How to Troubleshoot a Life Fitness 9500HR Elliptical

Young man uses elliptical cross trainer.

The Life Fitness 9500HR elliptical is a high-quality exercise machine designed to withstand hours of continuous use. Therefore, you should not experience many issues with the machine. If you incur small barriers to an adequate workout such as trouble with the heart rate monitor, grinding wheels or loose arm or foot pedals, you can identify and fix the problem with a little elbow grease.

Power Issues

You cannot use the Life Fitness 9500HR elliptical without a power supply or without a properly working display. If you are starting your workout, but the machine will not turn on, check if the machine is plugged in. You may also want to plug something else into the outlet to test if the outlet has power. Then, check the circuit breaker to determine if it has tripped and needs to be reset. If power is going to the machine, but your display is acting erratic and the keys are not functioning properly, the problem may be the console. Reset the display console's connector. Check your 9500HR manual for proper reset instructions. However, you can remove the display console by unscrewing four bolts and making sure the cables are plugged into the console. The cables connect through two small plastic pieces that plug into the console and one wire with a plastic piece on the end that plugs into the partner piece from a wire coming out of the machine.

Heart Rate Monitor

One of the beneficial functions on the 9500HR is the heart rate monitor. If the chest-strap monitor is not working properly, the instruction manual suggests re-wetting the electrodes with saliva or water from your fingers or water on a damp cloth before you position them flat against your skin. You must be within 3 feet of the transmitter and often, if you are within 3 feet of another transmitter, you may receive interference and an erratic monitor response. This can also occur if you stand close to a television, cell phone, computer, power lines or other electromagnetic fields. If the battery inside the chest monitor needs replacing, contact Life Fitness. If you use an alternative heart rate monitor, such as the hand-grips, and you do not get an accurate pulse reading, dry your hands and re-grasp the sensors, making sure you are contacting two sensors with each hand.

Pedals and Pulleys

If you hear a grinding or knocking noise when using your elliptical, you want to check the machine for such things as misaligned pulleys, dirt on the wheel tracks, pedals hitting the cover, bad pivot-point bearings, or loose bolts in the crank arm. Other things to consider are a bad alternator, pillow block which is located on the crank shaft or intermediate shaft assembly, which turns one of the pulleys for the alternator belt. These need to be replaced immediately. If the rear wheel is frozen, you need to clean the machine and lubricate the wheel. And if you hear a squeaking noise, you may need to align the pedal levers.

Arms and Drive

If the arm handles feel loose, tighten or replace the bolts in the arm extension kit. Bolts should be adjusted to a torque between 30 and 35 pounds, according to Life Fitness. Also check and tighten or replace the bolts that connect the upper arm handles to the lower arm handles. If the machine feels like it is slipping, the drive belt may need to be replaced or you may need to adjust the tension. Life Fitness recommends setting a new belt at 1/4 inch and 170 pounds and an older belt at 1/4 inch and 160 pounds.