Octane Fitness Err 3

Googling for “Octane Fitness Err 3” doesn’t provide much help, so I’m writing this to get it into Google to provide more info…

We bought an Octane Fitness elliptical machine almost 4 years ago. It’s a great machine and we love it. A year ago it started showing “Err 3” on the display after being used when the Cool Down program finished. We could still use it, we just had to hit the Clear button and it was fine. I couldn’t find much of anything about this online so we called the dealer where we bought it. They concluded that it needed a new right stride motor — the motor that adjusts the length of the running stride. Octane shipped them a new one for free and we paid the $125 or so for their repair man to come over and install it. That fixed it for a while. It started doing it again a few months later so Octane thought it was one of the logic boards that was failing. They shipped them a new one of those and we paid the $125 or so for the guy to install that.

It worked fine for several months until about 4 weeks ago, when it got much worse. It used to go to “Err 3” only after  a run, but this time it would do it after running just 1/4 mile or so. I could reset it and keep running but it would continue every few minutes or even less. This made using the machine impossible. I called Octane Fitness myself this time and talked to a very helpful tech support guy. It almost always showed Err 3 but this time it was also showing Err 2 some times. Because of this, he thought it was the logic board again so he sent me one for free and said I could install it myself and save the $125. I got it a week later and he was right, it was easy to install. But it didn’t fix it. There was no improvement at all.

I called Octane Fitness again, talked to the same guy and he went through some tests on the machine with me over the phone and concluded that the right stride motor was again the problem. He sent me a new stride motor for free and, again, shipped it directly to me and said I could install it myself. At this point, I hadn’t used it for over a week and wanted to get the part quicker. I explained that I appreciated him sending me the part for free, but I offered to pay for overnight or 2nd Day shipping to get it sooner. He refused to take my money and shipped it 2nd Day. I got the part, installed it, which was not as easy as the logic board, but it did fix the problem.

I learned that Err 3 means the right stride motor is failing and Err 2 means the left stride motor is failing. Err 3 is much more common because it always checks the right motor first and only checks the left if the right passed the test. The logic board runs tests on it frequently and any error at all causes it to show the error code. It’d be nice if there was a way to bypass the error-check and continue to use the machine, just without the ability to adjust the stride. I still don’t know what the problem was because I was seeing both Err 3 and Err 2. Either the left stride motor is about to fail too or the logic board _and_ the right stride motor were faulty and both needed to be replaced.

It’s annoying that the stride motors on the machine are so apt to break, but I am very happy with Octane Fitness’ tech support and customer service for sending me parts for free every time and not even charging me for shipping! And the tech support guy (Eric?) was very polite, friendly and patient. Several weeks ago I was very upset with the machine and was expecting to have to buy a whole new machine and from a competitor (who probably has other problems with their machines). But today, I wouldn’t hesitate to buy another Octane Fitness machine. In fact, the new models look so nice I’m considering getting a new one anyway.

7 thoughts on “Octane Fitness Err 3”

  1. I’ve had a similar experience with the Octane Q45. The company has been very good about supplying the replacement parts at no charge, but it annoys me that the product has this frequent issue.

    1. I think I’ve figured out how to prevent it: when you stop running, make sure the left pedal is all the way back and you’re off it before the cool-down period ends. If I do that, I never get Err 3. My theory is that the motor can’t torque it enough (even though it does move) if it’s in a different position and the logic board thinks it’s broken and reports the error.

  2. Did you replace the stride motor yourself on third time? I just had the issue and paid for a replacement left stride motor. I want to replace but not sure about the non-bolt areas that look like bushings and not exactly sure how to remove those without damage.

  3. I got an err3 on our Octane Q45e and called Octane support and spoke with Dan. He advised me to unplug the machine, open up the cover, locate the logic board, swap the left and right stride motor cables where they plug into the logic board and then plug the machine in again. Err2 then appeared I. The console. This means that the right stride motor is bad.

    Ordered the new motor and, while removing the old one, found the problem. The wires were chafed through where the wire is coiled. Checked the left motor and it had the same wear, but was not work all the way through any of the wires.

    I installed the new motor and added thick layers of electrical tape to the stride motor wires before wire tying the down to prevent further chafing.
    I then repaired the original right side motor and will save it as a spare!

    We have had this machine since about 2004 and it is a work horse!

    1. Thank you so much for posting this! I can’t believe I actually fixed my machine. Took some trial and error, but eventually got it running.
      Machine was initially giving me an error 3. I switched the wires and it was still giving me error 3, so I ordered the replacement board. That was an easy install, but when I turned it on, I now got an error 2. arrrrgh!!! i switched the wires again, and this time it gave me error 3, so according to the troubleshooting, this meant the left motor was bad. I ordered the left motor and the left nut actuator since I read somewhere else that if you replace the motor it’s a good idea to replace the actuator.
      Replacing the actuator was a hassle because the instructions on the service manual are not 100% clear/accurate (note if you are replacing, make sure you remove the actuator from the side opposite the snap ring. It took me a long time to get the snap ring off, only to find out that the nut won’t come out from that end.) When I finally got the old actuator nut off and tried to put the new one on the shaft, it wouldn’t screw in all the way, so I ended up putting the old one back on (it seemed to still be in good shape.) Running the motor cables back under the machine and zip-tying to the frame was kind of a hassle too, but it was not that hard of a fix. As someone else posted, the left motor wires were frayed/worn where the wire coils, so I made sure to add electrical tape. I probably should’ve done the right side while I was at it, but it was past 1 am and they looked ok so I just wanted to go to bed. Another issue I found is that the new motor has a connection maybe 6 inches from the actual motor to the cable that runs to the control board. The old motor just had one long cable running all the way through. I taped and zip tied it the metal base, but I’m afraid it’ll shift and get caught and/or worn out by rubbing between the moving metal arms, since they are so close. Bad design for new motors in my opinion, but at least I’m back up and running and know that if I have issue again I can fix.

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