Scag Freedom Z Problems

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Although the Scag Freedom Z is a sturdy and durable lawn mower, there are typical problems that it may encounter along the line  that can affect its performance.

In this article, I highlight the common Scag Freedom Z problems, the possible causes, and give you solutions to each of them.

Scag Freedom Z Problems, Causes, And Solutions

Before I go into details, let’s have a look at an overview of the problems and their possible solutions :


Possible Solutions

1. Starting Difficulty 
  • Change the spark plug
  • Clean the air filter and fuel cap 
  • Unclog the fuel lines and replace the fuel filter
  • Clean the carburetor
2. Engine Not Cranking
  • Charge/replace the battery
  • Replace the PTO/ starter switch
3. Steering Wheel Problems
  • Tighten the steering gear
  • Seek professional help
4. Blades Not Working Properly 
  • Sharpen the blades
  • Clean the mower deck
  • Adjust cutting deck height 
  • Repair the belt and pulley system if damaged 
5. Hydraulic System Failure
  • Add/replace the hydraulic oil
  • Purge the system
  • Fix any leakage opening 
6. Mower Shuts Down Suddenly
  • Top up/replace the engine oil
  • Change spark plug
  • Clean the fuel cap vent and air filter
  • Inspect the fuel system 
  • Replace the ignition coil

1. Starting Difficulty

The most common problem a lot of Scag Freedom Z users complained about was difficulty when starting the mower.

Problems associated with starting the engine include refusal to start, a strange clicking sound emanating from the carburetor, and a hard or slow start. 

In severe cases, the engine refuses to start entirely or shuts down immediately after starting.

This problem was more common with older engines that had been used for many years.


Starting difficulty on your Scag Freedom Z mower could be caused by:

  • Detective spark plug
  • Clogged air filters 
  • Clogged fuel cap vent
  • Stale fuel
  • Fuel delivery issues from the fuel lines or filter
  • Carburetor problems


This issue can be avoided by performing routine maintenance on the engine. 

If you eventually come across this issue, troubleshoot the entire fuel system including the fuel tank, fuel lines, fuel filter, fuel pump, and the carburetor jets, and fix any damages.

If the fuel system is okay, then check the air filter and fuel cap to see if the air intake systems are clogged.

If not, check your spark plug and replace it if necessary.

2. Engine Not Cranking

In addition to starting difficulties, another common problem associated with the Scag Freedom Z mower was the engine would not crank. 

This usually occurs after about 2-3 years of use but in some cases, it happens earlier than expected.


The reasons this happens could be

  • Battery not producing enough voltage
  • Faulty PTO switch/starter switch


Use a multimeter or voltmeter to check the voltage the battery is producing. If it is less than 12-12.5 volts, recharge or replace the battery.

If the battery is producing sufficient volts, then the problem might be from the starter or PTO switch. Check if the green wire connected to the solenoid is receiving voltage. If it isn’t, then the switch should be replaced.

3. Steering Wheel Problems

This is another problem a lot of users complained about. When you use the mower for a few years or use the mower vigorously and violently without performing regular maintenance, steering wheel issues are likely to emerge.

Complaints include difficulty controlling the wheel, slow response, difficulty turning the mower with the steering, clicking sounds when turning the wheel, and in rare cases, total wheel failure.

This particular problem should be taken seriously and fixed as soon as it is detected because ignoring it poses great risks and could lead to accidents.


Issues with the steering wheel can arise if the internal components like nuts and screws that regulate the wheel become loose or disconnected.

Also, due to frequent use and regular bumps, the balance of the wheel can shift and cause difficulties.


You can check for loose connections in the steering gear and tighten them.

If the problem persists, the best solution is to contact a technician as soon as this problem is detected. The technician should be able to troubleshoot and fix the problem to avoid further damage and accidents.

4. Blades Not Working Properly

One of the issues Scag Freedom Z users noticed was that the blade of their mower wasn’t cutting grass properly.

While using the Freedom Z mower, some users claimed that the blades missed tall grasses or random patches on the lawn. 

They also reported seeing an uneven cut on the flat ground as well as uneven ground, and a high-low grass trend was noticed after using this mower.


  • Improperly adjusted deck
  • Clogged deck
  • Dull blades
  • Wrong blade angle
  • Low RPM
  • Glazed/slipping belts


Adjust the cutting height and check the deck of the mower for caked-on grass. 

