Most Effective Ways To Overcome Treadmill Burning Smells’s in 2023

Suddenly smelling a burning smell from your treadmill can be extremely worrisome. After all, this machine isn’t cheap in the least and a burning smell is never good. 

There are several reasons why your treadmill might smell like it is burning. You can’t really fix this problem until you figure out why it is happening to begin with. Below, we’ve listed some of the most common causes treadmill burning smells along with solutions to go along with them. 


The Motor 

treadmill burning smells

The most common source of a burning smell from a treadmill is the motor. Over time, the motor can become clogged with hair and dirt. It will be unable to get the proper airflow, causing it to overheat. 

Eventually, it may overheat enough to cause a burning smell. 

Luckily, this issue is pretty easy to avoid. All you need to do is clean your treadmill appropriately. Usually, your owner’s manual should have information on how to properly clean out your motor. Often, you can use compressed air or a vacuum to clean out the motor. And if you have under bed treadmill you should clean it every week if you can do that,this will be perfect.

Be particularly sure to clean out the fan blades, as these are responsible for much of the motor’s airflow. 

Keeping up with maintenance will go a long way to preventing this problem. However, if you’ve let maintenance slip and have noticed a burning smell, a quick clean may be all you need to correct it. 

Electrical Problems

Issues with wires and similar electrical problems are a different story, though. In many cases, these can result in a burning smell. However, there is often little you can do to actually repair them yourself. Unless you have some electrical knowledge, you’ll likely need to hire a professional to replace the damaged wires.  

In many situations, now is the time that having a good warranty can be helpful. Many warranties cover electrical problems that were clearly not due to your actions.  

However, these warranties often require that a trained professional come to repair the treadmill. Depending on where you are, there may not be one in your area. 

The Deck

Without the proper lubrication, the deck of your treadmill will easily cause a burning smell. Friction will make the components heat up, which can cause burning.

For this reason, properly maintaining the deck and belt is essential. You’ll need to lubricate the belt and deck as recommended, as well as keep them clean. Be sure to take a look at the maintenance section of your user manual to ensure that you’re performing all the proper maintenance. 

Similarly, sometimes the deck or belt may simply wear down. Of course, this happens faster if you don’t perform the proper maintenance, like lubrication. 

However, it will happen to all parts eventually. 

Either way, worn parts may rub against other parts in a way they weren’t designed to. Therefore, this can lead to increased friction and heat, causing the burning smell. You may eventually have to change these parts to keep the treadmill working and prevent the burning smell from permeating the room every time you exercise. 

A Word on Safety

If your treadmill has a burning smell, there is a very good chance that there is built-up energy somewhere. After all, you wouldn’t be smelling something burning otherwise. Therefore, you should take serious precautions when it comes to repairing your treadmill.

In some cases, these are fixes you can do yourself, such as cleaning your motor. Always be sure that your treadmill is unplugged before doing anything. Check your user manual for other troubleshooting information you may need to keep in mind. 

We highly recommend calling a professional if you’re feeling over your head. While most basic maintenance is designed to be accomplished by the average user, most repairs will need a professional. 

FAQS Of Treadmill Burning Smells

Is It Normal for Treadmill Motors to Get Hot?

Treadmill motors should not get very warm. They are equipped with fans that make them remain lukewarm at most. However, if they heat it to the level of hot, then there is likely a fault. 

Usually, this problem is due to a running belt issue. Sometimes, this belt may need to be replaced, as it will wear down over time. Having the friction turned up too high can also cause the motor to overheat, as it will need to work harder to move the belt. 

Sometimes, you may need to replace the whole motor, since overheating can cause physical damage that is unfixable. You can’t exactly fix melted components, after all. 

However, replacing the engine and then paying closer attention to maintenance in the future is often enough to solve the issue. With that said, after you replace the motor, you should check to ensure that the new motor isn’t overheating, as it may indicate a problem with one of the other parts. 

For instance, having unaligned parts may cause the motor to heat up. An old belt or running deck may also cause issues, especially if they are unlubricated. Remember, you should always clean before lubricating. Otherwise, you may end up with dust/sand in your lubricant, which will make it work less often. 

How Do I Know if My Treadmill Needs Lubrication?

Preferably, you should lubricate your treadmill on a schedule. Your user manual will likely have suggested schedules. However, it will also depend on your climate and how the treadmill is used. 

Therefore, you should also check your belt’s lubrication regularly to ensure that it doesn’t need lubrication. To do this, simply touch the deck’s surface underneath the walking belt. You should feel a slight coat of oil, which is the lubricant. If you don’t, then the treadmill likely needs more lubricant. 

It is very difficult to over-lubricate a treadmill (though it is possible). Therefore, if you’re unsure, you should probably lubricate your treadmill. 

What Happens If You Don’t Lubricate a Treadmill?

If you don’t keep a treadmill properly lubricated, then it will likely wear down faster. After all, the lubricant is designed to keep your treadmill from producing too much friction. If this friction is allowed to build up, then it can cause the belt to overheat and become damaged. 

Furthermore, the motor will need to work harder to move the belt due to the added friction. Therefore, your motor won’t last nearly as long. Plus, it may overheat and burn up, though this usually only happens when you haven’t lubricated in a long time. 

Lubricating a treadmill is not optional – it is a requirement. If you want to get the most out of your treadmill, performing this sort of basic maintenance is absolutely necessary. 

How to Clean a Treadmill Motor?

To ensure that you clean your treadmill motor correctly, you should consult with your user manual. Preferably, you should vacuum out your motor regularly. Keeping the fan clean is particularly important. Otherwise, your motor may not get enough airflow, causing it to overheat. 

You should also clean out the rest of your treadmill while you’re working on your motor. Dirt and debris will get stuck in the belt as well, which can increase friction and make the motor work harder. 

Keeping your treadmill motor in proper check will involve more than just directly cleaning out the motor itself. Anything that makes the motor work harder will cause problems. Therefore, we highly recommend keeping up with all other sorts of maintenance as well. 


Most of the time, a burning smell from your treadmill is probably caused by the motor. Without proper cleaning, the motor may stop getting the proper amount of airflow, making it overheat. Furthermore, anything that makes the treadmill motor work harder will also make it overheat. 

For instance, if you don’t lubricate your belt, then the increased friction will quickly make the motor work harder, causing overheating. 

Plus, the friction itself on the belt can make the belt overheat, producing a burning smell. 

Both of these causes can be avoided by keeping up with regular maintenance. By cleaning and lubricating everything appropriately, you can ensure that your treadmill doesn’t overheat. 

However, electrical problems can also cause a burning smell. In these cases, there isn’t much that you can do. A professional is often needed to fix the issue. 

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