Most Common Problems with Cub Cadet RZT 42 (Easy Solutions)

Cub Cadet is known for its range of lawn improvement heavy equipment. The proud American company was founded in 1960 and has been in business for over 6 decades now. And one of their latest additions is the zero-turn Cub Cadet RZT 42. However, the RZT 42 isn’t without its set of problems.

The most common Cub Cadet RZT 42 problems are hydro transmission issues, PTO engagement issues as well as hour meter issues. Thankfully, most of these problems can be solved easily without needing a visit to the garage.

Interested to know more about the solutions? Let’s explore the different problems, potential solutions, and probable cost of repair.

What Are The Common Cub Cadet at 42 Problems?

As a zero-turn mower, the RZT 42 is compact for its size. It also provides better efficiency and mileage compared to other mowers. The semi-automated feature on the zero turn offers a precise cut, regardless of the expertise level of the driver.

While the zero turns and semi-autonomous sound great on paper and service, it also creates some new problems along with the existing ones to the RZT 42. Here are some of the most notable ones.

  1. Transmission problem
  2. PTO Engagement
  3. Hour Meter Issues
  4. Clutch Problem
  5. Fuel issues
  6. Safety Interlock System Issues
  7. Uneven Cutting of Grass

7 Easy Solutions For Cub Cadet RZT 42 Common Problems:

Seeing all these problem points might be overwhelming for many. Rest assured that these are just common problems and most of these have a quick fix.

Cub Cadet mowers including the RZT 42 are reliable machines and as you’ll see further ahead, most of these problems occur because of negligence and faulty use.

1. Fixing The Transmission Problems

The RZT 42 sometimes shows three different types of transmission problems. They are either related to engaging, slipping, or leaking of the transmission.

Most of the time, the problem occurs because of the low transmission fluid level and transmission belt. Here’s what you can do to solve the problem.

  • Step 1: Check for the fluid level on the transmission. Replace it if the fluid is low or dirty. Dirty transmission fuel often clogs the transmission.
  • Step 2: Check whether the transmission belt is loose or not. A loose transmission belt often causes the transmission to slip. Tighten the belt as per the required tension.

These two steps should easily solve the transmission problem. Transmission fluids aren’t that expensive as you can get a quart of it for $8 to $20 depending on the brand.

However, if the problem persists then you might have to replace the entire transmission.

2. PTO Engagement Issue: Replacing the Switch

PTO or Power Take Off feature is a common feature that ensures the engaging and disengaging of the blade during mowing.

This is an important aspect of the lawn mower to get a precise cut on the grass. However, some users have complained that their unit of the RZT 42 has engagement issues.

The common problem is that when the engaging switch is pushed, the blades on the RZT 42 won’t engage. Similarly, when the disengaging switch is pushed, the blades won’t retract.

This problem can be attributed to several factors. It can be either because of a faulty switch, the electric clutch issue, or the interlock issue. In any case, here’s how you can solve the problem.

  • Step 1: Remove the PTO switch from the battery. Replace it based on the following tests.
  • Step 2: Check whether there is a uniform flow of voltage from the battery to the switch.
  • Step 3: If the voltage flow is not uniform, you will need to replace the electric clutch and the fuses.
  • Step 4:  Make sure the fuses are rated at 2.5 ohms for optimum performance. Otherwise, the fuses will get shorted.

You can either get the switch fixed at home or in the garage. We recommend a visit to the garage as it will accurately pinpoint what the exact problem is.

3. Hour Meter Issues: Saving the Warranty Period

The hour meter is a standard feature of the RZT 42 lawn mower. This helps to keep the machine primed for usage at any time and provides effective information regarding maintenance operations.

It is expected to start when the lawnmower is started and stop when it is stopped. Some users have reported that this is often not the case and the hour meter either doesn’t start or stop at times.

This causes faulty hour count which further results in warranty period issues as well as battery drainage issues. To fix the problem, the following steps can be taken.

  • Step 1: Take the Key out whenever the lawnmower is not in use.
  • Step 2: Turn off the lawnmower completely, not just the engine.
  • Step 3: Contact the dealership immediately.

Since the RZT 42 warranty is counted based on the hour, it’s recommended to contact the dealership immediately. That will help to keep the warranty from getting void.

4. Clutch Issue: Repair or Replace

The clutch issue on the RZT 42 is similar to the PTO engagement issue. Similar to the PTO switch, the blade on the RZT 42 doesn’t engage unless the clutch itself engages the blade. Without blade engagement, it’s not possible to mow the lawn.

