Hydro-Gear ZT-5400 Problems You May Face (Solutions Included)

There are not many items on the market that can compete with the ZT-5400 transaxle system that Hydro-Gear offers. This system is designed to give professional heavy machinery the ideal combination of speed and maneuverability.

But this great hydro gear can, at times, show some abnormalities. It can stop working or make noises due to air in the system. It can even cause it to heat up and damage other internal parts.

But don’t worry, in this article, you will get to know the most common problems of hydro gear zt5400 and the solutions to these problems as well. So, keep reading.

4 Common Problems with Hydro-Gear ZT-5400 and Their Solutions:

Hydro gear zt5400 has several issues. Among them, you can face one or more if you have one in your machine.

Hence, it is better to know the reasons behind the problems and how you can fix them easily.

Here are some common problems of this hydro gear and the fixes as well-

1. The Unit Operates in Only One Direction

When this problem occurs, your mower will only be able to run in one direction only. This problem can be caused due to 2 possible reasons-

Control linkage bent or out of adjustment: when the control linkage is bent or it gets broken due to some reasons this may cause the gear to be able to run in one direction only. It happens because when you shift the gear to go the opposite the linkage struggles to move due to the bending.

Drive belt slipping or pulley damaged:  sometimes when the drive belt cannot keep the grip while driving or the pulley is damaged the gear gets troubled with it as well. It cannot force the belt to move the wheels accordingly.

The Fix:

The only way you can fix the control linkage problem is to repair it with the help of a professional or replace the linkage. You can try to unbend the linkage with a hammer and tools, but it can cause further damage.

The drive belt needs repairing when it has an issue with the grip. If it slips you can try to find the damaged part and fix it. Otherwise, replace the drive belt or pulley if you don’t want any trouble for yourself.

2. The Vehicle Does Not Drive

When you try to move your vehicle but it cannot move from the standing place. Check the engine and if you find that engine is running, it must be due to the hydro gear issue. There are several reasons behind it-

Vehicle tires improperly inflated: sometimes when the vehicle tires get imbalanced air in them the gear may not drive correctly and may stop when you try to run it.

Control linkage bent or out of adjustment: this same problem can also stop the mower from running.

Bypass assembly sticking: when the hydro gear is trying to bypass assembly and gets sticky, the vehicle will stop moving.

Brake Partially Engage: whenever the brake is having a problem the safety system comes in without any delay and stops the mower from running. This problem is also related to hydro gear.

The Fix:

When the tires are improperly inflated you should follow the vehicle manufacturer suggested pressure. This should balance the tires and fix the problem.

Repair or replace linkage is suggested when you have issues with bent or broken connecting linkage.

The bypass system needs to be changed if it does not work properly. This will fix the problem of the drive not working due to the hydro gear-related problem.

If the problem is found with the brakes, you should change it as well. Because it may not work properly even after repairing.

3. Abnormal Noise

When the system is making weird sounds, it is possible that the problem is triggered by aeration or cavitation. Aeration is the precise name for when air gets into the hydraulic fluid and makes it polluted.

Whenever this happens, it is highly likely that the system will produce a harsh pounding or pounding sound as it compresses and decompresses the fluid.

Frothing of the fluid, unpredictable motion of the actuator, or the breakdown of the hydraulic gear pumps are all possible further signs of aeration.

Cavitation happens when a certain element isn’t getting sufficient hydraulic fluid to function properly. Because of it, the pressure in one component of the system could drop beneath the vapor pressure that the hydraulic fluid requires.

Erosion of metal can be caused by cavitation, which can subsequently pollute the liquid supply of the system and create long-term degradation of a variety of hydraulic parts.

The Fix:

What you need to do is purge the hydraulic gear and the system to get rid of the problem. Here is what you can do-

  • The back tires of the machine need to be blocked to help secure it. Put the car in park and release the brakes.
  • Check the instruction booklet for the proper way to disconnect your transmission.
  • Upon starting the machine, release the brakes and shift into neutral.
  • After approximately 5 seconds, press the throttle all the way to the floor.
  • Hold the throttle backward for the next 5 seconds after waiting 5 seconds in advance. This procedure should be repeated a total of 3 times.

Expelling air out of the hydraulic transmission can be done by doing this. The Mower Needs to Be Turned Off The transmission should be re-engaged.

4. High Fluid Temperature

Seals can be permanently damaged and the liquid gets degraded when the temperature of the hydraulic fluid is very high. It suggests that hydraulic systems should not be operated over their ideal operating temperature.

It may also lead the temperature of other parts of the system to rise at various speeds, causing severe degrees of damage.

As long as the system’s ability to cool itself is reduced, it will rise in temperature. Hydraulic reservoirs are used by the system to cool its fluids; thus, it is critical that you keep an eye on the liquid level inside the tank and keep it to a proper level.

This problem is usually caused by an accumulation of dust and dirt in the associated filters.

The Fix:

When you are working on the field or driving on a hot summer you should not drive it very fast. It will help the hydro gear fluid to normal and work. If you pressure it too much on a hot summer day, it may cause this heating problem.

And when it is already heated and the vehicle has started to cease to work properly you should take it under a shade and turn off the engine to let it cool down.

This way, you will stop the heating process and save it from further damage.

Hydro-Gear ZT-5400 Repairs

If your hydro gear zt5400 has some minor issues you can buy the necessary equipment and parts from the market. You can check the user manual for troubleshooting and follow this article for any common problem and fix it by yourself.

But if you cannot solve it and it seems more dangerous and you may have a chance of harming it instead of fixing it, you should take it to a good repair shop and let the experts handle the situation. However, it may cost you some bucks.


Hydro gear zt5400 is a great one for the designated vehicles that it is used. You may not see many problems if you have this particular hydro gear. However, every engine and electronic equipment and machine can get damaged for some reason.

If you have read this article, you may now know the most common problems of zt5400. Hence, it will be easy for you to determine if you can fix it or if you need to take it to a professional.

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