7 Most Common Problems with Cub Cadet i1042 (Easy Solutions)

The cub cadet i1042 is one of the most popular ride-on lawn mowers. However, if you have owned one for several years, then you must have come across a few issues. So, what are the cub cadet i1042 problems users commonly face? And how can you solve them?

A common Cub Cadet I1042 Problem that users complain is the lawn mower not starting despite a full tank. Here, you might want to check your engagements first to ensure your parking’s on and the blade’s off. Other problems like failure to change direction or to climb uphill might result from a damaged transmission system.

Are you struggling with cub cadet problems? It is not uncommon if you have already run the tractor for 200 hours. Read on to find out the most authentic solutions.

What Are The Common Cub Cadet I1042 Problems?

All owners deal with some cub cadet i1042 problems during their years with the machine. Of course, these problems can be frustrating. But they always come with solutions.

Here are some of the cub cadet i1042 problems that users typically complain about-

  •  The tractor can’t turn right or left 
  •  Engine fine, but tractor doesn’t move
  •  Lawnmower fails to start 
  •  Problems with Hydrostatic transmission 
  •  Overheating issues
  •  The tractor shakes, bounces, or vibrates 
  •  Problems with Cutting grass 

7 Solutions For Cub Cadet i1042 Common Problems:

The cub cadet i1042 can make cutting grass or trimming the land an enjoyable experience for the user. Plus, the hydrostatic transmission grants you endless gear.

It was so immensely popular that recently the dealers had run out of stock. Meanwhile, customers frantically searched for it.

Despite all the positive qualities, the tractor is not without its occasional flaws. And some typical cub cadet i1042 problems keep popping up in forums and other discussions. Let’s look at the solutions –

1. Fix A Loose Hydrobelt Spring

The ability to make tight turns is a signature of the cub cadet i1042. However, sometimes the mower might not be able to make the action.

Instead of making crisp turns like it’s supposed to, the machine might start making hissing noises and keep lagging. Then it will only move when fully locked in that direction.

The reason for this kind of behavior is often a loose hydro belt. So, if the belt is loose on the left, you can’t turn your tractor left. And the same applies to the other side.

Here, the belt itself is not damaged. Instead, the spring that maintains tension on the belt is not tight enough. So, you can easily solve the problem by replacing the spring.

Replacing the spring is a simple process. But if you don’t understand the inner workings of the cub cadet i1042, then take it to someone professional. The spring can cost you somewhere around 2-5$. Plus, the servicing fees.

2. Replace Broken Brake Belt

Another familiar cub cadet i1042 problem is that the tractor isn’t moving. You might notice that everything is running properly in your machine, including the engine.

It’s just the wheels are dead no matter what you try. Which means they would neither turn nor spin.

In this case, you might first want to check the mode. If the wheels are not turning, a possible reason is that the tractor is in push mode.

However, you probably have a broken drive belt if the wheels are still dead after mode correction. In that case, you must remove the broken belt and buy a new one.

When removing the drive belt, you will want to remember the sequence in which you uninstall it. Otherwise, reinstalling would be troublesome.

Also, use proper tools for your vehicle’s and your own safety. A drive belt (item 954-04185) for cub cadet i1042 can cost around 50$.

3. Freshen Fuel and Tighten Spark Plug

Probably the most asked question on the tractor forums- Why doesn’t my cub cadet i1042 engine start?

And no one solution works for it because there are several reasons why this might happen. You want to ensure that you have a full tank and the line’s clear. Also, the fuel can’t be old or stale.

Besides that, your cub cadet i1042 might also fail to start if your spark plug is loose. So, check that and tighten it if necessary. Here, you might want to use a socket wrench with a ‘spark plug socket.’

Remember, your engine won’t start if you have the blade knob engaged. Plus, you need to engage the parking before starting.

If your spark plug is destroyed, you need to replace it. A cub cadet i1042 spark plug (item 759-3336) will cost around $7.

4. Get a New Hydrostatic Transmission

The hydrostatic transmission of cub cadet i1042 grants you infinite gear and is one of the most attractive features of the machine. However, it can go bad after 200 hours of heavy use (close to one year).

This might manifest as one of the wheels dying after forty minutes of starting the engine. Then it works fine again after thirty minutes. You might also have a problem driving incline.

