Common treadmill service & maintenance questions: Why is my treadmill belt slipping or pausing?

Why is my treadmill belt slipping or pausing

Common treadmill service & maintenance questions: Why is my treadmill belt slipping or pausing?

The journey of a high-end treadmill to a customer is longer than one might think. The treadmill goes from a factory floor, to a delivery truck, to an ocean freight liner, to a warehouse and then maybe straight to the customer, or to a specialty fitness store.

That’s a lot of lifting and moving, rocking and rolling for a treadmill. And even once the treadmill is set up in its permanent home, there’s still some settling in that needs to be done.

So, if you find yourself asking: “why is my treadmill belt slipping or pausing?” when you’re walking or running on it, understand that’s perfectly normal. It’s also normal to hear some noises while the treadmill settles and breaks in.

It’s fairly common that the owner of a new treadmill needs to adjust the running belt at some point during the first couple days or weeks of use. The treadmill belt may also stretch or become off-center within the first few weeks or months and this is perfectly normal during the break-in period.

Over time the belt will need to be adjusted a lot less frequently because it will adjust to your walking or running style.

Here are easy troubleshooting tips to adjust the tension of the belt and also to center it if needed.


Adjust the tension —If the treadmill running belt feels like it is “slipping” or hesitating when you plant your foot during a run, the tension on the treadmill belt may have to be increased. This is a common and easy tweak to make. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Place a hex wrench on the LEFT side tension bolt. Turn the wrench clockwise 1/4 turn to draw the rear roller and increase the belt tension.
  2. Repeat STEP A on the RIGHT belt tension bolt. You must be sure to turn both bolts the same number of turns, so the rear roller will stay square relative to the frame.
  3. After completing STEP A and STEP B, walk on the treadmill to determine if the “slip” is gone.
  4. Repeat STEP A and STEP B until the slipping is eliminated.
  5. Be careful not to over tighten the treadmill belt as you can create excessive pressure on the front and rear roller bearings and or tear the running belt seam. An excessively tightened running belt will damage the roller bearings and treadmill belt.
  6. If your belt is no longer “slipping” but off center, STOP and read below for how to center the treadmill belt.

NOTE: To decrease the tension on the treadmill belt, turn both bolts counterclockwise the same number of turns.

When you walk or run, you may push off harder with one foot than the other. The severity of the deflection depends on the amount of force that one foot exerts in the relation to the other. This deflection can cause the treadmill belt to move off center. This deflection is normal and the treadmill belt should center on its own when the treadmill is unoccupied.

If the treadmill belt remains consistently off-center, you will need to center the treadmill belt manually.

  1. Observe the treadmill belt and see if it is touching either the right or left side of the frame.
  2. Start the treadmill without anyone on the treadmill belt, press (SPEED UP) button until speed reached 3 mph.
  3. Observe whether the treadmill belt is closer to the right or left side of the deck. If you need to align the treadmill belt from the left side to right side, always adjust the left side bolt only.


The simple rule of thumb for aligning the belt is this: working from the (user) left side bolt, if you need to move the belt to the right, “tighten” the left side bolt (turn clockwise in 1/4 turns only). This will move the belt slightly to the right. If you need to align the belt to the left, “loosen” the left side bolt (turn the bolt counter clockwise in 1/4 turns only). This will move the treadmill belt to the left. Anytime you need to either tighten the belt or align the belt, you should have the treadmill running at around 3.0 mph. Also, these adjustments can take up to 30 seconds to alter the position of the belt so be patient.

Contact Us

Call the 3G Cardio customer service department at 1-888-888-7985 for assistance with questions or issues that may arise with your specialty fitness equipment purchased from our company. Although we rarely have problems with our equipment, we are dedicated to be there for you in the event of a question or problem.

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