Skip to Content

How to Fix Steering on a Riding Lawnmower: What Are the Steps?

Are you having trouble steering your lawnmower? We’ve got you covered. Our team has years of experience in lawnmower maintenance, and we’re ready to share our knowledge with you. Let’s get your lawnmower steering like new.

To Fix Steering on a Riding Lawnmower:

First, park the mower, remove the spark plug cable, and set the wheels straight to fix the steering on a riding lawnmower. Then, check the tire pressure, steering gear, bearings, shafts, and linkages, and replace any damaged parts. Finally, test drive the mower, turning the wheel to check steering.

Are you tired of wrestling with your lawnmower every time you mow your lawn? We know the struggle, and we’re here to help. Our team has prepared a detailed guide based on years of experience in lawnmower maintenance. Read on to find out how to make your mowing experience enjoyable again.

Contents

Fixing the Steering on a Riding Lawnmower, Step-by-Step:

Please follow the procedure below to fix the steering mechanism on a riding lawnmower.

● Step 1: Perform initial measures:

To start, you must prepare the lawnmower by performing some initial preparations.

  • Park your mower: You need to find a flat surface and park your mower there.
  • Remove the spark plug cable: Disengage the mower blades by pulling the lever. Also, take the ignition key off. Disconnect the mower spark plug cable. This safety measure ensures that the mower can not unintentionally start.
  • Set the wheels straight: After that, adjust the mower’s wheels. Adjust the steering wheel so that the wheels are pointing forward. The steering wheel should be at its default center position.

For those trying to fix their lawnmower’s steering for the first time, my advice is to start with the simplest solutions, like checking for loose components. Don’t be afraid to seek professional help if needed. Remember, everyone starts somewhere, and with patience and perseverance, you can learn to maintain and repair your lawnmower.

● Step 2: Checking tire pressure:

It can be challenging to steer if the tire pressure is not correct. If the tire pressure is low, navigating the riding lawnmower correctly will be tough. Check the tire pressure on all wheels. Use your mower’s operator’s manual to check the tire pressure.

Use a pressure gauge to check the pressure as well. The reading in the tires should be as mentioned in the manual. Fill them up or release air from the tires until they match the amount of pressure in psi as suggested in the manual.

● Step 3: Checking steering gear and the steering loose:

The steering gear is an essential thing that allows us to steer. If it is damaged or broken, you will face steering issues. The steering gear controls the whole steering system. The steering gear can dislodge if you hit a tree, rock, or brick while mowing.

A bolt holds this steering gear. You must loosen that bolt and turn the steering wheel to the left. The equipment will produce a popping sound on returning to its original position. After hearing that sound, tighten the bolt back. It indicates that the gear is broken and you must replace it with a new one.

● Step 4: Replacing the damaged bushings:

The bushings are inside the steering gear and hold the bolts in place. Damaged bushings might lead to vibrations in the gear shaft.

To replace it, you need to remove the nut that holds the gear sector. Take the gear sector off the machine and then remove the bushings. After inserting the new one, reattach the gear sector and tighten the nut.

● Step 5: Replacing damaged lawnmower bearings, shafts, and washers:

Bearings, rods, and washers are not huge. Still, they play a vital role as structural members in the steering mechanism of a lawnmower. If they seem damaged or worn, you might face steering issues.

– Lawnmower Bearings:

Bearings allow the wheels to turn on the shafts by providing ample lubrication. The shaft might oscillate eccentrically if the bearings are damaged.

  • Step 1: To replace it, remove the dust cap and snap the ring holding the wheel.
  • Step 2: Remove the wheels and remove the bearings from the axle.
  • Step 3: The bearings use grease to run smoothly. Grease them from both inside and outside. Also, use the lubricant on the inside of the wheel.
  • Step 4: Reinstall the wheel after you are done.

– Lawnmower Shafts:

The shafts provide rotatory motion from the steering wheel to the gearbox. If these are damaged, you need to replace them as well.

