Treadmill Burning Smell – Causes & Solution

Affiliate Disclosure: As an Amazon affiliate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

Treadmill Burning Smell – Causes & Solution feature image

While a treadmill is a great way to burn calories and shed those extra pounds, when your treadmill smells of burning rubber, there could be a major problem with your costly piece of equipment.

Like any motorized household appliance, the motor of a treadmill produces heat. And as a moving part, it is subject to wear and tear. So, at the very least, a burning scent implies that your treadmill is due to be serviced. 

If your treadmill is out of warranty and you’re on a budget, you may be reluctant to call in a technician immediately. Since there are so many moving parts, the treadmill burning smell may arise from something you can fix at home without spending a nickel—unless the motor needs to be replaced. Read on to learn more.

First, you’ll want to examine the treadmill thoroughly and assess where the burning smell originates. If your treadmill motor gets hot and smells–or at least gets excessively or unusually hot–while you also detect the scent of smoke in the air, then you’d best avoid using it until you’ve resolved the problem. Using a treadmill in this condition could result in irreparable damage or even a fire. Daily maintenance could help prevent that awful treadmill-burning smell from arising in the first place. For example, clean your treadmill after use, and ensure all screws and nuts are in place and sufficiently tight. Also, it’s wise to lubricate the deck as per the instructions in the owner’s manual.

Start with the motor. It’s a typical cause of a treadmill’s burning smell. Over time, gravel, hair as well as other debris will clog the engine. Remove the motor cover as directed in the manual of your owner. Clean the area around the motor with compressed air and a vacuum. Many inexpensive treadmills have a motor with a cardboard core and once the voltage and amperes flow thru the motor heats it up enough, it starts to burn. If it is the case, the belt and motor may usually be replaced and in some cases if the armature of the engine has overheated, the motor also needs to be replaced as well.

Now Check the Deck. Properly managing your treadmill’s belt and deck will minimize the amount of friction and static electricity. Clean the belt, deck, and underneath the treadmill after cleaning the motor. Lubricate the belt and deck of your treadmill if the manufacturer advises it. If your belt or deck assembly has been damaged or seems to be wearing out, repair the components according to the instructions given by your treadmill company.

Search for Electrical Shorts. The burning smell could be caused by an electrical malfunction in your treadmill’s engine, console, or wiring whether your motor, belt, and deck seem to be in good working order. An excessive amount of static electricity may cause a treadmill’s electrical components to fail. Place the treadmill on a mat to reduce friction and trap debris before it enters the motor. Call an electrician or a qualified repair man if you assume an electrical short.


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 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.

Related Articles: