We live in a society that is becoming ever increasingly health-conscious. People are wanting to eat right, exercise regularly, and ensure that they are doing everything possible to keep themselves in optimal shape.
While millions of people go to the gym, there are those who would prefer to work out at home. They enjoy being able to work out any time they like, and in the privacy of their own residence. As long as they are able to afford the equipment they desire, they are able to get a sensational workout, right within the privacy of their own house.
The elliptical trainer is one kind of exercise machine that people love to use. Not only does it provide a great cardio workout, but actually works a large number of muscle groups. In addition, there are many different kinds of training regimes that you can use with this piece of equipment, making it the ideal home gym device.
However, there can be times where this device will break down. It may not function as it once did, or you may have problems with it making noises that are quite disturbing. If you are having issues with your piece of home equipment, what you need to know is how to fix elliptical machines so that you can get back on track.
Know the Common Parts of the Elliptical First
Before explaining how to fix elliptical machines, it is important for you to know what the different parts of the machine are. This will make the explanations a whole lot easier if you know what is being talked about.
Flywheel – the flywheel is generally located in the front of the elliptical trainer, and is the device that actually causes the elliptical to give you the workout you are looking for. When you apply pressure to the pedals, this is the part of the machine that not only provides resistance, but also sends messages to the console where the computer board is located. There, your workout is being determined, so you can see the number of calories burned, your speed, and the like.
You should be aware that the better the flywheel you have, the smoother your workout will be in the better your workout will be. It is this part of the elliptical that actually determines the longevity of the device because once it is broken down you either have to replace it or spend a good deal of money to fix it.
Just to understand terms more properly, if the flywheel is located at the front of the machine then it is referred to as a front drive trainer. If it is located in the back that it is referred to as a rear drive trainer. There are some recent models where the flywheel is in the center of the machine, and they are referred to as a center drive trainer.
Console – the console is not only the area that provides the display to you but is also where you would set the parameters for your workout. In this display, you would be able to monitor such things as heart rate, time, calories burned, and level of workout. Some more sophisticated ellipticals provide video displays of terrain as you are working out.
On the console, you would also be able to set how the workout would go. This would include setting the level, how long of a time that you would work out, and whether there would be hills, steps, or other kinds of challenges. Some consoles even offer you specific fat burning workouts, aerobics, or hills – something your treadmill cannot offer!
Handle Bars – the handlebars are the different grips that you would hold onto during your workout. On many elliptical trainers, there are actually two different forms of handlebars. The first type is the polls you are hanging onto that you move back and forth much in the same way as if you were cross-country skiing. On each of these handlebars is a sensor, that monitors your heart rate while you are working out.
While this is not true of every kind of elliptical, some have two grips in the center near the console that you can hold onto during your workout. They do not move back and forth, allowing you to work only the legs or to have a breather before moving on to a more rigorous workout.
Foot Pedals – the foot pedals are where you would place your feet during the workout. These are the locations that you would push in a circular motion to get yourself moving forward, or moving backward if you desire that kind of workout.
Deck and Rollers – the deck and rollers include the bottom foundation of the elliptical as well as the mechanism that allows the pedals to move in a circular motion. The amount of space the rollers allow determines how much movement there is for the foot pedals. What is meant by this is that the wider the rollers are set, the longer the stride you can get during your workout. For those who are looking for a more intense, sprinting style of elliptical, tighter rollers with less stride allow for this kind of workout. The most comfortable options will have a roller stride of somewhere between 18 to 24 inches.
Problem 1: The Console Display Is Dim or Not Turning on At All
If your console is not displaying properly, then there are a number of issues that may have arisen. What you will need to be able to check is a screwdriver and pair of pliers to begin.
If you are wanting to know how to fix elliptical console problems, it starts by removing the bolts or screws that hold the console against the frame of the elliptical. Once these are removed, lift the console gently and check to make sure that cables are secure into the console itself. You may also find that a simple fix is to replace the batteries inside the console. Remove the battery cover using a screwdriver, replace the battery, and see if this resolves the problem so you can use your elliptical trainer.
