Treadmill Warranty Guide

I’ve been amused over the years to see the warranty on treadmill motors rise from 12 months, to 2 years, to 5 years, to 10 years, and now commonly, to “lifetime”!

Firstly, and to be pedantic, “lifetime” is not your lifetime! It’s the machine’s. It’s kind of counter-intuitive. It almost sounds like “when the motor breaks down, that’s the end of its life, so the warranty no longer applies”! But no. A “lifetime motor warranty” (generally) means that the supplier will warrant the motor against manufacturing defects for the life of the machine.

So if you’re using the machine within the correct parameters (not in the rain, not over the weight capacity, not in a professional gym, etc.) and the motor fails, and it’s deemed to have been because of faulty manufacture, then they will fix it for free.

Secondly, it’s not really going to cover you for that long. Let’s face it, the older the machine gets and the more reliable use it’s given you, the less likely it will be that the fault is caused by a manufacturing error. One rep once told me “any warranty longer than 5 years is overkill”. That was his assessment of about when the warrantor would start to say “it wasn’t caused by us”. So my (personal*) advice is to not give any further weight to warranties which are longer than 5 years. You really aren’t getting more.

Thirdly, it’s only on the motor, and even then, sometimes only the “drive motor” (there are often 2 motors in a treadmill – the incline motor which lifts its deck up and down, and the drive motor, which turns the mat). The headline in that ad you saw on Saturday played up the “lifetime warranty” bit, didn’t it, but take note that it's on the motor only, and all the rest of the treadmill only comes with (eg.) 2 years.

So in conclusion, be smart about interpreting warranties. It’s not so much about the headline as the rest of the wording. And moreover,who the warranty is from!


* The views in this article are entirely the personal views of the author, provided in an editorial and personal-experience style. You should read all warranty documents thoroughly to make your own assessment. The view do not necessarily reflect the position of fitonline or the companies whose products it sells.