Reader Mailbag: Extended Warranties, to buy or not to buy…that is the question

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As the final day of the IHRSA show in San Diego wraps up, I wanted to make sure to keep my loyal readers happy with another trip to the old Reader Mailbag for a new question. Today, Michael from Michigan asks the Treadmill Sensei about extended warranties for treadmills and whether or not they are really worthwhile. Take it away, Michael!

I just bought one of these after reading your very informative review. The question I have is should I buy the extended warranty for this unit. The sales person at Dick’s Sporting Goods tried like “heck” to get me to buy it. It comes with lifetime frame and motor and 1 year on parts and labor. What do you think? -Michael


Thanks for the note and your question. You know, I’m of two minds when it comes to the extended warranties when it comes to budget treadmills and ellipticals.

On one hand, you are purchasing a budget level product which is made of lighter grade materials and are prone to difficulties if not maintained properly (cleaned, etc) or are over used (heavier users or hardcore workouts). In that case an extended warranty can be a good thing because it will help you extend the life of your equipment. And don’t forget, a lot of people want the additional piece of mind an extended warranty offers even if they never have to use it.

On the other hand, if you follow the maintenance instructions of the unit and take care of it, you should see a fairly trouble free lifespan of about 5 years (sometimes as long as 7-8 years) for the unit.

I’d also say it depends on your own fitness lifespan — meaning, how long you’ll actually use it. A lot of these budget treadmills are bought by folks who only end up using them for a few months before they become permanent clothes-hangers over in the corner of your room. If that’s the case then I’d avoid an extended warranty at all cost!

Just keep in mind that the sales people are always going to suggest you spend more money, especially on something like an extended warranty which you may never actually use. In fact, you’ll see sales people pushing extended warranties on units which don’t need them because that amounts to free cash for the retailer. I’d be worried about any treadmill or elliptical that a retailer doesn’t offer you an extended warranty on!

I hope this helps!

-The Treadmill Sensei

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About Treadmill Sensei

Treadmill SenseiThe Treadmill Sensei has been in the fitness industry for several years. He is familiar with several brands of fitness equipment and has written several reviews of many different treadmills and elliptical machines. You can see what he thinks are the best treadmills or you can get help choosing a treadmill.

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About My Treadmill Reviews

TreadmillMy treadmill reviews are both subjective and objective. They are objective in the sense that I will provide you with information about each machine, such as motor, weight capacity and other features. But they are subjective in the sense that I am really giving my opinion of each treadmill. You may agree or disagree with my opinion, but my hope is that my elliptical and treadmill reviews can be helpful to you in making a decision on what to buy. Remember that each review is just what I think. You can always check out Treadmill Doctor, Treadmill Review Guru or these other treadmill reviews if you want another opinion.