The Basics of Treadmill Lubricant

While high-end treadmills require little to now maintenance, cheaper treadmills require occasional lubrication in order to keep running smoothly. Even if your tread belt appears to be operating well, rubbing in a little lube can prevent future issues. Here are some frequently asked questions we receive about about treadmill lubrication.

1. Why do treadmills require lubricant?


Here are just a few of the reasons why lubing up your treadmill should be part of your gym maintenance routine.

    • Treadmill lubricant reduces friction between the tread belt and the motor, significantly extending track life.
    • Treadmill lubricant helps prepare the machine for storage. Without it, the belt could become brittle and break the machine is restarted.
    • Preventing a tread belt breakdown is always cheaper than buying a new belt.


2. How frequently should I lubricate my treadmill?

Manufacturers of low-cost treadmills generally recommend lubricating the machines every three months or every 40 hours of use. More frequent lubrication may be needed in warm environments because the oil is likely to evaporate faster.

3. What kind of lubricant should I use?

If your treadmill requires lubrication, then details about which type of lubricant to purchase and how to apply it are most likely found in the owner’s manual. Note that petroleum-based products like WD-40 are not appropriate and will ruin a treadmill! Most treadmill lubricants are 100% silicone or at least silicone-based.

4. How is treadmill lubricant applied?

Application methods vary from model to model. However, owners are generally advised to apply a thick strip of lubricant to a section of the belt. This is most easily accomplished with spray-on treadmill lubricants. Then run the treadmill for about five minutes to evenly distribute the lubricant.

The belt is the most important part of your treadmill. A little of time spent lubricating the belt can pay off with years of trouble-free treadmill use.

Treadmill Lubricant FAQs

Can you use WD 40 on a treadmill?

No, WD-40 or other petroleum-based lubricants will ruin your treadmill. Always use the appropriate lubricant specified by the manufacturer or a silicone-based lubricant.

How often should I lubricate my treadmill?

Check with your manufacturer or user manual to know how often to lubricate your treadmill. Most treadmills require lubrication every three months or every 40 hours of use.


  • Val FarringtonApril 2, 2019 at 8:52 pmfrom Queensland, Australia
    Hi Amanda, I bought secondhand treadmill, not used for 2years, in good condition, but didn’t lubricate belt, what is the best way to bring it back to good condition? I did buy the treadmill librication kit, but hasn’t helped, it still only runs a minute and E3 ( speed sensor error) comes up. Hope you can help. Thanks Val.
    • Amanda B.April 3, 2019 at 12:34 pm
      Hi Val, what is the make and model of your machine? Have you been able to contact customer service for this brand? Each company has slightly different methods for solving issues with error codes.
  • B.FindlaterNovember 22, 2019 at 4:29 amfrom Northland.
    I brought a second hand treadmill but in good condition very little use but it is very hard to use the belt it seems to me to want to need to be lubricated. I use it on the lowest number 1 can only do a couple of minutes because of the stiffness of the belt or is it the rollers that need greasing?
    • Amanda BDecember 5, 2019 at 11:19 am
      Hi B, it sounds like the treadmill belt needs to be lubricated and readjusted. Make sure to consult the treadmill manual before you attempt to do this yourself to ensure you are not damaging the treadmill.
  • Jim NeillFebruary 16, 2020 at 11:24 amfrom Scotland.
    Hi, I have used a Dynamix Electric Treadmill for about 9 years. Recently I could smell burning but last use there was blue smoke drifting and strong strong burning smell. Is the machine done ...or redeemable.
    • Amanda BFebruary 19, 2020 at 3:34 pm
      Hi Jim, the smoking and burning are strong indications that the treadmill is done, but check with your manufacturer's support to see if anything can be done. If you are in the market for a new treadmill, you can check out our different round ups to find the right treadmill for you!
  • VinitaNovember 4, 2020 at 8:07 pmfrom WA
    Hi, what lubricant/grease should I use to lubricate the incline mechanism on my Nordictrack C1750? Does it need a silicone-based lubricant?

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