Clean the deck by removing the grass with a water hose and a scraper/putty knife.

Then, remove the blades and sharpen the blades with a blade sharpener if found to be blunt. 

If the problem persists, check the belt and pulley system for wear and damage, and replace any damaged components.

5. Hydraulic System Failure

Many Scag Z users have complained about problems involving hydraulic system failure on various consumer reviews and forum platforms.

The complaints include little or no power on both sides, belt noises when turning forward or backward, hydraulic lever functioning on only one side, or lever completely losing power.

These odd hydraulic problems are common and frequently appear when the vehicle is getting older and has experienced several years of active use.


  • Insufficient hydraulic oil in the transmission system
  • Use of wrong hydrostatic fluid/oil
  • Air contamination
  • Hydraulic system leakage
  • Loose/glazed drive belt


Check the fluid level and type. If the fluid is too low, top it up unless it is a sealed hydraulic system. If the fluid level is consistently low, check for leaks in the system and correct them.

If you have used the wrong fluid type, you may need to bleed the system and replace it. Also, replace the oil if it turns milky or black indicating overheating and water contamination respectively.

In case of air contamination or leakage, purge the hydraulic system. Then, inspect the belt and pulley system for damage, and tighten or replace the belt if necessary.

6. Mower Shuts Down Suddenly

Another regular problem with the Scag Freedom Z is that it turns off suddenly without prior notice when being used. 

Some of the users stated that it suddenly shut down when they were mowing flat ground or when they tried to cut a hilly area. This could happen for several reasons.


  • Stale/insufficient engine oil
  • Fuel delivery problems
  • Clogged fuel cap vent
  • Dirty air filter 
  • Faulty spark plug
  • Damaged ignition coil


First, check the state of the engine oil. The engine will shut down if the oil is not enough or has been overused. Top it up or change the oil if it is insufficient or stale. 

Clean or replace the air filter if it is dirty. Also, inspect the fuel cap vent and unclog it with a thin wire brush if it is blocked.

Then check the fuel system from the fuel tank to the carburetor for leaks, clogging, and other damage. 

Replace the spark plug if the plug is damaged, burnt, or stained with oil. Then test the ignition coil for spark with a spark tester. If no spark is produced, the coil is damaged and you will need to replace the ignition coil.

What Majority Of Users Feel About The Scag Freedom Z?

From customers’ reviews and personal research, the Scag Freedom Z mowers are generally good and worth the purchase. 

These mowers impressively blend speed, power, and longevity. They have won over customers all over the world thanks to their wide range of accessories, functionality, and ease of maintenance.

Other commendable features of this mower are fast ground speed, comfortable seats, and easily accessible components like the hydraulic system, oil tank, and others.

Customers however brought up a few common issues that I already outlined above and gave solutions. Nonetheless, keep in mind that these previously described and discussed problems might frequently arise with such utility vehicles and equipment.

They can easily be prevented or minimized with regular maintenance and proper care.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Kind Of Hydraulic Oil Does A Scag Freedom Z Take?

The Scag Freedom Z can take one gallon of SCAG Genuine OEM 20W-50 Hydro System Hydraulic Oil.

2. How Often Should I Change The Hydraulic Oil?

The hydraulic oil of your Scag Freedom Z should be changed after the first 120 hours of operation and after every 400 hours thereafter.

3. How Often Should You Change The Engine Oil In Your Scag Freedom Z?

The engine oil should be changed after every 100 hours of active use. Check the oil before each use and top it up if it is low.

4. Is Scag Freedom Z a Commercial Mower?

Yes, it is an ideal entry-level commercial mower. It provides durability, comfort, and quality performance that makes it tough and dependable for commercial use.

5. How Much Does The Scag Freedom Z Weigh?

It weighs about 745lb-765lb depending on the particular model.

6. How Fast Is a Scag Freedom Z?

 The scag freedom z mower has a forward ground speed of 8mph and a reverse ground speed of 5mph.


The Scag Freedom Z Is perfect as a beginner commercial mower or for homeowners looking for high-quality results.

However, just like every other machine and similar vehicles, it develops faults from time to time. I have covered these issues and proffered solutions to them in this article. 

Performing regular maintenance will help in prolonging the lifespan of the mower and prevent most of these issues from occurring.