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Michael, Technician
Category: Exercise Equipment
Satisfied Customers: 9568
Experience:  Over 25 years experience in the field of electronics repair, TV, VCR and computer repair.
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I just got a second hand true 500 SOFT. The owner told me

Customer Question

I just got a second hand true 500 SOFT. The owner told me everything works fine except the connection for emergency button sometime got lose so the machine stops. He said just to moist it and put it back and it would be fine. I used the machine the first time for about 40 mins and it stopped probably 5 times. I addes lubricant as instructed and tried again today, it stopped two times in the first 10 minutes then I ran/walk for another 25 minutes and it stopped again at the 24 minute. Is there anything I can do to fix this or should I make a service call? Also, the incline went up by itself a couple of times and then stopped doing so. We vacuum and clean the motor already. What else can we do?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Exercise Equipment
Expert:  Russell H. replied 2 years ago.
Hi, thank you for contacting My name is Russell. I will do my best to provide the right answer to your question.
Probably the original owner either sold it because the defect was unbearable, or genuinely didn't care about continuous operation-ability.
If the treadmill keeps stopping, it may not be the emergency button, but a more major problem requiring servicing. But first, here's something you can (and should) try for yourself, before putting it out for service-repairing:
The solution that you should try first, is that the belt needs readjusting, and lubrication (with the special, non-grease, lubricant these treadmill belts generally require.)
The belt should be adjusted, generally speaking, so that it is loose enough that it does not quite slip, but nearly that loose.
If the belt is adjusted (or, has shrunk up with age, and lack of lubricant...) too tightly, then it can stop the treadmill from working or running. An over-tight treadmill belt can cause wear, or even damage, in many other ways, such as by overheating the motor.
If that does not help with the problem, servicing is needed - or at least, an inquiry around the local service providers in your region, as to estimates of the charge for repairing this problem. IF so, let me know your local zip code, please, and I will look up contact info for service-repair providers local to you.
Let me know how it goes, please, in Reply. Thanks.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I already put in a tube of lubricant a couple days ago. Should I put another one? I will try to loosen the belt a bit to see if that helps. I will let you know the result. Thanks.
Expert:  Russell H. replied 2 years ago.

If recently lubricated, it doesn't need it again.

The belt tension, though, could be the problem. Adjust it, by all means.

(When you applied the lubricant, did you spread it around evenly on the belt, and did you use non-grease lubricant specifically meant for treadmill belts? that is vitally necessary and required for good results.)

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I did get the lubricant from TRUE and their instructions was to put in the middle of the belt and that's was I did. I did hear a squeaky sound when the machine first started and stop. Can you tell me how tight/loose the belt should be? Can we measure it by how many fingers I can slip under it on the side and how far my fingers should be able to go under? Thanks!
Expert:  Russell H. replied 2 years ago.

It's simple: if it slips when you run on it, it is too loose. Tighten it a little from there, and it will be about right.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I talked to the True treadmill tech and he said he believes we need to replace the belt and deck and it's quite expensive. Do you know if it's easy enough for us to do it ourselves?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Also, the treadmill wasn't used a lot even it's 13 years old. Does that mean the deck will still wear like the tech was saying? The belt looks it's in very good condition too.
Expert:  Russell H. replied 2 years ago.

If the belt is kept adjusted too tightly, it will wear out.

Is the belt frayed at the edges anywhere?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Nope! The belt is in perfect condition.
Expert:  Russell H. replied 2 years ago.

I think your 'true' tech may have perhaps not been quite telling the truth in that case.

But this problem puzzles me a bit, so I think another Expert should look at it... so I have Opted Out, opening the case to other Experts in this category, at no additional charge to you.

I will still be able to see, and respond, to any further postings to this case, or post again if I have more ideas.

Expert:  Michael replied 2 years ago.

Hi different expert here.

I have worked on these for many years and with this kind of problem you really need an expert to look at this one. The problem could be one of many and it would cost more to just blindly begin replacing parts you don't need;-)

They will get you going faster and with less grief and cash outlay.

I wish I have better news but thats what I would do myself if faced with something like this.

At least the original owner seems to have been honest with you.

Lol, we will see.

If you need help locating someone near you you can always contact Sears, they have such a service local to anyone in the US;-)

And they are fair and honest.

Please rate my service to you kindly before you go, and that way I can stick with you until this if solved. I will help you anyway I can.

After you rate, you can then contact me any time by simply replying to this message.

Have a great day and best of luck with this unit;-)

I can tell you it is a good quality machine.

Tech Michael

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi, I loosen the belt again and it seems to run better however, now I got this error message "E2:CAL" ~ Feedback cannot reduce or increase speed to target. Error cleared by calibrating.Is that an easy fixed? Please let me know your thoughts.Thanks!
Expert:  Michael replied 2 years ago.

Hi, this could be and sounds like a unit in need of a service call.

The reason is that When you made that change by loosening the belt you get the error E2:CAL.

That means this may need a speed sensor or possibly other parts are out of alignment. Its something you could do but it would be much quicker to simply have a tech come do this for you. Sears offers a home service for this and they are really good and fair priced. I used to work for them as a home service technician.

You could try replacing the speed sensor which is easy to do as well and I will help you if you decide to fix this yourself then we would do a new Calibration and that likely will fix this. The part is pretty cheap as well.

The best place to get that would be Treadmill Doctor:

TOLL FREE 8am - 5pm Mon - Fri CST

(###) ###-####

If you rate kindly at this time, you and I will be together until you are finished with this repair, simply rate, then when you have the part or any other question about this Treadmill just reply to this message, there is no additional cost to rate me.

Thank you and have a wonderful day!
Tech Michael

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi, I called Sears but they said they don't service TRUE treadmills. I will try to do this myself but when I call Treadmill Doctor the tech told me it's not the sensor but the Motor control board. What do you think?
Expert:  Michael replied 2 years ago.

Hi good morning ,

in most cases I have seen this would be the sensor. But if I were you I would replace both those components to be sure you dont have any issues down the road.

The sensor can get weak and cause thas just as much as the board you metioned. I would get them both.

Both are very easy to replace, no soldering. When you are ready to do this, first tke a few pics of the board to be sure where the wiring clips plug into the board;-)

You will have no trouble with this part.

Once the board is installed and the sensor replaced the same way, I will help you calibrate the unit to work perfectly.

Please don't jump ahead on this, before you do anything ask me so I can be sure you wont have any negative issues;-)

Please Rate my service to you kindly at this time. It will ensure we don't get separated. ALso there is no cost to rate, but you can then reach me anytime until this task is complete.

Thank you

Tech Michael