Craftsman Lawn Mower Back Wheels Won't Turn-min

Troubleshoot Fast: Craftsman Lawn Mower Back Wheels Won’t Turn!

The Craftsman lawn mower’s back wheels may not turn due to a damaged or worn-out transmission belt, or a broken axle.

Craftsman Lawn Mower Back Wheels Won’t Turn

If you’re experiencing issues with the back wheels of your Craftsman lawn mower not turning, don’t worry! There are several troubleshooting steps you can take to resolve this problem.

In this section, we’ll explore some additional troubleshooting steps that can help you identify and fix the issue.

Let’s get started!

Check The Drive Belt

To fix the issue of Craftsman lawn mower back wheels not turning, you should check the drive belt for any signs of damage or looseness. A worn or broken drive belt can prevent the wheels from functioning properly. Regularly inspecting and maintaining the drive belt will help ensure smooth operation of your lawn mower.

Is your Craftsman lawn mower suddenly giving you trouble with its back wheels not turning? One potential culprit could be the drive belt. The drive belt is an essential component that transfers power from the engine to the wheels, enabling them to turn and propel the mower forward.

Over time, the drive belt can wear out or become damaged, resulting in a loss of traction and an inability for the back wheels to turn properly. To identify and address this issue, follow the steps below.

Inspect The Drive Belt For Damage:

  • Examine the drive belt closely for any signs of wear, such as cracks, fraying, or stretching.
  • Check for any visible signs of damage, such as tears or missing pieces.
  • Make sure the belt is securely fastened and properly aligned.

Verify Proper Tension Of The Drive Belt:

  • Ensure that the drive belt has the correct amount of tension. It should not be too loose or too tight.
  • Test the tension by pressing down on the belt midway between the engine pulley and the rear wheel pulley. It should have a slight amount of give but not be overly loose.

Replace The Drive Belt If Necessary:

  • If the drive belt shows significant signs of wear or damage, it is time to replace it.
  • Refer to your owner’s manual for the correct replacement part number and specifications.
  • Remove the old drive belt and carefully install the new one, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Double-check that the belt is properly aligned and tensioned before operating the mower.

Regular maintenance and periodic inspection of the drive belt can help prevent issues with the back wheels not turning on your Craftsman lawn mower. By following these steps and addressing any drive belt concerns promptly, you can ensure smooth operation and keep your lawn looking well-maintained.

Troubleshoot Fast: Craftsman Lawn Mower Back Wheels Won't Turn!


Examine The Wheel Axle

Examine the wheel axle of your Craftsman lawn mower if the back wheels won’t turn. Ensure the axle is not damaged or clogged with debris, and check the drive belt for any issues. Regular inspection and maintenance can help keep your lawn mower in proper working condition.

Sometimes, Craftsman lawn mower back wheels may refuse to turn due to issues with the wheel axle. Let’s explore a few simple steps to troubleshoot this problem and get your mower back in action.

Check For Any Obstructions Around The Wheel Axle:

  • Inspect the area around the wheel axle for any debris, grass clippings, or twigs that may be blocking its movement.
  • Carefully remove any obstructions to allow the wheels to rotate freely.
  • Ensure there are no tangled wires, cords, or ropes hindering the wheel axle’s operation.

Ensure The Wheel Axle Is Securely Attached:

  • Confirm that the wheel axle is properly connected to the lawn mower.
  • Check for any loose or missing bolts or screws that may be causing the issue.
  • Tighten any loose fasteners using the appropriate tools to ensure a secure connection.

Lubricate The Wheel Axle If Needed:

  • Lubrication is necessary to maintain smooth operation of the wheel axle.
  • Apply a small amount of grease or oil to the wheel axle to reduce friction and facilitate ease of rotation.
  • Be cautious not to over-apply lubricant, as it may attract dirt and debris.

Remember to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding lubrication and use only the recommended product for your Craftsman lawn mower.

By examining the wheel axle for any obstructions, ensuring a secure attachment, and lubricating it if needed, you can troubleshoot and resolve issues with your Craftsman lawn mower’s back wheels not turning. Enjoy a seamlessly mowed lawn once again!

