Lawn Tractors and ride on mowers typically experience the same types of common problems, often time with their engines and drivetrain.
We’ve created a guide to help you identify, and fix these common problems that are trending in late-model and recent-model ride on mowers (the past 15 years or so)
Repairing and troubleshooting lawn tractors can be accomplished with a DIY approach for many different items—think blade sharpening, fuel filter changes, oil changes, spark plug changes, carburetor adjustments, battery replacements and many more. These problem fixes can be accomplished for $50 to $500 at home by most shade tree mechanics. Yet for substantial engine troubles or transmission issues, professional service is advisable due to the complexity of these components.
Common Problems and Solutions for Lawn Tractors
Here is a table of the top most common lawn tractor/ride on mower problems that users are reporting on surveys at local Tractor Supply stores and on YouTube, as well as reporting online on our contact form. We’ve identified their symptoms, and solutions:
|Lawn tractor won’t start due to fuel or air restriction||Engine won’t turn over, or turns over but won’t start||Check for clogged air filter, clogging of the fuel system, or failing fuel components. Drain old fuel from the tank and fill with fresh fuel. Clean or replace the air filter. Replace the fuel filter if it is dirty.|
|Lawn tractor won’t start due to bad electrical problems||Engine won’t turn over, or turns over but won’t start||Check for a dead battery, faulty charging system, dirty spark plug, bad switches, or bad connections. Charge or replace the battery if it is dead. Clean or replace the spark plug if it is dirty. Check and secure all connections.|
|Lawn tractor stops moving or loses power||Mower suddenly stops moving during use but the motor is still running, or keeps moving but gradually loses power||Check for a broken or stretched drive belt. Buy a replacement belt of the same length as the one being replaced and install it.|
|Lawn tractor won’t start||Engine won’t turn over, or turns over but won’t start||Check the battery voltage with a multimeter. If it is low, charge the battery overnight. If it is still low after charging, buy and install a new battery.|
|Lawn tractor has flat tire||Tire appears flat or deflated||Jack up the mower and inspect the tire for punctures in the tread area. Remove any objects causing the puncture with needle-nose pliers. Use a tire repair kit to plug the hole and pump air into the tire to manufacturer specifications.|
|Poor grass cutting by lawn tractor||Mower starts and runs fine but isn’t cutting grass well||Lift the mower deck and inspect the blades for areas of wear, cracks, or corrosion. If the blades are damaged, purchase and install a new set with the same specifications as the ones being replaced.|
Common Lawn Tractor Problems by Brand
At Igra World, our experts Jeff, Chris and Jennifer have put together arguably the best guides on the Internet when it comes to troubleshooting lawn tractor problems, sorted by tractor brands and then sorted by individual models:
- Big list of common John Deere problems and their solutions by individual model
- Big list of common Husqvarna problems and their solutions by individual model
- Big list of common Cub Cadet problems and their solutions by individual model
How to Properly Maintain a Lawn Tractor?
Lawn tractors are mostly reliable—with proper basic maintenance, some units can function optimally for up to 20 years. Regularly serviced engines and sturdy built, high-quality cutting decks tend to yield the most prolonged lifespan.
Routine check-ups and timely replacement or servicing of certain parts can make a significant difference in your tractor’s operation. Yearly/seasonal maintenance is very important–don’t be the owner who skips it!
- How to change a battery in a lawn tractor
- How to check oil levels in a lawn tractor
- Lawn tractor blade sharpening and replacement
- Lawn tractor fuel system and carburetor cleaning
- Lubrication of moving parts in lawn tractors
Here are some yearly maintenance items for lawn tractors that is recommended:
- Lawn tractor yearly oil change and tune-up guide
- Lawn Tractor winterization and engine fogging
- Cleaning/washing a lawn tractor
- Spark plug replacement for lawn tractors
- Air filter maintenance for lawn tractors
- Tire pressure and replacement for lawn tractors
- Belt inspection and replacement for lawn tractors
Where to buy lawn tractor parts?
Finding replacement parts to buy for lawn tractors and lawn mowers in general is pretty straightforward, particularly for well-known brands like John Deere or Husqvarna. You can purchase these parts directly from the manufacturer or through online retailers.
Many 10-20 year old models are supported by the manufacturers, and in the case of John Deere even older vintage models have parts available. Sometimes you may need to go to the aftermarket or to sites like eBay to purchase unique parts. There are specialty sites as well such as www.vintagejohndeereparts.com and www.vpartsinc.com.
What is covered in the factory warranty?
Below is the most up to date warranty and maintenance info we have on the top lawn tractor manufacturers:
- John Deere: John Deere often offers a 2-year/120-hour bumper-to-bumper warranty, meaning it covers anything that might go wrong in that time frame (though there are typically exceptions listed in the warranty details).
- Husqvarna: Husqvarna generally offered a 3-year limited warranty, which covers manufacturing and material defects.
- Craftsman: Craftsman’s warranty was usually a 2-year limited warranty that covers any defects in materials or workmanship.
- Cub Cadet: Cub Cadet’s warranties varied widely based on the specific model of tractor, but many of their machines included a 3-year limited warranty.
- Toro: Toro’s warranties also varied depending on the model, but they generally offered a 3-year guaranteed-to-start warranty on their tractors.
Best Troubleshooting Service and Repair Centers in the US
If all else fails and you have trouble performing yearly maintenance on your lawn tractor, or perhaps you’ve run into an engine failure or other problem that is best left to the professionals, there are quite a few troubleshooting and local repair services near most major cities and towns which you can find.
John Deere for instance has a pretty good support on their website for self-repair (ironically enough given their previous stance and lawsuits regarding self-repair).
Also, there’s an excellent site called Mechanic Answer, which let’s you chat with a live John Deere tractor mechanic for immediate help and step by step hand-holding.
Is there a lawn tractor repair service center near me?
There very well might be a mechanic nearby that services lawn tractors and lawn mowers! There are many places and people that can service lawn tractors such as John Deere and other popular brands. One option is to search for “tractor repair near you” in Google. TriGreen Equipment service centers are John Deere authorized and are in 30 locations in the US. They provide fast, honest, and superior repair service so you experience less downtime and have confidence that your equipment is in good hands.
For brands like Husqvarna for instance, there is also a network of authorized and qualified servicing dealers. You can also check out Google Maps and Yelp to search for service centers that come up under keywords such as “lawn mower repair” or “small engine repair near me.”
John Deere is often recognized by users as the most reliable lawn tractor brand due to its standout components and durable construction. This reputation has been fostered through delivering consistent performance and extensive longevity.
On average, a well-maintained lawn tractor can provide reliable service for around 15 to 20 years. This lifespan speaks volumes about the durability and quality of these machines.
If a lawn tractor logs more than 1500 hours of use, this is generally considered high. Overuse can hasten wear and tear, impacting its functionality and lifespan.
A lawn tractor should receive servicing roughly every 25 hours of use. Regular maintenance helps keep a check on its performance and prolongs its operational life.