Cross Trainer Maintenance Guide & How to Prevent Faults

Cross trainer maintenance is essential if you want to avoid faults developing over time, especially if the warranty has already expired. 

We have put together some regular maintenance tips that will help your cross trainer stay in good condition for many years.

Before we get into the maintenance steps, we do need to stress the importance of keeping and using your cross trainer in a suitable environment. Even with regular maintenance - putting your cross trainer in a garage or shed that is not insulated from the elements will cause it to degrade rapidly from the effects of humidity, condensation, cold and heat. All of these can affect things like lubrication, rust and cause soft materials to become brittle.

So try and keep your cross trainer in a dry, insulated space and preferably with a protective cover for the best longevity.

Related: Best Cross Trainer Guide

The main steps for cross trainer maintenance include:

  • Unplug from electrical socket
  • Cleaning
  • Lubrication
  • Tightening nuts and bolts

Other longer-term tasks:

  • Checking the unit is level/stable
  • Checking batteries

Unplug the Cross Trainer

Unplug the Cross Trainer

How often? After each use

This is the easiest maintenance tip and only takes a few seconds to do, but it can save you a lot of hassle if your unit receives a power surge. Simply unplug the cross trainer from the electrical socket after each workout.

An alternative is to plug your cross trainer into some kind of surge protection, like an extension cord/plug with surge protection built in.

Cleaning your Cross Trainer

Cleaning your Cross Trainer

How often? After each workout

Cleaning a cross trainer is relatively simple and you should do a quick wipe-down after each workout to prevent sweat from damaging it over time. 

Many people are unaware that sweat is actually quite a corrosive liquid; containing salt, lactic acid and uric acid which can damage most materials on your cross trainer.

How to clean your cross trainer after a workout

Using a damp cloth (preferably one that is lint free) wipe down the handles, console and anywhere else that sweat may have landed on the machine. 

Even if you haven’t worked up much of a sweat, you should always wipe the handles due to contact with sweat from your hands.

If you want you can also use a dry towel after the damp one to remove any residue afterwards.

Related: Cross Trainer Workouts

Lubricating your Cross Trainer

Lubricating your Cross Trainer

How often? If you hear friction noise or every 6 months

All machines that have moving parts require some kind of lubrication, and cross trainers are no exception. The main parts of the cross trainer to lubricate depend on what type of cross trainer you have. 

If you have a model that has a track at the base where the foot pedals run on (this can be a single or double track) then this will need to be lubricated. You will also need to lubricate the ball bearing that runs on the track so that it can move freely.

Most cross trainers will also require a small amount of lubrication on the joints, where nuts and bolts hold two moving parts of the machine together.

How to lubricate your cross trainer

  • You should first check the user manual to see what lubricant the manufacturer recommends, if they don’t then a silicone based lubricant would be your best bet. Preferably one in a spray can for easy application.
  • Put something down underneath the cross trainer to stop the floor becoming lubricated too, a towel or newspaper will do.
  • Spray lubricant onto the required parts of the cross trainer and then gently wipe away any excess with a paper towel.
  • Move the cross trainer mechanisms so that lubricant will be transferred into the joints and rollers.

That’s pretty much it, lubrication is a relatively quick task and the good thing is you shouldn’t need to do it too often.

FAQ: Can I use WD-40 to lubricate my cross trainer?

You should avoid using WD-40 to lubricate your cross trainer because it is a solvent, which evaporates over time and is not suited to lubricating anything long term. It also acts to remove existing lubricants. Use a silicone based spray lubricant instead for much better results.

Tightening Nuts and Bolts on your Cross Trainer

Tightening Nuts and Bolts on your Cross Trainer

How often? Every 3 months or if you notice loose parts.

This is a relatively simple task that could prevent injury should a part of your cross trainer fail during a workout.

If you assembled your cross trainer yourself then simply check each of the nuts and screws that you fastened. If any are loose then just tighten them again. 

If you didn’t assemble your cross trainer then take a look in the user manuals for assembly instructions and check the nuts and screws that it shows.

Avoid using any power tools to tighten nuts and screws because it can use too much torque and cause cracks and distortion. It also makes unscrewing things much harder.

Other Cross Trainer Maintenance Tasks

Keep the Cross Trainer on a Level Surface

While not all floors are perfectly flat, it’s important to have your cross trainer on a relatively flat surface. A cross trainer that wobbles during a workout is not only dangerous but can lead to faults developing, especially in the joints and other moving parts. Some models will have adjustable feet to help keep the unit stable which can prevent this issue.

Checking the Drive Belt on your Cross Trainer

Depending on the model you have, it may be possible to check the condition of the drive belt by removing the plastic cover. Before doing anything, make sure to check your user manual and any conditions that could void the warranty. If you are unsure then contact the manufacturer.

If your cross trainer allows easy access to the drive belt then it is worth checking it’s condition at least once per year. Make sure that it’s not frayed or loose and make sure to replace the belt if it has any of these issues. A fault with the drive belt can have knock-on effects on other parts of the machine.

Checking the Condition of the Batteries

If your cross trainer is battery powered then it is important to check their condition at least once per year or if you notice any issues with the console display (if digits become faded or hard to read). Batteries can leak over time if they are left empty for too long which can damage the electronic circuits causing the unit to stop working.

Most batteries will be located in the main console and may require a screwdriver to gain access to them. Even if the batteries aren’t empty it is recommended to change them every year.

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