I had to perform some maintenance on my treadmill since the tread was slipping a bit and I sensed the onset of a slight squeaking sound. I E-mailed the manufacturer, who then sent me the maintenance instructions. (Maybe they came with the treadmill, but this seems to be the first time I saw them?) In any case, I’ll post here the instructions they gave for oiling the tread and adjusting the tensions and centering the tread.
Treadmill in question is the Confidence Power Plus Treadmill
and items needed are the included allen wrench (0.5 cm diameter wrench) and silicone oil. I got Horizon Fitness Silicone Treadmill Belt Lubricant. Seemed to have good reviews and was the cheapest. The other brand advertises “a 6-month supply”, whereas this one advertises 3 applications (3 bottles). (But DON’T use a whole bottle on this treadmill for one application! It’s way too much) I think they typically recommend an application every couple of months or so, so I think this one is the better deal if not the same.
Here are the manufacturer’s instructions verbatim (belt adjustment first, lubrication near the bottom of the page) and then my take on them as I try them myself. I’ll post some pictures when I actually oil it, but I don’t think it’ll be all that spectacular anyways.
Treadmill Belt Adjustment Instructions
“Make sure to power machine off. Use the allen wrench to make adjustment. At the tension control using the allen wrench loosen belt, remembering “lefty loosey”, turn wrench counter clockwise, 2 turns left side/2 turns right side until belt is able to be centered. When the belt is in the desired centeredness adjust the tension control with the allen wrench alternating 2 turns on each side, until belt tightened. Before using the treadmill. Power machine on and test belt by turning on and running the machine without an operator for at least 1 min watching for any movement from center. Monthly Maintenance: Apply oil along bar below belts on both side of machine and run for 2-4min.”
I know they say to make the adjustments when the treadmill is off, but I don’t listen too well and did the adjustment when the machine was on. I wanted to see the tread change position as I tightened and loosened each side, and that I could. It took several seconds for the tension to have an effect on the tread, and I believe the position of the tread relative to the amount of allen wrench turning was non-linear. (At some point it became very sensitive to turning, whereas outside of that point it didn’t move at all.) Screwing the left wrench bolt clockwise moves the belt to the left. Counter-clockwise moves it to the right. This is the opposite for the right wrench bolt. Basically, if you tighten a side by wrenching clockwise, it moves it away from that side. Make sure not to over-tighten the treadmill as they say this can also cause damage. Basically, don’t tighten the screw until it’s hard to turn.
Regular maintenance: Cleaning:
“Make sure that the area around the treadmill and the area under It is clean. It is especially important that the running bely, the side rails and also the floor under the bely are kept clean, so no dirt gets between the running belt and the sliding surface or under the motor cover. Dirt and dust can quickly result in increased wear, as well as damaging the machine. Vacuum the running belt and the sides of the belt as needed or at least once a week, the rest can be wiped with a slightly damp cloth (a mild soap solution is ok). To avoid getting water in electrical components, the treadmill should not be cleaned with a wet cloth, swab or mop.”
Regular maintenance: Lubricating with silicone oil:
“The treadmill comes lubricated when purchased. It should then be lubricated every 30th time it is used (or once every other month). Turn off the power, lift up the rubber mat on the right side with one hand and spray silicone oil moderately along the whole sliding surface under the mat. Do the same on the left side. Turn on the belt at its lowest speed and walk for roughly three minutes so the silicone oil is evenly spread out.”
When I did this, it seemed pretty straight forward. The oil I used was Horizon Fitness Silicone Treadmill Belt Lubricant. It’s cheap and well rated on amazon. They say it comes with enough for 3 applications, but it feels like they are anticipating a huge massive treadmill, not this little dinky walking one, so I feel like I could have used half a bottle instead of the full bottle they recommend per application. (Update: Yes, do NOT use the entire bottle. It will start to get pushed out the sides and cover everything with lube, including the tread. Slippery is not good for a treadmill!) I just spread it around the bottom of the tread, walked for a bit, and that’s it; maintenance complete. The squeaking sound went away a little bit after I aligned the tread to the middle, and now after adding the lubrication, it feels a bit more smooth. It still makes a sound, but it’s different. It’s also making a new sound, sort of like the tread… well, rubbing up against the lubricant. Anyways! They said this is good for it, so who am I to argue.