13 Common Ariens Zero Turn Mower Problems(With Solutions)

When it comes to maintaining a well-manicured lawn, having a reliable and efficient mower is essential.

Ariens zero-turn mowers are known for their maneuverability and cutting performance.

However, like any mechanical equipment, they may encounter issues from time to time.

In this post, we will explore some common problems that you may face with Ariens zero-turn mowers and provide practical troubleshooting tips to help you get your mower back in top shape.

Ariens Zero Turn Mower Problems

Ariens Zero Turn Mower Problems

1. Crankshaft Failure

One of the potential problems with Ariens zero-turn mowers is crankshaft failure. This can occur due to prolonged use without proper maintenance or overloading the mower with heavy loads.

Signs of crankshaft failure include engine knocking, loss of power, and difficulty starting the mower.

To address this issue, it is crucial to have the crankshaft inspected and, if necessary, replaced by a professional technician.

2. Uneven Cutting

If your Ariens zero-turn mower is leaving behind uneven patches of grass, it can detract from the overall aesthetics of your lawn.

Uneven tire pressure, deck misalignment, and dull blades are just a few causes of uneven cutting.

Regularly sharpening the mower blades, ensuring proper deck leveling, and maintaining consistent tire pressure can help resolve this issue.

3. Engine Starting Problems

Experiencing difficulties when starting the engine is a frustrating problem that may occur with Ariens zero-turn mowers.

The issue can be attributed to a faulty ignition switch, a clogged fuel filter, or a discharged battery.

Checking these components and replacing or recharging them as needed can often resolve engine starting problems.

4. Loss of Power

Loss of power is another common issue that may occur with Ariens zero-turn mowers.

A clogged fuel line, a malfunctioning spark plug, or a dirty air filter are all potential causes of this issue.

Regularly cleaning or replacing the air filter, inspecting and cleaning the spark plug, and ensuring the fuel line is free from obstructions are crucial steps to restoring the mower’s power.

Read Common Ariens EZR 1742 Problems(How to Fix Them)

5. Hydraulic System Issues

The hydraulic system plays a vital role in the performance of a zero-turn mower.

If you notice sluggish or jerky movements, leaking hydraulic fluid, or unresponsive controls, there may be an issue with the hydraulic system.

Checking the fluid levels, inspecting hydraulic hoses for leaks, and ensuring proper control calibration is essential for resolving hydraulic system problems.

6. Deck Belt Troubles

Deck belts in Ariens zero-turn mowers can wear out or become loose over time, leading to poor cutting performance or complete disengagement of the blades. Regular inspection of the deck belt’s condition and tension is crucial.

If the belt shows signs of wear or is loose, it should be replaced promptly to maintain optimal cutting efficiency.

7. Excessive Vibration

Excessive vibration during operation can be bothersome and indicate underlying issues with the mower.

Potential causes of excessive vibration include loose or damaged blade adapters, worn-out mower blades, or an imbalanced cutting deck.

Inspecting and tightening blade adapters, replacing worn-out blades, and balancing the cutting deck can help minimize vibration and improve the overall mowing experience.

8. Electrical Malfunctions

Electrical malfunctions can manifest in various ways, such as malfunctioning safety switches, faulty wiring, or a dead battery.

It is important to inspect the electrical components regularly, ensuring all connections are secure and the wires are intact.

If necessary, replacing faulty switches or wiring should be done to maintain proper electrical functionality.

Read How much does a Zero Turn Mower Weigh?(Explained)

9. Steering Problems

Issues with steering can make maneuvering the zero-turn mower challenging and impact its overall performance.

Problems like unresponsive or loose steering controls can be attributed to worn-out bushings, damaged tie rods, or improper wheel alignment.

Regular inspection, lubrication, and replacement of worn-out components are necessary to ensure smooth and precise steering.

10. Fuel System Complications

Ariens zero-turn mowers rely on a well-functioning fuel system for optimal performance.

Problems like clogged fuel filters, stale fuel, or water contamination can hinder the mower’s operation.

Regularly replacing the fuel filter, using fresh fuel, and draining any water from the system can prevent fuel-related complications.

11. Transmission Troubles

Transmission is a critical component in zero-turn mowers, and any issues can significantly impact their performance.

Symptoms of transmission problems may include difficulty shifting gears, erratic movements, or strange noises.

Proper maintenance, regular fluid checks, and timely repairs or replacements of transmission parts can help resolve these issues.

12. Oil Leaks

Oil leaks can occur in various parts of the zero-turn mower, such as the engine or hydraulic system.

If left unaddressed, oil leaks can lead to component damage and poor performance.

Regularly inspecting for leaks, tightening loose fittings, and promptly repairing any damaged seals or gaskets are essential for preventing oil leaks.

Read Low Oil Symptoms in Lawn Mowers (Don’t Ignore These Signs)

13. Wheels and Tires

Wheels and tires are crucial for providing stability and maneuverability to the zero-turn mower.

Worn-out or improperly inflated tires can affect the mower’s performance and traction.

Regularly inspecting tire treads, maintaining proper tire pressure, and replacing worn-out tires are necessary for optimal performance and safety.

What kind of oil does an Ariens Zero turn Mower take?

Ariens zero-turn mowers typically require Ariens SAE 30 4-cycle engine oil.

