Last Updated on May 24, 2021 by JP
Finding a good home treadmill is no easy feat, and what’s even harder is figuring out what to do when things go south.
When you’re all alone at home, you don’t have the means to solve any problem you encounter, and you end up having to call someone over to take care of it.
One of the most annoying and frustrating things that could happen is when your incline feature stops working as time goes on. To understand how to fix this problem, you first have to know how the incline function works.
A treadmill with the incline function, take the NordicTrack X9i or X11i as an example, has two motors; a large, powerful one for running purposes and a small one for raising and lowering the running deck.
This small motor can encounter many problems, internal and external, that can stop it from performing its job.
Possible Reasons for Failure
Both software and hardware problems can lead to the undoing of your incline function.
Need for a Recalibration
Your treadmill could just be needing a simple recalibration. Since a treadmill is an electronic machine like a phone or a computer, it can get corrupted.
Whether you accidentally shut off its power or there were unexpected power surges, your treadmill’s software can become compromised and consequently outputs improper actions.
To recalibrate, you first have to access your treadmill’s maintenance mode. Some treadmills require a combination of keys to press to access this mode. Others, such as the NordicTrack X11i and the X9i, allow access through the settings icon located on the touch screen.
Once calibration is finished, your incline feature should work again correctly. If not, then the problem lies in the hardware.
If your treadmill is unable to calibrate correctly or at all, then there may be a problem with the sensor or the wiring that connects it to the power board.
A working sensor should display a “–” symbol on the screen during calibration. If you can’t see it, then either the wires are out of order, or your sensor has to be replaced.
The power board sends and controls all the electrical signals running through the treadmill, including the incline-operating ones. No electricity means no function, and if your motor can’t get any power, it won’t run.
To check the board’s validity, connect a multimeter to the wires that supply the incline motor. If you get a reading saying 120VAC with a non-moving motor, then the power board is fine, but the motor is defective.
If you don’t get a reading, then the electronic board itself is the issue here, and the motor’s state can be determined later by connecting its wires to an external alternating current source.
If it works, then the problem was in your power board alone. If it doesn’t, then both your board and motor are goners and need replacement.
Rust, dust, and dirt could all lead to the fall of your motor. If your treadmill can still go up or down a little, your motor is still functional but has become lodged. You have to loosen up its parts to return its function to normal once again.
Clean the housing of the motor with compressed air and lubricate any moveable components you come across. You can also try and run the motor by itself outside the treadmill.
Once it becomes unstuck, reconnect it to the treadmill, and it should work just fine.
Any damages and faults in the motor parts mean an instant motor replacement. If you see any broken gears and components in the motor once you remove it from its housing, this means you should put in an order for a new one right away.
If you’ve already recalibrated your treadmill and it still doesn’t work correctly, then look for a problem in the hardware. Once you find the origin of the problem, try to fix it or replace it if it can’t be fixed.