Fix lawn mower wheel. How To Troubleshoot A Lawn Mower That Is Not Self Propelling

How To Troubleshoot A Lawn Mower That Is Not Self Propelling

What happens if the wheels on your self-propelled lawn mower do not turn, or the mower will not move? It is not uncommon for the engine of a lawnmower to be running while the wheels remain still. You must be aware of how to address this issue if you own a mower.

First, collect all of the necessary tools and supplies, then examine the v-belt, transmission, cables, drive pulleys, and wheel assembly. After that, begin taking important measures to repair the components that are broken.

Continue reading this article to learn the troubleshooting techniques for a lawn mower not self-propelling.

What Causes a Lawn Mower Not Self-Propelling?

If the wheels on your lawnmower do not turn or self-propel, you must figure out the source of this major problem.

The traction control cable may be damaged or improperly adjusted. You should check your transmission, wheels, and drive cord for any damage or wear and tear because these components will most likely cause your mower not to self-propel.

These typical causes can help you quickly and simply remedy this problem, so you can get back to riding your mower as soon as possible.

Steps to Troubleshoot a lawn Mower Not Self-Propelling

This particular problem is one of the most prevalent concerns, and many individuals frequently experience it. If you browse numerous consumer forums and YouTube videos, you will find a variety of solutions.

However, not all solutions are dependable, and some are costly to use. Or, other methods may exacerbate the issue and cause further damage to your mower, which is an awful waste of time and money.

Thus, I have enumerated a simple do-it-yourself (DIY) solution to the problem, which is also completely free.

Things you will need to troubleshoot the lawn mower not self-propelling:

Look at the checklist of the required tools and materials for troubleshooting a lawn mower not self-propelling:

Tools Materials
4-In-1 Screwdriver Cables
Cable Adjuster Belts
Half Inch Socket Lubricate
Half Inch Wrench
Safety Gloves Goggles

Step-1: Inspect The V-Belt

The V-belt moves the drive pulleys, which in turn drive the lawnmower wheels. The lawn mower wheels will not turn if the V-belt is damaged or worn out.

Make sure the V-belt is in good condition. Replace the V-belt if it is faulty.

V-belt replacement instructions are provided below.

  • Changing the belt is generally a simple task.
  • The first step is to tilt the mower over so that you can access the deck’s underside.
  • Keep the carburetor face up to prevent fuel from leaking out of the mower. You must remove your blade in order to access the belt.
  • To access the transmission belt, a second cover must be removed from the top of the mower’s deck or from the rear of the mower.
  • In most cases, a belt guide must be removed or loosened before the belt may be accessible. Replace the belt by inserting it around the pulleys, then installing covers and blade, and finally tightening the belt using a cable adjuster.

Step-2: Check the Drive Pulley

In this step, make sure the drive pulley is in good shape. The engine crankshaft is connected to the driving pulley. The transmission will not be able to contact the wheel assembly if the driving pulley is worn out or broken.

The driving pulley can be easily replaced if it becomes damaged or malfunctions.

To begin, take off the lawnmower’s cutting blades. If the belt has to be replaced, removing it from this position should be simple.

Check out this video for troubleshooting this particular issue.

Step-3: Repair Wheel Assembly

If your self-propelled lawnmower will not run, it’s most likely due to a problem with your lawnmower’s drive wheels. The transmission’s drive gear is engaged by a series of gears in the wheel assembly.

The transmission will not be able to engage the wheel assembly if the gears are worn out. Replace the wheel assembly if the gears are worn out.

To repair the wheel assembly, follow these procedures.

  • The first step is removing the hub cab from the wheel, exposing the wheel nut.
  • Afterward, unscrew the wheel nut, and the wheel will fall off of the drive shaft. After removing the wheel, spend a few minutes cleaning the transmission gear.
  • Sliding the new wheel onto the drive shaft and aligning the driving gear with the wheel gear is all that is required to install a new wheel.
  • Next, remove the hub cap and tighten the wheel nut.

Step-4: Check the Transmission

The crankshaft is connected to the transmission by a drive belt. The transmission and wheels turn when the drive belt is working properly. The gearbox will wear down more quickly in extreme conditions, such as steep hills or a particularly dusty atmosphere.

