7 Most Common Problems With Cub Cadet XT2

Cub Cadet is a well-known brand that manufactures a vast range of riding tractors and mowers, with the XT2 sub-compact tractor being one of the most sought-after models.

Despite its excellent performance and dependability, this model has been known to experience some issues.

The Cub Cadet XT2 sub-compact lawn tractor is quite efficient and popular, but it can be prone to certain common problems such as damaged starter solenoids, spark plugs, and blocked air filters.

Such issues can easily take up precious working hours if not addressed in time.

Thus, this guide is intended for those who own a Cub Cadet XT2 tractor and are looking for tips on how to troubleshoot all the problems along with their possible solutions. Read on!

7 Common Problems with Cub Cadet XT2 Lawn Mowers and How to Fix Them

The Cub Cadet XT2, like other lawn tractors from the brand, can be prone to a variety of issues.

In order to properly address and resolve these difficulties, it is important to identify the source of the problem. Here we will discuss all the potential problems that may arise with this tractor.

  1. Damaged Starter Solenoid
  2. Damaged Spark Plugs
  3. Clogged air filter
  4. Bad Gas Cap 
  5. Uneven cuts 
  6. Damaged Battery
  7. Mower Overheats or Quits When Hot

Quick Fix Guide

Clogged air filterDirt and grass can plug the air filter preventing airflowRemove the filter and clean it. Replace the filter if it is in bad condition.
Bad Starter SolenoidThe starter solenoid can fail and will no longer actuate to engage the starter motor.Test the starter solenoid and replace it if faulty.
Bad spark plugExcessively dirty or broken spark plug; bad connection; not gapped correctlyReplace with a new spark plug, secure connections, and ensure it is gapped to manufacturer specifications
Bad Gas Cap SealThe seal in the gas cap can dry out and fail to seal.Replace the fuel cap.
Dull or worn mower bladeTire pressures unevenEngine speed is too low
Bent mower bladeMower deck is not levelGround speed is too fast
Blade installed wrongBlade spindle is bentDeck is damaged
Bad battery or loose & dirty terminalsA dead battery, loose cables, or corroded terminals can cause starting problemsCharge your battery and replace it if it won’t hold a charge. Make sure your cables are tight and clean the corrosion from terminals.

We have identified the most common issues that Cub Cadet XT2 tractor owners experience. Here, we will discuss these matters in depth and provide solutions to address them.

1. Starter Solenoid Has Been Damaged: To Fix the Issue

The starting engine of the Cub Cadet XT2 needs more electricity when the solenoid closes a circuit, which activates the starter engine and permits it to start. Over time, however, the starter solenoid can become worn out.

If the solenoid is malfunctioning, it can be difficult for the XT2 engine to start up. Additionally, there may be broken or open wires in the starter solenoid circuit that need to be replaced.

To fix this problem, follow these steps:

Step 1: Open the tractor engine and inspect for any broken or open wires in the starter solenoid. If you find them, replace them. 

Step 2: If the issue persists, check your starter solenoid coil using a multi-meter to measure resistance; if it reads zero then your coil is damaged and needs to be replaced. 

You can either repair or replace your starter solenoid yourself or go to a service center for assistance. Doing it yourself could cost anywhere from $20-150 while going outside would set you back around $100-$200.

2. Fix a Damaged Spark Plug

A spark plug is an integral part of an engine, as it serves as a place where an electrical arc is created to ignite the fuel and air mixture in the combustion chamber.

Unfortunately, due to its continuous use, these plugs tend to wear out over time. If you own a Cub Cadet XT2 tractor, you will need to replace the spark plugs when they become faulty.

Here’s how:

Step 1: Make sure that your engine has cooled down before attempting to remove the spark plug. Then open the engine cover and disconnect both batteries before proceeding with replacing the spark plug.

Step 2: The spark plugs are usually located on either side of the engine in your Cub Cadet XT2 tractor. Unscrew them using a spark plug socket and remove them from their position.

Step 3: Replace the old spark plugs with new ones and screw them back into their original positions. 

Replacement spark plugs for your twin cylinder engine of XT2 can cost around $15-$40.

3. Fix Clogged Air Filter

The Cub Cadet XT2 tractor’s engine needs to be kept clean to ensure its proper functioning.

To do this, air filters are used to trap dust and debris from the air that enters it. If the filter becomes clogged up or damaged, issues can arise with the engine running smoothly. 

Fortunately, replacing or cleaning your air filters is a simple and inexpensive task, costing only around $3-$5 for a new one.

Here are the steps to follow in order to do so: 

Step 1: Lift up the hood of your Cub Cadet XT2 tractor and locate the air filter housing beside the engine. 

Step 2: Unscrew and remove the cover of the air filter. 

