[Fixed] John Deere Zero Turn Steering Problems and Their Fixes

Lawn Mowers are used to cut grass and plants in gardens and fields. For example, a lawn mower can help keep the grass in the front and back yards looking perfect all the time.

The John Deere Zero-Turn lawn mower usually stands out in terms of the best lawnmowers on the market.

The mower does an excellent job of mowing. The manufacturer even included hydraulic control to make the mower more maneuverable than others.

However, users have reported steering issues with the John Deere Zero-Turn Mower for unknown reasons. For instance, a snagged steering wheel, a jammed steering lever, or missing bolts. This makes maneuvering the machine difficult.

Some of the possible reasons could be:

  • Undercarriage and deck
  • Excessive tire pressure
  • Drive wheel speeds
  • Wheel bearing problems
  • Debris

But don’t worry, because every problem has a solution. But don’t mismanage your valuable time and energy by looking for solutions elsewhere.

This article will answer all of your questions about John Deere Zero-Turn Mower steering problems and provide an effective solution.

So let’s get started!

Possible Reasons for John Deere Zero-Turn Mower Steering Issues

Possible Reasons for John Deere Zero-Turn Mower Steering Issues

Looking at some significant signs, you can quickly identify if your John Deere Zero-Turn lawn mower requires inspection, fixing, or replacement of the steering.

Here are the possible reasons –

Undercarriage And Deck

The slope can be steeper than recommended, causing the mower to get stuck on the ground. Eventually, you can’t turn the mower and move it forward or backward.

If the mower hits something too hard, like a brick wall, it can make the gear that controls the steering loose. Eventually, you may need help to turn the wheel quickly.

Excessive Tire Pressure

It might be the tire pressure that is causing the steering issue. Many users complained they had trouble steering due to too empty or low tires.

Drive Wheel Speeds

If the drive wheel of the mower on one side is becoming slower, your machine can lean on that side.

Wheel Bearing Problems

The wheel bearings of this mower can flop from one side to another if not taken care of properly.

As a result, the John Deere lawn mower gradually becomes harder to steer. In addition, the bushings may get damaged, or the bolts can become loose. This affects the gear engagement needed to steer conveniently.


Another significant reason behind steering issues is an accumulation of debris on different parts.

For example, long weeds or string can get stuck in the blade’s shaft while mowing. You may find the mower easier to steer if they are cleaned regularly.

How to Fix John Deere Zero-Turn Mower Steering Issues?

How to Fix John Deere Zero-Turn Mower Steering Issues?

Are you facing any of the issues mentioned above? If yes, follow the below guide to fix your mower’s problem –

1. Minimize The Wobble

Steering can sometimes be shaky or hard, causing the tie rod to break. The tie rod in the middle of the left rear wheel hydrostatic drive and left-hand lever. It pushes the short lever forward, creating a better balance.

So you may have to change the tie rod.

However, the steering can wobble because of the bent or damaged wheel spindle. So look into it and replace it if required.

2. The Wheel Speeds Need To Be Fixed

The John Deere Zero-Turn mower moves to a side when both steering levers are pushed forward. In that case, either speed up the static wheel or slow down the super-active wheel.

Check Out The Steps Below On How To Do It –

  1. Determine in which direction your mower is going – right or left
  2. You will find a nut on the machine’s adjustment bolt – loosen it!
  3. Turn the adjustment bolt to adjust the speed. If turned clockwise, you will reduce the steering lever travel. On the contrary, turn the bolt anticlockwise to enhance the steering lever travel.
  4. No, tighten up the nut.

3. Fix The Tire Pressure

You will find the correct air pressure on the tires in the user manual. So check it first, and then check all the tires using a tire gauge.

The tire’s psi might be incorrect. If so, pump air into the tires. Or else pump the air out of them until you reach the correct psi, as recommended in the manual.

4. Adjust Steering Levers

The steering can lean to a side, changing the way to mow. Moreover, you may also have to loosen the two arms for convenient steering and then align them to the appropriate position.

