How to Tell if Treadmill Motor Is Bad? 4 Signs To Pay Attention To

Treadmills are one of the most famous pieces of fitness equipment in gyms.

The main engine is the heart of this machine. Without it, the belt won’t run, and you won’t move when you turn it on.

In addition, you will not have an effective workout if the engine goes bad.

Therefore, it is essential to know “how to tell if treadmill motor is bad.” That way, you’ll be able to repair or replace it before things get worse.

How To Tell If Treadmill Motor Is Bad?

Motors will deteriorate over time

Motors will deteriorate over time.

You can check if your engine is abnormal by the following seven signs below. 

Detect Burning Smell

A burning smell is one of the most prominent and accurate signs that your engine has gone bad. Sometimes, it is also the result of a short circuit.

So, if you detect any strange odors coming from your treadmill, it is essential to unplug it immediately and check its engine.

If there are no problems, remove any dust, moisture, and debris. Then plug your code back in and reboot.

Motor In-efficiency

An inefficient engine is also a sign.

An inefficient engine is also a sign.

While working out on the treadmill, any time you notice that your engine is not working correctly, such as the belt not moving efficiently, it is a sign that it is time to check out your engine.

No matter how expensive your machine is, its engine will deteriorate over time. 

Hence, as soon as you find it’s not performing as well as it should, you must check it immediately.


If you notice that your machine or platform starts to become hotter than usual, it could signify that your engine is abnormal.

The problem could be dust or debris stuck in it, and your task is to remove them and start over.

Belt Is Not Moving

When you turn on your machine, something might be wrong with your engine, but the belt doesn’t move. The cause could be loss of power connection to the motor, motor dead, or belt friction jam.

If the cause is a belt jam, the machine does not move but still vibrates. 

In this case, you should check the inner part of your walking deck. It is essential to clean it correctly and lubricate its belt properly with high-quality belt lube.

So what is the indication that it is working correctly?

A motor in regular operation should not make any noise. Meanwhile, your belt should run very smoothly. Also, there is no problem with heat or burning smell.

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Causes of a Faulty Treadmill Motor

There are many causes of faulty treadmill motors.

There are many causes of faulty treadmill motors.

Treadmill motors can fail sooner or later. Here are a few reasons that you should keep in mind:

Excessive Heat From a Treadmill Motor

Treadmill training is one of the best cardio exercises. It also helps you burn calories and keep you healthy.

However, if you regularly experience overheating of your machine, the cause may be that your engine is having problems.

If your machine overheats, it will shut down until it powers off completely, and several technical problems can arise.

The most common is when your treadmill starts to slow down. The cause may lie in the lack of lubricant in your machine, causing the mechanical parts to work inefficiently, slowing down the machine.

Burning Smell From Your Machine

Excessive use can wear down much of the machine’s wiring, possibly causing the cord to short-circuit. It can be one of the causes of the burning smell on the treadmill.

Besides, it can also come from your engine due to friction and heat.

Utilizing Multimeter and Checking Your Motor Windings

As a homeowner, it is essential to know how to test motor windings, which require a multimeter.

You will need to connect this device to all the wires associated with the motor to check the resistance readings.

The reading should be close to 0 ohms, and anything beyond that may be a problem.


If you notice sparks from your treadmill motor, the cause may lie in the brushes in the motor. It may occur because of your treadmill’s constant use, which wears out the brushes and leads to the spark from the engine.

The Display Is Not Working

If the display is not working, the cause could be the motor, which could also be a loose plug.

You should try to connect it again. Start by disconnecting the machine’s power cable, connecting the power cable back in, and pushing the start button. 

If the situation does not improve, it is time to check your engine to fix any problems promptly.


If you hear your treadmill making noise, the cause could be the motor has accumulated gunk and cannot fan the heat out properly. As a result, you might often encounter annoying noises when using your treadmill.

How to Diagnose Motors?

Here are the things you need to look out for to see if the motors are damaged.

Testing Motors

Start by unplugging your machine before opening the motor cover with a screwdriver. Thanks to that, you will have access to the two ends of the power cord for the engine.

Next, you need to disconnect the wires and check if it works. If it doesn’t work, you may have to replace it.

When There Is a Burning Smell

When you detect a burning smell, the power supply wire to the motor has likely shorted. Most electrical appliances can emit a burning smell if overworked.

Engine Overheating

This situation is prevalent with neglected treadmills. Due to sitting still for too long, their engine will collect dust and grime.

When Motor Won’t Do What They Are Supposed to Do

When the motors refuse to do what it’s supposed to do, it’s one sign to tell if the part is damaged.


Hopefully, this article will be helpful to you. When you discover problems with your machine, you should start solving the problem by checking your engine.

Do not ignore any problem. Otherwise, you may have to throw your machine away someday. Thank you for reading!

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