If your cub cadet i1042 Transmission starts failing, contacting the dealer is the best option. They can check if the transmission oil needs changing.

If yes, they would remove the Transmission from the lawnmower to do their job. However, you might need to get a new transmission if it’s damaged. 

Getting a new transmission will cost you around $900. Plus, there are service charges. So, this one is an expensive problem for your cub cadet i1042.

To avoid this, take better care of the transmission. Such as checking after every 50 hours of use, regular oil changes, and not compromising with the coolant and hydraulic oil.

5. Prevent AirFlow Restrictions

The most obvious sign that your tractor is overheating is steam. Another way to tell is the engine temperature gauge pointing to ‘H .’The coolant in the radiator can also be an indicator of overheating problems.

Usually, the fluid is translucent in appearance. But it will become more opaque if your engine is overheating.

Most often, there are two reasons for the engine to overheat. First of all, the oil level might be low.

So, check and correct it if necessary. If the oil level is alright, then you can consider airflow restrictions.

The grass and debris collected during the mowing sessions are the most common cause of obstruction.

To keep your engine from overheating, clean the tractor regularly after each cutting session. Check the blower and around the cooling fin for debris collection.  

6. Change Plug-gap, AirFilter and Blades

Your tractor might shake or bounce ( known as ‘idle rough’) during a drive if it has a faulty spark plug. You might have to reduce the plug gap if it’s too wide.

If that doesn’t resolve the issue, the plug might be severely damaged, and you need to get a new one. If the spark plug isn’t the problem, check if the air filter is dirty.

A vibrating tractor often means a loose cutting blade. In that case, tighten the blade and its spindle. However, you need to replace the blade if it’s damaged or bent.

Replacing the air filter (item OCC-32-083-03) can cost around $21. And for the vibrating problem, if you have to get a new blade (item 942-04217), it will take $41 out of your wallet. 

7. Do Not Mulch Wet Grass

Failure in grass cutting might be the most frustrating cub cadet i1042 problem. Because that’s what a lawn mower is supposed to do, right?

Well, a dull or damaged blade is the first reason you should consider if the tractor isn’t cutting the grass or is cutting it unevenly. However, if the blade’s okay, then consider other causes.

Wet grass might be a reason why your lawnmower is not cutting. Your cub cadet i1042 won’t mulch if the grass is damp or too high. In this case, wait for the grass to dry and use multiple sessions to get your desired grass height.

The reason for an uneven cut is probably an ill-adjusted deck. So, make a side-to-side adjustment to get the deck in place. Different tire pressures can cause a rough cut too. Also, remember, the cub cadet won’t mulch if the engine is too slow.


Hopefully, the above discussion could cover the typical cub cadet i1042 problems. However, if you still have some queries left, feel free to ask.

Are cub cadet i1042 problems expensive?

In most cases, the problems wouldn’t cost much. For instance, the replacements are not too pricey. And if you have experience with engines and tools, you don’t even have to pay the service fee.

However, take care of your transmission system because replacing that can be overwhelming.

Why does my cub cadet i1042 engine not perform like before at higher RPMs?

The reason for this might be the spark plug gap. The tractor will underperform in higher RPMs if the gap is too narrow. So, you should widen the gap. However, don’t make it too wide because that might result in rough idling.

Will using a fuel-stabilizer cause cub cadet i1042 problems?

If you are using a fuel stabilizer, first ensure you understand the manufacturer’s instructions correctly. Never add the product to stale gasoline; don’t go beyond system capacity.

Also, after you enter the mixture into the tank, run the engine for a couple of minutes for proper stabilization.

Can I use v-belts from other manufacturers for my cub cadet i1042?

It is strongly recommended that you use only the original replacement bands from OEM. It’s because those belts are designed to work in perfect harmony with your deck.

In other words, you can’t get the best performance from your tractor if you use other belts.


A ride-on lawn mower has to go through a lot of stress. So, cub cadet i1042  problems are something a user is bound to face at some point. Fortunately, most of the issues are easily solvable.

Getting a new spark plug or replacement belt might be all it takes to fix your tractor. You may not have to deal with some of the problems if you take proper care of the tractor. This includes regularly cleaning it and inspecting the inner conditions.

Also, never hesitate to replace small parts before they become full-blown issues and burden you with more costs. Lastly, always use the proper tools and safety measures when fixing any problem.

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