Seven Common Transmission Problems and How We Can Help Fix Them
The last thing you want to have to deal with when it comes to your car is a transmission problem. Most of us hear transmission problems and see literal dollar signs flowing out of our wallets to the mechanic or dealership. But not all transmission problems have to mean disaster. Here are some symptoms of transmission problems and what they mean to help you do your own transmission troubleshooting and determine your next steps.
We’ve been around for over 70 years, and have sold millions of units of transmission repair products. We’ve learned a thing or two.
Transmission Is Whining and Making Noises
It’s never a good sign when your transmission is making noise, but what does it mean? There are a lot of different sounds that your transmission can make. The most common are whining, buzzing or humming. If you have a problem with a manual transmission, these sounds are often louder, sharper and clunkier. A humming or whining noise in an automatic transmission vehicle often means that you are low on automatic transmission fluid. If this is the case, you want to refill that fluid immediately. Transmission fluid reduces friction, which means heat, which in turn is bad news for transmissions.
When you’re adding transmission fluid, you should also consider putting in an additive that stops transmission fluid leaks, both present and future. Transmission fluid does not burn off like oil, so if you are low on transmission fluid, you have a blown or worn seal or a leak somewhere in the system, which means it will happen again.
A clunking noise could be the sign of a more serious problem, like a part of the transmission system has worn out or failed.
Transmission Is Not Engaging
If you have a manual transmission car that does not shift gears once you press the clutch and position the gearshift, your clutch fluid may be the issue. Your hydraulic clutch system works by generating pressure through fluid to allow the cylinders to move the car from one gear to another. If gears are not shifting, it could be because there is air in the system preventing the clutch from delivering enough pressure to shift the gears properly.
If this is the problem, the solution may be to bleed the clutch. Bleeding the clutch means releasing a little of the clutch fluid at a time through the bleeder valve with the idea of releasing trapped air as well. Once you have released all the air, replacing the fluid as you go, your clutch should re-engage. Be sure to refill with a stop-leak clutch fluid as, again, the cause of air in the system is probably a leak somewhere.
Transmission Is Slipping
A slipping transmission is one of the most serious problems you can have with your transmission. It means that your car cannot be relied upon to stay in gear. That is to say, you could be driving and suddenly find your car slowing down as the car spontaneously shifts into neutral. If this were to happen on the highway, it could have serious consequences. It also probably means that something connecting the gears in your transmission is broken.
If your transmission is slipping, you can try putting in an anti-slipping additive, but you should only test its efficacy in an empty parking lot, your driveway or other area where a sudden loss of speed will not endanger you or anyone around. If it is successful beyond the number of miles of driving where you normally experience slipping, it usually means the additive has helped revitalize a part that was not broken but merely worn down, and you should be more comfortable postponing a visit to the mechanic. If the additive is not successful, take your vehicle in for repair right away.
Transmission Is Leaking Fluid
If the first sign that you have a transmission problem is that your transmission is leaking fluid, you’re in luck, because you can resolve the problem before you run into more serious transmission problems. Your transmission fluid is what lubricates the transmission and prevents damaging friction, so you need to have the full recommended transmission fluid level in your car at all times.
If you see fluid leaking from your car, put a white piece of paper underneath the leak. If the fluid that is leaking is bright red, it is almost certainly your transmission fluid that is leaking. If it is black, you probably have an oil leak, and another color like blue or green is usually something like antifreeze or washer fluid.
If your transmission is leaking fluid and you have no other symptoms, the solution is simple. Refill your transmission fluid, including a Bar’s Leaks stop-leak transmission additive to recondition seals and plug up leaks so that you do not continue to leak fluid. If you continue to experience leaking after using the additive, you may have a bigger problem that requires a mechanic.
If the fluid that is leaking is not bright red but dark red and possibly smells burnt, the fluid you are currently using is compromised, and you will need to fully drain the fluid and refill the tank completely with fresh transmission fluid and anti-leak additive. You may also want to consider flushing the system to clear it of any contaminants before adding the new liquid.
Transmission Smells Like It’s Burning
What happens if you detect a burning smell when you are driving? Even if nothing else seems to be wrong and the car itself is not overheating, a burning smell coming from your car is a cause for concern. It often means that your transmission fluid is overheating (which can lead to that dark red or brown color mentioned above).
If your transmission fluid is overheating, you will run into similar problems to what you may experience when your fluid is low. Parts are not properly lubricated, there is an increase in friction, and the transmission will damage itself and eventually seize up, which often results in a prohibitively expensive repair.
This problem is often caused by using sub-par transmission fluid or because of a low fluid levels. The first solution to try is the same as above — flush the system and add quality transmission fluid with a Bar’s Leaks transmission stop-leak product.
