Symptoms Of Bad PTO Clutch | All You Need To Know

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PTO clutches are commonly found on outdoor power equipment and are used to start and implement the rotation of a cutting blade. When the clutch is turned off, it also helps to slow down the implementation. You’ve come to find out the signs and Symptoms Of Bad PTO Clutch.

Don’t worry; there’s an article dedicated to this subject. In the next post, you will learn about some common indicators of a bad PTO clutch. In addition, the answer to those issues.

Symptoms Of Bad PTO Clutch

  • Hard To Begin It usually takes a while for the PTO clutch to engage, which is a classic sign of a defective one.
  • When engaging or disengaging, the PTO clutch will create an odd noise.
  • The engine won’t start.
What Are The Symptoms Of Bad PTO Clutch

Trouble In Starting

The most common sign of a faulty PTO clutch is that it takes a long to engage. The blades require several seconds to engage in the starting stage. After a time of jogging, it will become hot.


It makes an odd noise when you engage or disengage the PTO clutch. If you hear this sound when you release the PTO clutch, press it down, or do both when the engine is off, it might be a problem with the PTO clutch and how it releases.

In addition, when the transmission is in neutral, the automobile emits a chirping, whirring, or grinding sound that disappears when the clutch pedal is depressed, indicating a PTO clutch problem. A worn-out input shaft bearing may cause noise.

You can utilize noise to determine whether or not the clutch is defective. Disengage it first, then turn it on and off a few times. If the power takes off slowly or stops without making a disengagement noise, the PTO clutch has galled together due to heat, or the slip ring has jammed.

The Engine Won’t Turn Over

If the PTO clutch solenoid fails, the blades will not engage because the clutch will not receive any power. In addition, if the switch is defective, the engine will not receive any electricity.

How To Solve Bad PTO Clutch Symptoms?

There isn’t a single remedy for the PTO clutch issues. If your PTO clutch solenoid fails, for example, you’ll need to replace the clutch. However, if the issue is with a switch, it can be resolved by simply replacing the switch.

Adjusting the PTO clutch, particularly electric clutches, is also required for optimal performance. Otherwise, you’ll notice a gap between the contact plates, which diminishes the magnet’s power and makes it more difficult to keep them together.

Because of this, when a strong load is applied, the contact plates may shift, causing heat from reduced friction. Occasionally adjusting the PTO clutch can address several frequent problems and give optimal performance.

How To Test The PTO Clutch On Your Mower?

A multimeter will be required to test the PTO clutch on your zero-turn mower. It doesn’t have to be sophisticated; all it needs to do is monitor voltage, resistance, and amperage.

Testing The PTO Clutch (Mechanical)

To begin, run a mechanical diagnostic on the clutch to rule out any physical issues with it. You’ll have to start your commercial mower. Ensure that the mower is neutral or parked and that the emergency brake is activated. Some mowers have different safety measures, and starting the PTO may require disengaging the emergency brake.

Try engaging the PTO switch or lever when the mower is running at full power. You can rule out the PTO solenoid if you hear the blades try to start up. Disengage the PTO and turn off the engine if the clutch squeals or the mower engine starts revving higher. You could have a bad clutch bearing, a bad flywheel contact surface, or a bad PTO pulley.

Also, inspect the PTO belt to ensure it is not loose, frayed, broken, or otherwise worn out. You may get replacement pulleys, belts, and clutch assembly parts at your local small engine repair shop. Congratulations if you activate the PTO switch and your blades turn on without trouble. You have a working PTO clutch and are ready to mow!

Testing The PTO Clutch (Electrical)

If nothing happened when you tried to activate the PTO in the previous stage, it’s necessary to double-check certain electrical connections.


If the fuse is fine, the battery should be examined next. Make that the battery gives the correct voltage to the mower’s components. Switch your multimeter to Volts and place the positive (red) probe on the mower battery’s positive terminal. Place the negative (black) probe on a metal component of the engine.

The meter should read around 12.6 volts if your battery produces the correct voltage. Anything less than that will require recharging your battery. If everything checks out, the solenoid’s function must be verified.


To begin, locate the wire that connects to the PTO mechanism. The switch’s fuse should be contained in a tiny fuse box. You will be able to observe if the fuse has blown. The fuse’s mental connection will be melted, fractured, or burnt-looking.

This indicates that the clutch was attempting to pull too much current for some reason, and it usually indicates a mechanical issue (bad bearing, etc.). Replacement fuses are inexpensive, and you can use the same amperage fuse that was previously installed. They are usually ten or 15A.

Solenoid Function

With the mower turned off, locate the clutch assembly under the mower and unhook the wire coming from the PTO switch. Place the key in the mower’s ignition and only spin it to the first click. You don’t need to start the mower; all you need is the battery to be charged. Switch your multimeter to Amperage mode and attach the black probe to a grounded metal object.

The red probe must then be inserted into the electrical harness coming from the switch. When you activate the PTO switch, you should see a reading of around four amps. If there is no reading, the switch is most likely broken. To obtain the part number for that PTO switch, you may need to contact the manufacturer.

How Do You Remove A PTO clutch?

Fortunately, removing a PTO clutch does not necessitate the use of any special tools or equipment. You need a screw driver, a socket wrench set, and a decent pair of gloves. Let’s get started deleting after you’ve gathered those tools:

  1. To lessen the risk, remove the spark plugs first.
  2. After that, you must remove the plastic covering from the pulley, which protects the belt from harm.
  3. To get to the clutch, loosen the blade belt.
  4. Remove the belt to reveal two wires that link directly to the PTO clutch. Before releasing the clutch, disconnect those cables.
  5. A helper is required for this step. The top of the mower or vehicle is attached via a bolt. Unscrew the bolt while the assistant assists you in keeping the nut in position and removes the flywheel cover with a screwdriver.
  6. After the bolt is pulled, you can remove the PTO clutch.

How Do I Know If My PTO Clutch Is Terrible?

  • Tough to Get Going. A slow engagement time is the most telling sign of a failing PTO clutch.
  • Engine won’t start: Unpleasant noises are made by the PTO clutch as it engages and disengages.


The power takeoff clutch is an important piece of equipment that activates mower tillers or blades on small tractors. Electricity is utilized to create a magnetic armature that rotates the blade. However, regular maintenance is required to achieve optimal performance.

Knowing the common Symptoms Of Bad PTO Clutch can efficiently help you complete the maintenance process and identify any issues. You may find some typical syndromes and how to solve them in the preceding guide, which may help you identify and address the problem.

Frequently Asked Questions

When I engage the blades on my zero-turn, why does it lose power?

The blade cuts the grass by rotating on a crankshaft whenever it is engaged. However, if this rotation is interfered with, the engine may overload and shut down or lose power.

What causes the PTO clutch not to engage?

Installation difficulties and owner misuse are two major causes of a PTO’s refusal to cooperate. Taking care of these issues first might be all that’s required. If the changeover does not exhibit continuity, other issues may develop. Using a multimeter, check for continuity.

Should a PTO clutch be able to move freely?

Should my PTO clutch be free to spin? When the clutch is not engaged, the clutch pulley should spin freely. It could have an electrical or bearing problem, leading it to stall without load and vibrate when loaded.

When I engage the PTO, why does my lawnmower turn off?

The mower being in reverse, malfunctioning safety switches, bad gasoline, or clogged fuel lines are the most typical causes for a mower to stop when the blades are engaged. The mower can potentially perish if you engage the blades in long or wet grass. While gasoline is a widespread problem, it may not be yours.

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