13 Typical Hustler Mower Issues (Solutions)

By keeping up with its regular service inspections and maintenance, your Hustler zero turn will have less problems.

Mower maintenance entails checking for and fixing any leaks or broken parts, as well as cleaning and lubricating the machine.

These inspections can help find and fix little problems before they escalate into major ones. I’ve compiled tables of typical Hustler issues and linked to more in-depth resources to help you fix them.

The most typical issues with Hustler lawn mowers are:

  1. Mower Is unable to start
  2. Mower starts then dies
  3. Mower is smoking
  4. Mower has a weak hydrostatic transmission
  5. Mower won’t drive straight or steer correctly
  6. Mower Is stuck in place
  7. Mower is shaking or vibrating
  8. Mower is cutting uneven
  9. Mower is leaking gas
  10. Mower clicks and won’t turn over or start
  11. Mower blades won’t engage or turn on
  12. Mower runs rough and sputters
  13. Mower overheats

It’s recommended to scrape the deck and lubricate moving parts like the spindles and castor wheels multiple times per season.

Before diagnosing, repairing, or operating, be sure you’ve read and understood all of the safety recommendations in the equipment’s operator’s manual.If you don’t feel confident in your ability to conduct the repair safely due to a lack of experience, training, or health, it’s best to call in an expert.

Typical Hustler Mower Issues & Fixes

1. Hustler Lawn Mower Is Unable To Start

If the spark, fuel, and air needed to generate combustion in the cylinder are lacking, your Hustler zero-turn or walk-behind mower may have difficulties starting.

You should check for things like a clogged air filter or a choke that is stuck in the on position. Fuel component failure, a clogged fuel line, or a clogged fuel filter could all cause a fuel restriction that needs investigating.

A damaged spark plug, faulty wiring, a dead battery, or slack wires might also prevent the engine from starting.

CauseReason for ProblemSolution
There is no fuel in the tank.Tank is devoid of fuel.Refuel with new gas
Bad or stale gasOver time, your fuel degrades, making it less effective and more likely to block the fuel system.Empty the tank and replace the fuel with new fuel. To prevent the fuel from deteriorating and to aid in the cleaning of the fuel system, use a fuel additive such as Sea Foam. Fuel up properly.
The gasoline cap is broken or clogged.If the gasoline tank forms a vacuum because the vent in the cap is blocked, the fuel flow is reduced.If the gasoline tank cap is clogged, replace it.
Lack of sparka spark plug that is either too dirty or damaged, has a poor connection, or is improperly gapped.Put in a new spark plug, tighten the connections, and check the gap according to the manual.
Air filter obstructionThe air filter might become clogged with dirt and grass, blocking airflow.Take out the filter so it may be cleaned. If the filter is damaged, you should get a new one.
The Fuel Filter is CloggedFuel flow will be impeded by a dirty fuel filter.Modify: Change the fuel filter
Faulty gas pumpIf your fuel pump is broken or leaking, you won’t have the pressure to pump gas.Change out the gas pump.
Due to clogged gasoline linesThe engine may not get the fuel it needs if dirt and sediment build up in the fuel lines.To remove the obstruction from the gasoline line, you can use carb cleaning and compressed air. If the line needs to be replaced, do so.
Lack of cleanliness in the carburetorBad fuel and ethanol deposits can cause the carburetor to get dirty and clogged, cutting off the fuel supply.The carburetor’s parts should be cleaned. When necessary, replace.
Faulty battery or filthy, loosened terminals.Problems with starting might be caused by a dead battery, slack cables, or rusted terminals.If your battery won’t stay charged, charge it, and get a new one. Remove any corrosion from the terminals and check the tightness of the cables.
Defective safety switchTo avoid accidental ignition of your lawnmower, safety switches are installed. If a switch breaks, your lawnmower won’t turn on.Replace the faulty safety switch after testing it.
Broken spark plugs or ignition coilIf your mower’s ignition switch or coil is broken, you won’t be able to start it.A faulty switch should be checked and perhaps replaced.
Problems with starting a Hustler lawn mower

2. Hustler Lawn Mower Starts Then Dies

When your mower suddenly stops working while it’s going, it’s frustrating. Similar issues that prevent a lawnmower from starting can also cause a Hustler to die.