Check-Engine Light Is On
Your check-engine light can go on for any number of reasons, some of which may be related to your transmission and some of which may not be. The typical response to a check engine light is to take the car to a mechanic so they can tell you what is wrong with it.
However, if the goal is to avoid a trip to the mechanic, if possible, you can purchase a diagnostic scan tool, and plug it into your instrument panel. This will give you a diagnostic trouble code that you can look up to see if it is the transmission causing the warning light or some other system. You can then choose your next steps according to what you find.
Clutch Is Dragging
If you have a dragging clutch, meaning you struggle to shift gears and there is a grinding noise when you do, you have a dragging clutch, which means the clutch disk is not able to disengage the flywheel when you press the clutch in. This is usually caused by too much slack in the clutch pedal and it is a relatively inexpensive repair, so you can go ahead and bring this one into the mechanic to be dealt with.
How To Prevent Common Transmission Problems
If you’ve got an older car and you discover you have a transmission problem, you may immediately be thinking about sending that car to the scrapyard — and with good reason. A transmission rebuild or replacement can cost thousands of dollars. But, depending upon your transmission problem, the mechanic doesn’t have to be your first stop. A surprising number of transmission issues, at least in the short term, are ones you can resolve yourself with the right products.
If there’s anything that’s closest to a miracle cure-all for car transmissions, it’s Bar’s Leaks Super Transmission Fix. This advanced, innovative product is the result of over 18 month of research and testing, and it can handle more common transmission problems than you might expect. It could even save your car from the junkyard ans save you from a prohibitively high mechanic bill.
Because this product is the most advanced transmission product we’ve ever made, Bar’s Leaks Super Transmission Fix works on all transmissions, from automatic to manual to CVT (continuously variable transmission) and DCT (dual clutch transmission). It stops leaks, helps prevent slipping, can resolve hard shifting and jerking and more. Many of the problems listed above can be resolved for quite some time with proper application of this formula. Before letting yourself get hit by a repair bill, you should definitely give this product a shot. It’s one of our newest formulations and has quickly become our top-selling transmission product ever.
If you’re not sure where to find Bar’s Leaks Super Transmission Fix near you, just look it up on this convenient locator page. And for more information about Bar’s Leaks products for stopping leaks and improving performance for your clutch, engine, coolant system, power steering or transmission, contact Bar’s Leaks directly. We’re happy to help.
Husqvarna YTH22V46 Transmission Problems (Explained)
Husqvarna yth22v46 is one of the most dependable lawn mowers on the market. But you’re facing problems with your one. Anyone can face this problem. We understand how frustrating it can be.
So, You’re looking for a solution to Husqvarna yth22v46 transmission problems?
There are 3 possible reasons for the transmission problem. First, defective drive belts. You must replace the drive belt to resolve this. Lack of oil flow in your lawnmower can cause issues. You have to clean or drain the oil. If that does not work, you might have problems with the wheels. You need to fix or maybe replace the wheel of your lawnmower.
You’ll need precise instructions to fix your lawnmower. There’s also this complete article to explain the instructions.
How to Check the Problems in Your Husqvarna YTH22V46?
When the engine is running, keep a close eye on the transmission to check it. The transmission is terrible if the pulley is spinning, but the wheels aren’t turning.
Unfortunately, it may be time to invest in a new mower if these are not working correctly. But before that, you can fix the problems.
Facing Problem With Your Drive Belt
The ground drive belt links the engine spindle to the gearbox pulley to drive the back wheels. Sometimes grass can get stuck in the drive belt. For this reason, the belt can not move.
The lawn tractor will not move if the belt breaks. Because the belt slips on the pulley when worn, the lawn tractor goes slowly. The most common transmission problem of a lawnmower is defective driver belts.
Now let’s check how you can change the drive belt of your Husqvarna yth22v46.
Mower Drive Belt Removal
You can replace the driving belt for the mower blades without the use of any tools. It would be best to park the lawnmower on a level surface. Make sure you activate the parking brake.
Ways of Belt Removal:
- Remove the spark plug wire by lifting the mower hood. Reduce the mower deck’s height to the lowest setting.
- The cutting blades must now be disengaged. Release the belt keepers’ belt and roll the blade belt off the engine pulley.
- Remove the retaining pin and washer from the front lift link support, then separate the support from the deck. Remove the holding clip on the left suspension arm and detach the arm from the mower frame.
- To separate the bracket from the deck, remove the left rear deck bracket holding clip and washer. On the other half of the deck, repeat the process.
- To get to the blade drive belt, pull the deck out far enough. Take note of how the blade belt is routed via the pulleys and belt keepers.
- Remove the idle pulleys, belt keepers, and mandrel pulleys from the belt. Remove the mower deck’s belt.
