Why Is My Ryobi Lawn Mower Self-Propelled Not Working?

The Ryobi lawn mower self-propelled not working can happen due to several reasons like-

  • Worn-out drive belt
  • Low oil level
  • Weak or dead battery
  • Faulty spark plug
  • Obstruction in the blade
  • Faulty ground speed sensor

Nevertheless, when it comes to fixing it, most of them can be fixed by replacing the faulty parts. On the other hand, for obstruction in the blade, you need to clear out everything that’s stuck in the blade. Similarly, you simply need a refill for low oil levels to get it back to working condition.

Well, as a Ryobi lawn mower owner, I can tell that just knowing what to replace won’t do the trick. An in-detailed replacement process is required for everything since most of us don’t have any prior knowledge of fixing them. So, without any further ado, let’s dig in deep.

5 Reasons Why Your Ryobi Lawn Mower Self-Propelled Not Working

A table detailing the problems and their solutions would give you a heads-up before I begin the comprehensive answer. So here’s the table that will come in handy.

Worn-out drive beltReplacement
Low oil levelRefill oil
Replace leaky gaskets and seals
Weak or dead batteryRecharge the battery
Replace the battery
Obstruction in the bladeTake out any obstructions from the blades
Clean the blades using a brush
Faulty ground speed sensorClean dirty or corroded connections
Replace the sensor

In this section, I will detail all the problems to understand the root of the cause. Alongside, I will give the potential solutions to each issue so that you can address them properly.

Worn-Out Drive Belt

One of the primary components of a self-propelled mechanism is the drive belt.  It connects the engine to the wheels, transferring power from the engine to propel the mower forward.

With a worn-out drive belt, the belt is prone to slippage, getting loose, and even breaking. This results in no tension in the entire system, which causes the self-propelled mechanism to fail.

It can happen due to friction and heat buildup or wear and tear from continuous use. On the other hand, improper tension in the belt can also lead to a worn-out belt.

Inconsistent drive power,  burning smells or smoke from the self-propelled system area, and unusual noises are some symptoms of the worn-out drive belt.

how to fix?

To solve this issue, you need to replace the drive belt. Here’s how you can do that;

  • Locate the drive belt underneath the mower deck.
  • Open up the mower deck using a wrench and remove any bolts and retaining clips.
  • Once you access the belt, take out your phone and take a picture of how the belt is routed.
  • Remove the old drive belt from the pulleys by releasing the tension from the tensioner.
  • Measure the length and width of your old drive belt to find the replacement of its kind.
  • Route the new drive belt according to the picture you have taken.
  • Reinstall everything back into position.

Advice: When replacing the belt, it is recommended to use a high-quality Ryobi-certified belt for extended usability and performance.

Low Oil Level

The transmission and engine of the mower need oil to function properly. Thus, the engine and gearbox parts may not receive enough lubrication when the oil level is too low.

As a result, it will only increase the friction and stress on moving parts, causing malfunction or complete failure of the self-propelled feature.

Nevertheless, the primary reasons for low oil levels are;

  • You may have just used the oil, and it just needs a refill.
  • If the oil reservoir has a leak, it can lose oil over time.
  • Poor maintenance can also contribute to the low oil levels.

READ: Why Is My Kohler Engine Runs Then Dies?

how to fix?

  • If the oil level is low due to age, refill the oil. Keep the oil level between the minimum and maximum level of the dipstick in the engine.
  • Visually inspect the areas around the oil reservoir.
  • Look for any oil stains or puddles underneath.
  • If you have come across oil stains or puddles, that means there is a leak present.
  • Simply take a look right above where the stain or puddle is present.
  • Take out the gaskets and seals that are present there and check if the gaskets and seals are tight and leak-free.
  • Replace gaskets and seals with new ones if you have come across one.

Note:  Before adding new oil, ensure that the engine is cool to avoid any potential burns.

Weak Or Dead Battery

As the self-propelled feature requires power from the battery to function, it’s quite obvious that it won’t function properly without a good battery. So whether it be a weak battery or a dead one, the power requirement of the self-propelled motor won’t be fulfilled.

how to fix?

Here’s what you can do about a dead or weak battery.

  • Check the battery condition by measuring the voltage with a multimeter, which should be around 24 volts.
  • If the voltage is below 18 volts, then try recharging the battery for at least 12 hours.
  • Connect the recharged battery to check if the self-propelled motor works.
  • If not, then the battery is dead, and you need to replace it with a new one.

Here’s a video that will help you with how to use the multimeter to check the battery:

Obstruction In The Blade

Your lawn mower may not be able to move forward if the blades become blocked with grass, leaves, or other debris. The self-propelled features may suffer as a result, malfunctioning occasionally or not functioning at all.

how to fix?

Here’s what you can do about obstruction in the blade;

  • Remove the grass catcher and any additional attachments.
  • Find the screws holding the housing of the mower together and remove them.
  • You should have access to the blades now. Clear out any visible obstructions in the blade.
  • Once removed, clean the blades with a soft brush.
  • Reassemble everything, and you are good to go.

Note: It is important to avoid using wire brushes when cleaning the blades.

Faulty Ground Speed Sensor

The ground sensor is an essential component of the self-propelled system. It signals the mower’s motor to rotate the wheels according to its needs.

However, with a faulty sensor, the sensor fails to send accurate signals as it can’t detect the ground properly.  As a result, the self-propelled feature doesn’t work at all.

how to fix?

Here’s how to fix a faulty ground sensor;

  • Locate the sensor according to your Ryobi lawn mower model. It is typically located near the wheels or within the drive system.
  • Visually inspect the sensor and look for damage.
  • If damaged, simply replace it with a new one.
  • If the sensor seems fine, then look for dirty or corroded connections causing a poor electrical connection.
  • Clean them using a soft brush and place the sensor back in place.

Advice: Make sure all fasteners are tightened securely but not excessively.

some common user questions [FAQs]

Here are some commonly asked questions regarding the Ryobi lawn mower self-propelled wont turn on.

Q: Are there any specific lubrication requirements for the self-propelled drive system components on a Ryobi lawn mower?

Yes, you need to lubricate components such as the transmission and axles of the self-propelled drive system. It should be done every 25-50 hours of operation, and ensure you use a high-quality lubricant for this process.

Q: Can extreme temperature conditions affect the functionality of the self-propelled feature on a Ryobi lawn mower?

No significant reports of weather affecting the functionality of the self-propelled system exist. They are made to withstand both hot and cold weather equally.

in verdict: Ryobi Lawn Mower Self-Propelled Not Working

Here are some advice from me that may help you during the troubleshooting process;

  • Always wear safety gear such as gloves, goggles, and dust masks.
  • Always disconnect the power source before starting any repair or troubleshooting.
  • Always use high-quality oil as otherwise, it can cause the engine to run poorly or not at all.
  • After completing repairs, start the mower and observe its performance to ensure that the issue has been resolved.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply