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.

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.

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.