- Loop the fresh belt through both mandrel pulleys now. Idler pulleys and belt keepers are used to routing the belt.
- It’s time to reshuffle the deck. With washers and retaining clips, reconnect the lifts and suspension arm.
- Finally, roll the blade belt onto the engine pulley by routing it through the belt keepers.
Is the Oil Flow Working Fine?
A blocked fuel filter can prevent enough gasoline from reaching the engine of your lawnmower, rendering it non-drivable.
Since the engine will quickly overheat, always try to use fresh and best oil for your Husqvarna yth22v46 to use it for a more extended period.
You can fix the oil-flowing problem of your lawnmower in 2 processes.
Process 1: Cleaning the Oil Out
- When the engine is heated, drain the engine oil. This causes the oil to suspend any internal debris, allowing contaminants to drain along with the oil.
- Disconnect the spark plug wire from the spark plug to drain the gasoline from your engine.
- Replace the gas cap after wrapping a plastic sandwich bag around the tank neck and threads to protect the gas from leaking out. It’s possible that you’ll need to replace your gas cap as well. Here are our suggestions for gas caps-
Process 2: Draining the Oil by Tipping
You can find the oil drain via the dipstick tube while tipping the mower to remove the oil.
By removing the dipstick cover and tipping the mower to the right side, you tip the engine and drain the oil through the dipstick tube.
- Firstly, determine the location where your fuel filter, spark plug, and dipstick tube.
- On the floor, place a drain pan.
- Pour the oil via the dipstick tube with the engine tilted so that it faces the pan.
Check If Your Wheels are Spinning
Pushing a mower, especially a self-drive kind, isn’t fun, and they’re significantly heavier. So, check your wheels.
You’ll need to take them out to inspect the drive wheel. You can remove a single fastener in the center of the wheel.
On the other hand, a plastic wheel cap will most likely hide the fastener. The cap can be pried loose with a flat screwdriver. The wheel will come off if you loosen and remove the fastener.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Are hydrostatic tractors good to use?
Answer: A hydrostatic transmission tractor may be the ideal choice if you use your lawnmower for lawn and garden activities. That doesn’t require continuous speed. It also offers several advantages. There’s no clutch to depress; all you need is a high-to-low lever to shift.
Question: Can we use car oil in our lawn mowers?
Answer: It’s not altogether a bad idea to use vehicle oil in your lawnmower engine. However, you must be cautious about the oil you choose and ensure that it is compatible with your engine.
That is it! Depending on these 3 factors, you can solve Husqvarna yth22v46 transmission problems.
You can fix your lawnmower yourself by following our instructions. There is nothing to worry about.
Good Luck with your Husqvarna yth22v46!
The Best Self-Propelled Lawn Mowers in 2023 for Making Your Yard Work Easier
These lawn mowers drive themselves, taking the load off you in the process.
By Roy Berendsohn Published: Mar 21, 2023
One of the perks of the warm-weather season is getting to spend time outside. If you own your own home and have a yard, it’s very likely that in order to enjoy your outdoor space, you need to mow the lawn. The larger the yard, the more work it will be to maintain. If you have a lot of grass to cut, you’d be wise to consider a self-propelled lawn mower especially now that there are a ton of sales just in time for Memorial Day.
The primary difference between a standard push mower and a self-propelled mower is that the former moves when you push it, and the latter essentially moves itself with only your guidance. Once the engine is running, all you have to do is squeeze a handle or push a lever and the mower will start moving forward with you as you walk.
Turning the mower around is your job, but once you have your heading, just keep the drive handle squeezed and escort the mower down the path, no pushing necessary.
Self-propelled law mowers take power off the engine and route it via a belt to a pulley on the transmission and axle. When you move the drive control lever on the mower handle, you tension the belt, causing the pulley to turn, and this drives the transmission, moving the mower forward.
Move the drive control lever back and the tension is released, the pulley stops turning, and the mower stops moving forward. The belt-driven transmission is a time-tested design to power the mower and take the load off you in the process.
What to Consider
A mower is like many consumer products in that the more features a manufacturer adds, the more expensive it becomes. But a longer or more eye-catching list of features isn’t necessarily better. Sometimes less is more. Here are the most important to keep in mind.
Front-wheel drive mowers tend to be less expensive than rear-wheel drive units. They can be easier to turn because you don’t have to disengage the drive wheels to do so. Simply push down on the handlebar to raise the front wheels off the ground. However, their traction isn’t as strong on hills or when the bag is full, as there isn’t as much weight over the drive wheels.
