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How to Inspect a Belt and Deck

The only certain way to know the condition of a belt and deck is to do a DC amp draw test. High amps indicate a worn belt and/or deck.

  1. To inspect the belt and deck visually or to clean underneath the belt before applying lubricant, the belt must have the tension reduced. Loosen the tension roller by following the instructions in your owner's manual or click on the Walking Belt Adjustment Instructions help topic in our troubleshooting section. Do not loosen the bolts in the tension roller too far or the bolts will come out of the roller shaft. This step may not be necessary for your treadmill model or belt and deck condition.
  2. Inspect belt and deck. The deck should be smooth without any grooves, pits, or exposed wood. The belt should have a consistent ridged feel from one side of the belt to the other (a belt can be worn out without any sensory signs of a problem). If you feel deep grooves in the deck or uneven wear on the underside of the belt, part replacement is necessary. Visually look at the underside of the belt. It should have a consistent look. Black streaks in the belt are a sign of bottom-layer wear through. Very worn belts will feel smooth in the areas you normally walk- you would think smooth is good but not in belts because the smoother the belt, the more contact area. Continued use of your treadmill may damage expensive electrical components.
  3. Check for a seam failure in the belt. Where you see the belt joined (usually in a diagonal arrangement) check to make sure the underside has a ridged consistent feel. Also visually inspect the seam from the top. It has triangular areas we call fingers that are sewn together and then heat-sealed to form the bond between the two pieces. These should be uniform and show no signs of pulling apart. If the seam is separating, belt replacement is necessary. The seam will usually be thicker than other parts of your belt and should have a consistent measurement from one side of the belt to the other.
  4. If belt and deck are in good condition and you are having problems with your treadmill, try an application of our World Famous Treadmill Lube to test if the problem can be remedied by lubrication. In some instances, the belt's condition cannot be physically determined. If problems persist, replace the belt. A deck problem will always be able to be determined by feeling the deck for signs of wear.
  1. Reverse the steps to return the treadmill to an operable condition using the instructions provided in your owner's manual or use the instructions in our troubleshooting section.
If the deck is worn, you can return it to a usable condition without much expense as long as the deck is not cracked. Some more expensive treadmills have decks that can be flipped over for double the wear life (some claim four wear sides but be very wary of this claim. If you have one that is worn on both side or cannot be flipped, the deck must be prepped by making sure the surface is smooth. Sand down any grooves or pits and then you can cover the deck with our Mylar kit in order to provide a new wear surface for the belt to travel upon. This will save you the cost of a new deck- it is really expensive to ship a deck and they hardly ever arrive in great shape due to the weight and odd size of a deck.