How to Adjust the Neutral Control on a Zero-Turn Riding Mower



This step-by-step repair guide gives instructions for adjusting a zero-turn riding mower’s neutral control. If your zero-turn riding mower creeps forward or backward when both lap bars are in the neutral position, adjust the neutral control following the instruction in this repair guide. See all our riding mower and lawn tractor DIY repair guides for more step-by-step instructions.

Use this process to adjust the neutral control on common Craftsman, Husqvarna, Troybilt, MTD, Cub Cadet and Toro zero-turn riding mowers.

Repair difficulty:
Time required:

Less than 45 min.

Parts Required

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Tools Required

  • Floor jack
  • Chocks
  • Jack stands
  • Allen wrench

Before you begin

Move the mower to a work area on a hard, level surface. Don’t set the parking brake.

Wear work gloves to protect your hands.


 Warning: Undertaking repairs to appliances can be hazardous. Use the proper tools and safety equipment noted in the guide and follow all instructions. Do not proceed until you are confident that you understand all of the steps and are capable of completing the repair. Some repairs should only be performed by a qualified technician.

How to Adjust the Neutral Control on a Zero-Turn Riding Mower

Step 1: Loosen the lug nuts on both rear wheels

Loosen the lug nuts on both rear wheels, but don’t remove them.

Step 2: Jack up the rear

Place wheel chocks in front of and behind both front castor wheels.

Jack up the back of the mower to raise both rear wheels off the ground.  

Place jack stands under both sides of the rear frame to support the mower.

Step 3: Remove both rear wheels

Remove the lug nuts from the rear wheels and pull off both rear wheels.

Step 4: Start the engine

Place both lap bars in the neutral position.

Pushing the bars outward to lock them in position.

Start the engine and set the throttle to full RPM.

Step 5: Adjust the neutral setting

Check which wheel hub is moving.

On the side that moves, remove the linkage mounting screw and pull the control linkage off of the bracket.

Loosen the neutral adjustment screw.

Adjust the control bracket to stop the wheel hub from moving.

Tighten the neutral adjustment screw.

Shut the engine off.

Reconnect the control linkage.

Step 6: Reinstall the rear wheels

Reinstall the rear wheels on the hubs.

Reinstall the lug nuts and finger tighten them.

Step 7: Lower the mower

Jack up the back of the mower and remove the jack stands.

Lower the rear of the mower to the ground.

Remove the front wheel chocks.

Step 8: Tighten the lug nuts

Set the parking brake and firmly tighten the rear wheel lug nuts.