How Long Do Treadmill Motors Last?

The motor is generally the most expensive part of a treadmill. How long should it last before it gives up? We’ll go through normal life expectancy as well as why treadmill motors break and what you can do to extend the lifespan.

Treadmill motors generally last 7-12 years. High-end models tend to last longer than cheaper ones and parts availability is often better as well. On mid-range and high-end models replacing or repairing the motor is often worth it. While not cheap, it’s cheaper than buying a new treadmill.

In the rest of this article, we’ll dive into how long treadmill motors last and how you can make yours last longer.

Treadmill Motor Lifespan

Treadmill motors should last a long time if you use your treadmill properly and do not overuse or underuse the motor. So just like anything, if you take good care of it, then it should last a long time. The average estimate is from 7-12 years.

High-end treadmills generally last longer than low-end ones and when they break, replacement parts are often available but that isn’t always the case for cheap treadmills.

A good way of gauging how much the manufacturer trusts the motor is by checking the warranty of a treadmill. Sometimes motors are only covered for 2 years, other times 5 years, and sometimes even for a lifetime. However, that’s the lifetime of the treadmill, not yours. So make sure to ask what the expected lifetime is.

Avoid treadmills with a 2-year warranty on the motor. 5 years is good, lifetime is better.

Suggested post: How long does gym equipment last?

Why Do Treadmill Motors Break?

Treadmill motors often break from ‘old age’ but there are some factors that really decrease the lifespan of a treadmill motor. Here are the most important ones;

  • Overheating: Continuous and excessive use of a treadmill without adequate breaks can lead to motor overheating and eventual breakdown. Treadmill motors, like all motors, have a limit to how much heat they can dissipate. Extended use without proper cooling can cause internal components to fail. On a new treadmill, this is often not a problem. But as dust, dirt, and deferred maintenance stack up, the higher the likelihood of overheating.
  • Lack of Maintenance: Neglecting routine maintenance, such as cleaning, lubrication, and belt tension adjustment, can cause premature wear and tear on the motor and its components. Dust, dirt, and debris can accumulate inside the motor compartment, affecting its cooling. Cleaning a treadmill the right way is key. Find a guide here.
  • Belt Issues: A loose or misaligned treadmill belt can increase the load on the motor. The motor has to work harder to maintain the desired speed and may eventually burn out. Regularly inspect and adjust the belt tension and alignment as per the manufacturer’s recommendations. Here are 7 signs that tell you when it’s time to lubricate.
  • Exceeding Weight Limits: Using a treadmill with a user weight that exceeds the manufacturer’s specified limit places extra stress on the motor. This can lead to motor strain and eventual failure.
  • Power Surges: Electrical issues, such as power surges and voltage fluctuations, can damage treadmill motors. It’s rare but it can happen.
  • Running at High Speeds: Running at top speed consistently increases the wear on the motor. This isn’t me saying you shouldn’t use high speeds but it will likely wear the motor a bit faster.
  • Sudden Stops: Stopping the treadmill abruptly after a workout can generate stress on the motor. Allow the treadmill to slow down gradually before stepping off. This is a minor thing but over a decade of use, these small things add up.
  • Inadequate Cooling: Placing the treadmill in an area with poor ventilation or blocking the cooling channels can cause the motor to overheat. Proper airflow is crucial to dissipate heat effectively.
  • Aging Components: Like all mechanical devices, treadmill motors can deteriorate over time due to general wear and tear. Older motors may become less efficient and eventually fail.
  • Manufacturing Defects: In rare cases, manufacturing defects or substandard components can lead to premature motor failure. This is more common in low-quality or poorly manufactured treadmills.

Some things you can do something about while others are out of your control.

Make sure to unplug your treadmill after use to protect your motor.

How To Make Your Treadmill Motor Last Longer

When your treadmill motor wears out isn’t only a case of old age. They do need some maintenance.

