Husqvarna Riding Mower Won’t Move Forward Or Reverse

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Husqvarna riding mowers are well-known for their innovative design, efficiency, flexibility and durability. 

But they are not without problems, and one of the issues that users have pointed out is that the Husqvarna riding mower won’t move forward or reverse, and this affects its mobility.

In this article, we look at the reasons why your Husqvarna riding mower won’t move forward or reverse.

And some practical fixes to help you solve the mobility problem so that you can have a smooth lawn mowing operation.

But before we jump right into that…

Some of the reasons why your Husqvarna riding mower won’t move forward or reverse include:

  • Worn, loose or broken drive belt
  • Missing idler arm spring
  • Drive release handle not in operating position
  • Hot hydraulic fluid
  • Clogged air and fuel filters

1.  Worn, Loose or Broken Drive Belt

Your Husqvarna riding mower won’t move forward or reverse if the drive belt is worn or broken. 

If you notice that it is falling off, you may need to tighten its grip on the pulley.

Fix: Replace damaged or worn-out drive belt. Make sure the belt is securely around the pulleys.

2. Bypass Control Lever Not In “Engaged” Position

If the bypass control lever isn’t in the engaged position, the Husqvarna riding mower may fail to move, affecting the operation and functionality of the mower.

Fix: Ensure that the bypass control lever is in the “engaged” position (pulled up and pushed in). 

You can contact your local authorized servicing dealer for evaluation and repair if the problem persists.

3. Missing Idler Arm Spring

The idler spring places tension on the drive belt. If this does not happen, it indicates that there is a missing idler arm spring, making the mower not move.

Fix: Replace the spring if it is broken or has fallen out of the mowing machine.

4. Defective Tensioner Pulley

Tensioner pulleys are often made from hard plastic and have a bearing in the center. 

If the pulley breaks or the bearing fails, the Husqvarna riding mower may fail to go forward.

Fix: Inspect the pulley and replace it if it is defective. It is also important to grease the tensioner arm pulley so that it will not seize up.

5. Missing Key in Axle

This problem may occur if you recently changed your riding mower’s tire. It may also be that you missed a small key that fell out of the axle. 

For the wheel to move, you must install the missing key or else the mowing machine won’t move.

Fix: Replace the key in the axle.

6. Drive Release Handle Not in Operating Position

The drive release lever enables the mower to roll freely. You need to have the drive release handle for the mower to be able to move forward.

The drive release can be in the form of a push/pull button, knob or lever. 

The mower won’t move if this feature is not in the operating position.

Fix: Check your owner’s manual to locate the drive release handle. Ensure that the drive release lever is in the operator position.

Read: Husqvarna Lawn Mower Won’t Start

7. Low Hydraulic Fluid Level in a Husqvarna Riding Mower

If you run the transmission with low or old hydraulic oil, it may cause your riding mower to develop mobility issues.

Fix: To keep the transmission system of your Husqvarna riding mower running at an optimal level, it is advisable to ensure consistent hydraulic oil change at intervals based on the recommendations of Husqvarna.

You also need to change the hydraulic oil and filters at the recommended intervals.

If you notice that the hydraulic oil is low, you need to add more hydro oil till the level of the fluid gets to the full level when the hydraulic oil is cool.

8. Air in the Hydraulic System

It is necessary to bleed the air out of the system after changing the hydraulic fluid. Air in the system may make the mower not move.

Fix: Follow Husqvarna’s procedures for changing the hydraulic fluid and bleeding air from the system in the owner’s manual.

9. Hot Hydraulic Fluid

Hot hydraulic fluid may also be one of the reasons why the riding mower won’t go forward. 

When you operate your Husqvarna riding mower with a low fluid or bad hydraulic fluid, the oil will fail to lubricate the hydraulic system well and this results in overheating and increased friction of the fluid.

Fix: It is advisable to take the mower to a local repair dealership to fix the issue.

10. Battery/Carburetor Problems

A failing or dead battery makes your Husqvarna riding lawn mower not go forward or reverse.
A weak battery may have the power to start the mowing machine but not enough to drive it.

As a result of this, the mower may start but it may stall once the power demand on the engine increases.