Rear-wheel drive mowers do cost more and aren’t as easy to turn, as you do need to disengage the drive—but this isn’t too much of a hassle. Rear-wheel drive mowers shine on hills and inclines, and when the grass bag is full. In either scenario, weight is shifted rearward and over the drive wheels, which enables superior traction, thus making the self-propel more effective.
An engine as small as 125 cc can power a mower, but most are somewhere in the 140 cc to 190 cc range. A large engine helps when powering through tall, lush grass or in extreme conditions, such as with a side discharge chute in place and mowing tall weeds in a border area. Also, the extra torque provided by a larger engine can improve bagging when the going gets tough (tall, leaf-covered grass in the fall). But if you mow sensibly and pay attention to deck height—and especially if you don’t let your lawn get out of control—an engine between 140 and 160 cc has more than enough power to get the job done.
A mower can have all four wheels the same diameter (7 to 8 inches), or it may have rear wheels that range from 9.5 inches to 12 inches in diameter. Larger rear wheels help the mower roll more easily over bumpy ground.
With some mowers you can start the engine with the twist of a key or the press of a button. It’s a great option, but a luxury. Keep the mower engine tuned and use fresh fuel with stabilizer added to it, and you’ll never have trouble starting.
Any number of mechanisms can control a mower’s ground speed—a squeeze handle, a drive bar that you press forward, even a dial. There’s no single right answer here. Look at the design and think about how you like to work. For example, if more than one person will be using the mower (and not all of them are right-handed), a drive control like that on a Toro Personal Pace mower might be the answer. Just push down on the bar to make it go faster. Let up on the bar to slow down.
A mower that can bag, mulch, and side discharge is known as a three-function mower, the most versatile kind. Two-function mowers bag and mulch or mulch and side discharge.
Mowers will typically have one, two, or four levers to control the deck height. Single-lever adjustment is the easiest to use, but it requires more linkage, which adds weight and complexity. If, for some reason, you find yourself varying deck height frequently, it’s a good option. Otherwise, two or four levers work just fine.
Only Honda makes a gas-engine mower with a high-impact plastic deck (there are battery mowers that have plastic decks). Otherwise, mowers generally have a steel deck, and a few manufacturers—Toro, for one—offer a corrosion-resistant aluminum deck. An aluminum deck won’t rot the way a steel deck will, but you still need to keep it clean.
This is a hose fitting mounted on top of the mower’s deck. When you’re done mowing, hook up a hose and run the mower to power wash the underside of the deck. We’ve had mixed results with these, but they’re better than just letting a mass of dried grass clippings accumulate.
expensive mowers come with a more durable bag with more dust-blocking capability. If you bag a lot, especially leaves or other lawn debris in the fall, then you need a mower with a higher quality dust-blocking bag. Having said that, if you rarely bag, the standard one that comes with a mower will last you the life of the mower.
Also called wide-area mowers, machines in this subgroup help homeowners better reconcile their need for more power and speed with the fact that they may not have enough storage for a tractor or zero-turn mower. A typical residential walk mower has a single-blade deck that cuts a swath from 20 to 22 inches wide. Wide-cut mowers (built for homeowner use) have either a single blade or, more typically, a pair of blades, cutting from 26 to 30 inches with each pass. Some of these are rated for light commercial use and have larger decks, in the 32-inch range, and engines that start at 223 cc and go up to about 337 cc.
Wide-cut mowers typically employ gear or hydrostatic drive transmissions, and they have top speeds of about 4 to 6 miles per hour. At their fastest, they move so quickly you have to trot to keep up with them. Needless to say, they’re overkill for small yards; only opt for one of these if you’ve got a significant plot of land that you need to keep tidy, but not one so large that you’d be better off going with a full-on riding mower.
How We Tested and Selected
We compiled this list based on Popular Mechanics mower testing and our knowledge of the lawn mower market at large. For our testing, we put mowers through the paces using our standard Popular Mechanics methodology: We cut turf grasses such as fescues and blue grass and rougher non-turf grasses like Timothy, clover, orchard grass, and wild oats, all in both normal and shin-deep heights. We mow uphill, downhill, and across the faces of hills. The maximum slope we cut is about 30 degrees.
Husqvarna Lawn Mower Transmission Removal And Fluid Change
That may not sound like much, but it’s about all you can do to stand on it, let alone push a mower up it or across it. We mow damp and wet grass to test general cutting performance and whether clippings accumulate on the tires. And we cut dry and dusty surfaces to see how well the bag filters under less-than-optimal conditions.
Honda HRN 216VKA
Honda mowers enjoy a sterling reputation. Having tested their walk and self-propelled mowers for the last 30 years, we feel confident that Honda’s entry level mower is a great choice for homeowners looking for power and durability. The HRN features a GCV 170 gas engine that’s built to withstand long hours of operation.
