Zero Turn One Side Not Working – Reasons And Fixtures

Zero-Turn-One-Side-Not-WorkingOn many zero-turn mowers, one side of the mower can lose power and not work properly. This is known as a “dead spot.” The most common causes of dead spots are clogged filters, dirty air filters, faulty spark plugs, wire/spark plugs, and loose connections at the engine or solenoid pack (if equipped).

If the wheel is not spinning freely or rubbing against something, you will need to get this fixed as soon as possible. This can be done by taking your mower to a repair shop or doing some repairs yourself.

For example, let’s say that your zero-turn mower has been working fine for years but suddenly, one side does not work anymore. 

  • The first thing you should check is whether or not there are any loose bolts or nuts on the wheel assembly. These small parts may come loose over time and cause problems with your mower’s performance.
  • Check the drive belt on your zero-turn mower if this does not fix your problem. This belt connects directly to both sides of your wheels, so if it breaks or becomes loose, both sides will stop working together. You can replace this part by finding a replacement online or buying a new belt from your local hardware store.

Possible Reasons Of Zero Turn One Side Not Working

Zero Turn One Side Not Working One Word Solution
Clogged filters Use a vacuum cleaner to clean out any dirt 
Dirty air filters Clean out any debris in the filter by blowing air
Faulty spark plugs Change it if its fuse or need repair to consult an expert.
Displaced Freewheeling Rod check hydraulic health and fix if it is displaced
Spline Stripped/Damaged If there are no cracks and only dents or gouges in the splines, you can try using a hand file or grinder to smooth out the surface.
Bad Dampers Replacement is the best option
Traction Adjustment examine your operator’s manual
Dragging Brake Rebuilding the brake 
Lack of Tire Compression on One Side Inflate the tires to the proper pressure


Zero Turn One Side Not Working Well – Let’s Get The Solution In Detail Of Every Part

Clogged Or Dirty Air Filter

Clogged Or Dirty Air Filter

The most common cause of one side of the mower not working is a clogged or dirty air filter. You need to check to see if the blades are turning and ensure that nothing is obstructing the blade. If you have a mulching lawn mower, remove the mulching plug and ensure it is not clogged with grass.

How to fix this problem?

  • Remove the filter from the machine and use the vacuum to clean the filters. 
  • Then rinse it under warm running water until all dirt and dust have been removed. 
  • Do not use soap or detergent on your filters, as they will cause them to clog up again very quickly! 
  • Remove all debris from your filter using a brush or washcloth if necessary.
  • After rinsing it, dry your filter with a towel or paper towel before putting it back in your vacuum cleaner.

Faulty Spark Plug

Faulty Spark Plug

A faulty spark plug can cause various problems with your vehicle’s performance, including reduced fuel efficiency, poor acceleration, and other issues. In some cases, it could also lead to a complete engine breakdown.

If this happens, you should take your vehicle to a mechanic as soon as possible so that he can diagnose and repair the problem with your vehicle’s spark plugs.

Steps To Remove And Install Your Spark Plug

This can be done at home by following these steps:

  1. Locate the spark plug that is not working properly and remove its cover by turning it counterclockwise with a wrench.
  2. Remove the old spark plug from its housing by pulling it out gently with your hands or using pliers if it does not come out easily. 

Displaced Freewheeling Rod

Zero-turn mowers are used for cutting large areas of land. A zero-turn mower has a freewheeling rod that controls the direction of the mower. If the freewheeling rod is displaced, it can cause a problem in the hydrostatic unit.

The displacement of the freewheeling rod will cause the zero-turn mower to move in only one direction. The hydrostatic unit is a sealed unit and cannot be repaired by anyone other than a professional technician.

You can fix this problem by repairing the damaged freewheeling rod or replacing it with a new one. You can find replacement parts at any hardware store or online retailer.


To repair your zero-turn mower’s displaced freewheeling rod:

  1. Remove the cover on the right side of the engine compartment by loosening the four screws holding it in place.
  2. Remove the bolt holding the clutch quadrant to its support bracket using a socket wrench and ratchet.
  3. Loosen the lock nut on the idler pulley with a wrench and remove it from its bracket.
  4. Remove the belt between the flywheel and crankshaft pulley by pulling on one end while pushing down on the other with your hand or with a flat-head screwdriver or chisel if necessary.
  5. Remove the bolt holding the freewheeling rod to its bracket using a wrench and ratchet, and remove both pieces inside your mower deck housing/housing cover (the piece you removed earlier).