In addition to the obvious issues with fuel, air, and spark, you may also want to check for things like a malfunctioning ignition coil, low oil, dirty or broken cooling fins, or a clogged mower deck.

CauseReason for ProblemSolution
Bad gasOver time, fuel degrades, making it less effective and increasing the risk of fuel system clogs and engine damage.Empty the tank and replace the fuel with new fuel. Add a fuel additive, such as Sea Foam, to help clean the fuel system and stabilize the fuel.
Air filter obstructionThe air filter might become clogged with dirt and grass, blocking airflow.Take out the filter so it may be cleaned. If the filter is damaged, you should get a new one.
The cooling fins are dirty or damaged.When the cooling fins on an engine are clogged with debris like dirt, grease, and grass, the engine fails to cool properly.Clean the cooling fins and replace any that are broken.
blocked gasoline filter or linesThe engine may not get the fuel it needs if dirt and sediment build up in the fuel lines.To remove the obstruction from the gasoline line, blow compressed air through a carburetor cleaner. It’s time to change the gasoline filter.
Lack of cleanliness in the carburetorBad fuel and ethanol deposits can cause the carburetor to get dirty and clogged, cutting off the fuel supply.Disinfect the carburetor’s individual parts. When necessary, replace.
Inadequate or Excessive Oil Levels in EnginesExcess oil in the crankcase raises temperatures and eventually kills an engine. Overheating and shutting down can occur if there isn’t enough oil to lubricate the moving parts.Fix the oil in your car. If this doesn’t solve the problem, you should call a small engine mechanic. It’s possible that your car’s engine has acquired a serious problem.
Worn out spark plugWhen a spark plug is unclean or damaged, it fouls out, which can cause the engine to stall intermittently.If spark plugs need to be cleaned or replaced, do so. Check the gap and tightness of the spark plugs, and replace the wires if necessary.
The Ignition Coil Is BrokenA faulty ignition coil will have windings that pull apart and cause a short.Use an ohm meter to look for a break in continuity, and if one is detected, replace it.
The Position of the Choke Is IncorrectCold starts need the usage of a choke. When the choke is left on too long after the engine has warmed up, it might cause the engine to shut off.Verify that the choke is set properly.
Leaking Fuel Tank VentVents are necessary for gas tanks to allow air to escape. When the fuel tank’s vents get blocked, it reduces the tank’s capacity.If the gasoline tank’s vent no longer vents, you should replace it.
Deck Clog on LawnmowerThe engine has to work harder and could even shut off if the mower deck is blocked.Maintain a clean mower deck by scraping it on a regular basis.
Cause of Your Hustler Mower Dies While Mowing

3. Hustler Lawn Mower is Smoking

White, black, or blue smoke coming from your Hustler indicates an issue that needs fixing before it becomes worse.

The lawnmower must first be turned off. Don’t touch the mower till it’s cooled down. A clogged air filter, an excess of oil in the crankcase, or a leaking engine gasket are just few of the potential causes.

One of these problems requires immediate attention. If you find and fix these things before they cause serious damage to your engine, you should be fine.

Checking for low engine oil or other internal engine problems are also important. A small engine technician may need to run diagnostic tests to determine the root of these additional issues and make the appropriate repairs.

