Common Bad Boy Mower Problems + Troubleshooting Tips

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No matter how efficient Bad Boy Mowers are, I’ve found that bumping into technical issues is inevitable. So, if you’re thinking maintaining a zero-turn mower is easy, trust me, it’s truly not.

As a lawn care expert, I’m here to share my insights on proper maintenance and solutions for potential mower problems. Read on! 

Issue #1: Deck Lift System Problem

Electric deck lift issues tend to be quite common with Bad Boy Mowers. It all begins with the actuator failing to lift properly. 

Upon close inspection, the mower shaft doesn’t seem to be screwing in or out while the actuator is spinning. Moreover, this issue often arises when the screw shaft’s sleeve becomes rusty.

bad boy mower electronic deck lift system

You can fix this mower deck problem by removing the screws from the actuator. After that, you should ensure that the housing is properly sealed and moist. If your Bad Boy mower has poor house sealing, apply a sealant gasket and confirming if the mower runs fine after that. 

If your electric deck lift suffers rust, cleaning and smearing grease on the screw shaft sleeve should get the Bad Boy Lawn Mower up and running again. 

Issue #2: Transaxle and Hydraulic Problems

You may not know, but the transaxle is responsible for power transmissions between the unit’s engine and its wheels. Because of this, any malfunction of this feature will cause your zero-turn mower to stop working. 

Transaxle malfunctions mainly stem from leaking hydro fluids or a defective hydro system. Fortunately, leaking issues can be handled easily using a new seal kit. 

bad boy mower transaxle

And while a new seal kit may solve a leaking hydraulic fluid, you can’t rely on it for hydro system damages. My best advice is to call a mower mechanic as this is a complex issue to identify and solve. 

Issue #3: Mower Pulls to One Side

When your Bad Boy Mower starts to derail from the mowing track during cutting operations, this could signify alignment problems. If you ask lawnmower experts, this issue may potentially come from defective shock absorbers or poor adjustment. 

If this issue doesn’t involve transaxle hydraulic leaking or mechanical problems from mower components, then fixing this isn’t as hard as you’d think. The first thing you’ll have to do is to check tire pressure. 

You must ensure that none of the tires equipped in your Bad Boy Mower are underinflated. If you can, you must guarantee that all of them have the recommended tire pressure before every mowing operation. If you need to change tires, ensure to use a reliable lawn mower lift for your safety. 

mowing grass with bad boy mower

As previously discussed, misalignment and poor adjustments can also be caused by hydraulic fluid leaks. To resolve this issue, getting new seal kits should prevent your mower from going in the wrong direction.

Issue #4: Mower Deck Shakes

One of the most common Bad Boy Mowers problems is the deck vibration. Although these heavy-duty lawn mowers are made with durable materials, using the unit for an extensive amount of time may cause it to shake.

The main culprit of low vibration sounds coming from your mower deck could be missing screws. So, check the pulleys and lock collars to confirm if it’s the cause of the problem. If not, other culprits could be worn-out bearings or a damaged spindle key. 

To solve this Bad Boy Mower problem, you must ensure that the deck belt adjustment is tightened properly. Changing the missing screws and bearings will also save you from encountering similar problems in your mower deck. 

bad boy mower cutting deck

Most zero-turn mowers under the Bad Boy brand may also experience this problem if the unit’s blades aren’t balanced. It’s a very likely occurrence, especially if you recently installed new blades on your cutting deck. 

Issue #5: Mower Won’t Start

Besides problems in the mowing deck, there will be cases when your Bad Boy Lawn Mower refuses to start just like starting issues existing in a Toro lawn mower. Newbie users may think that a lawn mower model is as good as dead, but I would like to emphasize that some of these problems can be solved. 

These issues could root in defective mower parts like poor connection, defective fuel pump, dirty air filter, unmounted spark plug wire, battery issues, etc. First, you must check if the spark plug is properly mounted. You may not know, but loose spark plugs can stop your Bad Boy Mower from moving. 

Next, ensure that the battery is connected properly. If it’s charging slowly, you may need to troubleshoot it and determine if it’s up for replacement. It’s also wise to conduct regular mower check-ups on the connection of all visible wires to avoid problems in the long run.

bad boy mower won't start

Should none of the methods work, it’s time to turn your eyes to the mower’s fuel tank. If there’s any sight of water in the fuel tank, then you got the culprit right there. It’s also a no-brainer to keep old gas away from your fuel line. 

You may not know, but stale gas may cause engine block [1] and damage other mower parts like the fuel pump. 

Besides all that, having a clogged air filter makes it challenging for your Bad Boy mower to draw air inside the engine. It’s best to clean or replace the air filter if you get the chance. 

And above all else, ensure that you’re not conducting the wrong usage and procedures. As a beginner, we highly advise checking the owner’s manual to see if you’re starting the mower right. 

Issue #6: No Power

Sudden power outage is one of the typical Bad Boy mower problems not many users know how to handle. And with my years of experience, it’s not always the electrical system or faulty wiring at fault when this issue comes up. Typically, it’s caused by air restriction that ultimately stems from clogged air filters from stale gas.  

bad boy mower control panel

When air is restricted, engine overheating is bound to happen. Because of this, it’s crucial to check the components that may cause air restriction like the battery, charging settings, coil, and spark plug. 

You may also need to replace the fuel in your Bad Boy Lawn Mower tank if it’s running with stale gas. You can clean the fuel line with a stabilizer to prevent any future hindrance to your mower’s smooth ride. 

