Walk-Behind Lawn Mower: Won't move

If your walk-behind lawn mower won't move, it's because the drive wheels aren't turning. The most likely cause is damage to the drive control cable. Replace the drive control cable, following the instructions in the repair guide below.

Troubleshooting video: Lawn Mower Won’t Move: Motion Drive Failure.

These repairs may help solve your Walk-Behind Lawn Mower problem:

Replace a lawn mower drive control cable

Drive control cable

If the mower moves forward slower than usual, it could be that the drive control cable has stretched out over time. You won't be able to move the drive lever if the cable is too corroded to slide inside its sheath. If the cable is cut, the mower won't move. Replace the cable if you find it damaged or cut.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Replace a lawn mower drive belt

Drive belt

Mower drives have a very short mechanical adjustment range for tightening belts, so if slipping becomes frequent, change the drive belt even if it seems to be in good shape. Also inspect the drive belts periodically and replace it if it's cracked or the plies are separating; a damaged or worn belt can break and fly off the mower.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Replace a lawn mower transmission

Transmission

The transmission rotates the axle to drive the wheels and move the lawn mower forward. The drive cable pushes the transmission against the drive belt, causing the transmission pulley to spin. Gears inside the transmission rotate the axle when the transmission pulley spins. Replace the transmission if it locks up or doesn't rotate the axle to move the lawn mower.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Replace a lawn mower front deck tray

Front Deck Tray

The front deck tray attaches to the front of the mower deck and supports the front wheel axles. On front-wheel drive, self-propelled mowers, the front deck tray holds the transmission. On some self-propelled mowers, the front deck tray anchors the end of the drive control cable. The lawn mower won't move if that cable anchor breaks. Replace the front deck tray if it's damaged or if the cable anchor breaks.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Replace a lawn mower wheel

Wheel

If the wheel on a walk-behind mower is damaged, replace it with one that matches the size on the opposite side of the mower.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Adjust a lawn mower drive belt

Drive belt

If you feel slightly more resistance when you pull a self-propelled mower back than when you push it forward, debris could be caught in or near the drive belt, or the belt guides could be out of adjustment. Check the belt guides for correct clearance from the belt when the blade engagement lever is engaged.

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.