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Do Lawn Mower Belts Stretch? 10 Things You Should Know

Having a lawnmower is one thing but keeping it in great working condition is something different. From ensuring it cuts grass neatly, learning how to sharpen blades, fixing broken belts, proper maintenance of machines ensures their efficiency. With lawnmowers, you would want to think about several components that make them work effectively. Take, for example, self-propelled mowers; you do understand that a mishap in the belt and pulley system can trigger a series of machine hitches and glitches.

Do Lawn Mower Belts Stretch?

Yes, lawnmower belts can stretch. Continuous wear due to regular operation can cause them to elongate over time. When it stretches more than it should, it can result in the drive belts lose grip on the pulley system. When that happens, the efficiency of mowers takes a dip. You can adjust the belt tightness in some cases. In other situations, a belt replacement might be inevitable.

When a belt stretches such that it starts slipping, it means that the power transmission via belt drives to the engine, and wheels will not work well. Take note that some mowers rely on pulley systems to cut grass. You should, therefore, understand that when a lawnmower fails to move backward or forward, the chances are high that belts are the culprits. It’s either they have stretched due to wear and tear, or they are not the right fit for your machine (you can find Lawn Mower Belts here). This post will explain why belts in lawn mowers stretch and share more on this subject, so keep reading to learn more.

What causes a lawn mower belts to stretch?

You have probably asked lots of questions about lawnmowers, but here is the catch. Did you get the right answers?  For example, do lawnmower belts stretch, and what causes it? Based on many studies that further help explain the answer we gave at the beginning of the post, here is what you should know.

Wear and tear:

Lawnmower belts stretch due to wear and tear, something that should expect with any machine. Over time, continued use of these lawnmowers results in some problems. And with belts, losing grip on the threads is not always about using oversized fittings like many tend to think. When belts stretch, they lose contact with the pulley system, making it difficult to move the mower forward or backward. You could say such is a situation that makes it difficult or even impossible to cut grass. You can find Lawn Mower Belts here.

Age and quality of the belt:

Another reason why belts on lawnmowers may appear to have stretched is because of quality or age. You may have bought replacement belts just recently, but did you check to confirm they are original? The truth is that many a handyman always wants to save money when purchasing spare parts, but why should you go for low-quality belts at the expense of your mower’s optimal function? So, what’s the catch? Always buy a top-quality drive belt so it can serve you better and for longer. You can find Lawn Mower Belts here.

How to know if a lawnmower belt is stretched

Let’s face it. Loose lawnmower belts can wreak havoc on your plans of having a neat and clean homestead. So, a question every handyman should try to answer is how does one know when belts drive loose?

Stretched mower are loose, and these are the following telling symptoms:

  • Loose grip: First off, as the name suggests, stretched belts lose an effective grip on the pulley system. You can feel it by touching the drive. Their tension is low. Needless to say, stretched belts pose a bigger risk to the engine than any other part of the mower.
  • A lot of noise: Another sign of stretched lawnmower belts is that they often produce a lot of noise. If the noise is not a squeaky one, then it is a high-pitched squeal.

Adjusting the tension of lawn mower belts

There are two ways of dealing with loose belts in lawnmowers. It is either you adjust the tension or replace them. So, to start with, here is a question we should help you answer shortly. How do you adjust the tension of loose belts? Remember, belts should have a first grip of the pulley system for mowers to function efficiently and move around without any difficulty.

If you choose to adjust loose belts, it is often a case of re-reusing pulley belts because they are not badly worn out.

Replacing lawn mower belts

One of the many questions that homesteaders often ask is how to replace worn-out mower belts. Well, having known that wear and tear cause these belts to stretch, we would understand your frustration should you seek advice on replacing them. You can find Lawn Mower Belts here.

The truth is that a novice would need some handy tips to get things done the right way. You should also note that depending on the type of lawnmower you have, the procedure for replacing loose belts may vary slightly. Take a look at the following steps:

● Step 1: Park your lawnmower:

Drive the mower to a flat place, then park it. It could be a driveway, but we emphasize safe parking so that it does not move as soon as you start replacing belts. You can put a rock/stone/brick under the wheels to ensure it will not move. With good parking comes the next question. Are you able to get a good view of the deck underneath, and most importantly, the belt drive? If so, move to step two. If not, find a good place to park your machine.

