How to Tell if Treadmill Motor Is Bad | 5 Signs to Know

Treadmills come in many different sizes, shapes, and with different features, but most of them have the same core problems.

Being said that, it is suggested by the experts that they are worth repairing than replacing.

So without any debate, let’s find out the solutions to your problems, but first, let’s explore how to tell if the treadmill motor is bad.

How To Tell If Treadmill Motor Is Bad

The motor serves as the central part and is responsible for carrying the greatest amount of weight mechanically.

They are not all the same and have a wide range of abilities and capacities to choose from depending on the type of treadmill, its features, etc.

Before you go on and buy a treadmill, you must give thought to a variety of aspects relating to its functioning.

So, here are the signs to consider about the working of the motor.

how to tell treadmill motor is good or bad

5 Signs To Tell If Treadmill Motor Is Bad

The treadmill motor plays a significant role in its working, considering that there can be multiple signs that your motor is bad.

Here, we have mentioned the most common signs to help you detect the culprit.

When the treadmill motor gets hot and smells

If you smell something burning coming from the treadmill, this could be an indication that something more severe is going on.

The treadmill should be turned off immediately, and the power connection should be unplugged from the socket.

Friction between the deck and the back of the treadmill, a short in the wiring, electronics, or motor are some of the more common causes of a burning smell coming from a treadmill motor.

A burning smell is one of the most prominent and accurate signs that your motor is bad.

Also, the friction on the belt can cause it to get too hot, which gives off a burning smell.

You can avoid both of these problems by keeping up with regular maintenance.

You can ensure your treadmill doesn’t get too hot by keeping it clean and properly oiled.

But a burning smell can also be caused by problems with the electricity.

When these things happen, there’s not much you can do. Often, the problem needs to be fixed by a professional.

When the belt is not moving

Something might be wrong with the engine when you turn on your machine when the belt doesn’t move.

It could be because the motor isn’t getting power, the motor is dead, or the belt is stuck because of friction.

If a belt is stuck, the machine won’t move, but it will still shake. In this case, you should look inside the walking deck.

Also, it’s important to clean it the right way and lubricate its belt with good water-based lubricant.

When the engine is not working well

If you’re working out on a treadmill and you notice that the engine isn’t working right like if the belt doesn’t move smoothly, it’s time to check out the engine.

Even if your machine is very expensive, its engine will get worse over time.

So, if you notice that it’s not working as well as it should, you need to check it immediately.

When the display isn’t working

If the display is not functioning properly, the problem can be the motor, which can also be caused by faulty plug. You need to give it another shot at being connected.

To begin, remove the machine’s power cable from its socket, then reconnect the power wire and press the start button.

In the case that the condition does not improve, it is important to check your treadmill motor and address any issues as soon as possible.

When you hear noise

If you are using a treadmill and you hear noise coming from it, the problem may be that the motor has built up dirt and is unable to push the heat out as it should.

Because of this, it is possible while you use your treadmill, you will frequently experience unwanted noises.

Additionally, if you are unable to resolve the issue you might need to use tools and some of the methods are given in the next section.

How to test a treadmill motor control board?

A small circuit board called the motor control board is present inside the treadmill.

It has a decoder, a microprocessor, a memory for saving speed, and a few other things.

The motor control board of the treadmill makes sure that the belt is always turning, that the speed stays the same, and that the machine works well for a long time.

Before you buy a treadmill, you should check to see if the motor control board is in good shape.

If it breaks, your machine may no longer work.

Likewise, the motor control board’s job is to keep track of how fast the treadmill belt is going and send that information to the console (display) of the treadmill. The console then controls the motor.

2 ways to test a treadmill motor control board

  1. The best way to check a treadmill’s motor is to use the treadmill itself. If the motor hums but the belt doesn’t move, the motor control board is the problem.
  2. The other way to test the motor is to lift one end of the motor assembly, put it on a surface with some vibration, and then move the belt. If the motor works, the belt will move. If the motor doesn’t work, the belt won’t move.

How to test treadmill motor with a multimeter?

Other than the motor control board, using a multimeter is the finest way to test the treadmill motor. So, let’s dig deep into it:

Method 1

Do wiring in such a way that, black wire of motor is connected with black end of multimeter and red wire with red end of multimeter. If you see an open circuit in multimeter, it means treadmill motor is faulty.

Method 2

In the second method, we consider car batteries as these are high-amp batteries operating at 12 volts DC. As a result, the motor will turn slowly, and you can walk on the belt.

Also you should never forget to be careful when working with battery acid.

Method 3

Lastly, you can use an outside DC converter that has an input speed that can be changed.

Also, using a DC converter is one of the easiest ways to perform this.


In the case that no problem is found, you need to consult an electrician to figure out what the issue is. As this is the safest thing to do so if you are not a professional.

In the end, I hope you are now able to tell if your treadmill motor is bad or needs a replacement instead of repair.

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