John Deere Riding Mower Won’t Go Forward or Reverse: Reason & Fix


I have brought some reasons why the John Deere riding mower won’t go forward or reverse, based on hydraulic and non-hydraulic failures.

If your lawnmower has stopped working or always slows down while going uphill, there must be some problems you need to consider. If you don’t know what to do with a more complex system such as John Deere, it can further be annoying as well as exhausting. Yet, you need not worry as it is probably because of air filter issues, fuel clogged, or even drive belt problems.

Therefore, it is significant that you have figured out the correct issue, whether it is a hydraulic or non-hydraulic problem. To save your day, I have brought together some reasons why the John Deere riding mower won’t go forward or reverse. So, let’s get in for more.

Reasons Why John Deere Riding Mowers Won’t Go Forward or Reverse?


Here are some reasons that can potentially cause these problems:

Clogged Fuel and Air Filters

The first and foremost reason why your John Deere mower is not going forward is that the air filters are clogged. This is primarily because it keeps the gasoline from flowing into the engine which can influence the energy supply and eventually impact the performance. It can further overheat the system that prevents your mower from going forward or reverse.

Battery or Carburetor Issues

Similarly, another potential reason for this can be that the battery in your mower has failed. Hence, a weak or dead battery can result in a lack of power being transmitted to the engine. If you are using a riding mower that runs on a carburetor, there is a chance that the gasoline to air mixture mechanism is damaged, and the filters are not working properly.

Failure of Transmission


Anotherreason for your mower not working can be the transmission failure, and it can result further in its inability to change the gears. Hence, the mower is unable to move forward or reverse. Similarly, it can also be because of the leakage in the transmission lines and valves. Therefore, elements such as valves and pistons can also be influenced by this leakage.

Bad Tensioner Pulley

It is important to consider that tensioner pulleys are made up of high-quality plastic with small centers. Hence, it is no surprise that continuous use can break the pulley easily and can fail these bearings. For this, it is important that you have changed the pulley and are greasing the tensioner regularly to keep it functional and working.

Hydraulic Elements that Can Keep Your Mower from Moving Forward

Last but not least, if you have not found any problem with the non-hydraulic system of your mower, it is important that you have considered some elements to ensure that the fuel is running ideally through your engine. Hence, if your mower is having uneven cuts and shuts off while working, it is absolutely recommended to consider these things;

• The drive release handle is not in a position.
• Missing key in Axle.
• Worn out drive belt.

Fixes and Solutions


John Deer riding mowers can stop moving forward or reverse because of some power issues and carburetors. However, if you are facing such issues, here are some solutions that can help you in improving the performance of your mower engine;

Replace the Drive Belt as it can help you in boosting its performance while climbing the hill.

It is also important that you install the driving belt if the damage is permanent and has been slipped out of place.

Replace the Carburetor Assembly; if your mower is not starting and is running low, it is important that you replace the Carburetor. This will help you in mixing the gas and air ideally and using it to power the engine.

Rebuild the Carburetor to manage any wear downs and leaked gas. It can help you in strengthening the seals and gaskets. You can use the rebuild kit for this purpose and can ensure a smooth mixing of gas and air.

Tune up the Engine of the Mower in case you have noticed any uneven cuts and engine stuck. For this purpose, it is important to replace the engine oil use oil filters, air filters, spark plugs, and fuel filters while tuning up the engine.

Replace the Seating as it largely influences the performance of the engine. A broken engine can result in damaged brakes and a stuck engine. Therefore, it is recommended that if your John Deere riding mower is not moving forward and reverse, you should replace the seating option to improve the performance of brakes and speed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my riding mower not moving forward?

The most common cause why a riding lawn mower is not moving forward is because of some issue in the drive belt. To figure it out, use this device when you go uphill; if it slows down, there must be some problem with the belt. For this purpose, you can always reinstall the driver belt or replace the tensioner to increase the speed and make it functional again.

Why can’t I push my riding lawn mower backward?

There are a number of reasons why riding mowers are not moving backward. The most prevalent cause of this can be fuel and air filter issues. As the fuel gets clogged in the engine, it becomes difficult to reverse these machines. Likewise, this can also potentially overheat the system, which can eventually impact its performance.

How long can a well-maintained John Deere lawnmower last?

Like any other automobile, home lawnmowers such as John Deere can encounter some problems related to the overall performance. All in all, the average life of a John Deere mower is 8 to 10 years. Likewise, these mowers incorporate 500 to 1000 hours of work if maintained properly.

Final Thoughts

Finally, John Deere is primarily known for its functionality and performance; however, constant usage and lack of maintenance can make it encounter some serious issues. So, if your riding mower has stopped working and generally slows down while working, it is important that you know the correct reason and solution for the issue. Here, I hope that this solution and troubleshooting guide can facilitate you well.

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