June 1, 2015

Why does my lawn tractor cut unevenly?

By Sears PartsDirect staff
Why does my lawn tractor cut unevenly?
Why does my lawn tractor cut unevenly?

Taming the wilderness of your yard can make you feel like you've conquered the world. But after spending an hour or so mowing the lawn, it's disappointing to look over your domain and see grass that is uneven or not completely cut. Here are a few tips to help achieve a well-manicured lawn, leaving you time to spend a few leisurely hours enjoying the habitat you've created.

For more advice about riding mowers and lawn tractors, check out our repair guides and articles.

Slow down. The taller and thicker the grass, the slower you should go to give the blades time to lift and cut the grass.

Mow at full throttle. Although your ground speed should be slower, the engine should be at full throttle for the right blade speed.

Check the air pressure in the tires. Overinflated or underinflated tires cause the tractor to travel unevenly across the yard. Refer to your owner’s manual for the correct pressure.  To find the manual, look up you model number.

Level the mower deck. Leveling the deck under the tractor is essential to getting a smooth, even cut on your lawn. This Sears PartsDirect video shows you how to adjust and level the mower deck.

Use sharp, straight blades. Inspect your blades before every use to see that they’re sharp, straight and free of chips. Replace the blades at the start of each cutting season or any time you find damage.

Clean the mower deck. A buildup of grass clippings under the mower deck interferes with airflow and grass clipping movement under the deck, hindering the lift of the blade. We have tips for preventing clippings from building up.

Overlap your passes. The blade extends only to the edge of the deck. Overlapping by just an inch makes sure that the lawn tractor blade reaches each blade of grass.

Symptoms common to all riding mowers & tractors

Choose a symptom to see related riding mower and lawn tractor repairs.

Main causes: worn or broken ground drive belt, bad seat switch, transaxle freewheel control engaged, transaxle failure, dirty carburetor
Main causes: dead battery, stale fuel, bad starter solenoid, ignition system problem, bad ignition interlock switch, clogged carburetor
Main causes: damaged cutting blade, worn deck pulley, damaged mandrel pulley, loose fasteners on mower deck components
Main causes: engine overfilled with oil, leaky head gasket or sump gasket, damaged carburetor seals, cracked fuel pump, broken fuel line
Main causes: punctured tire or inner tube, leaky valve stem, damaged wheel rim
Main causes: unlevel mower deck, dull or damaged cutting blades, worn mandrel pulleys, bent mower deck, engine needs tune up
Main causes: damaged tie rods, bent or worn wheel spindle, worn front axle, damaged sector gear assembly
Main causes: worn or broken blade belt, broken belt idler pulley, blade clutch cable failure, bad PTO switch, damaged mandrel pulleys
Main causes: shift lever needs adjustment, neutral control needs adjustment

Repair guides common to all riding mowers & tractors

These step-by-step repair guides will help you safely fix what’s broken on your riding mower or lawn tractor.

How to replace the starter motor on a riding lawn mower

If you hear the solenoid click but don’t hear the starter motor spin when you turn the key, follow these steps to replace it.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less
January 1, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a riding lawn mower spark plug

If the engine is hard to start or if the spark plug electrode is burnt or cracked, take 15 minutes to replace it.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
January 1, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a riding lawn mower carburetor

If the engine of your lawn tractor surges or is hard to start, the carburetor could be the problem. Follow these steps to install a new one.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 45 minutes or less

Articles and videos common to all riding mowers & tractors

Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your riding mower or lawn tractor.

May 1, 2017

Riding lawn mower engine spins but won't start video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Troubleshoot fuel, spark and compression issues.

June 1, 2016

How to mow a lawn for healthier grass

By Erin Hynes

How often and tall you mow your lawn has a big impact on its health. Check out these 3 rules.

March 1, 2016

How to change the Smart Switch Ignition password on a lawn tractor video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

See how to unlock the factory default start code so you can set your own passcode.