One Drive Wheel Stopped Turning on My Self-Propelled Lawn Mower


Today’s self-propelled lawn mowers either have steel or plastic drive gears. The steel gears never seem to wear out but their spring loaded woodruf keys that are on the axle can rest and stick in place. When this happens, one side or both can stop working.

If you have a plastic drive gear on the wheel, it can wear out and stop pulling the drive wheel.

In either case the drive wheels will need to be removed and the drive system inspected. While you are at it, inspect the drive belt for wear. If it is loose or rides deep in the groove, it is time for a replacement.

Carefully inspect the drive gears to make sure they are not missing any teeth or are worn out. Grass clippings can also get into them and fill the grooves between the teeth. Clean them out good and replace any worn parts. Also check the drive shaft on models that use the spring and woodruf key. Clean out the slots and ensure everything is dry and free of grease and dirt.

If this project is more than you want to tackle, visit our Locations page for a self-propelled lawn mower repair shop near you.


My Lawn Mower Blades Wear Out Quickly

Lawn mower blades normally last a long time and if yours are wearing out quickly, there are probably some external factors that you might not think about.

My first question is, are you cutting your grass when it has dew on it or is wet from rain? Water is very tough on lawn mower blades. Water is a solid and when the blade hits it, it quickly dulls the blade and begins to wear it out. Wait until the grass dries before you mow each time and this will place a lot less wear on those lawn mower blades.

Do you have tough grasses in your area? If you live in the south, this could be your problem. Thick lush grass will quickly wear out those lawn mower blades as well. Try cutting it more frequently or change to a different blade that is designed to handle these types of grasses. Better quality steel is the answer here.

Is there a lot of sand in your lawn? Sand is the big killer of lawn mower blades. You can upgrade to a better grade steel, but the sand is going to continue to wear out those blades.

For help selecting a lawn mower blade in your area, visit our Locations page for a small engine repair shop near you.


The Pull the Cord on my Lawn Mower Won’t Move

Are you trying to pull the cord to start your lawn mower and it just won’t budge? You try to yank on it and it is just stuck?

It could be something very simple that is causing this problem or something a little more in-depth.

The first thing you want to do is make sure that you are pulling down on the Safety Brake Cable. If the brake is engaged, it makes it much harder to pull the starter rope.

If that doesn’t do the trick, remove the spark plug boot from the spark plug and check to see if a stick or rock is not bound up in the blade.

Still a problem? Remove the dipstick, wipe it off and then re-check the oil level. If it is very low or you don’t see any on the dipstick, the engine could be seized up due to a lack of oil.

The other possibility but it is not likely is that the pull starter itself is bad. You will have to remove it to test it.

If you need help with your pull cord on your lawn mower, visit our Locations page for a lawn mower repair shop near you.

I Turn the Key on My Riding Lawn Mower and Nothing Happens

This can be frustrating when you have a yard that needs mowed and you get nothing when the key is turned.

Let’s see if we can turn some of that frustration into a mower that starts and runs.

Check easy first.

Is the mower in gear? If so, place it in neutral. Is the PTO switch engaged? If so, disengage it. Do you have the clutch pedal pressed completely down? If not, press it in further. Are you sitting on the seat? You must be in the seated position on some mowers before they will start.

Is the main fuse blown? You can find it either under the hood or under the seat near the battery. It will always be located near the battery in almost all riding lawn mowers.

If the fuse is good, have the battery tested at your local parts store or check for voltage with a volt meter or VOM. Also check the battery terminal connections to ensure that they are clean of any corrosion and tight.

If the problem still persists, it is time to call in a professional riding lawn mower repair technician. Check our Locations page for one near you.

How To Prepare Your Lawn Mower For Spring

If your lawn mower has sat all winter long, there are some items that will need to be accomplished to ensure that it is ready for a year of mowing.

The first item should be a thorough tune-up. The oil will need to be changed, so start the mower and warm it up for about 5 minutes. Now change the oil and use what the manufacturer recommends.

The next times would be the air filter and spark plug. After you change them, blow off the dirt and dust off the engine and deck using compressed air. Lubricate the control cables with a dry film lubricant such as dry silicone.

Remove the spark plug cable and then remove the lawn mower blade and scrape the deck. Sharpen and balance the blade and install it and torque it to the manufacturers specifications.

Check the drive wheels and lubricate them with dry silicone as well. Remove the nut or bolt that holds the wheel on and lubricate both the axle and the drive gears.