Step 3: Use an air compressor or blower to blow out all dirt and debris from inside the filter. Alternatively, you can replace it with a new one if desired.

4. Replace Bad Gas Cap

The fuel cap of your Cub Cadet XT2 might not be allowing sufficient gas to enter the tank if it is damaged or blocked. This is a common issue with this particular type of lawn tractor. 

To try and fix this, you can first clean the fuel cap using a thin wire to open up the vents and remove any residue.

Subsequently, apply some carburetor cleaner on the cap and use a soft cloth to thoroughly clean it. If this does not work, you will need to purchase a new fuel cap, which usually costs between $10-$20.

5. Uneven Cuts

If you notice that your lawn is having patchy and uneven cuts while mowing with your Cub Cadet XT2, then the cutting deck may be out of alignment.

Another potential cause could be due to dull blades; if this is the case, simply sharpen them up. 

It’s easy to fix the cutting deck level by yourself.

Here are the steps to do so: 

Step 1: Switch off the tractor and disconnect its spark plugs. Then measure the blade tip on both sides. 

Step 2: The measurements from each end should match for even results; otherwise, it will lead to unequal cuts. 

Step 3: You’ll find bolts on the deck; adjust them accordingly so that the blade height is equal from both ends.

6. Fix Damaged Battery

Charged batteries are essential for your Cub Cadet XT2 to start up, and if you leave it idle for long periods, the battery can become damaged.

Additionally, the terminals may have become loose or corroded. Replacing the battery on an XT2 can range in cost from $50-$70.

Step 1: Open up the battery compartment on your tractor and inspect the terminals for any signs of rust or corrosion. If present, clean them with a mixture of baking soda and water.

Step 2: Utilize a multi-meter to check the voltage; it should read around 12V. A lower reading indicates that the battery is probably dead.

Step 3: Before purchasing a new one, try recharging your existing battery to see if it works again. If not, then you will need to buy a replacement.

7. Mower Overheats or Quits When Hot

There are several potential causes for a Cub Cadet mower to cease operation after it has been running for some time.

Fuel-related problems, the incorrect type of engine oil, insufficient lubrication, blocked cooling fins, a defective ignition coil and a clogged mower deck may all be contributing factors.

Fix Air Filter

The air filter may become blocked with dirt and grass, which can hinder air flow. To fix this, take out the filter and give it a good clean. If it is too damaged, replace it with a new one.

Clogged Engine Cooling Fins

The accumulation of dust and debris in the cooling vanes can impede air flow. The cooling fins direct air around the engine block to keep it at a stable temperature.

Make sure to clean the cooling vanes and replace any that are damaged. Additionally, make sure to clean around the engine block as well as beneath the engine shroud.

Fix Bad Ignition Coil

The ignition coil can malfunction when it becomes overheated and the windings on the coil become disconnected. Utilize an ohmmeter to examine the ignition coil. When a disruption in continuity is noticed, replace the coil.


What causes Cub Cadet to lose power?

If your lawn mower has a decrease in performance while cutting, the most likely culprits are a congested air filter, outdated/contaminated gasoline, obstructed fuel filter, too little/too much engine oil, soiled/harmed spark plug, clogged carburetor, blocked cutting deck or a dull blade.

What causes an engine to lose power when accelerating?

The lack of power can be easily noticed when you are trying to speed up, and it could be caused by various factors such as the intake of air into the engine, fuel supply and even issues with the exhaust system.

How long will a Cub Cadet XT2 last?

Cub Cadet lawn mowers are comparable to Husqvarna in terms of features and durability. The expected life span is between 500 to 1000 hours, however with proper upkeep and servicing, this can be extended.

What causes hydrostatic transmissions to fail?

Hydrostatic transmissions consist of mechanical components such as a differential and drive axle, plus hoses made of rubber or metal through which the fluid is forced.

Malfunction of any mechanical part, a damaged hose, or a blocked filter can lead to issues with the hydrostatic transmission on a tractor.

How do I know if my Cub Cadet solenoid is bad?

Begin by setting the ignition key to the “On” position. Examine the solenoid for its large terminal posts, where the thick red wires are connected. Make contact with both of these terminals simultaneously using a metal screwdriver shaft. If the engine begins to turn over and start, this indicates that the solenoid is faulty and must be replaced.

Final Words

A Cub Cadet XT2 is a robust Subcompact tractor suitable for both commercial and personal applications. But, as it gets older, it may start to display some issues, which we have discussed in this guide. These difficulties often arise due to inadequate upkeep.

Nevertheless, all these difficulties can be easily resolved at home with the right knowledge of the internal components of your tractor. If you cannot do this yourself, take your tractor to an experienced service center; however, this will cost you more money.

On the other hand, if you prefer to troubleshoot the problems yourself, make sure to read our guide carefully and your Cub Cadet XT2 should soon be running again.

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