especially if the lubricant gets on the walking surface and causes a slick surface where you could fall.

How Often Should You Lubricate Your Treadmill Belt

Running on Treadmill

You should lubricate your treadmill more often if you are using it more than 3 times a week. Some machines have internal timers or odometers that will notify you when it’s time to lubricate your belt. 

These timers use the number of miles, or hours, that are building up on your machine. However, you should take these estimations as a guideline and less as an absolute rule. 

These estimations won’t take into consideration any of the following:

  • Weather condition your machine is in
  • Weight of individuals using the machine
  • If more strenuous settings are being used

If you don’t have a machine that will automatically prompt you, you can still tell how often you need to lubricate your machine. 

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How to Tell When a Treadmill Belt Needs Lubrication

The best way to tell when a treadmill belt needs lubrication is by touching the deck and seeing if you can feel any physical residue left from the lube. If you can’t feel any residue, there’s a good chance you need to relubricate

Make sure your machine is turned off, and it has been unplugged to avoid any accidents. Then, touch the deck underneath your walking belt. You should be able to feel a slightly waxy or oily coat of lubrication. You especially want to test the area right under where the walking signs of wear and tear are. 

If you don’t feel any lubrication on the walking belt, you need to apply your wax or oil-based lubricant to the deck area. Turn the machine on, walk the lubricant into the walking belt, and then try the process over again to see if you feel any lubricant. 

Can a Treadmill Be Damaged Without Lubrication?

Treadmill with Incline

If you wait too long to lubricate your machine, you can cause damage to a number of machine parts that are crucial to its performance. 

  • Belt and Deck – Without lubrication, these pieces will become prematurely worn from too much friction and possible snap.
  • Front and Rear Rollers – Along with the belts, these help your machine keep spinning, and the increased friction will wear them out quicker.
  • Motor Control Board – Dust can gather on the lubrication if it enters the motor board and it can also short out from overheating.
  • Electrical Components – When there’s no lube your machine will run harder to produce the same results. In doing so, it can short out many of your electrical parts.

Make sure to use the all-important feel test at least once a month on your machine to prevent any damage from being done from under-lubrication.

And most importantly, be sure to use the right type of lubricant, too. Treadmill belts are typically lubricated with a silicone-based lubricant or a special treadmill lubricant. And so, using the correct type of lubricant will avoid damaging the belt or the treadmill.

After Lubricating Considerations

There are several post-lubricating considerations you need to make to prevent any issues in your home or on the machine.

  • Some treadmills have a folding deck, so you can easily store it without taking too much space. Don’t fold your treadmill in half if you have just used silicone lubrication. You run the risk of allowing it to drip on your floors if it runs down the deck. Try to put at least 5 miles after lubrication to avoid any problems.
  • If you are using silicone lube, you will need to check your walking belt over the next few days to ensure it hasn’t been fully absorbed. Walking belts can quickly absorb silicone, causing it to remain too dry and require another application.
  • Use the treadmill for several miles after you have applied any type of lube on the deck. You need to make sure the walking belt has been coated and there is enough lube to last. You can do this over two to four minutes going one to two miles an hour. 

While finishing up, be sure to wipe up any excess lubricant that may have accumulated on the belt or the deck of the treadmill. This will help to prevent the buildup of excess lubricant, which can cause the belt to become slippery and potentially cause damage to the treadmill.

So Yes, You Can Over Lubricate a Treadmill

If you use too much lubricant on your treadmill deck, it will cause internal problems with your machine and possibly some damage to your home as well. Check your deck at least once a month, or more depending on your use, to see if you need to lubricate your machine.

Treadmill Close-Up

If you end up not using enough lube to your machine, you run the risk of causing damage to your machine parts because they will run under too much friction. As long as you use the proper amount of lubrication you should be able to use your treadmill for years.

And finally, remember to follow all safety precautions when lubricating a treadmill belt, including unplugging the machine and allowing it to cool down before applying lubricant. If you’re not comfortable lubricating the treadmill yourself, you can also hire a treadmill repair specialist to perform the task for you.

Hopefully that this article provided you with the information that you need for when you’re ready to start the fun task of lubricating your treadmill belt!

Team HTF

We are the team at High Tech Fitness and have a love for educating and sharing our insights on all things tech and fitness with you.

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