In order to check the transmission, keep an eye on it while the engine is running. The transmission is defective if the pulley spins, but the wheels do not.

Note: The driving shafts feature a clutch that must be removed. There will be bearings or bushings where the mower’s deck passes through the driving shafts.

  • The drive belt, the clutch assemblies, and the bearings or bushings should be thoroughly inspected when the old transmission is removed.
  • Consider replacing any of these worn items. When the drive is already broken down, it’s far easier to fix these pieces than to wait for them to break down in the future.
  • Replace the old transmission and all of the driving system components. It’s helpful to have a breakdown of your mower’s parts on hand while reassembling sections like the wheel clutches.
  • Use this guide to ensure that each item is installed in the right order. Adjust the drive belt tension with the cable adjuster once the drive cable is reassembled.

Step-5: Check the Self-Propel Cable

The driving cable links the drive shaft to the transmission. It engages the mower’s self-propel drive and changes its speed. A cast connection or metal hook joins the cable to the bail and transmission.

lawn, mower, wheel, troubleshoot

One end of the cable has an adjustment for the drive belt tension. Drive cables ultimately fail. It is important to check whether the control cord is loose.

Self-drive cable check:

  • Check both cable connections for damage.
  • Remove the connection from your mower’s drive bail.
  • Cut cable ties and remove handle fasteners.
  • Access the transmission cord. Usually done from below or by removing a back panel.
  • Remove the transmission cable. Installing the new cable backward. Replace any severed cable ties, so the cable does not grab on plants or trees.
  • Adjust the drive belt tension using the cable’s adjuster.

Step-6: Check for Traction Control Cable

Possible causes include a damaged or misplaced traction control cable. It must be checked to determine if the traction control cable is free to move.

A tiny bit of oil squirted into the cable’s end may help lubricate it if it is not moving easily. If lubricating the traction control cable does not work, you should buy a new cable.

Follow this video for troubleshooting this issue-

Before operating, maintaining, or repairing your lawn mower, always read the lawn mower’s instructions manual provided by the manufacturer. Before beginning a comprehensive check, shut down the engine and unhook all the power supplies.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Determine Whether My Lawnmower is Self-propelled or Not?

Self-propelled mowers contain an extra bar that, like the gas pedal in a car, has to be squeezed for the mower’s wheels to engage and for the mower to begin to move

Are Self-propelled Lawn Mowers Worth the Money?

You will save time and energy by using self-propelled mowers. Self-propelled mowers can cut through thick grass without extra effort.

Final Verdict

After explaining all the steps to troubleshoot a lawn mower not self-propelling, you can easily get your lawn mower back in the running state within no time.

In addition, you may learn more about these concerns by reading what experts have to say about them.

Regular mower maintenance can also assist in extending the life of the machine. I hope this information helped you address your problem.


Lawn Mower Tire Flat Off The Rim? Here’s How To Fix It

If you’ve had a lawn mower for more than a couple of seasons, chances are you’ve had a flat tire. In this article, we’re going to tell you how to get a flat tire back on the rim and how to change a tire if you need to.

With our step-by-step guide—lawn mower tire flat off the rim? Here’s how to fix it, you’ll be back to cutting your lawn in no time.

Using simple tools and a few helpful tricks, you can get your tire back on the rim or replaced. With a little effort and minimal cost, your mower will be ready to go again.

Want to know how to get your lawn mower tire back in working order? Let’s get stuck in.

lawn, mower, wheel, troubleshoot

What you’ll need

For this repair, you’ll need a few tools. And if you need to replace the tire, a few more. For both repairs, don’t forget your safety gear. Here, we’ve listed what each job requires:

Additional tools for changing the tire

  • Slot screwdrivers
  • Pry bars
  • Pliers
  • Liquid detergent
  • Valve stem core removal tool
  • New tire

Causes of a flat tire

Not all flat tires are created equal. Sometimes a flat caused by a very slow leak or just time can simply be reflated. And it will last a good while until next time. But sometimes a flat causes the tire to come off the rim of the wheel, and this requires a more complicated fix. And in the worst case, with a damaged or worn-out tire, you’ll need to replace it.

