Riding Lawn Mower Steering Problems – [4 Causes + What To Do?]

No wonder it’s very troublesome for lawn mower owners to face steering problems all of a sudden, below are the most common ones. 

  1. Stiff steering or hard-to-steer
  2. Steering playing too much
  3. Steering not turning right or left
  4. Clipping or slipping steering and 

However, in today’s write-up, we’ll explore Riding Lawn Mower Steering Problems, the reasons for every problem of the riding lawn mower. Moreover, we’ll guide you through the possible fixes so that you can address each situation effectively.

Key Takeaways 

  • Steering is a crucial tool to run the lawn mower. But occasionally, this fundamental part encounters various problems- most commonly hard to steer, loosened steering or playing too much, not turning right or left, and clipping or slipping. 
  • To fix the issues, you need to lubricate moving parts of the steering, clean up the whole steering mechanism, and repair or replace the faulty or broken steering mechanism parts. 

troubleshooting common Riding Lawn Mower Steering Problems

Every now and then, sudden steering problems of the riding lawn mowers leave the owners in a query about what to do now in this situation. 

To save you the situation, and to tackle the problems like a pro, get to know all the lawn steering problems with effective solutions in this section. 

Problem 1. Stiff Steering Or Hard-To-Steer

As the time passed by with your riding lawn mower, the owners found it difficult to steer. In this case, the lack of lubrication and low tire pressure are the primary cause of the problem. Additionally, broken steering wires and worn-out bushings can be countable reasons. 

How To Fix?

So, to fix the issue, here are the easy steps that can help you out. 

  • Step 1: Check the tire pressure: To solve the problem, first ensure that the tires of your lawn mower steering are properly inflated. 
  • Step 2: Lubricate the parts: Now look at the steering to see whether there is any lack of lubrication. Check out the shaft of the steering and grease it out. 

You should also check and grease out the axle where the steering arms and the wheel meet. If your mower has a grease fitting, pump grease in it regularly. 

  • Step 3: Clean the dirt and debris: Inspect the parts of the steering and clean it out if there is a presence of dirt and debris. 
  • Step 4: Check the steering chain and wires: Next, check the wires and the chain of the steering of the mowers. If any of them is damaged, replace it with a new one.

Problem 2: Loose Steering Or Playing Too Much

No wonder, mowing will be difficult for you when you can’t steer your lawn mower properly. 

Say your lawn mower steering is feeling loose or playing too much. The possibility is that there is a broken or faulty tie rod, sector gear assembly, steering shaft, faulty wheel spindle, or front axle.

READ: Craftsman 30-Inch Riding Mowers With Cutting Deck In (2023)

How To Fix?

To solve the problem like a pro, inspect the below-mentioned parts and if any of them are faulty take the necessary steps. 

  • Riding mower tie rod: As for the tie rod, repair involves removing the tie rod and replacing it. When the steering is loose, you may need to replace the tie rod to fix it. So, check it out. 
  • Riding mower front axle: If the steering wheel is loose or the front wheel points outwards, inspect and replace the front axle of your riding lawn mower. 
  • Wheel spindle assembly: A bent or damaged wheel assembly makes your riding lawn mower not steer properly. If you find it damaged, replace it.   
  • Mower steering kit: As the last resort to resolve the loose steering of your riding lawn mower, you may need to remove and replace the whole steering kit. In this case, you can take the expert’s suggestions if you are unsure what to do.

Problem 3: Steering Not Turning Left Or Right

Steering Not Turning Left Or Right

If you have a problem where your lawn mower is not turning left or right, the problem is most commonly due to the accumulation of dirt in the steering mechanism. 

Typically, what happens is that, when you try to turn your steering the dirt gets compressed and it gets stopped there. That means, basically you need to clean out the whole area. 

How To Fix?

So, to clean out the steering mechanism of your riding lawn mower, check out the highlighted easy steps below. 

  • Step 1: Access the steering mechanism: First you need to get access to the steering mechanism. To do so, lower your lawn mower deck. 
  • Step 2: Mark the center: Now you can locate the gear teeth of the mechanism. Get your wheels straight and the steering in the center. 

Now take a Sharpie marker and make a mark on the gear plate where the gear teeth come after keeping the steering in the center. 

It is important so that you know where the center of the plate needs to be when the gear gets put back. 

  • Step 3: Disconnect wheel axle: Now disconnect the arm from the wheel axle and take out the whole gear plate setup. 
  • Step 4: Clean up: You can now easily see a groove of the mechanism. It can be full of dirt causing the problem. Clean out the whole area. Take a brush and clean out all the stuff out of the compartment. 
  • Step 5: Re-assemble: You are all done after cleaning. Put back everything now. Get the whole mechanism lined and get that right in the center of the groove of the gear on the steering column. 
Riding mower steering problems – won’t turn left (or right). How to fix

Problem 4: Clicking And Slipping Steering [source

If your lawn mower is clipping and slipping, this may include several reasons like faulty steering shaft, or sector gear assembly. In some cases, the reason can be that the whole steering has gone bad and needs to be replaced. 

How To Fix?

When the steering of your riding lawn mower is slipping or clicking, better to get the expert’s help as the fix may include replacing the steering. 

But if you are tech-savvy enough and want to do the job by yourself, then you can take the help of the below-referred video. 

How To Fix Riding Lawn Mower Steering Clicking and Slipping – Craftsman

in verdict: Tips To Prevent The Steering Problems Of The Riding Lawn Mower

You can improve the steering of your riding lawn mower preventing the problems with some basic troubleshooting tips. Let’s check that out. 

  • Always drive the lawn mower carefully and watchfully. 
  • While driving, avoid making sharp turns. 
  • Drive safely from hitting the mower with foreign objects. 
  • Make sure that the moisture doesn’t get into the mechanism. That’s because the moisture can penetrate the steering components and cause corrosion. 
  • Store the lawnmowers in the garage or storage shed away from the weather. 
  • Protect the rubber parts from the cold and heat extremes as it will cause them to crack or dry out.

READ: 7 Smallest Riding Lawn Mowers In 2023 – [Comprehensive Guide]

Riding Lawn Mower Steering Problems [FAQs] 

Well, hope that you have comprehended everything concerning every problem of your riding lawn mower. However here we have covered some of the most asked queries for additional knowledge. 

Why is my ride on the mower getting slower?

Multiple reasons make your riding mower slow. For instance, faulty drive belts, over-tension in the driving belt, damaged pulley spring problems with the governor and throttle, or the stuck speed shift lever. 

Do ride-on mowers have power steering?

Not actually that the ride-on mowers have power steering. But you can interpret the zero-turn mowers as having power steering as the mowers have steered in the different rotational rates of the drive wheels. 

Are riding mowers manual or automatic?

Riding lawn mowers have both automatic and manual transmission. As for the manual transmission, it offers a range of speeds. As for the automatic transmission of the riding lawn mower, you control the speed with the gas pedal. 

What is zero-turn steering on lawn mowers?

Zero-turn steering refers to the zero-degree-turn radius or the turning radius being zero inches. It is done due to the specialized way of steering. Here the lawn mower turns within its own length. 

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