Self-Propelled Lawn Mower Pulls Slowly

Has your self-propelled lawn mower begun to slow down and not pull as good as it once did? Over time that happens because things begin to wear out. The transmission will wear, the drive gears in the wheels will wear and the drive belt wears as well. The drive pulleys can wear out too.

In most cases, the drive belt is the one item that will cause the self-propelled lawn mower to slow down over the course of a season. The belt will begin to wear on the sides and not get enough grip to pull the drive pulleys. It could also slip and glaze on the sides and cause the belt to slip as well.

Drive belts also stretch over time and then they fit loosely in their pulleys.

Check your drive belt for a correct fit and looseness when the drive system in engaged. The belt should fit all the way down into the pulley and be even with the outside edge of the pulley. If it is sunken down into the pulley, it is worn out and the drive pulley itself could be worn out.

Check your other system drive components for wear to ensure that your drive system is working as it should. If you need a self-propelled lawn mower repair shop, visit our Locations page for a shop near you.

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.