It is important to consult the specific model’s manual to ensure you are using the recommended oil type and to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for oil change intervals.

Regular oil changes with the appropriate oil will help maintain the performance and longevity of your Ariens zero-turn mower.

Read Riding Mower Making Noise When Blades Are Engaged(Fixed)

Why is my Ariens mower not starting?

Fuel Issues

 Ensure that there is sufficient fuel in the tank and that the fuel valve is turned on. If you suspect stale fuel, drain it and replace it with fresh fuel.

Ignition Problems

Check the spark plug to see if it is dirty, damaged, or worn out. Cleaning or replacing the spark plug may solve the ignition problem.


If your Ariens mower has an electric start feature, a weak or dead battery could prevent it from starting. Check the battery’s charge level and connections. If necessary, recharge or replace the battery.

Safety Switches

Many mowers have safety switches that need to be engaged properly for the engine to start. Ensure that the seat switch, blade engagement switch, and other safety switches are functioning correctly.

Clogged Air Filter

A dirty or clogged air filter can restrict airflow to the engine, causing starting issues. Clean or replace the air filter according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Starter Motor or Solenoid

If you hear a clicking sound when trying to start the mower, it could indicate a problem with the starter motor or solenoid. These components may need to be inspected and replaced if they are faulty.

Read How to Start a Riding Lawn Mower Without a Key(5 Steps)

Fuel System Blockage

A clogged fuel filter, fuel line, or carburetor can prevent fuel from reaching the engine. Clean or replace these components to ensure proper fuel flow.

Why won’t my Ariens zero-turn blades engage?

Safety Switches

Check if any of the safety switches are not functioning correctly or are not fully engaged. These switches are designed to prevent the blades from engaging if certain conditions are not met.

Ensure that the seat switch, parking brake switch, and other safety switches are properly engaged.

Drive Belt 

Examine the drive belt that connects the engine to the blades. If the belt is loose, worn, or damaged, it may not be able to transfer power effectively to engage the blades.

Inspect the belt for any signs of wear or damage and replace it if necessary.

Blade Engagement Cable

The cable that controls the blade engagement mechanism may be loose, damaged, or misadjusted.

Check the cable for proper tension and make sure it is properly connected to the engagement mechanism. If the cable is damaged, it may need to be replaced.

Electric Clutch

If your Ariens zero-turn mower has an electric blade engagement system, the electric clutch may be faulty.

Test the clutch by listening for a clicking sound when you try to engage the blades. If you do not hear the click, the electric clutch may need to be replaced.

Wiring Issues 

Inspect the wiring connections related to the blade engagement system. Loose or damaged wires can prevent the blades from engaging.

Check for any loose connections, frayed wires, or damaged connectors. Repair or replace any faulty wiring as needed.

Blade PTO Switch 

The blade PTO (power take-off) switch may be malfunctioning. This switch activates the blades when engaged. Ensure that the switch is functioning correctly and that it is properly connected.

Read Will a Bad PTO Clutch Cause Power Loss?(Explained)

How often should you change oil in Ariens Zero Turn Mower?

It is recommended to change the oil in an Ariens zero-turn mower after every 25 hours of operation or at least once a year, whichever comes first.

However, it’s important to note that the specific oil change interval may vary depending on the model of your Ariens mower and the operating conditions.

If you frequently use your mower in dusty or dirty environments or operate it under heavy loads, more frequent oil changes may be necessary.

Similarly, if you mow for extended periods or in hot weather conditions, the oil may require more frequent changes to maintain optimal performance and protect the engine.

Read Briggs and Stratton Blowing Oil Out Exhaust(Causes and Solutions)

Final Remarks

Ariens zero-turn mowers are reliable machines that can transform your lawn maintenance experience.

However, occasional problems may arise, requiring troubleshooting and maintenance.

By addressing issues promptly and performing regular maintenance tasks, you can ensure that your Ariens zero-turn mower continues to deliver excellent cutting performance and efficiency.


How often should I sharpen the mower blades? 

It is recommended to sharpen the mower blades at least once a mowing season or more frequently if you notice a decrease in cutting performance.

Can I use regular gasoline in my Ariens zero-turn mower? 

Yes, you can use regular unleaded gasoline with a minimum octane rating of 87. Avoid using gasoline with an ethanol content higher than 10%.

How frequently should I change the engine oil? 

It is generally recommended to change the engine oil after every 25 hours of operation or at least once a year, whichever comes first.

Why is my zero-turn mower not turning smoothly?  

Inadequate wheel alignment, damaged tie rods, or worn-out bushings can all contribute to steering issues. Inspecting and replacing these components as needed should help resolve the issue.

What should I do if I notice an oil leak in my mower? 

If you observe an oil leak, it is important to identify the source and repair it promptly. Tightening loose fittings or replacing damaged seals and gaskets should help resolve the oil leak.

Read How to Put a Ball Hitch on a Lawn Mower(5 Quick Steps )

George Bill
George Bill

George Bill is a Mechanical Engineer by Profession and an avid gardener and has been mowing his lawn for over 20 years. He has used a variety of different mowers during this time.
George is an expert at maintaining his mowers and over the years, he has learned many tricks and techniques for getting the best results from his mowers and is always happy to share his knowledge on this site.