Treadmills are pretty robust and can live up to 10 years if properly maintained. But its lifespan shortens if we don’t replace a worn-out walking belt. We don’t want to spend thousands buying new ones if we can have our walking belts replaced for just a few bucks. In this article, we will provide step-by-step instructions on how to replace your walking belt with various tips along the way.
A Word of Caution
You should know that doing repairs or maintenance to your electric appliances or equipment can be dangerous. If you are not confident in doing this particular task, ask for a qualified technician or someone you know that has a lot of experience in performing such a task. On the other hand, if you are confident enough that you understand all the instructions provided in this tutorial and are capable of replacing your walking belt, be sure to use the right tools and safety equipment to avoid personal injury and damage to your treadmill.
Things You Need
1. The right size of replacement walking belt
2. Phillips screwdriver
3. Set of Allen wrench, preferably both metric and standard
4. Safety work gloves
Note: In some cases, some manufacturers use square-drive bolts for the side rails. In that case, you need a square screwdriver. Also, some manufacturers have nuts for the screws that mount the walking deck or board. With that, you will need a crescent wrench.
Steps to Replace Your Walking Belt
1. Unplug your Treadmill
- For safety purposes, unplug the power cable of your treadmill from the electrical outlet.
2. Remove the Covers
- Remove the Phillips (or Allen) screws that secure the motor hood.
- Take out the motor hood and remove it from the frame.
- Some treadmills have foot rails that are fastened through screws under the walking deck or board. Fold your treadmill up to gain access to the screws and make sure the latch is engaged. Some treadmills, though, have foot rails that are screwed just above the surface so that you don’t need to turn up the treadmill.
- Either way, remove the screws of the right-side foot rail. Slide off or remove the foot rail from your treadmill.
3. Remove the Worn-Out Walking Belt
Tip: Before removing adjustable parts or screws, make sure to mark the original adjustments using any marker or take a clear picture. This will save you a lot of time with your final adjustments later.
- Remove the rear roller adjustment Allen screw on the right side and unmount the rear roller from the right-side bracket. Do the same with the right side of the front roller.
- Fold your treadmill up again and engage the latch.
- Remove the screws of the walking deck on the right side from your treadmill frame and loosen the screws up on the left side for better movement once you lift the walking deck.
- Lift the right side of the walking deck for a few inches and slide the walking belt off the walking deck and belt rollers
4. Install Your New Walking Belt
- Again, lift the right side of the walking deck to a few inches to slide the new walking belt over your walking board and rollers.
- Fold your treadmill up with the latch engaged, and fasten back the walking board to the treadmill frame.
- Release the latch, unfold your treadmill, and remount the rear and front rollers to their mounting brackets.
- Screw the rollers’ Allen screws back in based on the original markings or pictures you took. If the belt is tensioned correctly, you will barely insert your arm halfway under the walking belt.
- Put the right-side rail back and its screws.
- Put the motor hood back and its screws.
5. Inspect the Belt Tracking
- Plug the power cord and start your treadmill at the lowest speed.
- Observe for a few minutes if the walking belt is tracking correctly in the center or shifting towards either side.
- If not aligned, unplug the power cord and perform adjustments through the rear roller adjustment Allen screw. It is a good habit to only adjust the left side of the roller. Also, always only do half turns to avoid over-adjustment.
- Plug the power cord and check alignment. Repeat the process until the belt is running in the center.
Tip: Recheck the tracking after using your treadmill for three days. Belts tend to relax and loose alignment.
Caution: Always unplug the power cord of the machine when working by or around electrical components. If you need to perform walking belt alignment while the treadmill is running, please use caution.
6. Apply Lubrication
- Unplug the power cord and lift the sides of your treadmill belt and apply lubricant to the walking deck on both the left and right sides.
Tip: You can spread the lubricant using a long, flat item such as a paint stirrer.
Caution: Only choose the type of lubricant recommended by the manufacturer to avoid any damages. Consult your reference manual or directly contact your manufacturer.
- Walk or run your treadmill for a few minutes to evenly spread the lubricant across the walking board.
It may be a daunting task for you, but following these steps slowly and carefully will greatly help you in replacing your treadmill walking belt. Some people may be able to finish replacing the walking board within half an hour or so, while some people may even take half a day to complete. Take note that if your treadmill’s structure has a more complicated assembly, then expect to spend more time in solving how to apply the steps above. Just like all technicians would say, doing this the first time may take a lot of time and some errors, but eventually, you will be able to replace your walking belt. Remember to be patient with the guide, to be confident in accomplishing your goal, and to be safe in every action. And as always, keep running.