Today I’m going to answer some questions from the reader mailbag. The first will be from Liz:

“My treadmill is from York fitness and unfortunately the instruction book cannot be found, as well as the wee container of oil. I would be very grateful if you could tell me what I can use to oil the belt.”

Great Question. I am glad you didn’t just go find your household WD-40 to oil it. That would have ruined your belt. Almost all treadmills need to be oiled up from time to time. Some newer ones are built so that they don’t need it, but it still wouldn’t hurt. Just like a car needs oil, if your treadmill doesn’t get the oil it needs it will burn up and your belt will break or other problems will happen. You should follow the oiling schedule recommended for your specific treadmill, but a good average is about twice a year. Each treadmill has a specific kind of oil that should be used for it, due to the different materials used in the deck or belt. In your situation Liz, I would just go visit the Treadmill Doctor’s website and buy some of their world famous lube. It works for almost every treadmill out there, and I guarantee it would be cheaper than whatever specific oil your treadmill needs.

Here’s a similar question from Mike:
“I have a Healthrider Aire Strider E60. I need to know what kind of grease to apply to it for squeaks etc.. I could not find it on the web or on the manual -very strange. Can you help? thanks”

Hi Mike. Manufacturers are really good at not explaining how to maintain their machines well. In the manuals it’s often hard to find what kind of lubricant to use for the elliptical, or how to lubricate it. It is always best to use the lubricant that your machine comes with. However, if you don’t have that anymore, you can usually call the manufacturer and reorder some. If you don’t want to do that, or can’t figure out how, or just want to make your own, use white lithium grease for grease fittings. For joints you can use red lithium ball bearing grease. You may be able to find it at some fitness machine dealers or automotive stores. For the rails you can use that or a 3-in-1 household oil. Lubricating the rails will help reduce the friction between the rails and the wheels, and will prevent squeaking and wearing. Again with ellipticals, it’s important to lubricate it about every 6 months.

Good Luck to all of you treadmill and elliptical fans. Please feel free to ask more questions if you have them.