If you constantly use residential power equipment such as riding mowers and tractors, then it's likely that you've occasionally encountered a transaxle malfunction. It's estimated that as many as 14 percent of the top-rated mowers break down within their first four years of service. Typically, the issues that prevent your equipment from running can be resolved with careful troubleshooting.
A DIY checklist to get your mower or tractor back up and running
It's important to adhere to the following steps in order to rule out any misdiagnosed malfunction:
Check your settings—The transaxle won’t move the wheels if the freewheel rod is in the transport position.
Purge air from the transaxle—Follow the steps shown in the owner’s manual to purge air from the transaxle when the riding mower won’t move.
Check the ground drive belt—A worn or broken drive belt won’t spin the transaxle drive pulley.
Check the fluid or oil—Check the level of transaxle fluid or oil.
Repair and replace your mower and tractor Hydro-Gear parts
If the above checklist doesn't alleviate your problem, then it's likely that your transaxle has parts that have stopped working. The following list presents common Hydro-Gear parts that often cause problems:
Transaxle fan—To maintain the lubricating properties of oil within the drive unit, the transaxle fan provides necessary cooling. If the fins break, then it's best to replace the fan entirely.
Drive pulley—A worn or broken drive pulley won’t spin the drive shaft so the lawn tractor won’t move. Replace the drive pulley if it’s damaged or broken.
Shaft seals—Worn or broken shaft seals can allow fluid or oil to leak out of the transaxle. Replace any leaking shaft seals.
Drive gears—A broken drive gear can cause the transaxle to lock up. Examine the drive gears and replace any broken gears when the transaxle lock up.