How to Maintain the Elliptical Machine

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A properly maintained elliptical trainer can last a very long time. Unless you know completely how to maintain an elliptical trainer, you might miss some parts during maintenance. To avoid this overlook, you need to understand the maintenance routine thoroughly.

When you maintain an elliptical trainer from time to time, you can keep it in tip-top shape even after years of using it. The maintenance routine includes lubrication as well as cleaning and tightening the bolts and nuts.

Few parts require lesser maintenance than other parts that need to be checked and maintained regularly. So, keeping track of all these details and performing the routines as recommended will keep your machine fit, which helps you become fit.

Elliptical trainer maintenance

Since an elliptical trainer is composed of moving parts, it does require maintenance like any other machine. The good news is they require far less maintenance than a treadmill. All you need to do is follow the checklist below, and you will be good to go.

  • Cleaning the trainer
  • Lubricating it properly
  • Checking the nuts and bolts
  • Unplugging after you are done
  • Stabilizing and leveling
  • Drive belt-tightening
  • Drive belt replacement
  • Replacing batteries

Elliptical trainer cleaning

Regular cleaning ensures good maintenance of the machine. You get to use a fresh elliptical when you keep it clean from time to time. Usually, dust, dirt, and sweat accumulate on the machine causing the build-up of harmful bacteria and a layer of filth that can cause skin infections.

Also, sweat is corrosive if left unattended for too long on certain surfaces. Since it is a combination of acidity and salts, it contributes to the rusting of metal surfaces. Regular cleaning ensures that your elliptical stays in good condition as you remove the unfriendly matter from the surface.

Keep your cleaning routine proportional to your usage, meaning if you work out daily, then cleaning it often is much better. Generally, elliptical trainers are placed in the corner of the room where the dust accumulates easily, making them prone to excessive dirt attraction.

This fine dust, when it enters the moving parts, it gradually dries up the lubricants. It also forms a layer that prevents the joints’ smooth movement, creating excessive stress on the machine. So, keeping it dust-free by wiping it down frequently can prevent the buildup.

Lubrication of elliptical trainer

Elliptical trainers come with many moving parts which depend on proper lubrication to function smoothly. This is the second most important part of the maintenance routine, which helps your machine last longer.

Running the machine without proper lubrication causes unnecessary rub on the machine, leading to the chipping of parts and quick wearing. The role of lubricant is to form a thin film coat like a film between the parts and prevents them from touching as they move.

Note: Some manufacturers void the warranty if you lubricate the machine. So, make sure that you do not violate this by checking the terms for lubrication in the owner’s manual. Also, make sure that you use only the prescribed lubricant and not any others when allowed to lubricate.

When you are in the clear for lubrication and have the right kind of it, you can apply the lubricant every 6 months to the moving parts. New machines usually come along with a lubricant. Else, and you can use WD-40 Lithium spray after checking the owner’s manual for compatibility.

Examining the nuts and bolts

As you move vigorously on the elliptical, the nuts and bolts are prone to come loose due to the force. However, if you do not pay attention to them in time, they will come off totally and cause excessive damage to the machine.

To avoid this, you need to check them regularly and tighten them as required. Preventing few things from happening helps you save your machine from bigger repairs that require a maintenance specialist to fix them.

When parts come loose from the position they should be in, it can cause greater stress on other connecting parts leading to unwanted consequences. So, with simple inspection and attention, you can fix them easily.

Elliptical trainer inspection

After every workout, makes a visual inspection of the nuts and bolts. If you find any loose nuts, fix them using a hand tool. Use of power tools is not recommended. This way, you can get to them as quickly as possible and prevent any damage at all.

Do a thorough inspection by physically touching every bolt and checking for its position. Fix them using appropriate tools; otherwise, and you can face unsafe situations. Complete these actions only after referring to the instructions manual to ensure that you do not over-tight the nuts.

Also, check for the squeaks, vibration, free movement, and rattles in the machine. It might need come screw tightening or proper lubrication. Check and do the necessary. Similarly, inspect the console, power cords, and plastic parts and replace if anything seems damaged.

The drive belt needs to be checked every 6 months, which needs the removal of some plastic covers. You need to examine it for excessive wear or any damage and replace it if necessary.

Unplug the trainer after use

Few ellipticals work using batteries, and some use the power from a wall outlet. If yours uses the power from an outlet, it is good to unplug it after every use. It not only reduces electricity usage but also protects your machine from sudden power surges.

These power surges tend to damage consoles or touchscreens, and they are costly to replace. So, preventing them by unplugging the machine keeps them safe for a longer time. If your console works using batteries, you need not take them out as they do not have such issues.

Level and stable placement

The elliptical trainer should be stable and placed on a level ground to prevent damage to the machine and injury to you. When the feet are not stable on the ground, the frame is subjected to torsional stress causing the nuts and bolts to loosen quickly and leading to further damage.

So, make sure to keep it on level ground to ensure its stability. Otherwise, you will be causing excessive stress on one side of the machine, causing the parts on that side to wear quickly. Moreover, your body will be imperiled with a muscular imbalance that might create pain.

You can stabilize your elliptical by:

  • Placing it on a solid floor and not on a plush carpet causes it to wobble
  • Adjust the feet to keep the machine level with the ground
  • Put a thick rubber mat that can keep it stable as well as help in evening the floor unevenness

Tightening drive belt

Most ellipticals come with a drive belt that connects the flywheel and pedals. It can stretch and lead to slipping over time. You should make sure that it is just tight enough and does not slip.

