My Elliptical Is Making a Clunking Sound? (Here’s What to Do)

Ellipticals are really popular for their overall functionality and manoeuvrability as stationary exercise machines. By stimulating activities like stair-climbing, soft-jogging, cycling, etc. ellipticals have made life so much easier for people who love to exercise at home. But, have you ever had to ask yourself – why my elliptical is making a clunking sound?

An elliptical can make a clucking sound for a number of reasons. Things like a lack of lubrication, broken parts, loosened joints or even accumulation of dirt can cause your elliptical to make a weird clunking sound.

In this article, I’ll provide some of the most common reasons why ellipticals may make a clucking sound, and then I’ll be moving on to explain a few of their possible solutions as well. So, keep reading till the end for a probable solution to your problem.

Why Is Your Elliptical Making A Clunking Sound?

Has it ever happened that you went on to get a bit of a morning exercise in a fresh mind but as soon as you started to pedal, the elliptical started to make a really loud clunking sound? Pretty annoying, right?

Well, it happens all the time and it’s one of the very basic troubleshooting that an elliptical goes through. Here are the three main reasons why your elliptical could be making that obnoxious clunking sound:

Levelling Issues

If you have ever bought an elliptical to exercise at home, you must have noticed the rubber paddings while setting them down. There’s one of each on both sides to stabilize the elliptical while you are using it. 

If you didn’t set it up properly, there could be levelling issues with your elliptical. In simple terms, the weight is not distributed on both pedals evenly while using the machine. As a result, the overall framework becomes unstable and every time you put excess pressure on one side, the other side goes up a little and causes a little grinding sound. 

Lack of Lubricants

Another reason why your elliptical may cause extreme noise is if the gears are all dry and out of lubrication. Every time that you use the elliptical, various mechanical gears get displaced within the machine to generate the respective output. 

If you didn’t use enough lubricants with the nuts and bolts while setting up the elliptical, two major issues take place. One – it’s much harder to pedal and accelerate since it takes way more force to engage the inner bearings. And two – the drier the gears are, the more sound they will produce every time you try to forcefully engage them. 

Loosening of Joints

All the parts of the elliptical come disassembled when it arrives as a package that later needs to be joined together to create the final machine. So, if an inexperienced person does the assembly, they might end up making a mistake.

Such mistakes later result in the loosening of nuts and bolts in and around the elliptical. Usually, a severe clunking sound is a warning that something like this is happening and it immediately needs to be fixed. If you don’t pay attention to such warnings, the machine could fall apart at any given time and that can cause serious injuries. 

There are several other reasons why ellipticals can exhibit such odd behaviour. However, it’s usually one of these three but if it’s not, it’s highly recommended that you consult a professional to check the bearings out.

How to Resolve the Clunking Sound in Your Elliptical?

Now that you know why and where the issues in your elliptical are to cause such a horrendous ruckus every time you go to exercise on it, it’s time to figure out some solutions. After all, for every problem, there’s always a remedy out there somewhere. 

So, let’s take a look at some of the possible solutions that you can find super helpful during situations like these. In addition to the solution themselves, I’ll also let you know about the step-by-step instructions on how to apply them.

Do A Thorough Examination

If you are handy with the home equipment and have proper knowledge, read the maintenance guide thoroughly and then examine the framework of your elliptical. See if anything is out of place.

Most likely, you’ll find some discrepancies. Carefully figure out what they are and then fix them one by one. Call a technician if necessary.

Fix the Joints

After repeated use, the joints and handlebars of the elliptical often get loose. In that case, examine all the placements of the bearings carefully to see which ones are problematic.

After that, use the respective screws, nuts, and bolts as instructed in the elliptical assembly guide; to tighten the bearings that need fixing. Stay cautious of any unwanted accidents.

Lubricate the Bearings

If the clunking sound persists even after you have tightened up the nuts, it’s time to lubricate the bearings. For lubricants, it’s best to get good quality all-purpose grease from your local mechanical shop. 

If you already know how and where to apply the grease, gently apply a light coating over the shafts and pivot points. If not, take the help of a mechanic or technician by all means. Do remember to take off the outer parts like handlebars, pedal arms, etc. before you apply the grease. 

Replace the Broken Parts

Just like people get exhausted after a long-term tiring activity, machines wear out too. To be more specific, some of the parts like battery, motor, pedalling bar, etc. wear out after months of use.

The clunking sound will be a subtle signal that it’s time to change these parts. Carefully, examine the battery and the places where the sound is coming from and then replace the worn-out/broken parts. 

Focus on The Flywheel

Sometimes, the problem lies in the flywheel itself rather than any of the internal bearings. Even though it’s a comparatively rare occurrence, it does happen a lot of the time. However, it’s harder to notice if anything is wrong with the flywheel as it shows no apparent damage unless you look for it specifically. So, do a deep analysis of the flywheel. That is if you are capable of doing one.

Don’t try to be DIY-er in such cases as that can often do more harm than good.  Ellipticals are heavy machines and they require special maintenance. If you don’t have previous experience with such heavy mechanical equipment, things can go from zero to thirty really quick.

The possibilities of heavy injuries are pretty high as well in such cases. Anyways, enough about the precautions. What I was saying about the flywheel was that garbage or dirt can get deposited under the flywheel. 

These additional nuisances cause somewhat of a resistance that gets into the internal bearings as well if you don’t clean them up in time. Once they get in, it’s a whole other story and a whole lotta clunk-clunk-clunk all day long.

So, the point is, keep your elliptical clean and properly lubricated to avoid these annoying sounds. If they persist even after all these, it’s finally time to find the receipt and visit the nearest service centre. 

When my elliptical is making a clunking sound, these are things I usually do to troubleshoot the issue. Hopefully, with my tips you will be able to fix your issue as well. But make sure to understand when an issue is beyond your abilities and contact a qualified person to fix your elliptical.

As I’ve said before, tinkering with your elliptical without the proper knowledge can cause more harm than good. Thanks for reading and until next time, farewell.  

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