Most Common Bad Boy Mower Steering Problems and Their Fixes

Regular maintenance of your yard is a breeze when you have a bad boy mower.

But even the best one can experience problems with the steering. The proper steering of your bad boy mower will allow you to make accurate turns and improve the overall turf finish. 

The wheel may drift by itself towards any side, which can happen for the loose joints or drag linkage, too low tire pressure, worn out steering shaft, and many other reasons.

Check the tie rods, steering shaft, front axle, sector gear assembly, and other parts if the steering wheel is out of whack. 

Check out the article to know more about bad boy mower steering problems and solutions.

7 Most Common Issues with Bad Boy Mower Steering:

There are some significant causes by which you can easily identify when your bad boy lawn mower needs proper inspection and repairing or replacement regarding the steering. 

So, let’s learn more about those reasons for the steering issues –

1. Lack of proper knowledge 

The bad boy lawn mowers come with advanced technology. So, you need to gain more knowledge and expertise to understand how to operate and control the machine. So, if you don’t know how to handle your mower on the right track, you will face steering issues. 

2. Steering gear issues

The steering gear is one of the main components which let you steer. Since the whole steering system is controlled by steering gear, any problem like damaged or broken gear can bring about problems in steering.

Unexpected curb, running into a stray brick, sudden drop in terrain can stress the steering gear.

3. Steering shaft issue

The steering shaft or steering support of your bad boy mower can be worn out. This can end up having a steering problem. 

4. Dislodged ball joint

If the mower hits a hard object, the ball joint may pop out of place. This can suffer the steering.

5. Tire pressure issue

The mower can’t be easy to steer if the tire pressure is not correct. If the pressure is low, it will be tough to navigate the bad boy mower properly. 

6. Carburetor issue

The carburetor is the one that blends air and fuel to produce a combustible mixture for the engine cylinder. If the carburetor is out of work, the engine will be hard to start and won’t move. 

7. Issues in Neutral situation

Sometimes the mower won’t move when in neutral for a faulty drive belt or brake pad. Since the riding mowers are hard to keep clean, the parts get rusty for the water and other debris. So the brake pad may seize up and be hard to move. 

What To Do When You Detect Bad Boy Mower Steering Problems?

Whenever you encounter any reasons stated above, make sure to follow the below instructions in order to fix the problem-

Examine the tire pressure 

Take a pressure gauge, look at the mower’s operator manual to check the rate of optimum pressure, and compare the mentioned pressure with the present tire pressure.

Now, release or fill the tires until your requirements are fulfilled. 

Fix the steering gear

If the mower gets hit by a tree or big solid objects, the gear can dislodge.

To solve this issue, you first need to figure out whether the gear is broken or not. So, you need to loosen the bolts that hold the steering gear.

Then, turn the wheel entirely to the left. You will hear a popping side for returning to the original position.

Now tighten the bolt back. This indicates a broken gear, and you need to replace it. 

Tip: Before going to solve the steering issues, you need to do some preliminary tasks. The mower should be parked at a flat surface, disengage the spark plug cable to avoid unintentional start, set the steering wheels at their default center position. 

Examining the joints

If the ball joints have been dislodged, loosen the bolts on the ball joint assembly. Pop the joint back into place, tighten the nuts until they are secure. Now, turn the wheel to the right and left afterward to check if the wheels respond properly. 

Replacing the brake pad

According to the model, the drive pad may be situated at different places. So, first, look at the manual and figure out the location. Then –

  • Remove the rear left wheel
  • Take a socket wrench to loosen the mounting bolts of the brake pad and remove the section.
  • Pop-out the brake pucks
  • Insert new pucks if the old ones get damaged 
  • Reinstall the brake Assembly 
  • Slide the tire onto the key and secure it with the mounting pin.
  • Adjust your brake tension

Replacing of other parts

Some repairing may help to solve the steering problems. 

You can replace the tie rod. If the wheels don’t turn with the steering wheel or the steering is loose, the tie rod needs to be replaced. 

Additionally, if the front wheels point outward or the steering is loose, replace the front axle.

Moreover, check the wheel spindle if you find any front wheels wobbling. You may need to replace it.

Again, you may need to replace the damaged bushing, which is situated beneath the steering gear. To replace the bushing –

  • Disassemble the nuts that hold the gear in place
  • Pull the gear off the machine
  • Now remove the bushing that lies underneath it.
  • Put the new ones and reinstall the gear and nuts. 

Steering system care

The best way to avoid steering problems is to drive the mower carefully to avoid sudden turns and hitting foreign objects. It would be best if you winterized it before storing it in a secure place. Keep them away from extreme hot and cold Weathers. 

How To Adjust The Steering Of Your Mower?

Sometimes, the steering can get damaged for uncertain causes. So, you need to adjust it and you can do the following steps by yourself – 

1. Power your mower off if it is turned on.

2. Use a socket wrench to loosen the bolts on both the left and right control arms.

3. Each arm has three bolts that must be loosened with a socket wrench to adjust the mower fully.

4. Move each steering arm from right to left after loosening the bolts with the wrench. 

5. Adjust each arm as desired.

6. Then re-tighten the one bolt closest to the base of each arm to set the arm’s left-to-right positioning.

7. Adjust each of the steering arms from front to back as desired.

8. Then tighten the remaining bolts with the socket wrench once you are happy with the placement of the arms. Make sure that the arms should be adjusted to provide for ease of use while sitting in the driver’s seat.

Also, you can watch this video to adjust the steering of your mower.


What should be the correct tire pressure for my lawnmower?

The Tire pressure of lawnmowers is generally measured in pounds per square inch (PSI), and the standard rate is stated on owner’s manual. However, the factory setting for a standard riding lawnmower is 10 PSI for the rear and 14 PSI for front tires.

How fast can you get a lawn mower to go?

This actually depends on various models. However, lawn and garden tractors typically offer forward speeds up to 5 1/2 miles per hour (mph), while ZTR mowers can have forward speeds up to 7 mph.

What kind of hydraulic fluid does a Bad Boy mower take?

All Bad Boy hydraulic systems use 20W-50 engine oil (Conventional or Synthetic).

Can you use motor oil instead of hydraulic fluid?

You cannot use motor oil in a hydraulic system as motor oil runs at a much higher temperature but hydraulic oil starts to fail at around 45c.


Since steering issues can cause accidental overturn of the machine, it is crucial to address the bad boy mower steering problems. If you follow the steps provided above, the steering adjustments are not a tedious job.

It would be best if you replaced the damaged parts. A bent or front-wheel spindle or worn front axle will affect the steering performance. Let us know about your John Deere zero turn steering problems and solutions and share your experience.

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