CauseReason for ProblemSolution
Air filter obstructionThe air filter might become clogged with dirt and grass, blocking airflow.Take out the filter so it may be cleaned. If the filter is damaged, you should get a new one.
Crankcase oil level is too high.An oversupply of oil can raise engine pressure and force oil into the cylinders via the valve mechanism.Take some oil out of the engine until you reach the level specified by the manufacturer.
Low Oil Level in EngineDue to increased friction, lack of oil can cause your engine to overheat.Take it in for an inspection at a small engine repair shop. Adding oil may help, but by that point it may be too late to save your engine.
Piston ring, valve train, or engine gasket issues are internal issues.Mower performance might be negatively impacted by undetected engine issues if you don’t have them rectified quickly.If you’re having issues with your Hustler mower, visit a small engine repair facility or an authorized Hustler dealer.
Cause of Your Hustler Lawn Mower is Smoking

4. The Hustler Lawnmower’s Hydrostatic Transmission Is Poor

The strength of your Hustler lawn mower’s hydrostatic transmission may be diminished by a worn or damaged hydraulic belt or pulley. Hydraulic oil that has seen better days, or a lack of oil in the hydraulic tank, can also contribute to a lack of transmission power.

CauseReason for ProblemSolution
Worn out drive beltPump inefficiency due to a broken drive belt.Belts that are cracked, worn, or frayed should be replaced.
Pulley tensioner failure.When a tensioner pulley breaks, the drive belt loses its tension.Pulley replacement and lubrication of the tension arm
Inadequate or stale hydraulic oilHustler suggests scheduling routine oil changes for your hydraulic system.Hydraulic fluid levels should be checked on a regular basis.
Hydrostatic Transmission on Hustler Lawnmower Seems Flimsy.

5. Hustler Lawn Mower Won’t Drive Straight or Steer Correctly

Misaligned tires, worn steering dampers, and other factors can all make it difficult to steer your Hustler lawnmower. Maintaining your mower’s tracking is a must.

If the mower is not properly tracked, it may drift to one side while operating.

CauseReason for ProblemSolution
Poor tire inflationMowers with uneven tire pressure can pull to one side.Always maintain the recommended tire pressure as stated in the owner’s manual. Your mower’s tires on both sides should be inflated to the same level.
Bad zero-turn dampersMowers with faulty dampers will lurch to one side when being propelled.Put in a brand-new damper.
The zero-degree turn requires a tracking modification.Your mower may lean to one side if one of its tires is going more quickly than the other.You can modify the tire’s rotational velocity by adjusting the corresponding bolt. Please consult the user guide.
Cause of Why Your Hustler Mower Won’t Drive Straight or Steer Correctly

6. Hustler Lawn Mower Is Stuck in Place

Make sure the drive bypass valves are not the problem with your Hustler mower before attempting any other fixes. The hydros can be disengaged by these valves at the back of the mower, allowing you to push the mower by hand.

Bypassing these valves allows the mower to roll freely without being propelled. Verify that the bypass valves are open and functioning properly.

Once you’ve established that the bypass valves aren’t the issue, you should move on to examining the drive belt, tensioner spring, and tensioner pulley.

If the hydraulic fluid is too hot, there is not enough of it, or there is air trapped in the system, your mower may operate erratically or not at all.

CauseReason for ProblemSolution
Misplaced release lever on the driveFree rolling of hydrostatic mowers is enabled by the drive-release arms.The drive-release arms have to be in the “drive” setting.
There is wear on the belt that drives the pump.If the drive belt comes off, you won’t be able to move the mower. Wearing the belt can also prevent any movement.If your belt is worn or damaged, you should get a new one. Verify the pulley belt is properly fastened.
Pulley tensioner failure.Failure of the tensioner pulley’s bearing is possible.Substitute the pulley’s tension spring.
Idle arm without springThe stress on the drive belt will release if the idler arm spring breaks or disappears.Substitute the missing or broken spring
Inadequate or stale hydraulic oilIf your hydraulic oil is low or old, it won’t lubricate the system properly, and your hydraulics will feel feeble.Hustler suggests scheduling routine oil changes for your hydraulic system. Hydraulic fluid levels should be checked on a regular basis.
Steaming hydraulic oilDamage to your hydrostatic transmission system can be indicated by hydraulic fluid that is abnormally hot.The hydraulic oil needs to cool down. Check with your local Hustler dealer if you find that your mower performs well when cold but loses power when the hydraulic system warms up.
Hydraulic system has air in it.If you change your hydraulic fluid without also draining the air from the system, you won’t be able to use the mower at its full potential.Refer to your Hustler’s handbook for specific instructions on how to change the hydraulic fluid and purge any air from the system.
Cause of Why Your Hustler Will Not Move or Go Forward

7. Hustler Lawn Mower is Vibrating and Shaking

Vibrations in a Hustler mower can be caused by a number of issues, including loose hardware, debris, a failing ball bearing in the clutch, or worn bearings in the pulleys.