If you do your own maintenance (and most owners who buy this class of product do), you’ll appreciate the easily accessible spark plug and the fuel shutoff valve that enables better winter storage. Close the fuel shutoff and run the mower until it sputters to a halt. This will clear the carburetor of any gasoline, which will prevent the ethanol in it from disintegrating and causing running issues later on. Open the shutoff valve in the spring, add some fresh gasoline, and the mower should start easily.
All this maintenance stuff is great, but we can also tell you that our past test findings on other Hondas prove that their cut quality is outstanding for cleanliness. Sharp blades deliver a velvet-like finish. And their bagging ability is also quite good, in the same league with other well-bagging mowers from Toro.
In all, if you take mowing seriously, you should enjoy this Honda. If you have a little wiggle room in your budget, consider the Honda HRX, which features a mower powerful engine and a composite deck that won’t rust and is renowned for its durability.
One note is that Honda has announced that it will cease selling lawn mowers in the United States after this year—so if you’re considering buying one, best do it sooner rather than later.
Toro Recycler 60-Volt Max Lithium-Ion
Toro mowers have garnered more recommendations from us than any other brand for two reasons: build quality and cut quality. These were amply demonstrated in our testing as the Recycler turned in the best ratio of cut area per amp-hour of battery in the self-propelled category, while at the same time not skimping on cutting, mulching, or bagging quality.
We attribute this outstanding mower performance to three features, all upgrades to the previous version of this machine. First, the air vent at the front of the mower deck seems to improve mulching and bagging performance. Toro calls it Vortex technology, a design that increases air flow under the deck. This helps to stand the grass for a cleaner cut, which improves mulching performance, and also allows better airflow into the bag when collecting the clippings.
Next, the company’s redesigned “Atomic” blade configuration appears to assist the air flow and clipping movement. Finally, the three-phase, 60-volt motor is exceptionally efficient, resulting in a large cut area for a single battery.
Toro has maintained features that make this mower work: rear wheel drive, a one-piece deck that’s all steel (no plastic nose), 11-inch wheels to help it roll over roots and crevices, and the same fold-forward handle that was an industry breakthrough when it was introduced some years ago.
Ryobi 40-Volt Brushless Self-Propelled Mower
This is one of Ryobi’s top-of-the-line mowers, and it’s American-made construction is something we wish we saw more of. It delivers a tremendous cut area with its two 6-Ah batteries providing a total of 12-Ah of capacity, and its X-shaped blade leaves a pristine surface in its wake.
Ryobi estimates the design should provide 70 minutes of run time; we didn’t time our cut, but it strikes as plausible. Its rear-wheel drive and reasonably aggressive tire tread pattern provide good hill climbing and sidehill cutting performance, and its bagging on all surfaces (level, sidehill, and uphill) is also commendable.
Other ease-of-use features include an easily installed or removed bag that mounts and dismounts straight up and down through the handle; deck adjustment is quick and easy thanks to a single-level deck height adjustment. The straight edge deck is polypropylene; it will never rust and needs very little care other than basic cleaning.
Toro TimeMaster 30 in. Briggs Stratton Personal Pace
The Toro Timemaster 30-in. mower has been around for several years and has earned a reputation as a sturdy workhorse for homeowners who want to cut down on their mowing time. It’s also used by some professionals as well. A few years ago the Timemaster got a slightly more powerful Briggs and Stratton gas engine, so it should have no issues powering through most demanding mowing jobs.
The Timemaster is rear-wheel drive and features Toro’s Personal Pace drive system that’s used on many of its self-propelled mowers. This allows the mower to move at your speed by simply pushing down or releasing the handle, which is spring-tensioned.
With a 30-in. deck, Toro claims the Timemaster will help you reduce your mowing time by about 40% compared to using a standard-sized mower. You can mulch, back, or side discharge with the Timemaster, and the handlebar can be locked in a fully vertical position to reduce space consumption in storage.
If you have half an acre to a full acre of lawn to mow and prefer the experience of a walk-behind mower versus a tractor or zero-turn, the Timemaster is worth a look.
Craftsman mowers have been doing very well in our tests, so we can recommend this one because it’s so much like the many other of the brand’s models that we’ve tested. If you’re looking for a good blend of maneuverability and power, you’ll get it with this mower. Its front drive helps move it along and makes it easy to turn.
It’s important to note that front-drive mowers do lose some traction when running uphill, particularly with a full grass bag. But if your slope is less than 20 degrees, and you’re not bagging uphill, you’ll be fine. The side discharge will also help you handle tall grass. Adjust the two deck levers to bring the mower up to full height and have at the rough stuff.
The fact that this mower bags, mulches, and side discharges is a plus, enabling you to handle a wide range of mowing conditions, from early spring and late into the fall. Three-function mowers like this are our preference for that versatility.
