Troy Bilt Zero-Turn Mower Problems + Troubleshooting Tips

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Manually raking and cutting grass can be quite a workout, especially in sizable yards. Thankfully, Troy Bilt’s zero-turn mowers have made this task much more manageable and comfortable for me.

However, like with all tools, issues tend to crop up over time. I’ve personally experienced some commonly reported issues with Troy Bilt zero-turn mower units, and I’d like to share my recommended fixes.

Issue #1: Mower Won't Start

Electrical, airflow obstruction, or an empty gas tank are typical reasons why your Troy Bilt mower won’t start. Other aspects like the ignition switch, battery issues, and seat safety switches could also be to blame. 

Troy Bilt Zero-Turn Mower engine won't start

The first you can do is to make sure to check the gas tank and refill it if needed. For more technical concerns, such as problematic electrical wires or ignition switches that could be causing your lawn mower not to start or pull, I’d recommend consulting your local Troy Bilt dealer or a professional landscaper. 

They usually have the expertise to pinpoint and address these kinds of issues.

Issue #2: Starts Then Stops

If the your push or riding Troy Bilt mower starts then abruptly stops, it’s most likely due to an issue with the spark plug, engine oil, or air filter. 

In such cases, I replace old or worn-out spark plugs and made a habit of regularly checking my equipment for maintenance.

Issue #3: Mower Stops While Mowing

If the Troy Bilt mower stops while you’re in the middle of mowing, it’s likely due to an overheated engine. Mowers can also stop if there’s a problem with the carburetor, fuel tank, or air filter.

riding a troy bilt zero turn mower

Allow the engine to cool down before continuing to use the mower. Clean the air filter and check the fuel tank for any blockages.

Issue #4: Hydrostatic Transmission Problems

The hydrostatic transmission allows you to have a smooth ride while mowing. But over time, the hydrostatic transmission fluid can break down and cause transmission problems.

If you’re having trouble steering or your mower is moving slowly, it’s time to change the hydrostatic transmission fluid. I recommend doing so every 50 hours of use or once a year, whichever comes first.

Issue #5: Mower Can't Drive Correctly

Unequal tire pressures [1] will cause the vehicle to pull one way, while uneven terrain might lead it down an off-road path. Moreover, a loose component in the system might be causing it not to steer correctly.

operating a troy bilt zero turn mower

To address this, regularly check the tire pressures and inspect for any loose parts, such as worn bushings or gears. In my experience, these are the top factors that might be causing the mower to drive erratically.

Issue #6: Mower Won't Move

This is a common issue in Troy Bilt zero-turn mowers, or even in John Deere riding mowers, that some novice landscapers experience. Reasons such as engaged drive release lever, worn-out mower components, and insufficient hydraulic oil are commonly associated with this issue. 

Check the manual to see how to disengage the drive release lever. Replacing worn-out components should be a part of maintaining an efficient mower. 

Issue #7: Mower Shakes and Vibrates

Shaking and vibrations are usually due to a dull blade. A loose or damaged engine flywheel can also cause these issues.

fixing Troy Bilt Zero-Turn Mower

If the mower is shaking, stop using it immediately and check for a dull blade. It would be best if you sharpen or look for a blade replacement.

Issue #8: Uneven Cutting

If your riding mower is not giving the consistent cuts it used to, check for the tire pressure. Uneven terrain can also lead to an inconsistent pattern, and damaged or dull blades could also produce uneven cutting. 

Make sure the tire pressure is even on all four tires and check for dulling or damaged blades and or replacements. I make it a habit to have lawn mower blades regularly sharpened even without removing them.

Issue #9: Gas Leaking

You should address a gas leak immediately, especially if you put excessive oil in your mower tank. The most common gas leak causes are loose fuel lines or a damaged fuel tank.

fixing Troy Bilt Zero-Turn Mower gas tank

To resolve this issue, I’d tighten any loose fuel lines and inspect the fuel tank for holes or cracks. For significant damage, I recommended seeking expert help with the repairs to avoid further damage to the equipment.

Issue #10: Mower Smoking

If your mower produces a lot of smoke, it might be due to an oil leak or over-filling the oil tank, and it could also be due to damaged piston rings or valves.

Stop using the mower immediately and check for any leaks. Overfilling the oil tank can cause severe damage to your mower. You should remove the lawn mower gas immediately to avoid further complications. 


Why won't my Troy Bilt lawn mower stay running?

If your Troy Bilt mower doesn’t stay running, it could be an issue with the spark plug, fuel filter, or air filter. It’s also possible that the carburetor needs to be cleaned, or there is a problem with the fuel tank.

Where is the fuse on a Troy Bilt riding lawn mower?

The fuse on a Troy Bilt riding lawn mower is located under the hood, near the battery.

Also Read: Common John Deere 125R Issues and Troubleshooting Tips


You can prevent any Troy Bilt zero-turn mower problems by doing regular maintenance and repairs. Make sure to change old and worn-out parts during assessments and seek expert assistance for more technical issues. 

It’s all part of ensuring that the mower continues to provide reliable performance.

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.
Robert Johnson
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