How To Troubleshoot a Zero-Turn Mower Not Driving Straight

Have you ever sat on your mower and tried to mow while pushing the powertrain ahead, only to find that it did not drive straight? This is a serious issue that has affected a large number of zero-turn lawn mowers. You must wonder whether this uncomfortable issue can be resolved and, if so, how.

First, gather all the essential tools and materials, then check the tire pressure and correct it, improve the traction on the wheels, change the steering alignment, increase or decrease the speed of the drive wheels, and monitor and solve any other problems with your mower.

From this article, you will learn about the troubleshooting guidelines for a zero-turn mower not driving straight. Continue reading the article to know the easy troubleshooting techniques for this particular problem.

What Causes a Zero Turn Mower Not Driving Straight?

There are a few possible causes for why your zero-turn mower isn’t driving straight.

If you are aware of the factors that are contributing to the inability of your mower to function properly, you will be able to solve the problem in a straightforward and expedient manner.

It is common for your zero-turn vehicle to have uneven tire pressure, shaky dampers, inconsistent tracking adjustments, loose tensioner and improper wheel speeds.

All these causes your zero-turn mower not to drive straight. Now, keep reading because I have discussed how to fix them in the next para.

5 Steps to Troubleshoot a Zero Turn Mower Not Driving Straight:

There are a variety of ways to fix a lawn mower that will not drive straight that you can find on various consumer forums and YouTube videos.

However, not all of these methods are safe for your zero-turn mower, and some may even cause it to malfunction.

Therefore, I have compiled an easy-to-follow guide to help you obtain the best outcomes and save time and money in the process.

Things you will need to troubleshoot the zero-turn mower not driving straight

Have a look at the checklist of the required tools and materials for troubleshooting the Zero Turn mower not driving straight:

4-in-1 screwdriver Mower Deck Height Lever
9/16 socket wrenchTire-Pressure Gauge
Wire Brush 
3/4-inch wrench
Safety gloves & Goggles

Step -1 Check Tire Pressures

Uneven tire pressure might cause your lawn mower to lean in one direction, preventing it from driving straight.

Ensure that your tires are properly inflated to the manufacturer’s specifications. Also, make sure that the tire pressures on both sides of your mower are equal.

Note: Between 8 to 50 PSI is the ideal tire pressure for a zero-turn mower. Zero-turn mowers often require a greater PSI in the front tires as compared to the rear tires. On the side of each tire, the maximum PSI may be noted.

Check Tire Pressures

Step-2 Getting More Traction to The Spinning Wheel

Replace the insufficiently tractioned all-terrain tires with a set of tractor tires. What you can do is as follows.

  • Using a pair of pliers, remove the rubber cover from the wheel’s center. Then remove the snap ring, which is located just beneath the cap.
  •  Replace the vehicle’s tire with the tractor’s spare tire.
  • It is fine if you are able to replace it. And if you cannot, you can also go to a local tire shop to get it done for a small fee. If you do not have the money to buy new tires, you may still utilize snow chains for traction.
Getting More Traction to The Spinning Wheel

Step-3 Adjust the Belt Tensioner

When the belt tensioner on the lawn mower isn’t working properly, it might lead to problems with the machine’s movement.

To adjust belt tensioner-

  • Stop the lawn mower from pulling to the left by adjusting the tension on the belt.
  • You mower not driving straight might happen if the belt tensioner is not tight enough. Put the mower in neutral, to begin with.
  • The four bolts under the mower may be loosened with an extended end of a 9/16 socket wrench. But be careful not to loosen the nuts too much.
  • After loosening the nut with a 3/4-inch wrench, tighten the nut on the end of the threaded rod.
Adjust the Belt Tensioner

Step-4 Adjust the Steering Alignment On Your Mower

Adjusting the steering lever alignment requires first changing the lever’s height and breadth.

Adjusting the height of the lever:

  • Remove the upper steering base handlebar hardware by unscrewing the screws there. Adjust the handlebar to the proper position.
  • Then, reinstall the screws for the hardware.
Adjust the Steering Alignment On Your Mower

To alter the width of the lever:

  • Remove the lower steering base hardware by removing the screws. Adjust the eccentric spacer nut if it’s loose and reinstall the hardware screws if necessary.
  • In order to move the lever back and forth, adjust the Lever reach.
  • Unscrew the top control arm’s steering control hardware, but do not remove it completely. Afterward, you may either travel forward or backward with the lever. Then, return the screws to their original positions.

Step-5 Accelerate or Decelerate Drive Wheel Speeds

You must consider that the driving wheel on one side can rotate more slowly than the other, allowing the mower to shift direction instantly. To address this issue, you must either increase the speed of the slower wheel or decrease the speed of the faster wheel.

Proceed to learn all the stages –

  • Determine whether your mower is turning to the right or the left.
  • You must remove the nut from the unit’s adjustment bolt.

You can alter the speed by utilizing any of the following methods:

  • You can increase the travel of the steering lever by rotating the adjustment bolt counterclockwise.
  • Turning the adjustment bolt in a clockwise direction will decrease the steering level travel.
  • You can now tighten the nut.


Before using, maintaining, or repairing your lawnmower, you should always read the lawn mower’s instruction manual. Before commencing your activity, unplug your lawnmower from all power sources.

You can also watch this video.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Keep a Zero Turn Mower Driving Straight?

Apply equal forward pressure to both steering arms, ensuring that the arms remain parallel to maintain the zero-turn mower’s straight-line trajectory.

Why Does My Zero Turn Mower Pull to the Right?

Zero-turn mowers can have traction difficulties, where one wheel may transmit power more efficiently than the other, leading the mower to push towards the weaker side.

How do I Improve Steering on My Zero Turn Mower?

Keep an eye out for a grease fitting in addition to the axle. Also, keep an eye on the areas where the steering arms connect to the wheels.

How do I Modify Zero Turn Mower Steering?

Turning the adjustment bolt counterclockwise increases steering lever travel. Turning the adjustment bolt clockwise reduces steering travel.

Final Verdict

After reading this article, the steps to troubleshoot a zero-turn mower not driving straight can easily be performed to get rid of any such troubles.

Sometimes such issues arise due to a lack of operating knowledge or careless handling. Therefore, make sure that you are not improperly using your Zero-turn mower and do routine maintenance.

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