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Neil, Technician
Category: Exercise Equipment
Satisfied Customers: 3736
Experience:  NZCE Electronics and Computing
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I have a ProForm treadmill that keeps abruptly slowing down.

Customer Question

I have a ProForm treadmill that keeps abruptly slowing down. It used to do it only if I got the speed up over 6mph. Now it is unpredictable, but typically doesn't do it if it's under 4mph. So, let's say I'm jogging along at 6mph...the speed will suddenly drop, or the belt will slow suddenly to a stop. The calories and time will continue counting. So it's not a power shut down, just the belt. I looked up the manual and deciphered that the belt had slipped to the left, so I followed the instructions, incrementally tightening the left side of the belt until it was centered again. I walked at about 3mph for 5 minutes, no issue. I sped up to 4mph, and it stopped on me. What else can I try?
JA: What's the exact make and model of the treadmill?
Customer: ProForm model # *****
JA: What troubleshooting have you tried?
Customer: Already listed that above.
JA: The equipment expert can solve this for you. Anything else you want him to know before I connect you two?
Customer: That's all I can think of.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Fitness Equipment Technician about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Exercise Equipment
Expert:  Pete replied 9 months ago.

Hi there,

Does the treadmill run ok at those speeds if you aren't walking on it?

(i.e. if you let it run on its own)

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
It seems to. I tightened the left side of the belt per the manual, as it had migrated in that direction. I let it run at 4 mph for several minutes between tightenings till it was straight. It did stop once during this times, but ran ok all the others, maybe 6 other times. Also since I tightened it the speed shows while I'm changing it but then defaults to 0 once I settle on a speed.
Expert:  Pete replied 9 months ago.

Does the underside of the belt appear worn or frayed?

You may need to add some belt lubricant to keep it running smoothly:

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I have not applied lubricant yet. Busy weekend. Where would I apply it? To the rollers under the front end of the belt? How would I get it on there? This is not mentioned in the manual. Also you asked about the underside of the belt--I can't see the underside. The sides of it are a little worn, but it looks like regular wear and tear to me. How would I know for sure if the belt should be replaced? Also, when tightening the belt, per the manual, to get the belt centered again, sometimes when I tried to run the machine to let the belt adjust, I'd hit the start button and the belt would start, then immediately stop. I assumed that meant the belt was too tight, and the machine was letting me know by not starting at all. Would I be (potentially) correct to assume that, or are there other reasons that might happen?
Expert:  Pete replied 9 months ago.

The belt lubricant should be applied to the underside of the belt.

This helps the belt to run smoothly, however if the underside is frayed or worn it will need to be replaced as a permanent solution. To see underneath it, you will need to loosen it.

A tight belt or worn, sticking belt would cause it to stop like you describe.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
The lubricant will be here on Tuesday so I will let you know how that goes. Would belt issues cause the electrical to act funny too? As I mentioned before, the speed registers when I am pressing the speed adjust button, but when I stop fiddling with it the number on the display defaults to 0.0. It was not doing this until I started adjusting the belt. Previously it would continue to show the correct speed even when the belt stopped. Is there some other problem that we need to start considering while we wait for the lubricant to arrive?
Expert:  Pete replied 9 months ago.

If the speed seems to be adjusting by itself, then one of the buttons may be stuck on the console - perhaps the Speed- (decrease) button or the lowest speed setting number, if your particular model has those buttons.

Try pressing and releasing the buttons several times to see if they appear to be responding normally, or if they might be sticking down.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
No, the buttons are not stuck. Again, when I press the buttons, the speed changes and the display shows the correct speed, but when I get the speed where I want it, the correct number will show on the display for a few seconds, then the display defaults to 0.0. The speed does not change, just the display. This is a new issue that has come up since I adjusted the belt. The original issue, and the problem that is sill primary, is that the machine will stop abruptly when I'm on it. The belt will suddenly drop in speed and slow to a stop. The numbers on the display for time and calories keep climbing as though the belt is still in motion. So my question while we're waiting for the lubricant to arrive is are there any other issues we should be looking into regarding the electrical or motor functions of the machine?
Expert:  Pete replied 9 months ago.

Let me check if the other techs have any further ideas...

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Applied the lube and retightened the belt. It quit on me at 4.8 mph. Now, I will say that the belt is not dead center. It sits slightly to the left no matter how much I tighten the left side bolt. And that's been the case from the start. So that's that issue. The secondary issue that has cropped up during this process--the speed not showing correctly on the console--is still happening as well. It shows up correctly while I'm pressing the speed buttons, and the numbers will linger for a few seconds once I've stopped pressing the buttons, but then the numbers default back to 0.0. Were you able to turn up any ideas on how to address this, and/or could both issues be related?
Expert:  Neil replied 9 months ago.


You may have overtightened the belt... Its a common issue, when the belt starts to slow they tighten the belt instead of lubbing the deck... Then when they do lub the deck they forget to loosen the belt again and it puts strain on the motor....

Loosen the belt off a little and be generous with the lub... As you loosen try and fix that off center belt at the same time... If your adjustments are at fullen tighten then you certainly have too much tension on the belt, loosening off will give you more play to center the belt again...