Zero Turn Mower Problems

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A zero-turn lawn mower is an efficient and versatile riding mower suitable for medium and large-sized yards. It has dual steering which allows for easier maneuvering into tight corners and can cover a lot of ground in a short time. 

Yea, zero turn mowers work well, but unfortunately, they are not without drawbacks. Here are some common zero turn mower problems you should be aware of if you are planning to add one to your machine set:

  • Risky to mow on wet lawns
    Zero turn mowers struggle on wet lawns. This is one of the big challenges that users face. The mower’s front wheels periodically lose traction when placed on wet grass. They pose a serious threat of slipping and losing control while mowing. The fast-turning feature damages your lawn when you slip. 
  • Pollution
    Zero turn mowers are not eco-friendly. The gas-powered lawn mower generates a lot of hydrocarbons which can be harmful to the environment.
  • Quite costly
    Zero-turn mowers can be quite costly, starting from around $2000 and upwards. On average, they can consume up to three gallons of gas per operation. The cutting deck and hydrostatic transmission require frequent maintenance. This might also cost you a lot of money. 

    The invention of electric zero-turn mowers is impressive but they also come with high maintenance. Zero-turn accessories are often sold separately. For instance, the bagging kits cost an additional 400 to 800 dollars which is quite expensive.
  • Zero-turn hydrostatic transmission problems
    Some users have complained about the mower’s hydro-transmission system. It is prone to certain issues and this will necessitate routine maintenance procedures such as changing the hydro fluid or else, it will fail to function properly.
  • The problem of overturning
    They are quite heavy. Its weight might have negative effects on some lawns. It can roll over if you are mowing in sloppy areas that are more than 10-15 degrees. This can result in possible accidents.
  • Uneven mowing
    Though zero-turn mowers maneuver well on lawns, some users have complained that it does not cut grass evenly, especially while making turns.
  • Problems on rough terrains
    Some users have complained that its parts wear down quickly while mowing on uneven surfaces. You can also have problems with the handling of its speed on rough terrains. 
  • Ignition Problems 
    This is another peculiar zero-turn mower problem. They come with spark plugs, thus it is common they have problems with the ignition when the spark plugs get covered with debris, carbon or dirt.
  • Smaller model hiccups
    Although there are different models of zero-turn mowers, the smaller models are prone to hiccups. The front caster wheels of your zero-turn mower can easily get stuck in the soil. 
  • No brakes
    Most zero-turn mowers don’t come with brakes. They can only stop when the handles are in neutral. This makes mowing on slopes more difficult.
  • Non-traditional operation
    A zero-turn mower differs from traditional riding mowers. There is the absence of wheels at the driver’s side and lack of clutch pedals. 

    It uses two side levers to accelerate, decelerate and reverse. Users that are used to traditional riding mowers will have to take time to learn and adjust to the new system. This may be complex for them to master.  Learn more about the Pros and Cons of a Zero Turn Mower.
How to Troubleshoot a Zero-Turn Mower

How to Troubleshoot a Zero Turn Mower


There are ways to deal with the challenges associated with zero-turn lawn mowers. Here are some solutions you can explore:

Slipping and traction problems

  • Take necessary precautions when mowing in sloppy land or wet conditions:
  • Comfortably drive over grass.
  • Mow at a slow speed. 
  • Add some weight to the tires.
  • If the land is too wet or muddy, wait for it to get dry.
  • Ensure that the tire pressure is the recommended PSI value.
  • Do not ride directly up or down the steep.

Emission problems

You can reduce harmful emissions by doing these:

  • Mowing at a reduced speed.
  • Ensure that your mower is in good shape.

Hydraulic problems

  • Observe the maintenance routine as recommended by the manufacturer.

Gouging out grass

  • Properly adjust the blade before mowing.
  • Avoid making excessive sharp turns since it may tear a large chunk of your grass.