To accomplish it, follow the below steps –

Adjusting The Steering Lever’s Height

  • Dismantle the hardware fastening the handlebar to the upper arm.
  • Then, the handlebar must be moved to align the adjustable holes with the mounting ones.
  • Restore and tighten the hardware again.

Adjust The Lever Width

  • Loosen the hardware at the lower control arm
  • Loosen the hex bolt nut supporting the bizarre spacer
  • Now the spacer on both upper and lower arms needs to be adjusted
  • Secure the hardware tightly

Adjust The Steering Lever Forward Or Backward

  • Unfasten the hardware connecting the upper control arm to the steering control.
  • Move the steering lever forward or backward as per convenience
  • Secure the bolts tightly

Adjust The Speed Nut

A bolt stops the steering arms from moving forward. Therefore, you may sometimes require to loosen or tighten the arm to enable movement.

Move the bolt using a wrench to the right. The bolt will come out, minimizing the speed. Reversely, turn the bolt to the left to elevate the speed.

5. Fix The Bolt

Mowers are equipped with engine bolts to minimize vibration while operating or steering the engine. Now, these bolts may get loosened or missed. So you will have to lock down the bolts or replace the missing ones.

6. Maintenance

It’s necessary to eliminate all the debris, and junk stuck on the blade shaft. Try to stay away from muddy or sloppy places. So first assess the area and then set the mowing height accordingly.

Also Read: How to Fix John Deere Safety Switch Problems? (Complete Guide)

Role of Steering Damper on Zero-Turn Mowers

Role of Steering Damper on Zero-Turn Mowers

Zero-turn mowers are equipped with a device attached to the steering shaft, known as a steering damper. This device can loosen up the driver’s steering input, making moving more controlled and convenient.

Generally, the zero-turn mowers come with an adjustable damper, enabling the driver to set it as per convenience.

If you find one side of your John Deere mower is malfunctioning, look for the following things –

  • First, check if the deck is level: When the deck is leveled, the blades stick to the ground in many places. One side of the mower stops working. Measure from the ground to the deck’s top on each side to ensure the deck is level. But if it isn’t, you must fix it to level.
  • Check the belts: Belts help in moving the blades on the John Deere Zero-turn mower. Now, these belts can stop moving the blades if it’s too loose. So assess the belt’s tension and tighten the loose belt.
  • Are the blades broken?: Finally, look into the blades to see if they aren’t sharp enough or broken. One side of the mower can stop functioning with broken or blunt blades. So replace the broken blades or sharpen them if blunt.

    Even after fixing these issues, your John Deere Zero-turn mower is not functioning properly; take it to the service center for fixing.


How to avoid steering problems beforehand?

Examine the bearings, tie rods, bolts, and all other parts to see whether they are worn. If you can replace the worn parts within time, you can avoid steering problems.

How many times should you adjust the steering?

The nuts and bolts often get loose as the mower vibrates. As a result, you may need to fix the steering issues once or twice a month.

What are the advantages of wider decks?

With wider decks, you can cut bigger paths in every pass. Plus, it takes less time to cut lawns and form straight paths rapidly.

How does a zero-turn mower function?

The Zero-Turn mower features front caster wheels that make it easier to take sharp turns. And it can easily trim around the bumps in a lawn.

Also Read: 6 Common John Deere 1025R Problems With Solutions

Final Words

Now that you know the common John Deere Zero-Turn Mower steering issues, you are responsible for checking the parts regularly and fixing the issues.

However, the John Deere Zero-Turn Mower might not be suitable for a small lawn. However, it would be worth the investment for large landscapes or properties.

Overall, take proper care of the mower regularly, like cleaning it after every use. Plus, changing the filters, oil, and plugs at least once each cutting season is recommended.

About Jennifer Igra

Growing up in Brooklyn, New York City known for it’s green gardens. Jennifer, a 30 year old gardener and green living fanatic started Igra World to share her gardening journey and increase gardening awareness among masses. Follow Igra World to improve your gardening skills.

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