How Do I Oil My Treadmill? The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide!

The super-easy guide to lubricating and caring for your treadmill’s belt

Had your treadmill a while? Could be it’s time to do some maintenance. One of the main things you’ll want to do in order to keep your treadmill in peak performance is to lubricate the belt.

Help! That sounds like a nightmare! Relax. You’re in good hands. We’ve got all the info you’ll need to keep your treadmill in peak condition and stop it wearing out.

Lubricate your treadmill

Your treadmill works hard and needs lubricating from time to time

Why do you need to oil the treadmill’s belt?

Oiling your treadmill is not complicated or time-consuming and it’s definitely worth it! A few minutes a year could make a big difference:

  • Prologue the treadmill belt’s life
  • Make for a smoother running action
  • Keep the noise down
  • Prevent excessive wear on other parts of the treadmill

Sadly, there’s a lot of treadmills out there that don’t get the oil they need. And if you’ve bought a second hand treadmill, or been gifted an older model, chances are it will be gagging for a bit of oil on it’s belt.

Can I just whack a bit of oil, or WD-40 on there?

Don’t do this. While it’s always tempting to use what’s kicking around in your garage, your treadmill won’t work properly and you can cause a lot of problems just squirting any old oil on there. Treadmills need what’s called silicone lubricant, to help the belt glide smoothly.

Get a decent quality silicone lubricant. your treadmill will thank you.

When should you lubricate your treadmill?

While the number varies between manufacturers, a good average number, and the one we’d recommend is after every 180 hours of running. After that time, your treadmill will likely be feeling a little dry and the belt could definitely use a bit of TLC.

Some treadmill models have a lube counter (yes, that’s a thing). Which is a handy counter that will keep track of, and let you know, when your treadmill belt needs lubricating.

If your running machine doens’t have this feature, you’ll have to whip out a calculator and work out how many hours (roughly) the treadmill has been used.

For example, 4 hours running average per week = about 45 weeks. If you’re using your treadmill regularly, once a year might be a good target to aim for.

TR10 Lubricant

TR10 is a good, all-purpose treadmill lubricant

First up: Grab your treadmill manual

It’s well worth checking out what your treadmill’s official manual says about lubricating the treadmill. You might find some info on the kind of oil that’s required, or read up on some special quirk with your treadmill that could be helpful.

Nobody keeps those things!

If you’re one of those rare, organized people who keeps every manual safely stored for when they need it, feel free to grin smugly, grab said document from that special drawer or shelf and read on. For the rest of us…

If you go to Google, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to find a lot of treadmill manuals, even fir older machines. Just type in TREADMILL NAME or MODEL and MANUAL. You’ll likely be able to find a .pdf you can download from the manufacturer’s website.

Or you can go to their homepage, or Facebook page, and ask them.

Where to buy treadmill lubricant?

And what’s the best lube for treadmills?

If your treadmill manual mentions you need a certain kind, then by all means see if you can find it with a quick search on Google, Amazon, eBay, or your favourite online store.

Isn’t there a good multi-treadmill lubricant you can get?

If you’ve no idea what kind of lubricant you’ll need for your treadmill, then don’t sweat it!

It’s time to bring out our old favourite, the TR10 from Amazon. This oil is our go-to treadmill lube; it’s a good quality, 100% silicone, and not that expensive. It’s also used in a lot of gyms and comes with a handy applicator (more on those in a bit…)

Grab some TR10 treadmill lubricant on Amazon here.


Two main ways to lubricate your treadmill’s belt

There’s really two main ways you can go about this. An easy one, and a slightly more complicated one. Each has good and bad points to it. But let’s assume lubricating your treadmill isn’t that big of a thing and you’d really just like to get on with the rest of your workout…

Method 1: Super easy

Remember the TR10, with it’s applicator nozzle? Some treadmill lubricants have a long tube at the end which is a brilliant invention. It lets you slide the nozzle under the treadmill and apply the lubrication between the belt and the deck without having to slacken the treadmill belt.

Pros
  • Very easy to do
  • Saves a lot of time
  • Less technical
Cons
  • Doesn’t allow you to clean the treadmill belt
  • You’ll need a lubricant with a long application nozzle.

Method 2: More complex, but gets your treadmill clean

You’d be amazed all the bits of dust and grit that can accumulate in your treadmill, especially if it’s in a garage. This method of lubricating involves slackening off the tension on the belt, and applying the lubrication directly to the deck. It also allows you to give things a good clean while you’re ‘in there’.

Here’s the steps you’ll need to take

  1. Loosen the bolts at the rear of the treadmill, to loosen the belt
  2. Take a clean cloth and remove any dust and debris under the belt
  3. Lubricate under the belt, using your silicone oil
  4. Make sure the belt is centered and tighten the belt again

*TIP* loosen the bolts the same number of turns, so you’ll know how many to tighten them up. If you slacken the 5 times, you’ll need to tighten them 5 times too.

Pros
  • Don’t need a special applicator
  • Can give your treadmill a proper clean and help it run more smoothly
  • Get even application of the lubrication over the surface
Cons
  • Takes longer
  • Have to slacken off the belt
  • You could mess with the belt’s alignment

Reading and further resources

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