Toro Super Recycler Self-Propelled Lawn Mower
This is a beauty of a mower, with a cast-aluminum deck and a smooth-running Briggs Stratton 163-cc engine. We tested the Honda engine-equipped version, and it was effective at both bagging and mulching, even in moist grass.
Equipped with rear-wheel drive and the Personal Pace system (the farther you push the drive bar, the faster the mower goes), it’s an effective hill climber and moderately effective on sidehill cutting. It has relatively small 7.5-inch tires on all four corners, which causes this Toro to bump up and down a bit on washboard surfaces. But the good news is that it’s equipped with a far higher quality tire than we’re used to seeing these days. We didn’t notice them pick up any grass on moist surfaces.
Other features we like include its forward-fold handle that has a built-in shock absorber that Toro calls a Flex Handle Suspension, and a high-quality grass bag that loads through the handle, from the top.
Are there special maintenance considerations with self-propelled mowers?
Yes. Both front- and rear-wheel drive mowers typically feature a drive belt, which can crack or wear out over time. Fortunately these belts are not difficult or particularly expensive to replace.
Secondly, you may have to replace the drive wheels occasionally. These wheels are driven with gears. there are typically teeth on the inside diameter of the drive wheel that line up with a gear on the axle. These teeth can wear out, especially if they are made of plastic. Higher-end mowers may feature drive wheels with a metal gear that meets the metal axle gear, which improves longevity of these components.
My lawnmower says I don’t ever have to change the oil, but just add oil when needed. Is this OK?
It’s not a good idea to never change the oil in your lawn mower. In a lawn mower, same as a car, oil degrades over time and is less effective at reducing heat and friction in metal components. Changing the oil in your lawn mower is easy to do and will significantly increase its service life. For most homeowners, changing the oil at the beginning or end of each mowing season should be sufficient, though there is certainly no harm in doing it more often.
Roy Berendsohn has worked for more than 25 years at Popular Mechanics, where he has written on carpentry, masonry, painting, plumbing, electrical, woodworking, blacksmithing, welding, lawn care, chainsaw use, and outdoor power equipment. When he’s not working on his own house, he volunteers with Sovereign Grace Church doing home repair for families in rural, suburban and urban locations throughout central and southern New Jersey.
Tuff Torq k46 Common problems – Troubleshooting
Some telltale signs that your transmission has gone bad are:
Whining and grinding noises while driving, if the transmission is running only in forward or reverse mode if it is leaking oil if it is working fine after a cold start and loses power as it warms up when problems accumulate gradually with time (a sudden power loss usually indicates that the problem is not related to the transmission).
If you notice these symptoms, this article may help.
Common K46 transmission problems.
Let’s start with a simple problem. Worn-out input shaft pulley with worn splines. Typical symptoms are slow performance and immobility.
As we have established before, bad oil is the usual suspect in most transmission problems.
Bad oil can damage the drive shafts and input shaft seals and cause oil leaks. If the oil level is insufficient, the hydraulic system will not have enough pressure to transfer energy. Typical symptoms are whining noises, loss of power, or complete immobility.
Differential and reduction gear-set gears along with bearings can be damaged by excessive metal fillings in the system. The process quickly spirals as the chipped gear parts cause even more destruction. Typical symptoms are unstable mobility, slipping, and grinding noises.
The most common problem, however, is worn on the pump and motor pistons and their ports. Again, premature wear is usually caused by bad oil full of metal fillings. Typical symptoms are Loss of power, slipping, and howling noise. Symptoms usually get worse as the transmission and the oil in its warm-up.
What can cause problems with your integrated hydrostatic transmission or IHT?
Timely maintenance is usually enough to prevent transmission failure, but the problem is that many tractor manufacturers claim that “their transmissions do not require maintenance,” while the actual transmission manufacturers, like Tuff Torq, have a different opinion than aliens with common sense.
Regrettably, many people are misled by claims that these transmissions are “unserviceable”, increasing the number of premature wear cases.
If you operate your tractor in extreme conditions such as high temperatures, rough terrain, and dust, you need to change the transmission oil even more frequently.
Oil is essential to the gearbox, ensuring the health of all the components in it by providing proper lubrication and cleaning.
However, when the oil in the transmission ages, it begins to lose its viscous ability as it accumulates metal fillings, and interacts with seals and metals. It loses its chemical integrity over time as it goes through friction and high temperatures. Old oil leads to premature wear of transmission components.
Metal filings are a natural by-product of the working transmission. But when the amount of these fillings in the oil exceeds a critical point, the oil becomes a dangerous abrasive substance, causing destruction and death wherever it goes instead of lubrication and rejuvenation.