If this does not fix your machine, you may have an issue where the console needs to be replaced altogether. Fortunately, this is a lot less daunting than you may have thought. As part of learning how to fix the elliptical console, you simply unscrew the console from the frame and then detach the connector cables. Replace the console with your newly purchased one by reattaching the cables, and then screw back in the console to the frame. This should easily repair the problem.
If it does not, then you likely have some issue related to the electrical wiring in general, which may require a professional to service it for you.
Problem 2: Your Elliptical Making a Squeaking Noise
A very common kind of problem that you may have with your elliptical is that it may start to squeak when you use it. This can be caused for a number of reasons, and will require a hex wrench or pliers, a Phillips screwdriver, some machine grease, and maybe even a replacement drive belt should that be the issue.
To begin, remove the screws or bolt that hold the pedals to the crank axle. Slide the pedals off and separate the disk so you are able to look at them directly. Make sure that there is nowhere and tear on them.
After removing the side shields, look at the base unit and locate the drive belt. Pull the belt away from the crank pulley or any other pulleys that are within the elliptical, and check to see if there are any cracks or spots that would allow for slippage. This is easily checked by making sure that the belt looks uniform throughout. If you find that there are issues, replace the drive belt.
You may also find that it is a matter of lubrication that is causing the elliptical to squeak. To resolve this, detach the ends of the pedals from the axle, and spread a layer of your machine grease over each of the axles, then reattach the petals. Perform the same operation at the bottom of each of the swing arms.
These are the two most common problems that would lead to your elliptical creating a squeaky noise. If you are finding that neither one of these resolves the problem and you are still receiving a squeaky noise, seek the assistance of a professional to help resolve the problem.
Problem 3: The Pedal Sticks on one Setting or Sticks on High Resistance
Another problem can be related to the resistance, so you will need to how to fix elliptical resistance within the device for optimum benefits. This requires your owner’s manual, a wrench, and refrigerator magnets.
What you should be aware of is that the resistance is one of the most common problems related to the elliptical, so learning how to fix elliptical resistance within the machine is really to your advantage.
The resistance is managed through the use of magnets. This is why your first place to start is to check to make sure that the bolts have securely fastened the magnets in their proper position. If they are loose, it can easily cause the machine to get stuck.
If this is not the problem, check to see if the magnets have demagnetized. This can easily be accomplished by using your refrigerator magnets. If they will not stick to the magnets on the elliptical, you need to replace them immediately.
Other problems of why your elliptical is getting stuck could relate to the foot pedals not being properly attached. This can easily be fixed through the use of a wrench. You may also need to purchase new foot pedals as a way of fixing your problem.
If your axis is bent, you will have to replace your machine altogether. Unfortunately, there is no way for you to learn how to fix an elliptical in this situation.
Maintenance Tips for Your Elliptical
Your elliptical was probably quite an investment, so you want to make sure you are doing all of the things possible to keep it well-maintained. This will help to reduce the wear and tear it will undergo, and keep your elliptical operational far more often.
The first thing you should do when you get your elliptical trainer is review the owner’s manual. This will provide you with maintenance tips you should follow. You should also look to purchase detergents that can assist you in properly cleaning your machine. This will help to remove excess grease, oils that can come from you or other users, as well as sweat.
It is also important to use the device properly and in the proper location. Ellipticals require a dry, cool environment to work best, and you should not attempt to use the machine in a way that it was not intended. Clean all areas where you come in contact with the machine, including where your feet and hands go. The display should also be cleaned to remove dirt, oils, and salt that can build up.
Make sure that you place the elliptical in a location where it will not get damaged. If you store it, make sure it is away from spots where it could be bumped or knocked over, and also keep it where your pets and your children will not damage it in some way.
Make sure that you lubricate areas such as the petals and rotors regularly. Ensure that screws and bolts are tightened at least twice a year so that consoles and other parts are not loose.
It is also a good idea to hire someone to come in and do maintenance on your elliptical at least once a year. This will help you to keep it well-maintained.
If you have made the commitment to getting a top-quality elliptical machine, you want to do all you can to make sure that it is operational. This means providing the right kind of care and maintenance so that your investment does not go wasted.
It is also important to understand that you can fix many of the problems that will come as part of owning an elliptical. This machine will break down as part of the everyday use even if you perform regular maintenance, but many of the most common problems can easily be fixed by you. So, go enjoy!