How to Troubleshoot Elliptical Problems


Elliptical machines, sometimes referred to as cross-trainers, are a popular stationary exercise machine that simulates running and walking. Unlike treadmills or actually running, an elliptical machine allows the user to get a non-impact cardio workout without placing pressure on the knees, ankles and other joints. You can find elliptical machines at your local gym or you can purchase one for home use. If your elliptical machine starts acting up, perform some basic troubleshooting steps before you call in a repair person.

Plug it in. The first troubleshooting step is always the most obvious. Your elliptical machine needs to be plugged in for the console to work. Ensure that the plug is securely placed into a grounded outlet and that the outlet is receiving power. Check that the circuit breaker has not been tripped.

Reposition your hands on the handles. If your machine's monitor is not showing your heart rate, first reposition your hands so that you are touching the metal contacts. If necessary, clean the handles with a soft cloth to remove sweat or lotion residue. Do not grip the handles too tightly or move your hands excessively.

Calibrate the ramp. If the ramp is not positioned correctly, it could need to be calibrated. Often this is done from the console. How you calibrate the ramp is dependent on the make and model of the machine. Refer to the owner's manual or customer service section of the manufacturer's website to find out how to reach the calibration settings on your specific machine. Many companies offer manuals in PDF format for download on their websites.

Adjust the drive belt. Again, your specific make and model of machine will determine how you do this. Usually, you'll need to unplug the machine and locate the drive belt area. This is often beneath the panel housing the wheel and pulley. You may need to find a release latch or use a screwdriver to remove this cover. Refer to the owner's manual for your model to make sure you do not damage your machine.