Summer is here, which means the sun is shining and your lawn is growing faster than you can keep up with it. We know how frustrating it can be when "mow the lawn" is on your honey-do list and your riding lawn mower isn't working. Here are a few troubleshooting tips to get the riding mower going to trim your lawn and that to do list!
Basic Riding Lawn Mower Repair Tips
Start by determining which riding mower parts are impacted. Will it start? Will the blades run? Will the throttle engage? Once you have figured out where the problem lies, it is easy to determine the correct repair process.
If the mower will not start, check the gas tank. You may be out of gas, have a tank full of bad gas or have the wrong gas - such as diesel. If this is the case, it is a pretty simple fix! Next, check the spark plugs and the battery. Replace any bad spark plugs and scrub corrosion off of your battery. Many new riding mowers are equipped with a sensor that requires the driver be seated before the mower will start. Occasionally, the sensors go bad or the connections will slip. If this happens, the riding mower never knows that you are sitting on it.
When the mower starts, but the blades won't work, check the belts on the mower deck, as sometimes they can slip or break. If this is the case, you may need to call an authorized repair company. Replacing the mower belts can be difficult and requires a lot of patience or assistance from someone who has done it in the past.
If the throttle isn't working, check the cable that goes from the throttle to the engine. There are a few possible reasons the throttle won't engage, including engine troubles. Should the problem lie in the engine, you will need assistance from someone experienced in small engines.
Just like your car, your riding mower can easily get a flat tire. Remove the impacted tire from the mower axle and refill it. Cover the filled tire with a mix of dish detergent and water then look for bubbles forming - any place you see a bubble, there is a leak. If you see a leak in the tread, you can patch it easily with a tire repair kit.
If your valve stem is leaking, purchase a replacement valve at an auto repair store. Remove the old valve, clean the hole, grease the new valve and slide it into place. Inflate the tire again and check for any other leaks.
You may notice dry rot growing on the tires if you are taking the riding mower out for the first time this season. If this is the case, it's time to replace the tires. You can try to repair the tire, but most of the time it's just better to get a new one.
MTD Repair Tips
MTD riding mowers are very popular and available from many retailers, which means there is a greater likelihood this is the mower in your garage. If you are having problems with your MTD riding mower, start by consulting the owner's manual. This will offer a few troubleshooting tips to get the process started. Next, make sure the parking brake is properly set and the gears are in neutral. Both the brake and the gear must be set before the mower can start.
Lift the seat and check the kill switch, which is usually located on or under the riding mower seat. The switch is designed to kill power if the operator falls off the mower. Damage to the switch or a loose connection may be the problem.
If you are in the middle of a riding lawn mower repair and don't know how to finish, it's time to call an authorized repair company. Never be afraid to ask for help if you need it; in some cases repairs are more time-consuming or difficult than you first anticipated.
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