No matter if your tire is just off the rim, or needs replacing, we’ve got you covered. Here is our step-by-step guide to fixing a flat on your lawn mower. Steps 1, 2 and 3 are required for both fixes. After that we’ve split the instructions depending on whether you’re putting it back on the rim (steps 4a to 7a) or changing the tire (steps 4b to 10b).

A step-by-step guide to fixing your flat

Step 1 – Turn off the mower

I know it’s obvious, but we’re nothing if not complete. Make sure your mower is on a flat surface. Then turn off the mower and remove the ignition key. It’s a good idea to chock the wheels as well.

What might not be so obvious, is that we highly recommend you remove the spark plug cable as well. Removing the cable means there is no chance of the blades moving while you’re fixing your flat. It’s never wasted time to do things safely.

Step 2 – Jack up the mower

In order to get to your tire, you’re going to need to jack up the mower. Any jack will do as long as it’s rated for more than the weight of the mower. We would recommend fixing your flat on a hard surface, driveway, garage or shed. But, if your mower is still on grass, and you’re using a bottle jack, you’re going to need to put wood under the jack to stop it from sinking into the grass.

Jak up the mower so your tire spins freely. You want enough height to make it easy to get your hand underneath the tire. Once you’ve reached the required height, support the mower with a jack stand.

Step 3 – Inspect the tire

You need to check the tire for obvious damage, holes or sharp objects. If it helps, put a little chalk mark on the tire. Carefully roll the wheel round, inspecting both side walls and the surface for damage. When your chalk mark comes back around, you know you’ve covered the whole tire.

If you can’t find any obvious holes or damage, and the tire is not completely worn out, you can try putting it back on the rim, inflating it and seeing if it holds. If the tire is punctured, ripped, or completely worn out, you’re going to need a replacement.

Instructions for putting a tire back on the rim

Step 4a – Wrapping the tire

These days most mower tires are tubeless. That means there is no inner tube inside the tire that holds the air. Instead, the air is held inside the tire by a seal formed between the tire bead and the rim.

In order to refill a tire where the bead has come off the rim, you first have to create a seal between the bead and the rim.

The easiest way to do this is to apply pressure to the surface of the tire. This pushes the bead outwards and helps create the seal you need. On used tires, it’s usually not possible to do this by hand. So instead, we can wrap a ratchet strap or a rope around the tire and use that to help.

Get your ratchet strap around the tire and ratchet it a few times to apply pressure. This pushes the middle of the tire down and the sides outwards.

Step 5a – Checking the seal

Once you’ve applied a bit of pressure, try pushing the sidewalls near the rim. If the bead seems solid against the rim, you can start adding some air and seeing if you have a seal.

If air still escapes from the sides and the tire won’t inflate, ratchet a couple of times on your strap and see if that helps. Once you have a seal, inflate the tire enough to keep the pressure on the bead so that you can remove the strap.

Step 6a – Inflating the tire

After removing the strap, you can continue to inflate the tire. The optimum tire pressure will be on the tire wall. And that is the number to aim for. Usually it’s between 15-40psi and often around 20psi.

Make sure you check your tire and inflate to that pressure. Under or over inflating can increase tire wear, decrease grip, and increase the chance of a puncture or blowout.

Step 7a – Remove the jack stand

That’s it, your tire is back on the rim and fully inflated. Re-insert your jack and raise the mower enough to remove the jack stand.

Lower the mower back onto all its wheels. We recommend letting it stand for a few minutes before moving it. This way you can wait and see if your tire will keep pressure.

Once your happy everything is working, don’t forget to reconnect the spark plug wire and remove any chocks on the other wheels.

Instructions for changing a tire

Step 4b – Removing the wheel

So, you’ve inspected the tire and decided to replace it. Now you need to remove the wheel. Take off the axle cover if there is one. Underneath will be a retaining ring. Use a slot screwdriver or pliers to pull it off.

Now you can remove the washer and pull off the tire. Beyond the tire is an inner washer. It’s best to pull that off as well. Make sure you put your two washers and the retaining ring somewhere safe. It’s really annoying to find you lost one when it’s time to put the tire back on.