Spline Stripped/Damaged

Spline Stripped Damaged

If the spline is stripped out, you must replace the entire gearcase. If it is damaged and not completely stripped out, you may be able to fix it.

How To Fix?

  • Check for spline cracks by looking at the edges. 
  • You will need to replace the entire gear case if there are cracks. 
  • If there are no cracks and only dents or gouges in the splines, you can use a hand file or grinder to smooth the surface. 
  • You may have to repeat this process several times before the splines are smooth enough to engage properly with each other. 
  • Once they are smooth enough to engage properly, use grease so they will not strip again as easily.

Bad Dampers

Bad Dampers

Bad dampers usually have cracks or holes that allow oil or grease to leak out of them while they spin around inside your lawn mower. This can cause poor performance from your mower because it will not receive the proper lubrication required for optimal performance. The best way to repair bad dampers is by replacing them with new ones from your local hardware store (or online).

Traction Adjustment

The traction adjustment is located on the back of the mower, under the seat. You can adjust the traction by turning a small screw with a flat-head screwdriver or hex key.

The correct setting for your mower will depend on your specific model. 

  • If you’re having trouble staying on the ground and your tires are slipping, turn the adjustment screw counterclockwise to increase traction.
  • If you experience difficulty steering and maneuvering through tight spaces, turn the adjustment screw clockwise to decrease traction.

Dragging Brake

Dragging Brake

A zero-turn mower is a great piece of equipment on your property, but it can be very frustrating if you need help with the braking system. If you are experiencing issues with your zero-turn mower’s brakes, there are some things that you can do to try and fix the problem.

One of the first things you should check is whether or not your brake pedals are working properly. If they are not working properly, you will need to replace them before troubleshooting the rest of your mower’s braking system.

Lack of Tire Compression on One Side

Lack of Tire Compression on One Side

Tire Compression is a term used to describe the force applied by the tire against the ground. Often, this can be measured using a gauge you can purchase at your local auto parts store. The gauge measures how much pressure is being applied by your tires and shows whether they are underinflated or overinflated. This is known as low tire compression when you have problems with a tire not holding air or losing air quickly due to low pressure.

Reasons For Problems

If you are having issues with one side of your zero-turn mower not holding air, this can be caused by several problems, including:

  1. The valve stem on the wheel may have been damaged during use.
  2. The valve stem was not properly installed when it was replaced.
  3. There is damage to the wheel, preventing it from properly holding air.

Splines If Damaged

The splines are the teeth on the rim of the tires. The rim and tire need to be replaced. If you are lucky, the splines may be damaged or broken and not completely separated from the rim. If this is the case, you can repair them by tapping them back into place with a mallet or hammer.

Blade Weight Isn’t Balanced

Blade weight is off balance. The easiest way to find out is by picking up the mower and spinning it. If the blades are even, they will spin freely, while if they are not balanced, they will spin unevenly. You can also check blade weight by using a scale. Put the weight on both sides and see which side makes it heavier. If the right side is heavier than the left, you need to replace the left side weights with new ones.

Can Dull Blades on a Zero-Turn Mower Cause Injury?

You can have serious injuries if your blades are dull and you use them on your zero-turn mower. If your blade is dull, it won’t cut grass as efficiently as it should, so you must push harder on the paddles to get the job done. This means that more torque will be placed on the blade lift mechanism and could lead to an accident if not enough lubricant has been applied or if there are other problems with the assembly itself.

Can Blade Lift Mechanism Problems Cause Injury?

Another problem that can lead to injury is a problem with your blade lift mechanism itself. If there’s something wrong with one of these parts or worn out, they won’t work as well as they should and can cause injury during your zero-turn mower operation.

Winding Up

We have provided you an ultimate guide to introducing a few important one sides of zero turn. Working on a zero-turn mower is relatively easy. There are simple steps to follow, and you will get your one side working if you follow them to the end.

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