If it is too tight, it can cause stress on bearings. If it slips even after adjusting it, then you need to consider replacing it.

Drive belt replacement

As the drive belt is made from rubber, it can wear or break after using it for a certain time. When you have reached that point or if it is broken, then you need to replace it. Else, as mentioned above, if it is slipping even after adjusting, you will know that it is time to replace the belt.

Though it is an easy process to replace the belt, you should be able to get the right model of your machine as per the manufacturer’s recommendation. Usually, they are available with manufacturers themselves, and you can message them to receive the right kind of belt.

Few manufacturers insist on sending a certified engineer to your place for doing this job, and it all depends on the brand of the machine.

Replace batteries

If your elliptical works on batteries, i.e., when you need not plug it into a power outlet, then you need to check and replace them as necessary. Batteries drain as you use them, and the voltage becomes low, leading to the non-functioning of your console.

Replacing the batteries is a simple task that can be done in few minutes and your console will be up and running in no time. It only involves unscrewing the lid removing the batteries from the back of the console, and replacing them with new batteries. You can screw back the lid in place.

If you leave the empty batteries in for too long, they start leaking, so replace them quickly. The leaks are acidic and can cause corrosion to the terminals if left for a long time. Even if you check them out before corrosive damage, clean the chemicals with an old rag and throw it out.

You might not drain your batteries if you have not used the machine frequently. Even then, replacing them after a year is necessary as they too tend to leak after a prolonged period of usage.

Room conditions

Along with checking over the elliptical itself, keeping an eye on the surroundings is also important. Since a dusty room can contribute more circumstances for the elliptical to break easier than a cleanroom, other factors can cause similar issues.

Rubber, plastic, and metal are used in manufacturing an elliptical. These materials offer high resilience in moderate room conditions. Meaning the humidity, temperature, and daylight needs to be moderate.

Excess humidity helps in mold growth and is also capable of causing corrosion to the electronics. High temperature is not good for rubber, plastics, and even electronics. Similarly, direct daylight can degrade the materials as time passes by.

Working out in daylight helps you better, but the equipment cannot withstand the UV light, and the materials deteriorate with time. You can avoid it by covering the elliptical or using a UV protective material cover to limit the exposure of the machine to the sun.

When placed in a basement or a garage kind of place, you will find more humidity based on the climate where you live. Humidity can cause mold growth or damage to electronics leading to harmful output.

You can avoid the impact of humidity by using a dehumidifier or an A/C, which dramatically reduces the moisture content in the air. These settings also help your workout to be more comfortable.

Storing an elliptical

When you plan to store the machine for extended periods, you need to keep it in good condition for using it again. There are few precautions you need to take care of for keeping it safe when you want to reuse them after a long time.

Unplug the machine after switching it off and remove the batteries if your machine has them. Clean the machine to avoid corrosion due to the remnants like sweat and body oils. Make sure you keep the machine in the dark and dry place. Cover it nicely to protect it from further gathering dust.

Using an elliptical after storage

When you need to use an elliptical trainer after storing it for a long time, follow the below list of actions to do it right.

  • Clean it thoroughly
  • Inspect the machine for any loose nuts or parts
  • Place fresh batteries if your machine needs them
  • Plugin the machine and check its movement without stepping on it
  • If it is not moving freely, lubricate it
  • When everything seems fine, you can step on it and start working out
  • Else do a thorough maintenance routine and check once again
  • If it still has issues, it is better to call a professional

Professional help

Sometimes maintenance alone cannot fix issues as they might be due to some broken parts. In that case, you need a professional’s help. When you have a typical maintenance task, or somehow you are not comfortable performing the simple replacement jobs, then also you can call for help.

They are trained and know how to fix them. Instead, if you are not confident and attempt to do it, there is a high chance of worsening the problem than fixing it. So, it is a good idea to call a maintenance specialist with experience.

Also, sometimes you might void the warranty if you attempt to fix or lubricate the machine yourself. It will be useful to refer to the owner’s manual before you attempt anything to get a proper idea of what you can attempt and what you cannot do well within the warranty.

Tips for cleaning your elliptical trainer

Use a mild detergent and not cleaners containing aggressive chemicals such as ammonia and bleach, which can cause harm to your ellipticals. Dip a lint-free towel in mild detergent mixed with warm water, wring it well and wipe. It should not be too wet.

You just need a damp towel as high moisture can lead to rusting or electrical issues. It requires three kinds of cleaning.

Quick clean-up – after the workout.

After every workout, wipe the parts that are in contact with your body and the places where there can be some sweat. Use the above-mentioned method and keep your machine safe from the dust particles that stick to the sweat and body oils on the machine.

Make sure you wipe down the handles and the console without fail, as these are the parts that you touch most during your workout. It ensures that the bacteria do not grow in these places to cause any harm to your skin as well as prevents corrosion.

Through cleaning – every 1 month

Once a month, you can do thorough cleaning by wiping down the complete machine. Go through each part carefully, wiping them free from dust, and pay attention to every part in detail. Especially the rollers and guide rails are to be cleaned carefully and neatly.

Internal cleaning – every 6 months

Make sure that the machine is unplugged as you are going to deal with internal parts here. Remove the plastic covers and then vigilantly vacuum the dust from the inside. Take care not to disrupt any internal wiring or other sensitive parts.

Doing so will prevent the long-term accumulation of dust that helps the machine to function properly for many years as it is well maintained. It can be done once every 6 months. Though it is not a difficult process, you just need to remember it and do it without fail.

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