Toro Zero Turn Won’t Go Forward Or Backward | Causes + Fix

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It might be depressing when your lawnmower stops working, and you don’t know what to do. You checked your fuel level, air filter, and engine oil, but your engine is still running, so that isn’t the issue. Many commercial mowers have stopped moving due to something as simple as a drive belt breaking, but it can be more complicated. Why Toro Zero Turn Won’t Go Forward Or Backward?

Toro Zero Turn Won’t Go Forward Or Backward

A defective drive belt, bad tensioner pulley, broken tensioner spring, old or low hydraulic fluid, hot hydraulic fluid, the air in the hydraulic system, or the drive release handles in the “released” position may cause a hydrostatic lawnmower not to move.

Why Toro Zero Turn Won't Go Forward Or Backward

I’ll go over several things to look for in your hydraulic system and some non-hydraulic system-related issues that can keep your zero-turn mower from moving.

Releasing Handle Not In A Job

The drive release on hydrostatic mowers allows the mower to freeroll. This comes in handy when your mower breaks down, and you need to load the zero-turn onto a trailer. You must have these drive-releasing handles in the “working” position to move the mower forward.

A lever, push/pull button, or knob can be used to release the drive. For information on the sort of handle on your mower and where to find it, consult your owner’s manual.

Missing Key In Axle

You may have missed a little key that fell out of the axle when changing the tire on your riding lawnmower. This key, which looks to be a short narrow bar, is required for the wheel to move. A key in the axle isn’t found in every zero-turn mower, but if yours does and it isn’t replaced, the commercial mower will not move.

The Belt Is Worn, Loose, Or Broken

Check if your drive belt has fallen off and is properly positioned on the pulleys. You must replace the belt if it appears worn, cracked, or broken.

Bad Tensioner Pulley

Tensioner Pulleys are frequently composed of hard plastic with a bearing in the middle. The bearing or the pulley can both fail. Check your pulley and, if necessary, replace it. Maintain lubrication of the tensioner arm so that it moves freely and does not seize.

Missing Idler Arm Spring

The driving belt is tensioned by the idler spring. If your spring is broken or has fallen out of your mower and is now missing, replace it.

Low Hydraulic Fluid Level

To maintain your lawnmower transmission system functioning at its optimum, you must change the hydraulic oil at the intervals advised by your manufacturer. It may not move or seem very feeble when you operate your lawn mower’s transmission with old or low hydraulic fluid.

Replace your hydraulic oil and filter(s) according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Remember that many manufacturers have a “break-in” period during which you should change your hydro oil a little sooner for the first time.

When your hydraulic oil is low, top it up with more hydro oil until the fluid level reaches full capacity. Checking for hydraulic fluid leaks is also a good idea.

Some entry-level zero-turn transmissions are “non-serviceable,” which means the hydraulic systems are sealed, and you can’t change the hydraulic fluid. Bring your mower to your maintenance mower dealership for help if you have hydraulic problems.

Hot Hydraulic Fluid

When you drive your lawnmower with contaminated or low hydraulic fluid, the oil cannot effectively lubricate the hydraulic system, resulting in increased friction and hydraulic fluid overheating. More significant damage can potentially result in hot hydraulic fluid.

If your lawnmower is leaking from the hydraulic pump or runs great while it is cold but stops when it gets hot, I strongly advise you to take it to your local repair shop.

Air In The Hydraulic System

After changing the hydraulic fluid, the system must be bled off all air. Your mower may be unable to move due to air in the system. Most lawnmowers can have air evacuated from the system by elevating the rear-drive tires off the ground and spinning them forth and backward until there is no excessive noise while the wheels move at regular rates.

Correct instructions for removing air from your lawn mower’s hydraulic system should be found in your operator’s manual. Procedures differ not just from one manufacturer to the next but also from one model to the next.

Can You Damage A Hydrostatic Transmission?

Pushing a tractor with a hydrostatic transmission will result in fluid flowing backward via the pump, which could harm the seals. Before relocating your lawn tractor, you must disconnect the drive.

How Do You Get A Zero-Turn Unstuck?

A faulty drive belt, pulley, or tensioner spring could prevent a zero-turn mower from moving forward or backward. The drive release levers may be in the incorrect position, the air in the hydraulic system, old or low hydraulic fluid, hot hydraulic fluid, or the zero turns may not turn.


What if your Toro Zero Turn Won’t Go Forward Or Backward? Riding lawnmowers allow homeowners to cut huge lawn areas quickly and evenly without the need for backbreaking effort. Because these machines share many components with autos, they may experience similar issues that affect performance and the ability to drive forward or backward. To maintain your riding mower in good shape, it needs to be serviced regularly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why will my lawnmower not move forward or backward?

A clogged fuel filter can prevent enough gasoline from reaching your mower’s engine, resulting in an undrivable lawnmower. Damaged or clogged air filters might make it impossible for your lawnmower to move forward or backward since the engine will quickly overheat.

What causes a zero-turn mower to cease working?

A defective drive belt, bad tensioner pulley, broken tensioner spring, old or low hydraulic fluid, hot hydraulic fluid, the air in the hydraulic system, or the drive release handles in the “released” position may cause a hydrostatic lawnmower not to move.

Why is my hydrostatic transmission stuck in neutral?

Tractor hydrostatic transmission difficulties might be caused by mechanical component failure, a broken hose, or a clogged filter. The most typical problem, though, will be the oil itself. A section on oil viscosity can be found in the transmission section of your operator’s manual.

What is the best way to cleanse a hydrostatic transmission?

Move the throttle control to the slow setting after the engine has started. Slowly disengage the clutch/brake pedal with motion control levers in the neutral (N) position. Step 4-Move the motion control levers all the way forward and keep them there for five (5) seconds. Hold the levers in the full reverse position for five seconds.

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