Hustler Zero Turn Won’t Go Forward or Backward (FIXED)

A broken hydraulic pump belt, a loose bed tensioner pulley, a missing idler arm spring, or improperly positioned drive release levers will prevent forward or backward motion on a Hustler zero turn mower.

Movement can also be affected by a lack of hydraulic oil, overheated hydraulic oil, or air in the hydraulic system.

Be careful when handling hot hydraulic fluid and wait for the transmission to cool down. The Hustler operator’s manual will detail the necessary safety procedures.

hustle mower

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 are unsure about how to proceed or if you lack the necessary expertise or experience, you should seek the assistance of a professional.

How to Fix a Hustler Lawn Mower That Won’t Go Forward or Backward

Hustler’s Non-Operating Zero-Turn Drive Release Levers

The bypass valve rods must be disengaged for the mower to free-roll if you need to push it.

When the mower breaks down in the middle of the yard and you have to push it onto a trailer or back to the garage, being able to free-roll it is a big aid.

The drive arms will not move the mower if the rods have not been re-engaged.

If the bypass rods are not engaged to power the wheels, a Hustler zero turn will not move. These neutral rods for the hydrostatic system are situated behind the mower’s gearboxes.

There are two separate motors, one for each wheel, one on the left and one on the right. As if you were sitting in the mower’s seat, locate the levers that control the wheels’ motors and make sure they are both engaged and pointing to the right.

If the mower’s forward and reverse levers aren’t already on the right, you can move them there.

The Drive Belt on your Hustler Zero Turn Pump is Old, Loose, or Broken

The zero-turn’s motion can be impeded by a worn drive belt. Make that the Hustler’s drive belt is still on the pulleys and in the right place.

Any hint of wear on the belt necessitates immediate replacement.

The Zero-Turn Tensioner Pulley on Your Hustler Is Faulty

Either the tensioner pulley or its bearing can fail. Unfortunately, the strong plastic used to make most tensioner pulleys eventually wears out or cracks.

Pulleys that are too worn or have failed bearings should be replaced. Don’t let the tensioner arm seize up by forgetting to lubricate it.

Hustler ZTR Idler Arm Spring Missing

The pump drive belt is under tension due to the idler spring. If the spring is broken or missing from your mower, you should replace it.

Your Hustler Zero Turn Mower Has a Low Level of Hydraulic Fluid

Hustler transmissions function best when the hydraulic fluid is changed on a regular basis.

If the transmission hydraulic fluid is old or low, the mower may not move at all or will run extremely poorly.

Before starting the mower, make sure the oil is cool and then check the hydraulic fluid level. Check the fluid levels by first wiping the area around the caps.

Avoiding dirt contamination is important since dirt is a common cause of a malfunctioning hydraulic system.

If the hydraulic oil in your Hustler is low, fill it up by adding more of the fluid until the dipsticks or overflow tanks read full.

Hustler zero-turns’ hydraulic fluid needs to be changed on a regular basis to ensure peak performance.

  • Hustler transmissions require SAE 20W-50 motor oil. Do not combine these two oil kinds.
  • After the first 75 hours or one year, whichever comes first, change the oil and filters, and then every 200 hours or two years, whichever comes first.

If you notice your hydraulic oil level is low, you should also inspect for leaks. If you’re having trouble with a hydraulic fluid leak on your Hustler zero-turn mower, visit your local Hustler dealer.

A Hustler Zero Turn Mower with Hot Hydraulic Oil

Inadequate or contaminated hydraulic oil prevents the zero turn’s hydraulic system from being properly lubricated, leading to increased friction and fluid overheating.

If the hydraulic fluid in your Hustler mower gets too hot, it could mean more serious damage is occurring.

If your lawnmower is leaking fluid from the hydraulic pump or starts up and operates normally when cold but shuts down while heated, you should take it to a Hustler dealer.

Your Hustler Zero Turn Mower Has Air in the Hydraulic System

The Hustler zero turn may move slowly or not at all if air is stuck in the hydraulic system. The hydraulic system must be bled of air once the fluid has been changed.

In order to release air from the zero-turn’s hydraulic system, the rear drive tires are typically lifted off the ground.

With the bypass valve open and the engine running, you can rotate the tires in both directions by shifting the drive levers forward and backward. Repeat this procedure around six times.

The process should be repeated with the bypass valve closed a total of six times, or until the tires no longer make an abnormal amount of noise when traveling at standard speeds.

Make sure the hydraulic fluid is full, and fill any gaps.

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