Inspect The Gear Assembly

Inspecting the gear assembly is essential if your Craftsman lawn mower’s back wheels won’t turn. Look for any potential issues or damage, ensuring smooth operation and efficient movement.

When your Craftsman lawn mower’s back wheels won’t turn, it can be frustrating and hinder your mowing progress. One possible cause could be a worn or damaged gear assembly. Here are some steps to help you inspect and troubleshoot the gear assembly:

  • Inspect the gear assembly for any wear or damage:
  • Examine the gear assembly carefully for any signs of wear or physical damage such as cracks or excessive wear on the gears.
  • Note any loose or missing components that may affect the gear assembly’s functionality.
  • Pay attention to any abnormal noises or grinding sounds coming from the gear assembly when manually turning the wheels.
  • Clean out any debris from the gear assembly:
  • Remove any accumulated debris, such as grass clippings or dirt, from the gear assembly.
  • Use a brush or compressed air to thoroughly clean the assembly, ensuring all debris is cleared away.
  • Check for any debris that may have become lodged or tangled in the gears, as this can impede their movement.
  • Replace the gear assembly if it is faulty:
  • If you find significant damage or wear in the gear assembly, it may need to be replaced.
  • Consult your Craftsman lawn mower’s manual or contact the manufacturer for guidance on obtaining a compatible replacement part.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to safely remove and replace the faulty gear assembly.

Remember, troubleshooting and repairing the gear assembly requires attention to detail and some mechanical know-how. If you’re uncomfortable performing these tasks yourself, or if the problem persists even after inspecting the gear assembly, it’s always a good idea to seek professional assistance.

Test The Transmission

Craftsman lawn mower back wheels won’t turn? Test the transmission to identify the issue and ensure smooth operation. Find out if the transmission is the culprit behind the problem and take appropriate action for a perfectly functioning lawn mower.

Craftsman Lawn Mower Back Wheels Won’t Turn

If you’re experiencing issues with your Craftsman lawn mower where the back wheels won’t turn, there could be a problem with the transmission. Before heading to the repair shop or deciding on a replacement, there are a few steps you can take to test the transmission and troubleshoot the issue yourself.

In this section, we will walk you through the process of examining the transmission and identifying any potential problems.

Verify That The Transmission Is Engaging Properly:

  • Start the lawn mower and listen for any unusual sounds or vibrations.
  • Engage the transmission by moving the shift lever to the appropriate gear (forward or reverse).
  • Observe the mower’s behavior to determine if the transmission is smoothly engaging and causing the wheels to turn.
  • If there are any jerking movements or the wheels do not turn when the transmission is engaged, there may be an issue with the transmission that needs further examination.

Check For Any Issues With The Transmission Fluid:

  • Locate the transmission fluid dipstick on the lawn mower.
  • Pull out the dipstick and wipe it clean with a rag or paper towel.
  • Re-insert the dipstick fully and then remove it again to check the fluid level.
  • Ensure that the fluid level is within the recommended range indicated on the dipstick.
  • If the fluid level is low, it may be necessary to add more transmission fluid to resolve the problem. Refer to the lawn mower’s manual for instructions on the appropriate type and amount of fluid to use.

Adjust The Transmission If Necessary:

  • Consult the manual or manufacturer’s instructions to locate the adjustment mechanism for the transmission.
  • Use a wrench or other appropriate tool to loosen the adjustment nut.
  • Gradually tighten the adjustment nut to increase tension on the transmission belt or chain.
  • Test the mower’s operation after each adjustment to ensure that the wheels are turning properly.
  • Continue adjusting the transmission until the wheels engage smoothly and turn as intended.

By following these steps, you can try to diagnose and resolve issues with the transmission of your Craftsman lawn mower. However, if the problem persists or if you are uncomfortable performing these tasks yourself, it is recommended to seek professional assistance from a qualified technician or repair center.

Remember to refer to the lawn mower’s manual for specific instructions and guidelines related to your model. With proper care and maintenance, you can keep your lawn mower in optimal condition for years to come.

Additional Troubleshooting Steps

Having trouble with your Craftsman lawn mower back wheels not turning? Try these additional troubleshooting steps to get your mower up and running smoothly.