A damaged carburetor can cause the gas to air mixture to become too rich or too lean, causing it to stop when you attempt to move the lawn mower forward or to reverse it.

11. Clogged Air And Fuel Filters

An image of a clogged Husqvarna air filter

Clogged air and fuel filters can cause the mower not to move, affecting the performance of your riding lawn mower while mowing. 

A clogged fuel filter will prevent the gas from getting to the engine in adequate supply, causing the mower not to move.

At the same time, a clogged air filter will not allow your mower to move forward or reverse because it can make the engine overheat. 

It is essential to replace both filters to prevent further engine damage.

Fix: Replace air and fuel filters.

12. Transmission Failure

Transmission problems can result in an inability to shift gears which will prevent your Husqvarna lawn mower from moving in a forward or reverse position.

Leaks in transmission lines or fluid reservoirs can cause shifting problems. This can cascade to engine parts like pistons and sticking valves

Fix: It is best to contact an expert to troubleshoot the problem for you.

13. Stuck Brake Lever

If your Husqvarna riding mower has been sitting for a long period, the brake lever might get stuck. 

This problem is common with Husqvarna YTH24K48 riding lawn mowers.  

To check this, you need to locate the brake lever on the ride side of the riding mower, inside of the frame.

Fix: You need to work the lever back and forth to ensure that it is moving freely or you contact an expert to help you fix it.

14. Husqvarna Riding Mower Stuck in Mud

Your mower can get stuck in the mud due to a lack of friction. 

The wheels will not be able to create the required friction with the wet surface for it to move forward or backward.

Fix: You may need to place material in a sheet form under the mower wheels to regain friction. 

Here are some suggestions when finding a friction substitute for your mowing machine.

Panel or Sheet Material:

  • Plywood or chipboard sheets
  • Chain-link panels
  • Hauling trailer decking sheets
  • Plastic or composite trellis or lattice work panels

Other Material

  • Large wood chips
  • Lengths of chain
  • Sand (for icy applications)
  • Gravel

15. Husqvarna Riding Mower is Stuck in Gear

The riding mower may get stuck in gear due to some factors such as operator error in adjustments or wear and tear. 

There are some instances where you adjust the brake tension instead of replacing worn pucks or brake disks. This will hinder the gear shifting process.

Other likely causes may be dysfunctional brake pins or worn parts connected to the transaxle.

Fix: Its advisable to hire a professional to help you troubleshoot this problem

How Does Husqvarna Hydrostatic Transmission Work?

Husqvarna hydrostatic transmission

Husqvarna hydrostatic transmission uses oil, under pressure to provide movement for your riding mower.

The fluid is pressurized with a pump inside the transmission. If any air is in the fluid, the pump will try to pressurize the air. 

If you experience a slower response or loss of drive, it indicates that you need to purge the transmission.


If you notice that your Husqvarna won’t go forward or reverse, the first thing to do is to figure out the causes.

In this article, we have revealed some of the possible causes such as missing key in axle, air in the hydraulic system, missing idler arm spring, bad tensioner pulley and worn drive belt.

Follow the troubleshooting tips to get your mowing machine working again. It is advisable to call a technician if the problem persists after implementing the tips shared here.

Top Recommended Handy Tools for Troubleshooting & Servicing Your Lawn Mower

Multimeter – This is useful for checking voltage, continuity & current to identify electrical problems in your mowerFilter Wrench – For loosening your mower’s filter.
Carburetor Cleaner – Choke and Throttle Body Cleaner for cleaning clogs & buildup in the fuel system.Blade Balancer–Balances Blades After Sharpening.
Fuel Stabilizer – This stabilizes & cleans your fuel to reduce fuel system buildupBattery Inflator – This helps to ensure your mower tires stay inflated to prevent steering or uneven cutting issues.
Socket & Allen Wrench Set – These tools are needed to service & troubleshoot your mower problemsTachometer– Evaluates your mower’s engine performance and provides accurate data about the status of the engine
12-Volt Battery Charger – This is useful for charging your mower battery.Lawn Mower Blade Sharpener– Adjustable Lawn Mower Blade Sharpener for Right and Left Hand Blades.