Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Drive Wheels Grinding Noise

Many of today’s self-propelled lawn mowers have plastic drive wheels and some have plastic drive gears as well.

Plastic does not make the best drive wheel system especially if the drive gear is metal and the driven wheel is plastic.

Carefully clean the wheels and gears with a pressure washer so you will be able to inspect them.

If you are hearing a grinding sound, you will have to remove the lawn mowers drive wheels and find out what the problem is. Look for gears that are worn down on the tops or sides of the gear teeth. If you are finding this condition, you will have to change the drive gear or the wheel or sometimes both if they are in bad condition.

Replace the parts that are bad and that should resolve your drive issue. If it does not, contact a lawn mower repair shop from our Locations page and have them inspect, diagnose and troubleshoot the cause of the problem.

Self-propelled lawn mowers are subject to a lot of dirt and debris that gets into the drive system and proper maintenance will keep your lawn mower running for years to come.

My Lawn Mower Deck Belt Won’t Engage

There are 2 types of engagement methods on a riding lawn mower. One is a manual lever and the other is a PTO or Power Take Off.

Depending on which one you have, they are completely different methods to engage your lawn mower blades.

The manual lever uses mechanical action to move a cable that is connected to a lever on the deck. This cable can break, bind or freeze up if it becomes rusted. The lever on the deck can also become stuck and not allow the deck belt to move to its taught position.

The PTO is an electrically activated device. You pull the knob and it provides power to the PTO assembly that is located at the bottom of the crankshaft. All of the safety devices must be in their proper positions for it to operate. For example, the operator must be seated, the mower must be in neutral or a forward gear. When the conditions are correct, the PTO engages a large magnet and then the belt will begin to spin the deck belt.

If either of these two systems are not working properly, contact a lawn mower repair technician in your area on our Locations page.

My Lawn Mower Won’t Pull up a Hill

A lawn mower drive problem can put a damper on cutting and maintaining your grass. Hills are where you quickly find out that your mower will no longer pull and you may notice a slowing down or slipping wheels.

If you have a drive problem, it can be in the transmission or the belts and the linkages. Most likely it is a worn drive belt if the mower has a good amount of hours on it. If it is a newer mower, a stick or other debris may have become lodged in the linkage or the transmission.

Remove your deck and inspect the drive belts, pulleys and transmission for obvious signs of wear or things missing such as springs and linkages that may have come undone. Look at the belts and if they are sitting deep in the pulley grooves, then they are worn out and your pulleys may be worn as well.

If there is a way to access the transmission fluid, check the levels of it to be sure that it has the proper amount. Check your owner’s manual to see what the manufacturer recommends.

If you need help with your lawn mower not pulling up a hill, visit our Locations page for a shop near you.

Riding Lawn Mower Not Charging Battery

Some lawn mowers have a charging indicator built into the dash or an “Amp Meter” as they call it. This is a meter that is connected in line with the engines charging system and will give you a visual clue as to what is happening with it.

On the amp meter, you want to see it reading in the 13.7 to 14.7 volt range to ensure that battery is property charged. A fully charged batter will have somewhere around 12.7 volts and could be higher depending on the condition of the battery.

If you do not have an amp meter, a simple volt meter test can be performed. With the engine running at full RPM and nothing running on the mower, place the positive lead on the positive terminal and the negative lead on the negative battery terminal and it should read be in the 13.7 to 14.7 volt range. If it is not or if it is reading higher, your alternator or the associated wiring is faulty and will need replaced or repaired.

You also should perform a test of your battery to see if it is still good and that the acid levels are correctly filled. A lawn mower batter today will only last about 3 years before it needs replacement.

If you need help troubleshooting why your lawn mower battery will not charge, visit our Locations page for a professional near you.

Gas is Leaking From The Air Filter on my Lawn Mower

When your lawn mower sits for a while, this can happen and fuel will either spill all over the floor or will end up inside the engine crankcase.

As the fuel in the carburetor begins to degrade and breakdown over time, it can cause the seal of the needle and seat to lose its seal. When this happens, fuel from the tank will seep through the carburetor and overflow the float bowl.

The fuel then will flow out the throat of the carburetor and through the air filter and then you will see it dripping from the air box cover.

In cases like this, the carburetor will need to be cleaned, the oil changed and the air filter as well. You may also have to remove all the fuel from the fuel tank and replace with fresh fuel.

If you need help with this problem, our Locations pages has lawn mower repair companies that can clean the carburetor, change the oil and air filter and get your lawn mower working as it should once again.

