All machines tend to cause some sort of issues at some point in their lifetime. For example, a treadmill is also a machine that goes through grinding as fitness lovers run or do many workouts on it. So it’s not that rare to see these running machines having some sort of issues, both major or minor.
And having the belt folded or slid to one side is a pretty normal and minor problem as long as the tread belt itself is not damaged. So yeah, you can fix a treadmill belt that is folded, and it’s not that hard either.
How to Fix a Treadmill Belt That is Folded
It will be way easier for you to fix this treadmill belt folding issue if you know what exactly caused it. Also, if you know the proper mechanism of the treadmill, you can identify the problem as soon as possible and take necessary precautions.
So, what happens here is after using the treadmill for some time, the belt slides to the left or right side. That causes the belt to rub against the side rail cover or any other outer part of the treadmill. And it gets the treadmill belt curling on the side that continuously touches the belt while it’s spinning. That’s what leads the belt to its limit and the treadmill belt bunching up at the middle.
This also happens after months of daily use or rough use when the tread belt starts to loosen a bit. Or the opposite, the belt is too tight. To check if the belt is too tight or not, just lift the treadmill belt in the middle. It should raise up to 2 or 3 inches; if not, the belt is too tight.
Worry not; this minor problem is fixable unless something causes the treadmill belt to tear apart.
Let’s get straight to the point here. To fix this folded belt of the treadmill, you’ll have to open the rollers and fix the belt. But, before that, you might want to check one thing, and that is if opening the treadmill or belt voids the warranty. Most of the treadmills out there don’t seem to have any conditions like that, but it’s always better to double-check things. But, if it is too old to fix, you can buy a new treadmill for under $1000 or even under 500 dollars!
So, when fixing a folded treadmill belt, here’s what we can do.
- Option 1: Loosen the rollers and unfold the belt
- Option 2: Loosen the rollers and replace the belt (if it’s worn out)
If the belt keeps folding time after time, it’s time to let it go and get a new belt. For getting a new belt, first, try to get in touch with the manufacturer. You can buy a new belt from them or try Amazon by searching the belt for your specific treadmill model.
Quick Safety Tip: It’s ideal for putting on a pair of hand gloves while opening the machine; it won’t be so pleasant if you hurt yourself in the process. And patience is always important; try not to give up while you are halfway to fixing the running machine; the process isn’t that complex, though.
Now that we are ready technically and spiritually let’s get into the battlefield. And DO NOT forget to unplug the treadmill before you start; it can be dangerous.
- Step 1: Unscrew the bolts of the motor cover and open it:
You’ll find multiple bolts or screws at the bottom end of the motor hood most of the time. If not, there must be some screws on the motor cover that may be on the sides of the machine. Find them and unscrew them, detach the motor cover, and put them in a safe place. Do not lose the bolts or screws; it’ll be a pain to find those after you are finished fixing the treadmill.
- Step 2: Detach one of the side rail covers:
Now, you have to remove one of the side rail covers to access the rollers. There are some screws on the top or the bottom of the side footrails; unscrew them. It’s preferred that you open the right side of the foot rail, but either side will do.
- Step 3: Detach the rollers:
There are Allan screws at the bottom end of the machine; these are there to adjust the belt center alignment. Unscrew it to detach the rear roller. The same goes for the front roller, unscrew the bolts and remove the motor belt.
- Step 4: Unfold or replace the belt:
Now that you loosen up the rollers, you’ll notice you can lift up the rollers and access the belt. Unfold the tread belt that has been causing you trouble. Carefully notice if there’s any tear or worn-out part on the treadmill belt. If you find a tear or a crack in the belt, it might be a good idea to replace it as soon as possible. This process also works as how to replace treadmill belts, pretty handy.
- Step 5: Turn this mess into a treadmill again:
Now the issue is fixed, and it’s time to put it all together and get this thing working again. Just reverse the work you’ve done, put the belt on the rollers, put the rollers back to their position. Fasten the roller bolts, attach the motor belt to the front roller.
Here is a step-by-step video guide by Life Prank.
Now theoretically, the work is done, and before you start running on the machine, it needs to be examined thoroughly.
- Check that every bolt you unscrewed is back to its place or not; attach the motor hood and side foot rail cover on.
- Check if the belt is too tight or not. As I mentioned earlier, there should rise of 2 or 3 inches when you lift it with your finger.
- Check if the belt is aligned centered; if not, adjust it through the Allan screen on the rear end. You can also put some lubricants under the tread belt to make it quiet while it runs.
- Run the treadmill for a minute or two to check out if it’s working properly before you step on the running machine. Also, watch out if the treadmill belt is rubbing on the deck; it also needs to be fixed.
Treadmill Maintainance Tips
- Clean the treadmill from time to time
- Place the machine on solid ground (Use floor mat if needed, the Tiles Gym Flooring is recommended)
- Keep at least 1 foot free around
- Lubricate it from time to time
- Center the belt if needed
Your favorite workout machine can act up from time to time; that’s a part of the workout life, I guess. However, if you look after the machine, it will give way less hard time. For the treadmill lubricator, use a silicon-based one, something like IMPRESA Treadmill Lubricator is recommended.
Here is a step-by-step video guide by Life Prank.
As a mechanical workout machine, it’s not rare for a treadmill to cause some trouble once in a while. And small treadmill belt repairs like this one can be easily solved with a few proper steps. It’s also recommended that you check out the manufacturer’s warranty first before tearing the treadmill apart. If fixing the treadmill belt is part of the warranty, it can be solved without touching a thing.
Proper maintenance of a treadmill or any machine can make it last for ages. So, take care of your workout buddy that takes care of your body!