Make sure the mower is in good working order by inspecting each item and ensuring it is correctly fitted. Take out any unwanted objects and clear the deck of the mower of any debris.

CauseReason for ProblemSolution
Engine mounting bolts that are loose or absentMower vibration can be dampened by using engine nuts while the engine is operating.Bolt the engine down and replace any that are loose.
Bad clutchVibration can occur if a bearing fails, resulting in the part falling out of the clutch.Substitute a new clutch
Damaged or unbalanced lawnmower bladesMower vibrations can be caused by damaged or improperly balanced blades. Before mounting, blades must be properly balanced.If any of the blades are broken or unbalanced, you should replace them.
Wrapping the blade’s spindle in materialVibrations can be caused by foreign objects tangling with your blade shaft, such as string or long weeds.Clear the area around the blade shaft of any obstructions. Inspect the spindle for cracks.
Poor bearing quality in the spindle housingA faulty bearing in the spindle housing can result in vibration.Either the bearing or the entire spindle housing must be replaced.
Damaged deck belts or worn pulleysDeck belt and pulleys should be inspected for wear and bearing failure.Belts and pulleys should be replaced if they are worn.
Mower jammed due to debrisEven minor disturbances can set off your Hustler’s excessive vibration mode. Make sure there is no debris jammed in the deck or the mower itself. Pay attention to the details.Mower deck and machine must be inspected for crevices that could trap small objects. Get rid of these intruders.
Cause of Your Hustler Lawn Mower is Vibrating

8. The Cut on the Hustler Lawn Mower Is Poor or Uneven

You probably bought a Hustler mower because it gives such a clean cut. When the mower stops giving you the desired cut, it might be frustrating.

Checking the tire pressures is the first step in isolating the source of your bad or uneven cut. A nasty cut can result from anything as simple as a flat tire because the deck won’t be sitting flat.

After determining that the tires are at the correct pressure, you should examine the deck. The quality of your cut may vary depending on the condition of your mower’s blades, deck belt, spindle, spindle bearings, pulley bearings, or deck shell.

Faulty lawnmower bladeInconsistent tire inflationThe RPMs are Way Too Low
Warped lawnmower bladeDeck of mower not leveledIt’s too quick on the ground
Incorrectly fitted bladeWarped or broken spindle bearing on a bladeCracked deck casing
Deck Clog on LawnmowerBelt or pulley wear on the deckFail to operate
Cause of Your Hustler Lawn Mower is Cutting Uneven

9. Gas Leak from Huster Lawn Mower

When you observe a small puddle on the ground, that’s usually when you know you have a fuel leak. Sometimes the sole indication of a gas leak is the lingering smell of gas after the gas has vanished.

If your Hustler mower is leaking gas, check the carburetor for a jammed float or a blown gasket. A fuel pump, fuel lines, gas cap, or fuel filter can all be sources of fuel leakage.

