Lawn Mowers Why am I Breaking Belts on Mower

Published on March 9th, 2015 | by Turner Anderson


Why am I Breaking So Many Belts on My Mower?

A very common question out there is, “Why am I replacing belts every year?”

First you should not be having to replace belts every year or more in one year. Below are some tips on things to look for before replacing that third belt this season.

Common Problems

  • The most common problem with deck belts is excessive grass clipping on the deck. Grass clipping can work there way under pulleys and deck covers which can lead to more serious problems. Make sure to clean off your deck after every use following the manufacturers recommendations.
  • Here a big problem that is missed a lot. You know that guard around that pulley that makes it a pain to take off the belt every time! Well that guard is very essential in keeping the belt in place. Missing belt guards will cause the belt to fly off.
  • Last but not least pulleys can cause big problems. Check pulleys for wear and worn out bearings. If in doubt replace the pulley. Always remember to shut the unit off before attempting any maintenance on the unit. This brings us into the other problem "broken belts".

Jacks receives many calls each day for replacement belts issues, when a customer tells us this belt is the second one this season being replaced this sends up flags.

The biggest issue here is bad pulleys. Check the belt for uneven wear or excessive wear. A pulley rides on bearings that allows it to spin freely. When that pulley does not spin freely friction starts between the pulley and the belt. You guessed it, another broken belt. Remember belts do wear out but if you are replacing the same belt more than you should than fix the problem not the symptom.

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About the Author

is the Internet Marketing Manager at Jack's and the editor of Jack's DIY Center. You'll also find him creating How-To articles, videos, newsletters, and much more.

14 Responses to Why am I Breaking So Many Belts on My Mower?

  1. BOB says:

    Good day . I replaced a broken belt on a LT1042 Cadet today — The replacement Kevlar belt was brand new in a sealed bag , but after installing it , the belt only lasted 15 minutes and broke again …………. Do you have any idea what would cause this

  2. Don Bissette says:

    Make sure the bearings are good and make sure the pulleys are level

  3. Gary says:

    Replaced the belt and the pulleys and the bearings the middle of the summer and about 3 weeks ago the new belt broke again. What may be the reason for this? Could the belt be hitting something as the pulleys pull it around? I thought I heard a slight clicking sound now and then and wonder if that has something to do with the breakage. thanks

  4. Dan M says:

    My Toro Recycler can burn the self propelled belt out on the smallest pieces of mulch. Very frustrating considering I’ve had to repair more than three times over the last 5 years. Is there a mower out there where that issues would not be a problem often?
    Thank you

  5. Billy says:

    The mower belt broke 3 times in 2 mons on my la145 jdeere this spring, the first belt lasted 6 yrs. Well maintained,all ways greased,all spindles turn good, what’s my solution,

  6. jeanette says:

    I’ve replaced my belt on my ariens rider mower 3 times in 8 months model number is 93608300 what could be the probleme

  7. Ryan marrs says:

    I have a new Scag Cheetah. Already broke 2 belts. What could be the problem. Problem.

  8. Mike Huys says:

    I have a Cub Cadet LTX1040 I removed both belt guards and then replaced them . I did this in order to clean the mower really good, but now every time I engage the blade the mower makes a loud thrashing noise. HELP.

  9. Jerry Donaldson says:

    I have a craftsman 48in deck 27hp riding mower and have just started having problems with the belts breaking on it. These belts seem to be shredding on one side. I have taken the mower deck off and checked the pulleys for alignement they all turn freely could it be im buying bad belts. This one belt lasted 2 hrs before it broke please help me on this thank you.

  10. Shamrock says:

    I have a troy built pony, 42in.deck and every time I mow it shreds the drive belt that runs from the front of the mower pully, to the rear pully before I get done mowing the yard. any idea what the problem could be? those belts are expensive!

  11. Roger & Angie Hejl says:

    I have a john deere 777 zero turn commercial mower that most recently has started breaking the electric pto clutch belt. I have checked the pully bearings and all seem smooth. The replacement belts have come from john deere. If I engage the pto at an idle it kills the engine and if I engage it at a higher idle it seems to be such a harsh engagement. One thing I noticed is that the belt seems to ride so deep in all four of the pulleys.

  12. Harvester says:

    Be sure to always inspect your tensioner spring along with idler pulleys. A weak tensioner spring will allow unit to still operate yet belt have a least bit of slip that can appear almost unnoticeable but will prematurely wear a belt out.

    Certified John Deere Technician

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