How often should you lubricate your treadmill?
Buying a treadmill is a big investment and the simple act of oiling or lubricating your treadmill regularly will save you a small fortune in the long run. Pun intended. Thankfully, the job of lubricating your treadmill is pretty easy to do. So how often should you do this with a treadmill? The answer is at least once a month. It's important to refer to your owners manual for specific instructions around maintenance of your machine, in particular for treadmills that have self lubricating decks like the Matrix Commercial Range. However, some super helpful tips follow below.
Why do you need to lubricate your treadmill and what does that mean?
The main reason to lubricate your treadmill is to keep the mat moving smoothly over the running deck, which in turn reduces stress on the treadmill motor. This also protects the life of the mat and running deck too. You'll often hear this referred to as 'oiling your treadmill' but what does this mean? It's the simple act of squeezing 5ml of silicone oil or spraying silicone oil onto the the running deck under the mat. This easy to do process helps reduce friction between the mat and running deck. If your mat feels sticky, stiff or sounds a little squeaky, it's time to lubricate the mat.
In general, we have a few recommendations when it comes to treadmill care and maintenance.
- Lubricate the deck regularly
- Keep it out of the elements
- Dust regularly
- Use a floor mat to avoid dust entering components underneath
- When turning the machine off, turn the power on the machine off first, then turn off at the wall.
How often should I lubricate my treadmill?
With a new treadmill it is recommended that you lubricate the deck with 5ml of silicone oil before its first use. Whilst treadmills are pre-lubricated by their manufacturer they may have spent significant time in a warehouse, which could impact the efficacy of the initial oil placed on the running deck. Following on from this initial lubrication you should be lubricating new treadmills once a week, every week, for the first month. After that, regularly lubricating your treadmill once a month is a healthy habit for the life cycle of your treadmill.
If you have purchased a second hand treadmill we still recommend lubricating the treadmill once a month. In addition to that, if you will be doing 10+ hours a week of light to moderate running on your treadmill, it is good practice to double the above mentioned oil application guide.
What should I use?
At Fitness Warehouse we recommend using silicone oil from The Gym and Treadmill Surgeon. Silicone oil is compatible with many, if not all of the major treadmill brands. It is suitable for all treadmill models sold within the Fitness Warehouse product universe.
You can also use Silicone Spray, however, as explained in the below video it can dry out a bit quicker compared to silicone oil from a bottle. Therefore, it is why some technicians prefer silicone oil. However, one benefit of using silicone spray is the nozzle that comes with the can, it makes the process more user friendly.
How to lubricate a running deck:
Step 1 - Safety first. Make sure your treadmill is switched off and unplugged from the wall.
Step 2 - Access the Deck. You'll need access to the treadmill running deck. This is the smooth bit of wood under the running mat. If it’s not possible to simply lift the edge of the mat because it’s too tight, you may have to loosen the rollers. This is a fairly simple process which you can do by following the instructions in your treadmill manual. Once you have some slack, you're ready to oil the deck.
Step 3 - Applying the lubricant can be a little fiddly. Firstly, determine your strike zone on the running mat. You'll want to apply oil on the deck under where your feet repeatedly impact the mat. Once you've lifted the mat with one hand, apply an even spread of the 5ml of silicone oil or spray onto the middle of the running deck.
Step 4 - Lower the treadmill mat and you're done. If you need to re-tighten the treadmill roller screws, do so, making sure they're secure.
Step 5 - Plug the treadmill back in and turn the power on. Walk on your treadmill at a speed of 3-5kph for roughly five minutes. This will ensure the oil spreads evenly across the deck surface.
Our friends at The Gym & Treadmill Surgeon created this quick 2 minute guide on how to lubricate your treadmill.
As you can see, lubricating or oiling your treadmill is a fairly quick and easy task. Doing this regularly ensures your machine will have a healthy load on the motor, giving you thousands of kilometres of reliable running. Remember, the best time to start oiling your treadmill is before you've even stepped foot on it. This means from day one you're off to a flying start. From there you can move onto regularly oiling once a month and that's 'oil' you need to know. Happy running.