Issue #7: Spindle Issues

Spindles ensure that the cutting deck blades keep spinning. If this feature malfunctions, you’ll immediately notice problems in the mowing pattern and uneven cuts (which I’ll discuss in the next topic). 

You can’t fix this issue without testing and figuring out where the spindle problem is coming from. If you suspect that the spindles are worn out, you’ll be hearing low vibrations or squealing sounds from your Bad Boy tractor. On top of that, slow heating could ultimately confirm that you need to install new spindles and bearings. 

Issue #8: Uneven Cutting

Uneven cutting can be a headache, especially when using Bad Boy tractors to handle tall grass build-up. If the pressure on the mower’s tires isn’t the same on both sides, it’ll ultimately lead to undesirable cuts. It can also make your ride rough when the unit maneuvered wet and complex surfaces.

grass cutting with bad boy mower

Check if the Bad Boy mower blade is attached to the deck tightly and sharpened enough. You should also know that debris collected around the deck could result in uneven cutting. 

If all that didn’t work, check if your Bad Boy Mower is in a full-throttle setting. By doing that, rest assured that the unit will deliver precise cuts.

Issue #9: Blades Not Engaging

Your Bad Boy Mower’s pump belt is often why mower blades refuse to engage. You can cry several solutions to fix this issue, like checking if the belt is tightened correctly. Non-engagement of blades could also indicate that the belt is already extensively stretched or had snapped off.  

Suppose you have mowed a vast field of grass before this problem arises. If so, it could be that the debris pushed off the belt. 

bad boy mower blades

If you want to fix these Bad Boy Mowers problems, you must ensure that the PTO engager is always switched on during the cutting operation. It’ll also save you time and worry if you check the wire conditions before starting the engine. 

Issue #10: Battery Draining Fast

When your Bad Boy Mower immediately drains its battery level despite charging a few moments ago, it could be a problem that’s hard to ignore. 

Try to recall if you were able to turn off the mower’s components besides that engine. Oftentimes, some users forget that components continue to run via battery power even if the engine is off. 

The best way to resolve this is to check the state of the mower’s battery. If you spot any corrosion building up around its surface, that could be affecting the metal terminals and resulting in loose connections. You must clean the corrosion away and check if the battery includes cracks or damages.

bad boy mower battery

Lastly, you must know that batteries have a limited service life. If you’ve used a Bad Boy mower long enough, there will be a time when its batteries will no longer charge. For this problem, all you can do is buy a replacement.

Issue #11: Mower Smoking

Seeing your Bad Boy Mower fuming with smoke is a sight that you must never ignore. This alarming occurrence often happens when there’s water inside the fuel tank or if the hydraulic oil leaks start burning the engine or muffler. 

Running the mower with low oil levels can cause this issue and overheat. So, I recommend bringing the unit to a repair shop right away for internal problems like these.

Believe it or not, mowers with bad air filters can also produce alarming fumes. If this is the case, you’re lucky because all you need to do is replace the filter or clean it. 

Issue #12: Turns Off While Mowing

Fuel and air restrictions are two of the main problems that’ll cause a sudden halt in your mower’s engine operations. As previously discussed, bad gas in the fuel lines could cause this, and the best fix is to stabilize the fuel system or fill the tank with fresh gas. 

bad boy mower fluid change

If that didn’t work, you might need to turn your focus on the cooling fins. If you spot that it’s dirty or damaged, clean or replace these components. 

Maintenance Tips for Bad Boy Mowers

Tip #1: Change the Oil Regularly

Some may think steering problems cause most malfunctions in zero-turn mowers, but regularly changing your hydraulic oil keeps the unit working efficiently. If you often mow your lawn in the summer, the Bad Boy manufacturers also recommend doing this maintenance tip at regular intervals.

Tip #2: Clean and Replace the Air Filter

Most of these problems root in dirty air filters. It’s because the mower engine needs air to run smoothly. Ensure to change filters every season, especially when you’re using the mower frequently.

bad boy mower air filter

Tip #3: Sharpen the Blades

An unsharpened blade does not only affect the quality of your cuts but also causes unnecessary vibration in the mower. If you read the user manual, you’ll notice that Bad Boy Mower recommends sharpening the blades at least once a year to ensure precise cuts. 

Tip #4: Clean After Each Use

Any mower user knows this, but it’s important to point out that keeping the unit clean adds to the lifespan of this tool. As you know, this machine is often exposed to debris and other harmful substances, so these elements may likely cause damage to the components. 

Warranty Period for Bad Boy Mowers

Another feature that may delight you when buying a Bad Boy Mower is its warranty policy. In fact, I’ve found out that the brand offers comprehensive warranties that grant users free replacements depending on terms and conditions. You can also expect repair service for two years within the purchase date. 


What engine do Bad Boy mowers use?

Bad Boy mowers include Kawasaki and Kohler engine options. These engines use 10W30 oil to keep the hydraulic systems running efficiently. 

Are Bad Boy mowers reliable?

Yes, Bad Boy mowers are reliable. It’s an ideal zero-turn mower for residential lawn care requirements. Besides that, it’s beginner-friendly and suits the needs of a medium-sized property.

Who makes Bad Boy mowers?

Bad Boy mowers were made by ABB in Batesville, Arkansas. This manufacturer started business in 1998 and is now known for its competitive zero-turn lawnmowers


Not all Bad Boy mower issues are easy to handle. So, you better pick up some basic troubleshooting skills for these machines. It might just save you some time and money down the road. After all, maintaining your property, no matter how small it is, isn’t just a one-time job.

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Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You’ve probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.

Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.

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