This specific problem can be attributed to different factors. For example, the clutch cable. Might be broken or the clutch pulley might be faulty. And in some extreme cases, the cable might get entangled with the clutch pulley.

The solution to these problems are as follows.

  • Step 1: Check if the clutch cable is broken or loose.
  • Step 2: If it is loose, simply tighten it up by rethreading.
  • Step 3: If it is broken, then it needs to be removed first. After that, a new clutch cable needs to be threaded in place and attached to the clutch pulley.

This specific problem isn’t a DIY job. It’s best to contact the dealership or a garage as they will be able to provide a cost quote on the problem.

5. Issue: Following Precautionary Measures

The fuel issue on the RZT 42 isn’t directly performance related, but it’s more about the fuel management on the equipment.

Often the users complain that their RZT 42 won’t start even though the battery and the cockpit are completely functioning. This specific problem might be related to the fuel management issue.

Running the RZT 42 on low fuel might cause several issues. It might corrupt the fuel system, the engine won’t start and the spark injector might get clogged.

In any case, here are some remedial measures which should be followed as a prevention step.

  • Step 1: Always keep the fuel above the minimum level.
  • Step 2: Make sure that the fuel is never more than 30 days old.
  • Step 3: Make sure the lawnmower isn’t kept at an incline when on low fuel.

Since these are mostly precautionary measures, make sure you follow them to avoid any kind of fuel-related issues in the long run.

6. Safety Interlock System Procedures

This isn’t really a problem related to the RZT 42 but it’s something that often prevents the users from activating their equipment.

The RZT 42 comes equipped with a safety interlocking system which prevents any kind of mishandling or mis-starting of the device.

If you do not follow the proper steps of activating the safety interlocking system, it will not let you start the lawnmower. Follow the below-mentioned steps to get a smooth start every time you operate your RZT 42.

  • Step 1: Pull both the controlling levers to activate the safety interlock system.
  • Step 2: Disengage the PTO.
  • Step 3: Take a proper position on the operator seat and activate the parking brake.

That way the safety interlock system won’t randomly stop the lawnmower.

7. Uneven Cutting Issues: Fixing the Blade and Alignment

Another common issue with the RZT 42 is that sometimes it might not cut uniformly.

Users have complained that sometimes the grass cuts lumps of it altogether and sometimes it completely misses an area. In any case, it’s a pain to manually fix grass cuts.

Here’s what you can do to fix the uneven cut from your RZT 42.

  • Step 1: first of all check for the deck-to-deck alignment from both the left and right sides.
  • Step 2: Operate the RZT 42 in Fast throttle mode to ensure proper mulching.
  • Step 3: If both of the above steps fail, sharpen or replace your blades.

The blades cannot be replaced in your backyard as it requires professional interventions. As a result, it’s better to take your equipment to the garage for proper replacement and installation.


Now that you know everything that is to know about the Cub Cadet RZT 42, let’s look at some frequently asked questions regarding its basics and common issues.

What engine is one of the Cub Cadet RZT 42?

Almost all the cub cadet lawn mowers use engines manufactured by Kohler. The RZT 42 model uses the 2- cylinder Kohler engine. In addition to that, the lawnmower features an automatic drive system with an electric PTO.

What can cause the Cub Cadet RZT 42 to not start?

Several factors cause the RZT 42 to not start. Some of the common ones include loose spark connectors, dead batteries, fuel issues as well as corrosion of the internal electrical components.

Are Cub Cadet RZT 42 Problems a deal breaker?

No, the issues of the RZT 42aren’tt really a deal breaker. That’s because most of these problems are found in almost all standard zero-turn lawn mowers. And even though these are all individual issues, it doesn’t really take much to fix them with a little technical know-how.

How to adjust the hydrostatic drive on a cub cadet zero turns?

It’s pretty easy to adjust the hydrostatic drive. All you have to do is adjust the drive belt tension on the bolt connected to the engine. Get the perfect tension in place and you’re done.


The Cub Cadet RZT 42 is a pretty solid lawnmower in its class. The automated transmission and the Kohler engine makes for an efficient and powerful performance through and through.

However, it’s not uncommon to see certain problems and issues with the lawnmower in the long run. Most of the RZT 42 problems are general issues that are found in almost all compact lawnmowers. Now should that be a deal breaker?

Thankfully, all of these issues can be solved with little expense and some technical knowledge. And that is exactly why even with some minor problems, the RZT 42 is definitely worth the value.

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