Replacing A Treadmill Belt – Cues, Tips, and Costs

Young focused fit woman running on treadmill

A treadmill is one of the best training equipment you can have. It can help you log in the miles, burn calories and stay fit all year long. But, like most machines, they require regular maintenance.

In fact, use the machine often, and there comes a time when your treadmill starts breaking down.

The part that gets worn most often is the treadmill belt. However, the level of damage may vary for home and commercial use.

So, that begs questions like:

  • When it’s time to change a treadmill belt?
  • What to look for?
  • How to replace a treadmill belt?
  • And what is the treadmill belt replacement cost like?

Here’s the truth.

Telling when it’s time to pull the plug (literally) on your treadmill belt can be quite tricky.

But worry no more.

Today’s article got you covered.

Sounds great?

Let’s get started.

Why Is The Treadmill Belt Prone To Damage

Treadmill belts are made to withstand a lot of impact, but they can and do wear out overuse.

You should also replace the belt to avoid putting too much strain on the motor—or else you might end up with the extra cost of getting a new treadmill motor along with the belt. This can be as expensive as getting a new treadmill.

How Long Should Treadmill Belt Last?

How long do treadmill belts usually last depends on factors such as treadmill quality and training frequency, but, all in all, the most belt can last up to 300 to 500 hours of use.

This can equate to between three to four years for the average user. If it’s a commercial gym, then, of course, the belt should be replaced a few times per year.

The Right Way To Replace Treadmill Belt

Before you get a new treadmill belt, you should first check whether they really need replacement (or just tightening).

The Testing Process

Before you check your treadmill belt, make sure you have the following at hand:

  • An unplugged treadmill (of course)
  • A flashlight
  • A Screwdriver that suits the roller bolts of your treadmill. Check the owner’s manual.
  • Patience and lots of it.

The Manual Check

It may sound too basic, but simply checking the treadmill in person may reveal a lot.

Unplug the treadmill, then, while using a screwdriver that fits the units’ tension roller blots (you can find these on the back of the treadmill), carefully loosen the belt. This should help you to visually check and feel the exterior and interior belt surfaces.

Young healthy athletic woman running on a treadmill near the sunny window in the gym and listening music.

The Signs To Look for

Look For Uneven Wear & Tear

Uneven Wear

Once the belt is loose, feel both sides and check for any areas with uneven wear.  For example, if you find disproportionate smoothness in an area that you run on, you definitely need a new belt.

Fraying

Check for any signs of wear and tear on the top of the belt seam. Replace the belt if the edges are coming apart or find any fraying, cracks, snags, cuts, or any other significant deformation in the belt. Not worth the risk.

Check The Seam

The seam is a weak area of the belt and can turn problematic in many models.

Loose seams can come apart, which may cause serious injury or be a trip hazard while using the machine.

To check,  run your fingers along the underside seam of the belt, feeling for any signs that the seam may be fraying, wearing, or otherwise coming apart.

Last Step

If all seems okay, reverse the steps to bring the treadmill back to a functional condition. In case you’re confused, revert back to the instructions provided in your owner’s manual or follow the tips in the repair help section.

Do I Need To Replace A Belt When it’s Slippery?

A slipping treadmill is a running nightmare—no put intended.

When the belt is slippery, it can randomly (and without notice) lurch you forward as you run. This is not only uncomfortable but also quite dangerous.

When it’s the case, turn off the treadmill and lift up the belt from the deck to see how much slack there is.

As a rule, there should be a few inches of play. If there’s more than you’ll need to tighten the belt via the screws at the back end of the treadmill.

Replacing The Treadmill Belt

The first thing to keep in mind when choosing a new treadmill belt is that sizes vary from treadmill to treadmill. The belts aren’t universal, so it’s not easy to be sure that a belt you found on amazon was actually made for your specific treadmill model.

So please don’t experiment with a generic belt, even if you feel tempted because of the cheaper price. Instead, check your user’s manual (or contact the manufacturer), find the exact model number of your treadmill, and get a belt that was specifically made for that model.

Most treadmill belts can be easily removed and installed, but you should always follow the instructions in your owner’s manual before you get started. That way, at least you’ll have a rough idea of what’s in stores for you.

If you’ve concluded that your belt needs replacing, you need to know how to actually do it.

Before you proceed any further, make sure you have at hand the following:

  • Screwdriver
  • Marker
  • Wrench
  • Pliers
  • Reliable friend (to help with the lifting and all).

Ready?

Let’s get to the next step.

Here’s How To Put Together The New Belt 

Begin by fully unplugging the treadmill. Simply turning it off might not be enough as you might get hurt if you accidentally press a button or electric conduction problem.

Use the bolts at the end section of the treadmill to loosen the belt, making sure it’s loose enough that you can fit your hand underneath.

This is where you will need an extra hand to remove the old belt and put in the new one—but it’s possible to do it alone.

Lift the deck and hold the front roller adjacent to the pulley; then, your assistant removes the old belt and slides the new one over the board.

Once the new belt is in place, lift up the deck and check underneath to see if the belt is aligned in the dead center of the machine. You should also check underneath whether the new belt is in the middle.

Then, properly fasten the belt and deck together with the screws. Remember that you might have to adjust the deck to get the screws in.

Last up, test the treadmill by plugging everything back and running the treadmill at a slow speed, then gradually max up so you can observe clearly before you give it a try at a higher speed.

How Much Does A Treadmill Belt Cost

So now that you have decided to get a new belt, how much you’re actually going to spend?

The cost of treadmill belt replacement depends on the make and model of your machine as well as whether you choose to do it yourself or hire a professional.

Before you go looking for a new belt, check first if your treadmill is still under warranty. Some companies provide extended warranties on many treadmill parts—the belt is no exception.

There’s a wide range of options, both in quality and cost.

Getting a new treadmill belt may cost between $50 to $200—this not including the costs for a technician (in case you decided that you can’t do it on your own).

The repair and replacement fees can vary, too.

If you choose to hire someone else, you might be looking for an extra $100 to $150, depending on your chosen repair company’s hourly cost. This makes the cost of belt replacement around $150 to $400.

Conclusion

Hopefully, today’s article has provided enough guidelines and information to help you determine when it’s time to replace your treadmill belt as well as how to do it properly.

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.

In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.