Top 8 Causes & Easy Fixes for Treadmill Knocking Noise

Are you tired of your treadmill knocking noise when running? Irritating and disturbing your neighbors and immediate family can feel uncomfortable, especially during your early morning exercise.

Indeed, the treadmill is an integral part of the home gym equipment that is almost indispensable. This article teaches how to avoid or resolve common issues with a treadmill, such as the persistent, familiar knocking noise it makes during use.

The most common causes of noisy treadmill

Treadmills, like all machines with moving parts, will undoubtedly generate noise. Its noise level becomes a cause for concern when it goes beyond a level that causes disruption or disturbance to the user or others.

An unpleasant and disturbing noise level is an indication that there is an underlying problem with your treadmill. The most common two causes for this noise issue are as follows:

1. Clogged motor

The magnet of a treadmill motor generates static electricity but is vulnerable to a dusty, dirty environment.

These impurities can cause a churning or whirring noise while working. So, periodically opening up your treadmill and cleaning the motor parts of these impurities can help.

2. Incorrect treadmill belt adjustment

Your treadmill will continually produce a bumping or knocking sound when the belt is inaccurately aligned. Accordingly, adjustment is necessary.

As is often the case while running on a treadmill, the motor or belt frequently makes the infamous knocking noise. However, if it happens again and the warranty is still valid, request warranty service.

It’s best to double-check your treadmill and ensure no other factors are responsible for the noises heard before proceeding with the following eight fixes.

Top 8 Fixes for Treadmill Knocking Noise:

1. Replace damaged rollers

The treadmill comes with two rollers, the first at the front and the second at the back. While working, these rollers are like pins in constant motion as the treadmill moves. The treadmill belt stretches across this roller, causing it to move when the treadmill is on.

Over time, these rollers can get damaged because of tearing and wearing. Because this happens only occasionally, it is not a problem that needs constant attention. Remembering this fact, however, will assist you in troubleshooting any knocking sound that occurs on your treadmill, even after ruling out all other possible causes.

After confirming that one or both rollers are defective, replacement is the best option. Accessing the roller becomes necessary to carry out any replacement. Reaching the front roller will require removing the motor hood and moving it out of the way using a screwdriver. Removing the rear roller requires unscrewing the treadmill caps at each end.

Use a wrench such as an Allen wrench to turn the adjustment bolt screws of the walking belt a quarter of a turn until the walking belt starts tracking appropriately on the roller while running at low speed. Adjust the treadmill walking belt to its proper position after replacing your treadmill’s front or back roller. To do that, follow the above procedure.

Purchase the correct rollers to replace faulty or damaged ones because each roller is unique. During adjustment, follow this simple rule when adjusting the roller: Screw to the left if the belt turns to the left, and screw to the right if the belt turns to the right.

Relevant roller information is easily accessible online from the manufacturer of your treadmill. So check it out when the need arises to replace the rollers.

2. Reposition the treadmill

The location and position of a treadmill will affect the noise it makes. The fact that the machine fits into a place does not necessarily mean it is a suitable location. The sound bouncing off the walls around a treadmill can produce echoes when the device is in use, thus producing an uncomfortable, noisy environment. Positioning your treadmill centrally between the walls of your gym room can help reduce echoes.

Also, be on the lookout for and avoid placing the treadmill on an uneven surface, as this can cause the treadmill to vibrate during use. For example, placing a treadmill on a hardwood floor is not recommended because it can cause vibration noise to travel through the floorboards. Having a treadmill with an adjustable stabilizer at each corner can be advantageous. A treadmill machine with a stabilizer would allow adjustments on uneven surfaces if necessary.

The simple rule is never to keep a treadmill on an uneven surface. The slightest unevenness on a surface will cause the treadmill to wobble, vibrate, and produce noise during use. A viable workaround is to carpet the floor on which your treadmill machine sits, which will help absorb vibration during use.