  • Step 1: First, remove the mower deck, steering wheel, sprocket, and gas tank.
  • Step 2: Using pliers, remove the steering shaft’s spring clip by lifting the mower’s front end.
  • Step 3: Remove the post-holding bolts, slide the washers, and remove the old shaft.
  • Step 4: Check the washers as well. If they are broken, then you need to replace them.
  • Step 5: After replacing the shaft and washers, reinstall the bolts and slide the shaft up through the bushing.
  • Step 6: Reinstall the fuel tank After lowering the mower and inserting spring clips.
  • Step 7: Finally, reattach the steering wheel and tighten it correctly.

Check the following links for some guidance:

● Step 6: Checking the lawnmower linkages:

Linkages are rods that are attached to the steering box. They are connected in different ways depending on the mower’s model. To replace them, you need first to check the model of your lawnmower. Any damage to these linkages affects your mower’s steering.

So they need an immediate replacement. For this, you need to find the mounting points of connection. There are bolts present at each end. Remove these bolts and install a new linkage.

In my 20 years of experience, I’ve found that the most common issues with lawnmower steering are loose components, worn-out gears, and damaged steering shafts. These problems manifest as excessive play in the steering wheel, difficulty turning, or the mower not responding to steering input. It’s crucial to identify these symptoms early to prevent further damage.

● Step 7: Testing the lawnmower:

After you have followed the step-by-step process, you need to test drive your mower. Start your mower as usual. Start moving your mower around. Check the steering of the lawnmower and see if it is fixed. The problem should be gone if you have followed the steps mentioned above.

Some Precautionary Measures:

While repairing or inspecting a lawnmower, you should always take care of safety precautions. It keeps you safe from any incident. Some of the precautionary steps that you should follow are given below:

  • Use safety gloves throughout the procedure when you are dealing with sharp parts
  • Turn off the ignition and disconnect the spark plug cable as mentioned earlier.
  • Use sturdy shoes.
  • Use lubricants to loosen screws and bolts.

Frequently asked questions:

1. The Lawnmower steering wheel is loose; what will be done?

If your steering wheel is loose, you must replace some essential things. You must return the tie rod if the steering is loose and the wheel is not moving. Follow the video below if you need any help.

2. What should be the correct tire pressure for my lawnmower?

Correct tire pressure is essential for steering. If the tire pressure is not accurate, it will affect the wheels’ traction and thus make it harder for them to complete turns. The Tire pressure of lawnmowers is generally measured in pounds per square inch (PSI).

The factory setting for a standard riding lawnmower is 10 PSI for the rear and 14 PSI for the front tires. Please check the owner’s manual to grasp the acceptable pressure values better. 2-3 PSI difference is also acceptable. This is common to all riding mowers.

Safety should always be the top priority when working on a lawnmower’s steering system. I always advise people to disconnect the spark plug before starting, wear protective gloves and eyewear, and ensure the mower is on a flat, stable surface. These precautions have kept me safe throughout my career.

3. Why is the steering loose on the front wheel of my lawnmower, and it is angled out? What to do?

If your riding mower’s front wheels are angled out, you must fix them quickly because they can cause steering issues. It may be loose, so you need to repair it. Firstly, disconnect the spark plug to prevent accidents.

Now, check the wheel’s mounting bolt. If it is loose, tighten it by using a wrench or replace it if it is broken. You might need a kit for this repair.

However, if the wheel is broken, you must replace the riding lawn mower wheel with a new one. Buy a new wheel from any hardware shop suitable for your mower or lawn tractor and replace it with the older one. You can find the required parts in many hardware stores.

Remarks

Steering is one of the most crucial mechanisms of a riding mower or lawn tractor. Fixing it is not as easy as fixing some other mower components. The parts and linkages associated with it are pretty high in number.

Hence, figuring out which part is malfunctioning is always tough and needs replacement. To avoid such problems with your lawnmower, always be sure that you drive it carefully and don’t bump into rocks and other obstacles, as this can loosen and damage specific components.

You can find many articles and videos online to guide you through fixing the riding mower tie rod and other components for better engagement.

    ..