Step5b – Removing the tire

Take the tire and lie it flat with the valve facing upwards. Remove the stem cap and use the stem core removal tool to unscrew and pull out the core.

lawn, mower, wheel, troubleshoot

Push down on the tire to dislodge the bead. Using a couple of slot screwdrivers, pry the tire up and off the rim on one side. Take your time. Pry a little of the bead up, slide another screwdriver next to the first and pry a bit more. Continue around the rim until the whole side is free. Flip the tire over and do the same again so that you can pry the tire completely off the rim.

Step 6b – Replacing the tire

While you’ve got the rim separate, give it a clean. Removing any dirt and grime will give a better seal between the new tire bead and rim.

Now it’s the reverse procedure from removing the tire. Using your slot screwdrivers (and make sure there are no sharp edges that could damage the tire) pry one side of the tire onto the rim. Flip it over and pry the other side on.

Step 7b – Sealing the bead

Flip your tire vertical again and find your compressed air. With a new tire, and not attached to the mower, it shouldn’t be necessary to use a ratchet strap or rope to get the bead to seal.

Push down a little on the tire and start to inflate. The bead should seal. Once you’re happy you have a seal, re-insert the valve stem core.

Step 8b – Inflating the tire

With the valve stem in, you can continue inflating the tire to the optimum tire pressure. Remember to check the optimum pressure on the tire wall and only fill to this value. As we said above (step 6a), over or under inflating a tire is not a good idea.

Step 9b – Replacing the wheel

Using the reverse procedure from taking off the wheel, you can now re-install it. Find your washers and the retaining ring.

Put the back washer on first and then slide on the wheel. Add the front washer. Using pliers, put the retaining ring back on the axle and then replace the axle cover.

common CRAFTSMAN Lawnmower FRONT WHEELS Stopped TURNING. PROBLEMS with self

Step 10b – Remove the jack stand

That’s it, you have a new tire. Re-insert your jack and raise the mower enough to remove the jack stand. Lower the mower back onto all its wheels.

Once your happy everything is working, don’t forget to reconnect the spark plug wire and remove any chocks on the other wheels.


Well done! You have fixed your mower tire and are ready to get back to your lawn.

I hope this guide has been useful to you. Whether you’ve put your tire back on the rim or replaced it completely, following our step-by-step guide should get your mower back on the grass in no time. Happy mowing!

I’ve been helping homeowners with appliance repair since 2016. Starting out as an enthusiastic amateur, I’ve since worked with many Appliance, HVAC, and DIY experts over the last 7 years. My mission is to help your fix your appliances and systems. saving you money and lowering your energy bills. Visit my author page to learn more! Read more

Hi there! My name’s Craig, and I started Appliance Analysts back in 2017.

My mission is to help our readers solve appliance-related issues without paying through the nose for contractors or a whole new model. I’m joining up with experts from across the HVAC, Appliance Repair, DIY industries to share free expert advice that will save you time, stress, and money.

My Self-Propelled Mower Won’t Work…Help!!

So, what happens when the wheels on your self-propelled don’t turn or the mower won’t go anymore?

It’s simple, here are 6 troubleshooting steps that you can use to get your lawn mower back on track!

Whether your push mower is a Honda, a Craftsman, Husqvarna, Cub Cadet, or any of the best push mowers of 2020.

You will likely find the information you need to fix your self driving push mower in this article.

Step One: Inspect the v-belt.

Here’s the deal, the v-belt connects to the pulleys. This in turn drives the lawn mower wheels.

From time to time, the belt may wear out and needs to be replaced. Simply put. if that belt is worn out or broken. the wheels won’t turn.

Below is a helpful video on how to replace the v-belt.

Step Two: Check the drive pulley.

The next step is to check the drive pulley. The drive pulley connects to the crankshaft and is turned by the v-belt. If that drive pulley is defective. the transmission will not be able to engage the wheel assembly and turn the wheels.

So how do you fix it?

It’s easy, with a few tools in the garage, the drive pulley can be replaced if defective. Start by removing the lawn mower blade. From there it should be pretty easy to remove the belt if it needs to be replaced.

Step Three: Check the self-propel cable.

This cable runs from the handle of the lawn mower to the transmission. The location and high use of this cable make it susceptible to breaking. It can be checked by seeing if the control cable moves freely. If it doesn’t, some WD40 should be used to lubricate it a little.

