How to start a cub cadet riding lawnmower, step by step


Cub cadet manufactures gas lawnmowers in different sizes and various features to fit consumers’ needs. From smaller push mowers to larger riding machines. Cub cadet lawnmowers are sturdy and fuel-efficient. Many lawn owners prefer them over other riding mower brands. They have several levers and knobs, so it might be confusing for someone who sees them for the first time. If you are one of those and plan to use a cub cadet lawnmower, this blog post will help you.

How to start a cub cadet lawnmower, step by step

  • Step 1: Prepare the Cub Cadet Lawnmower and
  • Step 2: Check the battery
  • Step 3: Check the oil and gas
  • Step 4: Disengage the PTO, enable the choke and Start the mower
  • Step 5: Activate the cruise control if your mower model has one.
  • Step 6: Use the cub cadet lawnmower in reverse with blades engaged

Starting your cub cadet mower involves checking the essential components like the battery, oil, and fuel. Accustom yourself to the various controls you need to start using your mower. The following steps will give you the detail about the task

Starting a cub cadet lawnmower can be intimidating, specifically if you’ve never done it before. You may get confused with the controls and the cruise control that comes with modern versions. While there are some differences between cub cadet lawnmower models, almost all of them have the same basic procedure. This blog post will explain the basic starting procedure and how to use a cub cadet lawnmower properly. It will also answer some of the common questions you might have and the working of various parts.

How to properly start and use a Cub Cadet riding Lawnmower:

If you are not an experienced Cub Cadet lawnmower user, it is good to read the user manual before starting any task. For something like starting your Cub Cadet lawnmower, the manual has detailed instructions and pictorial references. If you do not have the manual at hand or want to know more, we will look into the starting procedure in more detail:

● Step 1: Prepare the Cub Cader Lawnmower

Place the Cub Cadet lawnmower on a smooth and level surface, free of any dirt and obstacles that can harm the blades. Enable the lawnmower’s parking brakes so that it does not start rolling when you turn on the power. To enable them, use the pedal on the left side of your riding lawnmower. Press them gently to apply.

● Step 2: Check the Cub Cadet lawn mower battery

To easily start the Cub Cadet lawnmower, you need to have a good working battery. The battery is located beneath the seat. Use a battery tester to make sure that the condition of the battery is ok. If you have not used the mower recently, it is a good idea to charge it first. Most batteries lose their charge relatively quickly. Particular with lower temperatures. If you are storing the lawnmower for an extended time, it is a good idea to remove it from the mower. And use a trickle charger to keep it in good shape.

To charge to the battery, you can leave it in the mower. If you have a modern charger, you can connect it to the battery. There is no need to disconnect the power cables. If you use an older type of battery charger, it is better to disconnect both power cables and charge the battery. Always make sure that you do not create a short circuit when working on the battery.

● Step 3: Check the oil and gas level

Check your engine’s oil level with the dipstick before every use. Too little or too much oil can harm your engine. You should also inspect the oil quality once in a while to know when it will need to be changed. If you notice some change in its color, it gives you a hint that it’s time to replace it. Fill the gas tank before starting. If you store your mower for an extended time (more than a month), use some fuel stabilizer, such as STA-BIL. It will enhance the durability and the life of your gas. Gas can go bad quickly and can make your lawnmower running rough or not start at all.

● Step 4: Disengage the PTO, enable the choke and Start the mower

Pull the Cub Cadet mower’s PTO lever (power takeoff). It should be in the off position to disengage the mower blades. This lever lies on your right side as you sit on the mower. Pull it all the way back to turn it off. Turn the throttle lever into the choke position, i.e., activation of the choke. The choke lever lies on the left of the steering wheel. Turning it on will increase the fuel supply making it easy to start the mower. Now you can start your mower by turning the ignition key clockwise.

