5 Common Causes of a Squeaky Treadmill and How To Stop A Treadmill From Squeaking

There is perhaps nothing more annoying than a squeaky treadmill. You’re just trying to get a nice workout in, but your treadmill insists on annoying you. 

While this development is often simply off-putting, it can also indicate a deeper problem. After all, treadmills squeak for a reason. If your treadmill is squeaking, it could be a sign that something else is wrong with it. 

Figuring out this underlying cause is the key to getting your treadmill’s squeakiness fixed. If you can fix the underlying issue, then you will also solve the symptoms. You will learn in this guide how to stop a treadmill from squeaking.


Causes of a Squeaky Treadmill

There are many things that can potentially cause a squeaky treadmill. So many, in fact, that this problem is more common than you probably think. 

Belt Misalignment

If your belt shifts and goes out of alignment, then your treadmill may begin squeaking. Often, this happens when the belt is too tight or too loose. However, it may also happen when the belt is not leveled properly, though this is rarer. 

A misaligned belt can cause a variety of problems. If it is misaligned, it may wear down sooner, which would indicate that you’d need to change it sooner. Of course, this also means that you’ll end up spending more money than you might otherwise. 

Plus, it may also cause you to lose your balance, which may cause injury on your end. 

Luckily, realigning the belt is often pretty easy. Most user manuals have directions inside to help you out. 


Lubricating your belt is also essential. If your belt doesn’t get lubricated, it may start squeaking, which should be a warning to re-lubricate the belt as soon as possible. 

Lubricating your treadmill is a regular part of maintenance and should be done as often as your treadmill’s manual states. Otherwise, the treadmill may wear down faster than it would otherwise, prompting you to buy a new one. In the end, doing this small action can have a big impact on your wallet. 

You should plan on lubricating your treadmill regularly. If it starts squeaking, consider lubricating it again– even if you just did so. It is very hard to over-lubricate a treadmill, after all. 

Friction Settings

Sometimes, treadmills allow you to adjust their friction settings. If you put it too high, then the treadmill’s belt may start squeaking due to the increased friction. You should check your user manual to ensure that you don’t have these settings too high before trying anything else. 

Furthermore, you may want to consider simply putting your treadmill on medium friction to keep it safe. 

Motor Dirt and Debris

When a motor is running, it builds up a lot of static electricity. This force attracts all sorts of particles, including dirt and similar debris. If these are allowed to build up long enough, they may cause the motor to start squeaking. 

This issue is more serious than other problems we’ve discussed thus far, as it can indicate that your motor is at risk of overheating. A treadmill motor costs close to $300, so it is the last thing that you want to break. 

Therefore, you’ll want to pay close attention to any squeaking to ensure that it isn’t your motor. 

Metal Contact

When two pieces of metal rub against each other, they often cause squeaking of some sort. All treadmills have some locations where metal may rub up against other metals. Usually, this isn’t a huge issue – though it can be very annoying. 

Usually, these contact points don’t have any padding and aren’t particularly important. While metal will wear down when rubbed up against other metal, it usually isn’t enough to matter on a machine like a treadmill. 

FAQs of How to Stop a Treadmill From Squeaking

FAQs of How to Stop a Treadmill From Squeaking

If you have more questions about why your treadmill is squeaking and what you can do about it, take a look at the FAQs below. 

How Do I Stop My Treadmill from Squeaking?

The key to stopping squeaking is to figure out why your treadmill is squeaking and put an end to it. Often, the easiest way to do this is with order of elimination. 

The easiest thing to do is clean out the motor, so you should likely stop there. Read your treadmill’s manual to figure out exactly how it recommends cleaning. Often, you can accomplish this by vacuuming out the fan and other components of the motor. 

Plus, keeping the area around the treadmill clean and if you have under bed treadmill try to clean it every week, often goes a long way to preventing further issues with squeaking – assuming that your treadmill is the problem. 

If that doesn’t work, you can lubricate your treadmill. Again, take a look at the user manual to determine the right type of lubricant and where it should be applied. Different treadmills have different guidelines, so it is impossible to make an overarching recommendation. 

If that didn’t work, then it could be your friction setting. However, this is a rarer problem, as friction settings are often not changed. If you have messed with that setting, though, then it may be the root of your issue. 

Finally, if you’ve tried everything and haven’t been able to fix it, it may simply be a sign of metal-on-metal contact. Some metal piece is rubbing up against another metal piece. As we stated earlier, this often isn’t a huge problem. However, there isn’t much that you can do about it either. 

Alternatively, your motor could be having a hard time for another reason. Sometimes motors may develop a squeaking noise right before they die. Sadly, there isn’t much you can usually do except purchase a new motor. 

How Do I Know If My Treadmill Needs Lubricant?

All treadmills will need lubricant eventually. Often, there is a suggested lubricant schedule in the machine’s user manual. Therefore, your first step should be to check there for instructions and the recommended time frame. 

You can also check with your hands to determine if there is enough lubricant or not. Simply reach your hand under your walking belt and onto the deck surface. Then, simply check to see if you can feel a slight waxy or oily lubricant on the deck. If you can’t, then you should get lubricated. 

Is WD40 Good for Treadmills?

No. Treadmills need special lubricants – not WD40 by any means. You shouldn’t use most household oils or lubricants such as silicone spray or oil. These can harm your treadmill by eating away at the rubber and other components. 

In fact, most lubricants out there contain some sort of petroleum distillates, which will make the rubber on your treadmill age faster. 

Instead, you’ll need to lubricate your treadmill with a purpose-made lubricant. Check your user manual for information on the lubricant to use on your specific treadmill. 

Do You Need to Lubricate a Treadmill Motor?

In most cases, you don’t need to lubricate your treadmill motor. Instead, you need to lubricate the belt that you run on. Otherwise, it may build up too much friction, causing the parts to rub together with too much friction. 

As you might imagine, this can cause some serious squeaking noises. Plus, the parts can wear down faster because they are rubbing against each other harder. 

However, your treadmill motor is not one of these parts. It needs to be cleaned, but lubrication usually isn’t necessary. 

Conclusion on How to Stop a Treadmill From Squeaking

We highly recommend paying close attention any time that your treadmill squeaks. While it might be nothing in some cases, it can also absolutely be something. You don’t want to ignore the squeaking, especially if you could potentially elongate your treadmill’s lifespan by fixing the underlying issue. 

Most squeaking in treadmills is caused by an under-lubricated belt or a dirty motor. Therefore, by performing some basic maintenance, you could potentially stop your treadmill from squeaking. 

Too much friction can also cause the treadmill to squeak. So, if you’ve messed with your machine’s friction setting, you should likely back off on it. 

Other motor problems can also cause squeaking, but these are much less fixable than everything else we’ve mentioned.

Many treadmills have issues squeaking at some point. Fixing it is often very simple, luckily. 

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