● Step 2: Remove the spark plug:

The next step is that you should remove the spark plug. Leaving it attached to the mower may cause it to start accidentally, an experience you don’t want to go through, especially when replacing belts. You can use duct tape to hold the plug against the body of the mower.

● Step 3: Remove the components:

Using a screw wrench or a screwdriver depending on the type of lawnmower, remove the pulley cover. Before loosening the belt, remove tension in the pulley by loosening its springs. Remove the belts.

In some cases, you pull forward the spring-loaded arm that adds tension to the pulley system. By doing so, you slack the drive belt, making it loose hence easy to remove.

● Step 4: Install the belt and reassemble:

Considering step three above, you should install a new belt by pulling forward the spring-tension pulley arm. Make sure the flat side faces outwards as you unset the new belt into the rear pulley’s threads. You can find Lawn Mower Belts here.

Now, tighten the screws and bolts you removed earlier with the pulley cover. Connect the spark plug, then start your lawnmower. It should work properly after testing. In case of a hitch, something may have gone wrong during the replacement process. You should contact your seller for advice. 

A point of caution: You should always take appropriate safety measures when replacing belts. Most importantly, check the pulley system to make sure there is no debris of a broken belt. You don’t want to end up with even bigger problems after replacing an old belt with a new one. Take, for example, a belt failing to move at the right speed because the remains of a broken one are a hindrance to its optimal function. That’s not all.

Friction and overheating may also become a problem with which you don’t want to deal. While we cannot ascertain whether a fire outbreak is likely to happen, it is not to rule out. Now, think about this: what would happen if debris of a broken mower belt gets caught by the blades? Well, that’s something about which to think. In the meantime, let’s move on to something even more interesting.

When replacing belts, you should ensure it is the best for the drive. On this premise, measuring its length becomes indispensable. The question is, how do you do it? Well, we have some answers for you as follows:

  • Flat surface: First off, put the spare belt on a table or any flat surface.
  • Tape measure: Get a tape measure and wrap it around the belt in question. Remember, this is a procedure for complete belts. Measuring the length of broken belts should be easy. Just stretch it alongside a tape measure and then get the value of its length from the tape measure readings.

The reason for taking these measurements is to get a good replacement for stretched belts, if not a replica. We always emphasize a need to buy new belts from the manufacturer. You can find Lawn Mower Belts here.

Does lubricating lawnmower belts help to prevent them from stretching?

Maybe we saw this question coming, maybe not. But it’s probably something many would ask regarding moving parts of a machine.

You should not lubricate a lawn mower belt, which includes any surface with which it will come into contact. While it may be tempting to do so, it will increase the chances of slip. Wetting drive belts with a lubricant not only makes them ineffective but is also not advised.

Final Thoughts

There are no shortcuts to improving the efficiency of lawnmowers. The good news is that apart from DIY maintenance and care tips, you can learn from experts, new acquisitions come with comprehensive user guides. From learning how to use a lawnmower, tips on replacing worn-out parts, to testing belts for a stretch, the list is endless. Here, we always endeavor to bring you the best tips to help solve your lawn mowing problems.

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  1. Willard Russell says:

    I never thought about measuring the length of the belts before replacing them, good tip!

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Willard! Remember, properly measuring the length of the belts before replacing them is crucial for efficient lawn mower operation. Keep up the good work!

  2. Frank Sutton says:

    Great article, I feel more confident about maintaining my lawnmower now!

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Frank! I’m glad the article helped boost your confidence in maintaining your lawnmower. Remember, regular maintenance is key to keeping it in top shape. Happy mowing!

  3. Seth George says:

    I never realized how many factors can affect the efficiency of a lawnmower, thank you for the details.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you for reading! Regular maintenance is essential for optimal lawnmower performance. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask. Happy mowing!

  4. Robin Little says:

    I will be bookmarking this for future reference, so much valuable information!

