Blade Drive Belts – Common Problems and Solutions

If you’ve got a self-propelled push mower or a riding mower, your mower will have a blade drive belt, or multiple belts, that transfer the power from the engine to the blade. Sometimes, these belts begin to wear out, or run into other issues. Today, we’ll look at potential issues that can come up with blade drive belts, their symptoms, and what you can do to fix them.

Blade drive beltBlade Drive Belt Comes Off During Use

Blade drive belts can work their way loose during operation, being thrown off of their pulleys and flying loose. Once the belt comes off, the blade will stop spinning, and you will notice resistance when you try and push the mower, as the self-propulsion feature is gone. You’ll also hear the engine spin faster – there’s no resistance of the belt, axle, and blade. The drive belt coming off can cause damage to the cords inside of the belt, as well as to the body of the mower and the engine.

If this is an issue, take the following steps to fix the problem:

  • Check the belt tension, if it is looser than recommended in your manual, adjust the tension.
  • Check all pulleys for damage, and replace as necessary.
  • Look for foreign objects that may be interfering with belt travel.

Blade Drive Belt Slips

Sometimes during use, the drive belt slips as it spins, failing to get proper traction and sometimes causing the blade to skip or lag. Most often, this is due to the grass being high or wet. High grass is harder to get through, meaning there will be more resistance against the blade as it spins, causing the drive belt to slip a bit. Wet grass provides more resistance as well, while the water lubricates.

If this problem occurs, take the following steps to remedy it:

  • Check tension spring for belt. If the spring is damaged or stretched, replace the spring
  • Check the belt for excessive wear that can reduce traction. Replace if worn.
  • Check the belt tension, if it is looser than recommended in your manual, adjust the tension.

Blade Drive Belt Wears Down Quickly

You should take a look at your drive belt every so often, and see how it is wearing. If you seem to be replacing the belt more often than expected, you may have something wrong under the deck. All drive belts will wear to some degree, so you should expect that after years of use, yours will wear down. However if it is a yearly event, or even more frequent, there could be malfunctions or damage to sensitive parts inside your mower.

If heavy wear of your drive belt is a constant problem, take a look at the following:

  • Check pulleys for damage, repair or replace as necessary.
  • Look for foreign objects that may be causing the damage, and remove.
  • Check mower deck level – an uneven level can cause wear and tear.
  • Check blade tension and adjust as necessary
  • Make sure the blade brake is completely clear from the belt when the clutch lever is engaged – a brake can drag on the belt and wear it down quickly.

If you need to strip down and replace your bet, a great step-by-step procedure can be found here if your owners’ manual doesn’t have one for you to follow.

The blade drive belt in your mower is one of the last things people usually look at when their mower begins to malfunction but it can be one of the prime causes of difficulty during mowing. Make sure you keep up on it, and if need be, take it to a professional if you feel the level of maintenance required is more than you can handle.

About AndrewT

Written by Andrew T for LawnEq - The specialists for Lawn Mower Parts and Small Engine Parts. We offer genuine premium OEM parts for Land Pride, Toro and many more dependable brands.