7 Causes Of A Zero Turn Mower’s Inability To Drive Straight (SOLVED)

Your zero-turn has lost its straight-and-narrow and is now veering to one side. This isn’t ideal, but it’s possible to correct for it by moving the steering levers ever-so-slightly to get it to go in a straight path.

Finding and fixing the root of the problem is preferable, not only so that the mower stops pulling to the left or right, but also in case the underlying reason might lead to a more serious problem if left unfixed.

Incorrect tire pressure, broken dampers, or air in the hydraulic system are just a few of the potential causes of a zero-inability turn’s to steer straight.

There might be a simple solution, like adjusting the zero-tracking, turn’s or it could be that an attachment is making the mower top-heavy.

Zero Turn Mower

Before diagnosing, repairing, or operating, be sure you’ve read and understood all of the safety recommendations in the equipment’s operator’s handbook. If you are unsure of how to proceed, lack the necessary knowledge, or are unable to execute the repair properly, you should seek the advice of a professional.

Turning Zero Pulls to One Side or Won’t Go Straight

1. Zero Turn Mower with Incorrectly Sized or Overinflated Tires

When your zero-turn starts pulling to one side, the first thing to check is the tire pressure. If a mower’s tire is flat, it will affect the mower’s steering and make it difficult to maneuver.

Verify the tires are the same size and that the pressure is right on both sides of the mower. If a mower is still pulling to one side after you’ve switched to new tires, the problem may be caused by using tires of different sizes.

SOLUTION: Check if the left and right drive tires are the same size. The next step is to double-check that the tires are inflated to the correct pressure according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

All four tires’ pressures must be same on both sides of the zero-turn.

2. Modifying the Zero-Turn Mower’s Tracking

If the mower no longer advances in a straight path but instead swerves to the left or right, you may need to make a tracking modification to the zero-turn.

The hydraulic motors may be controlled by connecting the steering levers to a plate. Each brand and model has its own unique set of adjustments. If you need guidance on how to trace, please refer to the user guide.

SOLUTION: Change the rotation speed of the tire by adjusting the speed adjustment bolt so that each tire travels at the same pace. See the user guide for more information.

3. Inoperative Zero-Turn-Mower Brake

Be sure to double-check the zero-braking turn’s system. It is possible for one side of the brake to fail, which would result in the tire dragging and the vehicle not moving.

SOLUTION: Use these procedures to detect a wheel that won’t spin freely due to a clogged brake.

  • Stop the mower, put it in park, and let the wheels rest on a level surface.
  • Stop the mower from moving forward by choking the front wheels.
  • Jack up the vehicle’s rear drive wheels and set them on stands.
  • Hydros may be turned off by releasing the bypass levers on the gearbox.
  • Take your foot off the brake.
  • Check the level of resistance by spinning each drive wheel.
  • If you feel any difficulty when turning a wheel, take it off and have a look at the brakes. According to the zero-turn, this will change. To determine which braking components are compatible with your zero-turn, use a parts diagram. Tend to the breakdowns.

4. Zero-Turn Hydraulic System Has Air in It

Mowing may slow down and possibly veer to one side if there is air in the hydraulic system.

Your zero-turn mower is equipped with two separate hydraulic pumps and wheel motors. The wheel on the side of the mower where air is trapped in the hydraulic system will turn more slowly.

SOLUTION: To remove air from a zero-turn hydraulic system, follow these steps:

Most zero-turn mowers have a feature that allows air to be released from the system by simply setting the mower down on a level surface.

  • Put wheel chocks under the mower’s front tires to keep it from moving forward.
  • Jack up the vehicle’s rear drive wheels and set them on stands.
  • Put the bypass levers in the open position by releasing them.
  • Turn on the ignition and take your foot off the brake.
  • Pull the speed levers forward and backward for around six cycles.
  • Put on the parking brake and turn off the car.
  • Be sure the bypass levers are in the closed position.
  • Put the speed levers through their paces by moving them forward and backward a total of six times.

Until you no longer hear abnormally loud noises and the wheels move at regular rates, repeat the instructions as required. The oil level drops as air is sucked out of the system. Make sure the hydraulic oil is at full capacity by checking the level and topping it up if necessary.

To learn how to purge air from the hydraulic system of your model, consult the handbook.

5. Faulty Zero Turn Mower Dampers

If your zero-turn is exhibiting jerky movement, check the tightness and condition of the steering dampers.

To counteract the abrupt movement that might cause the mower to pull to one side, the hydro pumps have negative feedback that is absorbed by the steering dampers, also known as shocks.

Each side of the mower features a steering damper.

Dampers, often known as steering shocks, eventually wear out. There is a damper linked to the mower’s bottom steering arm on both sides.

When the damper wears down, it stops working properly, just like any other part.

SOLUTION: Replace a faulty steering damper (s).

6. Zero-Turn Mower Transmission Problems

A faulty gearbox might be to blame if you’ve already tested all of the aforementioned factors and your mower is still veering to one side.

The zero-turn features two separate gearboxes. So if one side starts to fail the mower will pull to the side and not go straight.

SOLUTION: Take it in to get fixed at the store where you bought it. In the event of a pump or wheel motor failure, your dealer will be able to assess the problem and make any necessary repairs.

7. Off-Balance Attachment With a Turning Zero

A small trailer or other goods may be towed behind a zero-turn by some drivers. The mower may veer to one side if the weight being pulled is not evenly distributed behind it.

SOLUTION: Distribute the burden.

Be careful while using the zero-turn to pull anything. You should never haul more than your zero-turn can handle. Transmissions are not built to pull big weights. This can do them harm and lead to expensive repairs.

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