You can get further information at:
Locate the Gas Leak in a Hustler Mower (SOLVED)

CauseReason for ProblemSolution
Soiled with Carburetor Failure GunkOld gas residues can accumulate in the carburetor, leading to obstructions or component failures that ultimately produce a leak.Get the carburetor serviced and fixed if necessary.
Used-Up Fuel FilterSoftening and degradation of the filter due to old fuel.Fuel filter replacement
A Faulty Fuel PumpWear and tear on the pump can cause it to leak at the seams after some time.Change out the gas pump.
Flaking Fuel Tank WeldsPoly tanks are susceptible to leakage at the seams.Change out the gas tank.
Failure of the Fuel Cutoff ValveLeaks from shutoff valves are common over time.Switch out the safety valve
Damaged by Cracks or Holes Gasoline PipesWhen the rubber in the fuel lines dries out and cracks, gas leaks out. A foreign object or the clamps used on the lines might also puncture them.Fuel lines should be changed.
Bad Put a Cap on the GasIt is possible for gas to spill out of the fuel tank around the gas cap if the gas cap seal fails.Put on a new gas cap.
Possible Gasoline Leak Locations in Your Hustler Lawnmower

10. Hustler Zero Turn Clicks & Won’t Turn Over

If your Hustler zero-turn mower makes a clicking or humming noise but won’t start, you might need to replace the starter solenoid. Inspect the solenoid itself, but also any nearby components that can impact its ability to receive power.

These components consist of the battery, wires, terminals, and ground. When none of these are at issue, the starter motor should be examined.

CauseReason for ProblemSolution
Batteries with frayed or disconnected wires and wiringLack of continuity due to loose wires and cables.Fix the broken wires and hoses. Get rid of the rust on the terminals and other parts. Wrap up any slack cords.
Lackluster power sourceDoesn’t have enough juice to start the car.If a 12-volt battery’s test shows that it has less than 12.7 volts, you should charge it. When the battery stops holding a charge, you should get a new one.
Poor soilExcess energy is dissipated via the ground wire.Take away the rust from the earth. Verify that the starter solenoid’s ground line is securely connected to the battery’s ground terminal. (A solenoid with three terminals grounds itself.)
Solenoid that initiates the engine’s ignition is broken.The solenoid in the starter controls when the motor will start.If the starter solenoid fails the test, it must be replaced.
Misfiring starterThe engine is started by a starter motor.Switch out a defective starter.
Hustler Zero Turn Mower Clicks & Won’t Turn Over

11. Hustler Zero Turn Blades Won’t Engage or Turn On

When the Hustler zero turn’s PTO switch is broken, the battery is dead, a safety switch has failed, or the clutch is worn out, the mower blades will not turn.

When the belt is old, strained, has a defective pulley bearing, or the tensioner parts have worn out, the blades will not turn.

CauseReason for ProblemSolution
Belt on the mower deck has worn outWorn belts can’t turn the pulleys, therefore the blades can’t spin.If your belt is torn, shiny, or broken, it needs to be replaced.
The pulley belt comes loose.The blades wouldn’t spin without the driving belt turning the pulleys.Deck components such as a broken idler arm, a worn spring, or damaged pulleys should be replaced as soon as possible. Renew a worn-out belt on the mower deck.
Faulty PTO switchA faulty switch will prevent the clutch from being engaged by battery voltage.Switch out the PTO.
False clutchThe clutch is responsible for connecting the engine to the blades via the drive belt.Put on a new clutch. The clutch cable, lever, springs, and linkages of a manual engagement clutch need to be replaced when they become worn.
The battery is weak.The battery operates the clutch.If a 12-volt battery’s test shows that it has less than 12.7 volts, you should charge it. When the battery stops holding a charge, you should get a new one.
Defective safety switchWhen the seat switch does not detect the operator’s presence, the blades may not start spinning if the switch is faulty.Switch off the power again.
Burnt outIt’s possible that the electrical system’s safety fuse blew.Substitute a new fuse of the same amperage for the old one. If it keeps blowing, a mechanic should be called in to determine why.
Hustler Zero Turn Blades Won’t Engage or Turn On

12. Hustler Zero Turn is Running Rough and Sputters

Look for objects that can limit fuel flow or airflow or cause inconsistent spark when you notice your Hustler zero-turn is running rough and bogging down.

Fast ground speed, a clogged mower deck, and dull mower blades are all things that can increase the strain on the engine and should be checked.

When the blades are turned on, a sluggish engine is often the result of not using full throttle.