Also consider reading my guide on how to reduce treadmill noise in an apartment for additional tips.

3. Adjust belt tension

Treadmills usually come with a pre-set factory belt tension. However, over time due to use, the belt stretches and may begin slipping, resulting in extreme tear and wear to the treadmill belt and deck. On the other hand, an overly tense belt would damage your treadmill’s rulers and motor.

In both instances, incorrect belt tension may produce an unpleasant, disturbing knocking sound or noise in the treadmill.

It helps to periodically determine if the belt is slipping by turning the treadmill on at low speed and forcefully tromping the feet down and forward. Tighten the belt immediately if there is any indication that it is loose or falling.

4. Lubricate the belt to reduce noise

As the lubrication on a treadmill belt dries, so does the friction on its rollers. A biannual lubrication schedule works for most treadmills.

Besides applying lubrication to the belt of a treadmill, it’s good to use a small quantity of lubricant on the pulley and motor belt. The location of the treadmill’s pulley and motor belt is in its front. Monthly lubrication of the joints or pivot points of the treadmill is an excellent practice. Here’s how to lubricate a treadmill belt.

5. Wear light shoes or go barefoot

It’s best to wear supportive, closed-toe walking shoes, such as a light pair of running wear, to help reduce the noise your feet will produce as you run on the treadmill. Avoid wearing heavy shoes, which also increase the noise as you run on the treadmill. Instead, wearing light shoes while exercising on a treadmill makes for a more relaxed session.

If your preference is running barefoot on a treadmill, which is trending, it’s thumbs up. Running barefoot on a treadmill is becoming popular and has scientific support. Recent research shows that running barefoot causes less stress on the knee, hip joints, and ankle than in your shoes.

6. Place a noise-reduction mat under the treadmill

To reduce the noise level on your treadmill, place a 3/16-inch rubber mat beneath it, covering its entire area.

There are numerous benefits to using an under mat for your treadmill. It includes protecting your gym floor from wear and the underside of the treadmill machine from debris and dust.

Plus, there is no room for your treadmill machine’s steady but gradual movement from its original position over time. The treadmill will always remain constant and in its original place.

7. Replace the treadmill belt

It doesn’t matter if the treadmill is of low or high quality; its belts would need replacement at some point. As a standard practice, always check for signs of wear and tear on your treadmill belt every three months. Failure to replace worn-out belts accelerates frictional wear on the deck.

Although all treadmill decks eventually wear out, changing the belt when necessary can extend their life. Moreover, a worn-out slack belt wobbles when running on a treadmill deck and may produce an annoying knocking noise.

8. Utilize the treadmill’s incline function

The incline function simulates an uphill walk and helps reduce excessive running on the treadmill. Hence, the user’s workout pace is slower as the workout is more challenging. The user’s feet on the treadmill will not be pounding hard on the machine and generating noise.

Furthermore, the incline function helps burn more calories during workouts by allowing for more specific exercise of the calves and hamstrings muscles.


Does my treadmill sound normal?

Due to the belt running over the rollers, most treadmills, particularly new ones, will produce a knocking or thumping noise. Of course, this noise diminishes or disappears entirely over time.

Why is my home treadmill louder than at the stores or public gyms?

The general gym treadmill seems quieter than your home gym treadmill because, in contrast to your home gym environment, that public gym has more background noise. Moreover, reverberation on the concrete floor of the public gym is less than on the hardwood floor in your home gym.

Another possible reason my home gym is louder is that most public gyms place treadmills on heavy rubber mats, considerably reducing reverberation.

At what point should the sound from my treadmill cause concern?

The noise level from your treadmill can only cause concern if it becomes louder than a normal tone of voice during a conversation. Anything below that is normal for a treadmill.

Final Word

This information should help you troubleshoot your treadmill and find the source of the knocking noise and fix it. Lastly, don’t forget that some treadmills are just louder than others. If you’re looking for a really quiet one than check out my top 5 quiet treadmills for home recommendations.

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