Treadmill Burning Smell – What Are the Causes & Solutions?

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Why treadmill burning smell? A treadmill, just like many other home appliances, comes with a motor. The motor power, usage, and maintenance of the machine are critical factors determining whether or not the piece of equipment will function smoothly.

A heavy-duty part, the motor generates heat and enables movement of the machine using the engine.

Making use of a treadmill daily to burn calories and stay healthy has become a common affair these days but, a burning smell from the machine means that the treadmill is for due maintenance.

Generally, treadmills don’t generate a smell (like burning rubber) right after purchase or just after a few years of usage. But, if there are such occurrences, then there is something wrong with the machine.

So, when we notice a burning smell or get a rubber-like smell from the machine, what exactly is it advisable to do?

Treadmill Burning Smell: What Are the Solutions?

Firstly, stop using it to stay safe and unplug the power source of the machine. Secondly, make an in-and-out examination of all the critical parts of the treadmill.

Luckily, if there is a smoke detector installed in the home (most people have it done), maybe even in the exact room where the treadmill is placed, this detects the burn, even when you are not at home.

We purchase a treadmill for home gym use, and the large machine must be maintained at home.

Examine from all angles for any clues regarding smoke emission. If the answer is negative, it means that something has gone wrong under the hood.

When we purchase, most treadmills assure minimal maintenance, but as years pass by, the servicing required could also be daily.

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If the machine is quite old, it is better to wash it after use, ensure that the screws and bolts stay tight, and the deck is lubricated every 2-3 months.

Start cleaning from the motor as this is one of the prime causes for a burning smell in the machine. Remove the motor cover using the manual provided, make use of compressed air, and vacuum to clean the motor area, failing which dirt, hair, and other debris might obstruct the engine’s performance.

Generally, inexpensive treadmill models have a motor with a cardboard core which means that as current passes through the motor, it heats rapidly and burns.

If this is the case, a replacement for the motor and the belt are issued. But, if the engine’s armature is overheated, it might also require the engine to be replaced.

Once the motor is fully checked, proceed to the deck. A neatly maintained treadmill belt and deck lead to minimal friction and static electricity.

After a thorough cleaning of the motor, clean the deck, belt, and the backside of the treadmill.

Ensure that the deck and belt are lubricated well as per the manufacturer’s instructions. In case these parts are damaged or seem worn out, you should repair the components (only after reading the instruction manual provided by the company).

Finally, check whether there are any occurrences of electric shorts. An electric malfunction in any of the parts, including the console, engine, or wiring when the motor, belt, and deck are working fine, might be the source of the burning smell.

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If an electric short is confirmed, immediately call an electrician or any qualified person who could repair the piece of equipment.

Too much static electricity can also lead to failed electrical components in the treadmill.

Reduce this by as much as possible by always using a treadmill mat to place the machine. This way, the debris, and other particles could also be mostly avoided before it ruins the motor.

Even after doing all the above, if there are no found, it is always advisable to call the electrician and check for faults.

Else, it is also a good option to get in touch with someone who specializes in the treadmill and get an opinion on why the machine emits a burning rubber smell.

The burning smell might be a trivial problem that could be straightened out by yourself or a major one that needs the intervention of an individual who specializes in treadmills.

A word of caution here—in case the source of the burning smell remains unidentifiable, it is strongly recommended that you stop using the machine and wait until some support person comes to your service.


If no fault is found, you may want to call an electrician to see if anything is wrong. You can consult with a treadmill specialist who will be able to determine why your treadmill smells like burning rubber.

A burning smell from the treadmill may be a small problem for you to resolve or a major one that requires a competent support person to carry out. If you are unable to identify the burning smell source, stop using the treadmill before an experienced professional can serve you.

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