For More Information Check Out:
Top 12 Causes of a Rough Running Hustler Mower: FIXED

CauseReason for ProblemSolution
Wasted gasolineBlocking fuel flow are varnish and sediment from unused fuel.Remove stale gas. Fill it back up with gas and fuel stabilizer.
Stuck gasoline lineThe fuel line’s internal diameter can be reduced by the accumulation of old gasoline deposits.Use carburetor cleaning and compressed air to clear up a clogged fuel line. If the blockage cannot be cleared, a new fuel line must be installed.
The Fuel Filter is CloggedIf your gasoline filter is unclean, it may restrict fuel flow.Change out the fuel filter.
Lack of cleanliness in the carburetorThe accumulation of varnish might cause obstructions.The carburetor must be removed before cleaning. If it needs to be fixed or replaced, do so.
Poor gas capA vacuum can create in the tank, preventing normal fuel flow, if the vent in the gas cap is blocked.If your gas cap is preventing the gasoline tank from venting, you should replace it.
Soiled spark plugIntermittent starting problems might be caused by carbon buildup on a spark plug.Wire brush a dirty plug to make it look like new. If it’s faded, worn, or broken, you should replace it.
Quickness on the groundCutting more grass at once than the engine can handle might strain the mower and increase the amount of time it takes to complete the job.To accommodate mowing, reduce ground speed. Mowing tall, thick, or damp grass at high speeds can damage the engine.
Reduced motor rpmMower blade operation is quite energy intensive.To start the mower’s blades, raise the throttle lever to its highest setting.
Mowing deck obstructionWhen the engine has to work harder to turn the blades through a deck full of grass clippings and debris, it is said to be underload.To maintain a clean mower deck, scrape it.
Deflated mowing toolsIf the engine is already working too hard because of debris in the mower deck, dull blades just make things worse.Hone the mower’s cutting edge.
Cause of a Hustler Zero Turn is Running Rough

13. Heat Issues with Hustler Zero Turn Mower

Hustler mowers rely heavily on engine oil’s cooling properties. Oils rich in zinc are recommended for air-cooled engines. Make sure the oil in the car’s engine is always at the proper level.

The cooling fins, the engine shroud, and the engine guard are all potential airflow obstructions that should be checked.

Check the condition of the air filter, cutting deck, and blades.

Potential CauseSolution
Low quality motor oilMowers from the Hustler brand need engine oil with a high zinc concentration for their air-cooled motors to function properly. Choose an oil that can withstand the external temperatures where you plan to use the mower.It’s time to change the oil in the car’s engine. In normal driving, use an oil with an SAE30 or 10W-30 rating. In really hot weather, you may need to switch to a different viscosity.
Low oil pressure in engineInternal engine friction and heat are both increased when oil levels are low.Empty out the gas tank. To clean the fuel system and stabilize the gasoline, fill up with new gas that has been treated with an additive.
Filled-in cooling fins on an engineTo prevent overheating, the cylinder heads and engine block have cooling fins installed.To get rid of gunk in the carburetor, take it apart.
Inadequate engine protectionThe engine guard prevents cool air from escaping the engine compartment and instead keeps it circulating.Fix an engine with a new guard. Fasten that sloppy guard down.
Air filter obstructionWhen the car is trying to get fresh air, the engine has to work harder.Clean or replace a clogged air filter.
Mowing deck obstructionGrass clippings on the deck make the engine work harder to propel the blades.Grass clippings and other debris can be removed by scraping the mower deck.
Deflated mowing toolsA clogged mower deck is made much worse by dull blades.Mower blades that are no longer cutting efficiently should be sharpened.Change out dull blades.
The engine is overworked.Overloading and overheating the engine can result from using the mower at a pace that is inappropriate for the conditions.To accommodate mowing, reduce ground speed. Don’t mow the lawn if it’s damp. An overgrown lawn may require two or even three cuts.
The Overheating Issue with the Hustler Zero-Turn