Do Zero Turn Mowers Have A Drive Belt?

Do you know what drive belts do? 

They’re essentially responsible for transferring power among the mower’s parts. In fact, that’s their job in all mechanical equipment. 

They work in lawnmowers by receiving torque from the engine shaft and transferring it to the input shaft. The power then goes on to operate the mower and spin the blade.

Okay, so do zero-turn mowers have a drive belt?

As you probably already know, zero-turn mowers work differently than lawn tractors. Zero-turn mowers have rear-wheel drives, while conventional lawn tractors have front ones. That’s why zero-turn mowers are only suitable for use on smooth grounds.

What both mowers have in common is that they both have drive belts. 

Here’s everything you need to know about the matter.

Do Zero Turn Mowers Have a Drive Belt?

Yes, zero-turn mowers have a drive belt, and like regular mowers, it’s an integral part that needs replacement when it wears out. 

In regular lawnmowers, the drive belt transfers the torque to the input shaft, and the power is used to operate the mower and spin its blade. 

Meanwhile, zero-turn mowers work differently. They don’t run on engine shafts. Instead, they have a pulley system. So, the way they work, the engine and the electric clutch deliver power to the drive belt. Then, the drive belt operates the pulley system, pushing the mower to work and the blades to run.

Since drive belts are an integral part of these mowers, they’ll directly affect the performance if they’re worn out.

What If the Drive Belt on my Mower Breaks?

If your drive belt breaks, you won’t be able to use the mower. There’ll be a loss of power, and the steering wheel will refuse to move. It may move a little, but it’ll be tough to turn it single-handedly.  

A broken drive belt may also cause the engine to overheat if you push the mower too hard.

Generally, you should replace your drive belt yourself when it hits 60,000 miles or more than that. Otherwise, more problems will appear along the way, and you’ll inevitably have to replace them. It’s better to do it while the mower is still working.

Additionally, you should be aware of how frequently you use the mower. As with everything else, heavy use decreases the life expectancy of the belt.

Some other problems also may cause the belt to break, such as a faulty pulley in the system. If the pulley has a sharp spot or is aligned incorrectly, it’ll cause the drive belt to wear out quicker than it should.

Some mowers will have instructions regarding that in the user manual. You can always check it to know for sure when you need to replace the belt.

How Do I Know That My Mower’s Drive Belt Needs Replacement?

Unlike other faulty parts in the mower, you’ll know instantly if the drive belt is broken. You may not know if the pulley is faulty or if the spark plugs are malfunctioning. 

However, when it’s the drive belt, there are a lot of signs. Here’s a roundup.

  1. The belt is noticeably worn out: if you’re seeing rough patches on the belt, then it needs replacement. It should be completely smooth, so these portions signify that it’s wearing out.
  2. Noticeable cracks: If there are noticeable cracks on your belt, that’s a sure sign that it needs replacement. These cracks will later develop into full breaks, so it’s better to save them as early as possible.
  3. Burned sidewall: You should be able to see the belt’s sidewall clearly; it’s always in contact with the pulleys. If it’s burned, it’s time to replace the belt.

How to Replace the Drive Belt on Your Zero Turn Mower

Replacing the drive belt on your zero-turn mower is relatively easy if you’re into these tasks. Of course, it’s better to check the user manual first, but here are general steps that’ll help you.

Step 1: Prepare the Mower for Replacement

The first thing you should do is turn the parking brakes on. Otherwise, the mower may run off suddenly or run over something. It’s also better to work on level ground because any slope can cause the mower to run.

After that, start removing all the bolts on the belt’s casing. Your goal here is to remove the cover safely, so the only way to do it is to remove the bolts first. Otherwise, you won’t be able to return it when you’re done.

Step 2: Remove the Belt

Before removing the belt, it’s a good idea to take a picture of the belt’s configuration. That way, when it’s time to install the new one, you know which part goes where. If it’s your first time doing something like that, you may get confused, so taking pictures is always good.

Now, start removing the idler arm, then remove the belt completely. When you push it over the pulleys, it should come off easily.

Step 3: Clean Around

Now that you removed the belt clean around and vacuum any debris or dirt accumulated inside the mower. It’s not a necessary step, but since you’re already going inside, why not make use of it?

When you’re done, open the engine shaft. Afterward, put the new belt like the old one was installed. It should wrap around the pulley; you’ll see it clearly in the picture you took earlier.

Once it’s intact in its place, push the idler arm to its initial position.

Step 4: Check for Knots

When you’re done installing the new belt, revise to make sure everything is in place. See if there are any knots in the belt, and make sure everything runs smoothly. Return the casing to its location, and screw the bolts back in their places. Tighten them enough, and do a couple of tests to ensure they’re secure.

Now, you’re done replacing the drive belt.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you don’t know much about drive belts, these answers to frequently asked questions may help you.

What Does A Drive Belt Do?

The drive belt on your zero-turn mower is responsible for moving the mower smoothly. It transfers power along the mower’s parts to run them and spin the blades. In the case of zero-turn mowers, the belt receives power from the engine and uses it to run the pulleys.

Why Do Some Mowers Throw The Drive Belt?

If your mower is constantly throwing your drive belt, the problem is probably with the bearings. In this case, you’ll want to check the pulleys. They may have come loose, or they may not be aligned correctly. Also, a single bad bearing can cause the pulleys to throw the belt. So, it’s always wise to check them.

Why Do Some Drive Belts Break Frequently?

If you keep replacing your drive belt, and it breaks every time, you probably have an issue with the pulley or the idler. Chances are, the pulley isn’t lined up correctly, or there’s a rough patch that’s breaking the belt. 

It’s better to break it apart and examine it closely to find the culprit.


A drive belt powers zero turn mowers. They do. They function the same way on zero turns as they do on lawn tractors, but they do it differently. 

They’re responsible for running the mower and spinning the blades, and they do it by running the pulley system.

If there’s a problem with the pulleys, the belt will get directly affected, and your mower won’t work. So it’s essential to make sure you keep it maintained properly.

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