But, if that doesn’t work, it may need to be replaced.

To Check the Self-drive Cable:

  • Inspect the line for kinks
  • Check both connections of the line
  • Check for loose parts or cracking plastic
  • Make sure that the cable moves freely

If you have ever folded your lawn mower handles down and your self-propel feature stopped working. There is a good chance you kinked the cable and need to replace it.

Step Four: Check the transmission.

The transmission is powered by the drive belt that connects to the crankshaft. When working properly, the drive belt powers the transmission, and the wheels turn.

To check the transmission, carefully watch the transmission when the engine is running. If the pulley is spinning, and the wheels aren’t turning, the transmission is bad.

Unfortunately. if this is broken, it may be time to buy a new mower because this part is generally unreplaceable.

Fortunately. the transmission will often get clogged up with grass. Often times, you can remove the grass from around the transmission gears to get the self drive mechanism working again.

Step Five: Check gear box and wheels.

If the mower is lifted off the ground, and the other gears work The wheels have to be taken off to make sure that the toothed gear is engaging with the toothed wheel.

lawn, mower, wheel, troubleshoot

The problem could be that a clip slipped along with the washer or that either the gear or the shifting keys are broken or worn out causing the gears to slip.

For more information on checking the gearbox see the video below.

“My self-propelled mower only works in 1st gear”

Top Reasons Lawn Mower Not Self-Propelling — Lawn Mower Troubleshooting

Step Six: Check tension on v-belt.

Yep another belt issue! The v-belt tension should be tight. If it’s not, it could be slipping and only turning the wheels in first gear, or not at all.

Having the belt too loose can also cause long term engine damage.

In order to tighten the v-belt, refer to this video below.

A Note on The Design of the Modern Lawn Mower

Lawnmowers and guns. These two items do not normally go hand in hand, but thanks to Edward Beard Budding, an English Engineer, they share a connection.

In 1827, Budding was working in the cotton mills and noticed blades sheering excess fibers from the surface of cloth and adapted the principle to the world’s first lawnmower.

Then in 1830, Budding designed a pistol more technically advanced than Sam Colt’s revolver of 1835, but it never saw full scale production.

Since Budding’s inventions, the lawnmower has been a ubiquitous marvel that keeps getting more efficient, easier to use, and cheaper to obtain. Mass production by companies like Murray and Honda have made mowers available to virtually every homeowner as well.

Although the lawn mower has gotten more complex throughout the history of the lawn mower. it has always improved.

The Bottom Line: Repairing your Own Self-Driving Push Mower

Most homeowners prefer the chore of mowing their lawn just for the exercise and to save money; any disruption of this can be a significant inconvenience and can even lead to fines by the city if not mowed in ample time.

In addition, regular mower maintenance can help in prolonging its life. For example, changing oil and sharpening blades regularly.

Additionally, using gasoline without any ethanol may also help to reduce build up in the engine, ensuring the mower will run smoothly for years to come.

Hope these tips have answered the call for help!

However, if none of these tips work, hiring a landscaping professional may be an option.

Hi, I’m Gene Caballero and I’m the co-founder of GreenPal. At GreenPal, we’re helping hundreds of thousands of Americans solve one of the trickiest problems: a reliable, fast, and affordable way to get lawncare taken care of. On behalf of GreenPal, I’ve been featured in the Indianapolis Star. the Sacramento Bee. Entrepreneur. and dozens more. Please feel free to say hi on or connect with me on LinkedIn.

Toro Lawn Mower Rear Wheel Drive Problems How To Fix Them

Toro lawn mowers are known for their efficient performance and reliable nature. However, as with any piece of equipment, some common problems can arise, particularly concerning the rear wheel drive system.

A concern faced by Toro lawn mower users is the rear wheel drive malfunctioning or failing altogether. This issue can manifest as the mower not moving forward or backward, difficulty maneuvering, or an inability to properly engage the self-propel feature.

Several factors can contribute to rear wheel drive problems in Toro lawn mowers. These may include worn or damaged drive components, improper wheel adjustment, and issues with the drive cable.