Leaking fuel can cause a fire and should not be operated until the source of the problem has been corrected.

My Lawn Mower Won’t go into Gear

Riding lawn mowers can sometimes be tricky to get into gear or out of gear. These machines are made on a high speed production line and are not always exactly perfect.

Sometimes the shifting rods will become slightly bound up and a gentle rocking back and forth will get the mower into gear. You can also check to see that grass is not interfering with the shift linkages. Rocks and caked on dirt can also cause the shift linkage to bind.

Clean out the area with a leaf blower or compressed air and then lubricate the shifting rods with dry silicone or similar lubricants that don’t attract dirt and debris.

If this does not fix the problem, then something internally may be the problem or you may not have enough fluid in the transmission. Check the fluid level and add more if necessary.

If the problem is internally in the transmission or gear case, it would be best to have a professional resolve that for you. You can find a lawn mower transmission repair shop on our Locations page.

What Type of Oil Should I use in My Lawn Mower?

Oil is the lifeblood of any engine and an oil change is the most important thing to do for your lawn mower.

You always want to use the type and viscosity of oil that the engine manufacturer recommends and this information can be found in the engine owner’s manual. But, you do not always have one of these if you purchased the lawn mower secondhand.

As a general rule, most small engines use SAE30 conventional motor oil. Conventional means that it is made from crude oil. Synthetic oils use different chemicals to create these lubricants.

More recently, engine makers have been moving to 10W30 engine oils. Honda is one of those companies that requires it in most of their lawn mowers.

Synthetic oils are far superior than conventional motor oils and once the engine has had its first required oil change, it is fine to switch it over to synthetics. Synthetic oils do not create sludge, have better lubricating properties and provide less friction for your engine. They are more expensive, but that added expense is worth the price of protecting your lawn mowers engine.

If you need help changing your lawn mowers engine and don’t want to tackle that job, visit our Locations page for a shop near you.

My Lawn Mower Runs for a While and Then Quits

This is a fairly common problem on push, self-propelled and riding lawn mowers. It can also be one that is hard to troubleshoot because there are several different things that can cause this problem in the first place.

You can check some easy things like the fuel cap for proper venting. If you take the cap off after the mower quits and you hear a whooshing of air, the cap is not venting as it should. Replace it with a new one or try to clean out the vent hole and see if that solves the problem.

The electrical portion is also another part that can cause your lawn mower to quit. The ignition coil, spark plug or associated wiring are all potential culprits.

It could also be the quantity of oil in a riding lawn mower. If the oil level is too low, if it is equipped with a low oil switch, it can shut down the engine to prevent any damage.

If you need professional help diagnosing your lawn mowers problem, visit our Locations page for a lawn mower repair shop near you.

My Lawn Mower Just Died in the Yard

Two questions come to mind.

  1. Did it die like you just flipped a switch?
  2. Did it chug, cough and then die?

If it is the first question, then most likely you have an electrical issue and most likely an ignition system problem. Most likely just putting in a new spark plug will not resolve the problem but it is an inexpensive first step to resolve the problem.

If the lawn mower chugged, coughed and then died, you have a fuel system problem or an internal component problem. This requires more in-depth troubleshooting to determine what the problem is. But check the air filter to see if it is clogged and if so, replace it and test the mower. You could also start it without the air filter to see if that was the problem. Just try to not let any debris such as grass clippings get into the carburetor.

If these simple fixes don’t solve the problem with your lawn mower dying in your yard, professional help is in order and you can find a lawn mower repair professional in your area by visiting our Locations page for assistance.

My Lawn Mower Jerks the Pull Cord Out of My Hand

This is a dangerous condition and can easily cut your hand or worse, break a bone in it. Do not continue to try and pull start the lawn mower until you have it checked out by a lawn mower repair professional.

Now you are probably wondering why this happens in the first place right? Well, most of the time it happens because you have hit something with the blade or someone has been working on the engine internals and did not set the timing up right on the cam.

When you hit something or have a blade strike as it is called in the industry, it will cause the shear key in the flywheel to move or “shear” as it is designed to do. When this flywheel key shears, it causes the timing of the ignition firing to be off a number of degrees. When the spark plug fires at the wrong time, it will cause the piston to move violently in the downward motion and the pull cord is still trying to move the piston in the upward position.

The result is the force you feel when the pull cord is whipped out of your hand and the handle slams into the engine cover.

So it is wise to get your lawn mower checked out by a professional that can diagnose the problem and repair it so you have a safe to operate mower once again.

Visit our Locations page for a lawn mower shop near you.