Catch magnets along with the oil filter protect the transmission from filling, but if they become clogged with metal shavings or other debris, they will no longer protect the transmission. And capacity of these magnets along with the filter is limited.
Poor quality “for life” oils used by manufacturers chemically affect gears and other metal parts, destroying their molecular structure.
Of course, if your gearbox is fairly old and out of its resources, it can develop problems even with proper maintenance (though it will happen much later).
Excluding problems with symptoms similar to a transmission failure
Shutdown, loss of power under load, or tractor is unable to move on its own. These symptoms may be caused by other tractor problems.
Engine. Take a listen to how it works. If it runs smoothly in response to throttle inputs with no misfires and no choking under load, look elsewhere for the problem. Otherwise, a thorough inspection of the engine and ignition, and fuel system is required.
If your lawn mower stalls as soon as you put it in gear, you may want to check the seat safety switch which may be broken and unable to detect a driver in the seat causing the engine to shut off.
To test your seat safety switch, lift up your seat, unplug the lead wire terminal from the safety switch and test the switch for continuity with an Ohmmeter in both off and on positions by testing corresponding switch pairs of contacts (there are four contacts that make two pairs, ON and OFF). Change the switch if it’s bad.
If your tractor mower fails to move when you engage the forward travel pedal or loses power when under load, you should also check the drive belt. To check the drive belt, start your engine up and put it on full throttle, then engage the electric PTO switch.
If you hear your blades kick in (spin) immediately after engaging the PTO (in under half a second), your belts are fine; otherwise, when blades kick in with a delay or don’t kick in at all, you have A belt problem, but it can be just a deck belt problem.
To check the drive belt, you’ll have to remove the mower deck first. You need to check the tension (keep in mind that when the brake is engaged, the drive pulley is loose causing the belt to loosen a bit as well). You should change the drive belt if it’s too old/slack and has visible wearing marks on it.
Belt problems can also be caused by bad or stuck pulleys. However, to inspect all pulleys, the drive belt must be completely removed.
Again, this may be strange, but make sure the bypass valve lever on the back of the gearbox (used to tow the tractor) is not pulled out.
If not, it’s probably the gearbox.
What do you need for troubleshooting your transmission?
If you’ve established that the rest of your tractor is fine, and you suspect your transmission, you’ll need to inspect it thoroughly. For that, you’ll have to remove if from the tractor and take it apart.
First, safely park your tractor and remove the mowing deck, jack the tractor up by the tow hitch and put jack stands under its frame (in front of the transmission), disconnect all the lineages (break, travel pedal, bypass valve linkages along with reverse sensor terminal).
Uninstall the drive belt tensioner that sits on the frame atop the transmission and take the belt off of the transmission input shaft pulley. And unscrew the metal reverse sensor plate that sits near the right bracing.
Husqvarna Tractor Stopped Moving Diagnosis and Surprising Fix
Then carefully place the jack under the transmission, unscrew the two bolts that hold transmission bracings on its sides to the tractor frame along with 4 bolts that hold its axles to the frame at the bottom, and carefully lower the transmission dawn.
You would need 10 mm, 13 mm, and 14 mm (for the reverse sensor plate) sockets and a 13 mm wrench (to hold the axle nuts in place while you unscrew the bolts with a socket).
Taking apart the transmission for a thorough inspection
First, take a look at the exact transmission model on the barcode that’s located on the axle part of the transmission and use it when ordering any parts for it.
Take a pair of side cut pliers or snap ring pliers and take the snap ring out of the fan/pulley assembly. Inspect your drive pump pulley, it should spin along with the input drive shaft and should sit tightly on the shaft.
If your pulley spins freely and wiggles on the shaft, it is worn out, has worn-out splints, and should be replaced (it might fix your problem altogether).
Take off your pulley (you may inspect it more closely) and take off the fan.
Upper case transmission picture.
Then place your transmission on an even surface and make it level with the help of some chocks. Locate your oil fill plug (20), it’s a bigger flat plug that sits on the left side of the transmission (do not mistake it for a vent plug), and pry it off with a screwdriver (you can tap the screwdriver upwards around the plug with a mallet if you like to be more gentle).
Take out the filing catch magnet that sits inside, remove the metal base, notice the number of metal filings stuck to the catch magnet and clean it thoroughly.
Measure your oil level with a metal ruler, it should be around 20~25 mm (3/4”~1”) below the lip of the (black cap) port when at room temperature.
If the oil level is lower than that and your catch magnet has little to no fillings on it, you should consider replacing your drive axle and input drive/pump shaft seals (they could be the reason for low oil and bad transmission performance). Take a look at the seal replacement manual here
Before taking your transmission apart, prepare a big bucket or some other volume and drain the oil to it through the fill plug for about half an hour. Then place your transmission securely (upside down) with lowercase facing upwards and input driveshaft facing the floor.
