Tiller: Why won't my tillers wheels or tines turn?

A broken drive belt, bad transmission or problem with the clutch cable can prevent a tiller's wheels and tines from turning.

Check the drive belt and replace it if it's worn or broken.

If the belt is okay, check the clutch cable to see if it tensions the belt to spin the transmission pulley when you pull the bail arm up against the handle. Adjust the clutch cable if needed or replace the clutch cable if it's broken.

If the transmission pulley spins but the tines and wheels won't move, then you'll likely need to replace the transmission.

tiller

THESE REPAIRS MAY HELP SOLVE YOUR TILLER PROBLEM

JC-TIL-Replace-the-tiller-drive-belt

Replace the tiller drive belt

The drive belt connects the engine pulley to the transmission to drive the wheels and tines on the tiller. A worn belt slips, resulting in poor tilling. Replace the belt if it is worn or broken.

Tiller drive belt

Find the required part specific to your product.

RG-TIL-Replace-Tiller-Drive-Belt-Intro-Image
May 1, 2013By Lyle Weischwill

How to replace a tiller drive belt

If your tiller won’t move forward or the tines won’t turn, the drive belt might be broken or worn. This DIY repair guide shows how to replace a tiller drive belt in 6 easy steps.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
JC-TIL-Replace-the-tiller-transmission

Replace the tiller transmission

The transmission controls the motion of the wheels and/or tines on a tiller. An internal gear failure in the transmission can prevent the tines from turning or the wheels from moving. Replace the transmission if it won't drive the tiller components properly.

Tiller transmission

Find the required part specific to your product.

JC-TIL-Adjust-or-replace-the-tiller-clutch-cable

Adjust or replace the tiller clutch cable

The clutch cable engages and disengages the drive system on the tiller. Test the drive system and adjust the clutch cable if necessary. If the cable is damaged or broken, replace it.

Adjust or replace the tiller clutch cable

Find the required part specific to your product.

Symptoms common to all tillers

Choose a symptom to see related tiller repairs.

Main causes: worn or broken drive belts, bad transmission, clutch cable problems
Main causes: broken shaft clevis pins, transmission failure
Main causes: dirty carburetor, engine needs tune up, stale gas
Main causes: carburetor failure, bad gasoline, dirty spark plug, broken recoil starter
Main causes: leaky engine head gasket, damaged sump gasket, damaged oil drain plug seal, loose or cracked fuel line, leaky carburetor seal
Main causes: damaged tines, broken clevis pins, worn drive belt, faulty transmission, clutch cable problems, improper depth-stake setting
Main causes: clutch cable problems, faulty transmission

Repair guides common to all tillers

These step-by-step repair guides will help you safely fix what’s broken on your tiller.

May 1, 2013
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a tiller recoil starter

The recoil starter spins the engine when you pull the starter rope, and the rope retracts when released. If the recoil starter assembly is broken, follow the steps in this repair guide to replace it.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less

Articles and videos common to all tillers

Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your tiller.

December 28, 2018

Find the right carburetor assembly for a Craftsman snowblower, tiller or log splitter

By Sears PartsDirect staff

This chart will help you find the right carburetor for your Craftsman snowblower, tiller or log splitter.

December 28, 2018

Find the right carburetor kit for a Craftsman snowblower, tiller or log splitter

By Sears PartsDirect staff

This chart can help you find the right carburetor kit for your Craftsman snowblower, tiller or log splitter.

November 1, 2015

Tiller common questions

By Sears PartsDirect staff

These frequently asked questions might help you figure out what's wrong with your garden tiller.