By identifying the specific cause, homeowners can take appropriate actions to fix the problem and get their Toro lawn mowers back working properly.

Common Toro Lawn Mower Rear Wheel Drive Issues

Drive Belt Problems

Occasionally, Toro owners may experience rear wheel drive issues that can be traced back to the drive belt. The drive belt is responsible for transferring power from the engine to the wheels.

Common drive belt issues include:

  • Wear and tear: Over time, the drive belt may become worn, which can cause it to slip off the pulleys or break.
  • Misalignment: The drive belt may become misaligned, resulting in decreased performance and inefficient power transfer.

Engine Issues

Although engine problems can encompass a wide range of potential issues, some common engine-related factors that may impact rear wheel drive performance include:

  • Dirty or clogged air filters: Restricted airflow can cause the engine to work harder, which may lead to power loss and rear wheel drive issues.
  • Old or contaminated engine oil: Poor quality oil can affect the engine’s efficiency and indirectly affect the rear wheel drive system.

Gear Issues

The gears within a Toro lawn mower’s rear wheel drive system may experience issues such as:

  • Worn or damaged gears: Extensive use can lead to worn or damaged gears that may require replacement to restore proper rear-wheel drive functionality.
  • Misaligned gears: If gears are not properly aligned, they may not engage correctly, leading to inefficient power transfer and potential drive problems.

Power Problems

Power issues can have a significant impact on a Toro lawn mower’s rear wheel drive performance.

A few common power problems include:

  • Low battery voltage: Insufficient battery power can prevent the rear-wheel drive system from functioning optimally.
  • Electrical issues: Wiring problems or damaged electrical components in the mower’s power system.

Answers and Maintenance

Regular Maintenance

Regular maintenance is crucial for optimal performance. By consistently checking and cleaning your mower, you can prevent common rear-wheel drive problems.

  • Clean the deck after each use, removing grass clippings and debris to avoid buildup that could interfere with the drive system
  • Check the tire pressure regularly and inflate to the manufacturer’s recommended levels
  • Lubricate wheel bearings and pivot points as per the owner’s manual
  • Keep the mower blades sharp and balanced to ensure smooth operation

Addressing Drive Belt Issues

To address a damaged or worn drive belt, follow these steps:

  • Turn off the mower and disconnect the spark plug for safety
  • Locate the drive belt, consulting your owner’s manual if necessary
  • Inspect the belt for damage or wear and replace it if needed
  • Ensure the belt is properly tensioned and aligned

Handling Engine Issues

Engine issues can also contribute to problems with your mower’s rear-wheel drive system. Some common engine problems and their solutions are:

  • Non-starting engine: Check the spark plug, clean or replace it as necessary, and ensure the fuel system is functioning properly
  • Surging or stalling: This could be due to a clogged air filter or carburetor. Clean or replace the air filter and check the carburetor for debris
  • Overheating: Ensure there is sufficient oil in the engine, clean the cooling fins, and check for any obstructions in the airflow

Remember to always consult your owner’s manual and follow manufacturer guidelines when performing maintenance and repairs.

Product Features and Handling

Handle and Comfort

Toro lawn mowers are designed with user comfort in mind. They feature an ergonomically-designed handle that is adjustable to different heights, making it easy for individuals of various heights to use comfortably.

The cushioned grip allows for a secure and comfortable grasp, reducing the strain on your hands and wrists during longer mow times.

Performance and Power

Equipped with a reliable engine, the Toro lawn mower delivers the power required to tackle various grass varieties and terrain with ease.

Here are some key performance aspects:

  • Reliable engine
  • Rear-wheel drive for improved traction
  • Adjustable cutting heights
  • Suitable for various grass types and terrains

The Toro lawn mower also features a robust steel deck and durable wheels, making it a resilient and long-lasting machine. Despite its power, it is designed for effortless maneuverability and precise control.

And there you have it! With these simple tips and tricks, you should be well-equipped to tackle any Toro lawn mower rear-wheel drive issues that come your way.

Remember, routine maintenance and timely repairs are key to keeping your trusty Toro running smoothly all season long. Happy mowing!

Last update on 2023-07-20 / Affiliate links / Somes Images and Data from Amazon Product Advertising API