After starting the engine, pull the throttle lever towards the rabbit position. This is the medium level that normalizes the fuel flow. On your left side, you will find the shift lever. It is the gear mechanism of the Cub Cadet mower. Push it all the way forward to bring your mower in driving mode. Now, press the brake again gently to disengage the parking brakes. On your right foot side is the drive pedal. Press in the drive pedal to speed up your engine. Now you can drive it to the location where you want to start mowing. When you have to start cutting, turn the PTO lever to its lowest position forward. This will engage the blades.

● Step 5: Activate the cruise control if your mower model has one.

Some of the more recent cub cadet riding lawnmowers, like the LTX 1040 are equipped with cruise control. Once you achieve the required mowing speed, gently press the cruise control lever downward and hold it in that position for a short while. Slowly let your foot go from the drive pedal and then release the cruise control lever. This lever lies beneath your lawnmower’s steering wheel. Keep in mind that you cannot engage cruise control when operating the mower at its fastest speed. Never try to engage cruise control while in reverse mode. To disengage the cruise control on your cub cadet lawn mower, merely press either the drive pedal or brake pedal.

● Step 6: Use the Cub Cadet lawnmower in reverse with blades engaged

To reverse your machine, you have to set the mower in reverse mode. First, come to a complete stop and disengage the blades by pulling the PTO back. Release the brake pedal. Then, turn the key to the reverse or caution mode on the ignition system. Move the PTO/blade lever to the on position to then engage the blades. Before pressing the drive pedal, check the surface behind your cub cadet riding lawn mower to ensure there are no objects in your path which cause hindrance or any damage to your mower tires or body. Press the pedal to move the mower back while you steer with the steering wheel.

Additional concerns:

For the better performance of your lawnmower, you must follow some precautionary measures as listed below:

  1. Spark plugs: Part of your maintenance routine should be to check the sparkplugs. If you notice that your mower does not start as well as it used to. Or the engine runs not as good, check the spark plugs. If they are dirty, clean them. If they look bad, replace them.
  2. Air filter: Check the air filter before every mowing. Clean it if it is dirty by using some air pressure or pump. Change it at least once a year or at the start of each mowing season. Change it if they are useless. 

Frequently asked questions:

1. Why is my Cub Cadet lawn mower not starting?

The most common cause of a Cub Cadet not starting after it has not been used for some time is the old or bad fuel in the carburetor float bowl. If you have gas in your tank for an extended time, some of the fuel ingredients may evaporate. Leaving behind a thicker, stickier substance. This sticky fuel can clog or block up the carburetor and stop the engine from starting. If the carburetor is clogged, try cleaning it with carburetor cleaner. These non-sticky cleaners also help prevent rust & make cleaning the carburetor easier. If you store your lawnmower for an extended time (more than a month), add some fuel stabilizer to your gas.

2. Where is the choke on a cub cadet lawnmower?

The choke is typically positioned below the steering wheel on its left side. It manages the total air-fuel mixture going into the mower engine. Depending on the extent, the lever is turned, the choke makes the fuel mixture lean or rich. The choke also serves the function of starting up a cold engine easily; if your engine is warm, there is no need to lift the throttle to the choke position.

3. Is the Cub Cadet lawnmower better than other riding lawnmowers?

Cub cadet lawnmowers are fuel-efficient and powerful compared to some other lawnmower brands. They have a well-designed fuel and drive mechanism that makes them very handy. The cruise control in them is another plus. However, they are generally smaller in size and are not meant for huge yards. Also, they are less comfortable when compared to those really large-sized riding mowers. They are also more expensive than some other brands. So if a Cub Cadet is better for you depends mostly on your needs and budget.

Final remarks:

If you want to keep a bigger lawn beautiful, a riding lawnmower is a helpful machine. Cub Cadet Lawnmowers are ideally suited for normal to bigger sized-lawns with fuel efficiency and power optimization as their selling points. They offer several controls, so one might get confused about how to start and use them. This blog post explained all the essential controls, levers, knobs, and functions that one must know before using Cub Cadet lawnmower. We hope that this information helps you use your cub cadet lawnmower to its full potential.

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