How to Fix a Folded Treadmill Belt

To those who aspire to achieve or maintain that quintessential healthy body mere mortals dare only dream of, you most likely have a treadmill at home. And if you do, you will likely have noticed that, as with any piece of machinery, with frequent usage, it doesn’t feel the same as it did when brand new.

The more you run on the human hamster wheel, you’ll start to face issues like treadmill belt curling, making the experience a tad uncomfortable.

But stay calm; we’re here to help and make sure you know how to fix a folded treadmill belt.

What Causes the Damage?

More likely than not, when you run on the treadmill, the friction between your feet and the running belt will cause it to shift.

This shift can cause the belt to wrinkle into ripples, fold or rub into the edges of the footrails, making it fray at the sides.

Daily usage may also make the contraptions holding the belt lose tension, which leads to the belt moving around. Ignoring these issues can and will make the machines whine at you for torturing them. So how do you rescue the machine from the tangles that pain them? Read on to find out.

What Tools Will You Need?

All you’ll need to fix or maintain your trusty treadmill are listed below:

  • A Screwdriver
  • An Allen Wrench of the required size
  • A pair of gloves (advised for your own safety)
  • A lot of patience (for your own sanity; the work is tedious but rewarding)
  • A New Treadmill Belt (to hide the evidence of your abuse; it is unlikely you’ll need it unless you loved the running machine to death)

Allen Wrench is just a small, harmless L-shaped tool used to turn bolts and screws into hexagonal sockets. This is usually provided with the treadmill during purchase. If you’ve misplaced yours, these are easily available at hardware stores.

Other than that, you may need to keep the machine running to check whether the repairs are working or not; hence gloves are advised to keep your hands safe. 

The last item is only required if you’ve borne tears into the sliding belt of your machine beyond repair (for example, beyond what could be hidden by simple DIY repair using duct tape).

Unless the specification of your device states otherwise, the instructions below should be all you need to nurse your treadmill to full health.

Fixing the Treadmill Sliding Issue

As mentioned above, the treadmill belt can start sliding around when the bolts in its rollers are too loose. Here, we’ll learn how to fix the “treadmill belt slipping to one side” issue.

Step 1: Identify the side you need to work on

The belt will usually slide towards the looser end. This will help you see which roller you need to adjust.

Step 2: Find the bolts in the rear

You will find hexagonal-shaped bolts on either side of the rear end of the treadmill. If not, then you may need to unscrew the bolts on the side rails on the machine to reveal these bolts.

Step 3: Turn the bolt

Using the Allen wrench, you can either turn the bolt clockwise to tighten the loose end or turn the bolt anti-clockwise to loosen the tight end. (Too much tightening can lead to the motor being unable to move the belt, in which case you may need to loosen it again.)

Step 4: Check your work

Start the treadmill, running it at the lowest speed. Allow 30 –60 seconds for the belt to adjust itself to see the effect.

It is advised to make quarter-turns at every adjustment and to limit the adjustments to 2 full turns (If you do more than that, you might end up harming the machine rather than fixing it).

If your treadmill refuses to move at all, both before and after the adjustments, it might be caused by the motor malfunctioning, in which case it is best to check your warranty and consult the manufacturers or a professional repairman.

Fixing Treadmill Belt Ripples, Curling, Or Bunching

Similar to the previous entry, you could solve the issues by adjusting the bolts on the rear end of the treadmill to allow the belt to slide back into place. If the matter persists, don’t worry, it’s still alright. You will just need a couple of extra steps. 

Step 1: Safety first

Unplug the power cord, so you don’t accidentally shock yourself.

Step 2: Remove the hood

Unscrew the bolts of the motor hood situated at the head of the treadmill and remove the hood. Pull the treadmill board up and use the latch to keep it in place.

Step 3: Removing the footrail

Unscrew the bolts that are under the right footrail to unfasten it. Unhook the latch and put the treadmill back on the ground.

Step 4: Taking out the roller

After removing the rail, use the roller adjustment to loosen the belt tension until you can lift the roller up (The roller is the small attachment that rolls the belt).

Remove the screw attached to the roller and fasten the board on the latch once again.

Step 5: Accessing the belt

Unfasten the corner screws that hold the right side of the walking board to the frame. This will allow you to slide and adjust the belt as you like. You can even replace the belt entirely if your old belt is no longer usable.

Step 6: Putting it Back Together

To reinstall the fastenings, all you need to do is retrace the steps. Here, let’s help you. Pull the board up and use the latch to keep it in place once again. Attach the right frame to the platform, screwing back the corner bolts.

Pulling the board down, screw the roller back in its original position, and adjust the belt accordingly. Then fasten the footrail back on before fastening the motorhead, and reinstalling all the screws back into place. 

Final Words

Turn the treadmill on and let it run on its own for a minute or two to see if further adjustments are needed. While the machine is off, if you can slide your hand under the belt into the middle of the board with some effort, you should be good to go. And voila, your machine is as good as new.

Now that you know how to fix treadmill belt curling and other similar issues, you should have no problem with your treadmill.

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