  • Regular Maintenance: Just like any other machine, your treadmill requires routine maintenance. Clean the motor compartment regularly to prevent dust and dirt buildup, which can cause overheating and premature wear. Follow the manufacturer’s maintenance guidelines.
  • Proper Lubrication: Many treadmills have a belt that requires lubrication. Check your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendations on how often to lubricate the belt. A well-lubricated belt reduces friction on the motor, extending its life.
  • Belt Tension & Alignment: Ensure that the treadmill belt is properly tensioned. A loose belt can cause slippage, which places extra stress on the motor. Tighten or replace the belt as needed.
  • Treadmill Mat: Placing a treadmill mat under the machine helps reduce noise and makes cleaning easier but also reduces the amount of dust and dirt that gets into the machine.
  • Cooling: Treadmill motors can get hot during extended use. Make sure your treadmill is in a well-ventilated area to prevent overheating. Some treadmills have built-in cooling fans to help regulate motor temperature.
  • Weight Limit: Always adhere to the treadmill’s weight capacity guidelines. Overloading the treadmill with excessive weight can strain the motor and other components.
  • Avoiding Sudden Stops: When you finish your workout, let the treadmill slow down gradually rather than abruptly stopping it. This reduces stress on the motor and the entire treadmill mechanism.
  • Keep it Clean: Dust and debris can accumulate on and around the motor. Periodically, use a vacuum cleaner with a nozzle attachment to remove any dirt or particles that may interfere with motor performance.
  • Quality Surge Protector: Invest in a high-quality surge protector to protect your treadmill from power surges. Electrical issues can damage the motor.
  • Scheduled Inspections: Regularly inspect the treadmill for loose or damaged parts. Address any issues promptly to prevent further damage to the motor.
  • Professional Servicing: Consider scheduling professional servicing of your treadmill, especially if you notice any unusual noises, vibrations, or performance issues. A technician can diagnose and repair motor problems.

Here are some more general tips and basics that will help keep your treadmill in good shape.

Is Repairing a Treadmill Motor Worth It?

Replacing the motor isn’t cheap and on an old treadmill, you might wonder if it’s worth the cost or if buying a new one is better.

The decision to repair a treadmill motor or replace it depends on several factors, including the extent of the damage, the treadmill’s overall condition, the cost of repairs, and your budget. Here are some considerations to help you decide whether repairing a treadmill motor is worth it:

1. Extent of Damage: If the motor has minor issues or damage that can be repaired relatively inexpensively, it may be worth fixing. For example, a loose wire or a damaged motor control board could be repaired without significant costs.

2. Age and Condition of the Treadmill: Consider the overall age and condition of your treadmill. If the treadmill is relatively new, in good condition, and meets your fitness needs, investing in motor repairs may be worthwhile to extend its lifespan.

3. Cost of Repairs: Get a repair estimate from a qualified technician or service center. Compare the cost of repairs to the cost of a new treadmill with similar features and quality. If the repair cost is significantly lower than the price of a new treadmill, it may make financial sense to repair it.

4. Warranty: Check if your treadmill is still under warranty. If the motor failure is covered by the warranty, repairing it should be cost-free. However, if the warranty has expired, you’ll need to consider repair costs. Even if the motor is covered under warranty, you might have to pay for the labor costs.

5. DIY vs. Professional Repair: Assess your technical skills and comfort with DIY repairs. Some treadmill motor issues may be repaired by DIY enthusiasts, while others require professional expertise. If you’re unsure, it’s generally safer to hire a professional to diagnose and fix the problem.

6. Availability of Replacement Parts: Ensure that replacement parts for your treadmill motor are readily available. If the motor is obsolete or parts are hard to find, it may be more practical to replace the treadmill.

7. Fitness Goals and Frequency of Use: Consider how often you use the treadmill and your fitness goals. If you rely heavily on the treadmill for daily workouts or specific training, repairing it to maintain your exercise routine may be a priority.

In many cases, repairing a treadmill motor can be a cost-effective way to extend the life of your treadmill. Especially on mid-range and high-end models that would be expensive to replace. On cheap treadmills, it’s often not worth the cost.


Hey, I'm Matt. Welcome to After working out in many different gyms for almost 20 years and helping people build their own home gyms, i've learned a few things i'd like to share with you.

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