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Robin! I’m glad you found the information valuable. Bookmarking it for future reference is a great idea. Let me know if you have any questions in the future.

  5. Joanne Murphy says:

    I appreciate the detailed steps on how to replace a lawnmower belt, very helpful!

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Joanne! I’m glad you found the steps helpful. Proper maintenance is key to keeping your lawnmower running smoothly. Let me know if you have any other questions!

  6. Alexander Hicks says:

    What should I do if my lawnmower makes a lot of noise?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      It sounds like your lawnmower belt may have stretched. Adjusting the tension or replacing it might help reduce the noise. You can find quality belts for your mower here.

  7. Javier Lambert says:

    Is there a way to make lawnmower belts last longer?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Regular maintenance and proper tension adjustment can help extend the life of lawnmower belts. Check for wear and tear regularly. For more information, refer to the blog post.

  8. Aubree Jimenez says:

    What tools do I need to replace lawnmower belts?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      To replace lawnmower belts, you will need a tape measure to measure the length of the belt, a flat surface to work on, and new belts from the manufacturer for a perfect fit. Good luck!

  9. Ralph Stephens says:

    Very useful information, I will definitely be checking my lawnmower belts more often now.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Glad you found the information helpful, Ralph! Keeping up with lawnmower maintenance is key to a well-functioning machine. Happy mowing!

  10. Troy Snyder says:

    Will adjusting the tension of the belt help with its efficiency?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Yes, adjusting the tension of the belt can improve efficiency. Keep it tight to ensure proper grip on the pulley system for optimal mower performance.

  11. Ramona Rivera says:

    I had no idea that stretched belts could affect the grip on the pulley system, good to know!

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thanks for your comment, Ramona! Yes, stretched belts can affect the pulley grip. It’s essential to keep an eye on these belts for optimal lawnmower performance.

  12. Byron Crawford says:

    Is it easy to replace the belts on a lawnmower on my own?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Yes, it is possible to replace the belts on a lawnmower on your own. Understanding the signs of stretched belts is crucial, as well as following proper replacement steps. Best of luck!

  13. Leon Ramirez says:

    Can you recommend a good brand for replacement belts?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Hi Leon, I recommend looking into the Stens brand for replacement lawn mower belts. They are known for their quality and durability. Hope this helps!

  14. Michelle Bailey says:

    This is very informative, I had no idea that lawnmower belts could stretch!

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Michelle! It’s essential to understand how each component of your lawnmower works for optimal performance. Regular maintenance can help prevent issues like stretched belts and keep your machine running smoothly.

  15. Pauline Chavez says:

    This post has everything I needed to know about lawnmower belts, thank you for sharing!

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Thank you, Pauline! I’m glad you found the information about lawnmower belts helpful. Feel free to reach out if you have any more questions or need further assistance.

  16. Nellie Rice says:

    How often should I replace the belts on my lawnmower?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Regularly inspect belts for wear and replace as needed. Adjusting tension can help in some cases, but remember quality is key. View our guide for more details.

  17. Isaac Carr says:

    I always thought my lawnmower was just getting old, but now I know it might just need a new belt!

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Glad you found the information helpful, Isaac! Keeping your lawnmower in top condition is key for optimal performance. A new belt might be just what it needs. Happy lawn mowing!

  18. Virgil Reynolds says:

    I always wondered about lubricating the belts, thanks for clearing that up!

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      I’m glad the post was helpful! Remember not to lubricate the belts to prevent slipping. Proper maintenance is key to keeping your lawnmower running smoothly. Thank you for reading!

  19. Celina Myers says:

    Thank you for the caution about taking safety measures when replacing the belts.

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      “Thank you for your feedback, Celina. Safety is key when replacing belts to ensure your lawnmower works well. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any other questions. Happy mowing!”

  20. Sophie Young says:

    How can I prevent my lawnmower belts from stretching?

    • Allard Vdhooft says:

      Regular maintenance and proper tension adjustments can help prevent lawnmower belts from stretching. Keep on top of it to keep your mower running smoothly!