Check The Wheel Bearings For Damage

Inspecting the wheel bearings is an essential step in troubleshooting the problem of the back wheels not turning on your Craftsman lawn mower. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Lift the rear of the mower off the ground and support it securely.
  • Grab each back wheel and attempt to wiggle it from side to side.
  • If there is excessive play or if the wheel does not move freely, the wheel bearings may be damaged.
  • To confirm, remove the wheel and inspect the bearings for signs of wear, rust, or damage.
  • If the bearings are indeed damaged, they will need to be replaced to restore proper wheel movement.

Inspect The Drive Control Cable

The drive control cable plays a crucial role in enabling the wheels to turn on your Craftsman lawn mower. If the cable is damaged or misadjusted, it can result in the back wheels not turning. Here’s what you can do:

  • Locate the drive control cable, typically found near the handle of the mower.
  • Inspect the cable for any signs of fraying, kinks, or damage. If you notice any issues, the cable may need to be replaced.
  • Ensure that the cable is properly adjusted by referring to the owner’s manual for instructions.
  • If the cable is misadjusted, it can prevent the wheels from turning. Adjust it according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Ensure Proper Tire Inflation

Proper tire inflation is essential for the smooth operation of your Craftsman lawn mower’s back wheels. Here’s what you should do:

  • Check the tire pressure of each back wheel using a tire pressure gauge.
  • Compare the measured pressure with the manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure indicated on the sidewall.
  • If the tire pressure is too low, inflate the tires to the correct pressure using an air compressor or a manual pump.
  • Low tire pressure can make it difficult for the wheels to turn, so ensuring proper inflation is crucial.

By following these additional troubleshooting steps, you’ll have a better understanding of the potential causes for your Craftsman lawn mower’s back wheels not turning.

Whether it’s the wheel bearings, the drive control cable, or tire inflation, identifying and addressing the issue promptly will help you get back to maintaining your lawn with ease.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Are The Back Wheels Of My Craftsman Lawn Mower Not Turning?

If the back wheels of your Craftsman lawn mower are not turning, it could be due to an issue with the drive belt, wheel gears, or axle. Check if the drive belt is loose or worn out and replace it if necessary.

Inspect the wheel gears for any damage or debris and clean or replace them as needed. Finally, ensure that the axle is properly lubricated and not damaged.

How Can I Fix The Problem Of My Craftsman Lawn Mower's Back Wheels Not Turning?

To fix the issue of your Craftsman lawn mower’s back wheels not turning, first, turn off the mower and disconnect the spark plug for safety. Then, inspect the drive belt, wheel gears, and axle for any issues mentioned earlier. Replace or repair any damaged components accordingly.

Finally, make sure to lubricate the axle properly to ensure smooth wheel rotation.

What Are The Possible Causes For The Back Wheels Of A Craftsman Lawn Mower Refusing To Turn?

There can be several reasons why the back wheels of a Craftsman lawn mower won’t turn. Some possible causes include a loose or worn-out drive belt, damaged wheel gears, debris or dirt obstructing the wheels, or a malfunctioning axle. It’s important to inspect each of these components and address any issues accordingly to get the wheels turning again.

Can I Fix The Problem Of My Craftsman Lawn Mower's Back Wheels Not Turning By Myself?

Yes, you can fix the problem of your Craftsman lawn mower’s back wheels not turning by yourself in most cases. With basic tools and some mechanical knowledge, you can inspect and troubleshoot the various components mentioned earlier. If the problem is a simple fix like a loose drive belt or debris obstruction, you should be able to resolve it without professional help.


If you find that the back wheels of your Craftsman lawn mower won’t turn, it is essential to investigate and address the issue promptly to ensure the smooth operation of your equipment. Start by checking for any obstructions, such as rocks or debris, that may be hindering the back wheels from turning freely.

Removing these obstructions can often resolve the problem. If that doesn’t work, examine the drive belt and ensure it is properly connected and not worn out. A worn or damaged drive belt can prevent the wheels from turning efficiently. Additionally, inspect the wheel axle and bearings for any signs of damage or wear and lubricate them if necessary.

Regular maintenance and care are crucial for preventing or addressing issues with your Craftsman lawn mower’s back wheels, thus ensuring its optimal performance and longevity.

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