Re-install the spark plug cable and  fill the mower with fresh gas and then test it to ensure that all of the functions are working properly. If everything works like normal, you are ready to mow your lawn!

If you need a professional in your area to ensure your lawn mower is ready for spring, visit our Locations page for help.


Riding Mower Will Not Move

If your riding lawn mower will not move under power, check the following things to see if you can discover why it is not moving.

First check the tow rod to ensure that it is pushed in. It is normally located at the back of the rider and is a small wire rod that pushes in and pulls out.

Make sure the gear selector is in gear and any Hi or Lo levers are not in neutral.

Check the brake to ensure that it is not set to on.

If you have checked all those and it still doesn’t move, look under the mower and check to see if the belts are on their pulleys and that the belt has not broken. There are either one or two belts in the drive system. One goes from the engine crankshaft pulley to the transmission and another may go from a separate pulley to the transmission.

If everything looks fine, then it is time to call in a lawn mower specialist to look at this problem and resolve it. Check our locations page for a small engine repair shop near you.

Lawn Mower Seems to Run out of Gas

You are mowing along and the next thing you know the mower seems to run out of power and slowly dies. It doesn’t die quickly, it just powers down and then quits.

This problem is not that uncommon for lawn mowers and there are various reasons why a lawn mower would run out of gas. For instance, your gas cap may not be venting or a fuel filter may be clogged with debris. A fuel line could be collapsing or have debris in it.

The easy test it to run the engine with the gas cap loosened a little so air can come through the threads. If the engine still stalls out, then the problem lies elsewhere. Replacing the fuel filter will help eliminate that and from there you need to check out the other fuel related components to see if they are working properly.

If you cannot find the source of the problem, visit our locations page and see if there is a lawn mower repair professional in your area that can resolve this problem.

By testing each component, you can resolve the issue of the lawn mower seems to run out of gas.

Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Will Not Move Backwards

This is a common problem with self-propelled lawn mowers. Over time the mower does not want to go in reverse and the wheels lock up and you must drag it in reverse.

Let’s think about the environment that a mower operates in for a minute. It is a dirty and dusty one and this dirt and dust permeates everything. The dust will enter into the rear drive axle of a lawn mower and begin to build up inside it. This dirt becomes a grinding paste that wears on the plastic inserts in the wheels. It will also build up inside the spring loaded key that is located on the axle and prevent it from moving.

So as the dirt and dust build up, it freezes the mechanisms that allow the wheels to move in reverse and that is often the issue.

You can pull the wheels off the mower and see if you can clean the axle and drive mechanism to see if it helps, but most of the time you have to remove the axle assembly and replace parts.

If you need a self-propelled lawn mower repair shop in your area, visit our locations page for assistance.


My Lawn Mower Leaves Tire Tracks

One of the main reasons your lawn mower leaves tire tracks is that the ground is too saturated with water. The lawn will have to dry out more before you can mow. If it is soft to walk on or squishy, it is best to wait to mow.

Other reasons could be that your tire pressures are too high or too low. Check your owner’s manual to see what the tire pressures should be for your lawn mower. You could also be mowing too fast. Turning corners at a high rate of speed will tear up the lawn and leave tire tracks.

If you are using a Zero Turn lawn mower, speed, tire pressure and moving the sticks too fast can also cause tire tracks. Slow down and gently move the sticks through their paces and see if this corrects the problem. It takes a while to get used to how a Zero Turn operates and experience will teach you how to avoid leaving those tire tracks.

The type of tire and lack of tread can also cause the mower to slide when turning and make tire tracks in your yard. Be sure to have lawn type tires that have good tread on them.

These tips should help you correct that problem of your mower leaves tire tracks.

My Lawn Mower Will Barely Run

So your lawn mower is on the edge of its life? You pull the cord and it will begin to start and barely run and then die. Or you turn the key on your rider and the same thing happens.

In many cases it is bad fuel or the wrong fuel altogether. It is not uncommon to find water in the fuel, off-road diesel or regular diesel in fuel tanks that were meant for gasoline. The wrong fuel or water in the fuel will make the lawn mower barely run. It may pop and backfire as well.

Before you go tearing your lawn mower apart, check the fuel to make sure that it is the correct fuel. If in doubt, drain it and put fresh fuel in and then test it. You would be surprised at how fast today’s gasoline goes bad.

If you are still having problems with your lawn mower that will barely run, visit our locations page for a lawn mower repair shop near you.

Having a great running lawn mower makes the chores go much faster so you can get back to doing what you really love to do.