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Why Is My Elliptical Making a Clunking Noise?

By simulating activities such as stair-climbing, cycling, soft-jogging, and beyond, ellipticals have become a favorite of the health-conscious; they are an integral part of many individuals’ workout routines as well as gyms far and wide. However, when they start giving you or your establishment’s visitors trouble, their value — and facility’s overall — takes a hit. One particular issue we’ve seen time and time again is an elliptical that makes a clunking noise. Here, we’ll go over some of the most common reasons why ellipticals clunk, review some possible solutions, and share how partnering with an expert elliptical repair team can help you make the most out of your investment.

Reasons Your Elliptical Makes a Clunking Noise

Here are some of the most common reasons an elliptical trainer makes an obnoxious clunking sound upon pedaling:

The Elliptical Base Is Out of Level

This is among the easiest things to check for and fix. There’s a chance that the leveling pads at the bottom of your elliptical are out of alignment. There’s one of each on both sides of the machine to stabilize the elliptical during use. If it was not set up properly, the weight could not be distributed on both pedals evenly, causing the overall framework to become unstable. Your elliptical may be making a clunking noise due to internal components and moving parts hitting each other. Try screwing and unscrewing the leveling feet until the elliptical is level.

Loose Bolts on Elliptical Arms

Elliptical arms are always moving and take a decent amount of weight and stress as you put them through their phases when working your hands. Get the elliptical up to speed and listen to each joint in the elliptical arms. If you can narrow the clunking noise to one of them, see if both sets of nuts and bolts are in relatively similar condition. If you’re lucky, it’ll be obvious where the noise is emanating from.

Lack of Lubricant

Another reason your elliptical may cause strange noises is if the gears are all dry and out of lubrication. Each time the elliptical is used, various mechanical gears are displaced within the machine to generate the respective output. If not enough lubricant was used with the nuts and bolts while setting up the elliptical, a couple of major issues happen. One, it’s significantly harder to pedal and accelerate as it takes substantially more force to engage the inner bearing. Two, the drier the gears get, the more sound they’ll produce each time they’re forcefully engaged.

How to Resolve Your Elliptical’s Clunking Sound

If you’re dealing with a noisy elliptical, keep these action items in mind:

  • Perform a thorough inspection: Read the maintenance guide thoroughly and examine your elliptical’s framework. If you notice anything out of place, get in touch with a technician.
  • Fix joints: After repeated use, joints and handlebars of ellipticals become loose. Examine all placements of the bearings meticulously to determine which ones are problematic.
  • Lubricate bearings: If the clunking persists after you’ve tightened up the nuts, a light coating of lubricant should be applied over the shafts and pivot points 
  • Replace broken parts: A clunking sound can be a signal it’s time to change worn-out parts, such as the battery, motor, pedaling bar, etc.

Get In Touch With Fitness Machine Technicians

If your elliptical is making a clunking sound or any other worrisome noise, don’t ignore it — take action to ensure safety! Fortunately, this doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. Our team of specialists have been helping gym owners and fitness facility professionals just like you with their equipment needs. Whether you need us to troubleshoot repairs or disassemble an elliptical machine, you can count on us to get the job done in no time. Contact us today for more information!


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