Lowercase transmission picture.
Unscrew all the bolts (9) that hold the lowercase to the transmission body with a 12 mm socket. Keep in mind that two center bolts are longer (10) so make a mark on their respective crew holes to know their location for the future.
Once unscrewed, carefully pry lose the lowercase by leveraging specially casted pry points (11) located on the sides of the lowercase body with a large flat-headed screwdriver. Remove the lowercase from the gearbox.
Clean the lowercase and uppercase case foam sealant residue using a degreaser (like brake pad cleaner), a scrubber, an Exacto knife, and a metal brush. Be careful not to get any residual into the uppercase and thoroughly clean the channel around the lowercase mating service.
Inspecting the insides of your transmission
To understand what you are gonna be doing, take a look at this transmission diagram:
First, take a look at your oil filter (12) and a second filing catch magnet (13) located near the differential. If they are very dirty, it can be a bad sign. Remove the oil filter and clean the magnet of the filings.
If the magnet was dirty, inspect your differential (19) and reduction gear set: (22) wiggle the gears around, they should have little to no play; then you can carefully remove your gear train for further visual inspection, noting the position and orientation of every gear and washer
If gears have visible damage to them or visible wearing, they should be replaced. A common symptom of a bad gear train is grinding noises when in motion (also a catch magnet near the differential is a good marker).
If the gear train is fine, the problem lies in your center block (14).
One strong symptom that the problem is within your center block: a prominent wining nose and zero response when you press the travel pedal.
Your options are: to buy a brand-new assembly; disassemble the center block and inspect the motor and its pistons (23), oil pump within the main block and its pistons, IDS valves, motor output shaft (24) and swash plates (they all should fit tightly, have no play and no wearing) then change the parts that went bad; sending your center block for a rebuild to a professional.
I recommend the latter option as the brand-new assembly is pretty expensive and rebuilding it yourself will be extremely time-consuming.
In any case, you will have to remove your center block (14) by unscrewing three 14 mm bolts (15) that hold it in place and prying it out. Be very careful not to lose anything when lifting it out (springs, pins, washers bearings, or valves), note the position of the motor (static) swash plate (25), brake disk (16), brace calipers (17), and brake actuator (26), output shaft bearing and jerky plate (18).
If your transmission is damaged to the point where you have to replace components, if it has broken teeth, worn-out center block, or metal debris in the oil; it is recommended to take everything out and thoroughly clean the case as well as the parts.
On the other hand, if the transmission is in good condition but is just old, you can consider putting in more dense transmission oil (like 10 W40).
Also, you should check the integrity of the drive/pump input shaft (21), its splints should be in great shape and its bearing shouldn’t have any play. And you can check the drive shaft bearings while at it.
Additionally, you may take a look at Tuff Torq repair tips here.
Putting it all back together
Basically a reverse process. First, install (the shafts if you have uninstalled them) the differential (19) and the gear train (22). You should squirt some oil on the gears to prevent them from damage while there is no oil yet. Make sure that nothing is missing and everything is in the right orientation.
Make sure to tighten three 14 mm bolts of the center block to 33 – 40 ft. lb.
Don’t forget to install a brand-new oil filter.
Use a transmission seal-maker to make a seal on the lowercase meeting suffice (don’t forget about hydrostatic and gear chamber separator wall). Put it on the uppercase, tighten 12 mm bolts by hand (put the longest two center bolts first in marked ports) and let it sit for an hour. Then tighten your lowercase bolts to 16 – 18 ft. lb.
Flip the transmission (so that the fill plug is facing upwards) and fill it with 2.3 or 1.9 liters (depending on the K46 submodel) Hy-Gard High Viscosity J20C 10 W30 oil or any other synthetic 10 W30 transmission oil. The oil level should be around 20~25 mm (3/4”~1”) below the lip of the (black cap) port when at room temperature, but you have to pour a little more to account for the air purging procedure.
If you have a universal socket and a strong electric screwdriver, you can purge the air from the transmission by spinning the input drive/pump shaft back and forth with it for 5-10 minutes.
Put the fan, the drive pulley on the pump shaft, the washer, and the fixating c clip. Then follow the transmission uninstallation procedure backward, only do not take the jack stands from under the tractor and don’t lower it just yet (if you haven’t purged the air with an electric screwdriver).
One less step while the tractor is still on the jack stands, purging the air (if you haven’t done it yet) from the transmission. Turn the tractor on and let the transmission work in forward and reverse mode as well as in neutral by pulling the bypass valve lever at the back of your transmission into towing position. Let it run like that for about 15 minutes.
Lower your tractor on the ground and enjoy.