MTD Riding Mower Transmission Problems

Today we are exploring the world of riding mowers. We are specifically looking at the MTD riding mower. We have to establish what the common MTD riding mower transmission problems are. We will also discuss probable solutions.

Table of Contents

What Is The MTD Riding Mower?

The MTD riding mower is a mower tailored mainly for domestic use – ranging from small to big yards. An MTD riding mower offers a number of conveniences. It is maneuverable, delivers high performance, and ensures high cutting efficiency. However, there are some common MTD riding mower transmission problems.

MTD Riding Mower Problems

An MTD riding mower has so many moving parts. This poses an inevitable likelihood of problems occurring along the way. Knowing the common MTD riding mower problems is pertinent. That way you can either avoid or effectively address common MTD riding mower problems. Here are some of the common MTD riding mower problems:

1. Mower Is Too Slow

When operating an MTD riding mower you may notice slowness. This can happen in many different ways. For instance, it may have been operating optimally then suddenly slows down. At times it may even stop completely. Possible causes of this are:

  • Fluids may be inadequate, stale, or contaminated.
  • Cooling fan may be damaged or faulty.
  • Brakes may be faulty.
  • Selector could be out of alignment.
  • Springs in the pumps may be broken.
  • Drive belt may be faulty, broken or worn out.

Troubleshooting Mower Is Too Slow Problem

There are many possible causes of this problem. Your checks must be thorough to ensure you figure out the right issue(s). When you have done that you can consider the following remedies:

  • Top up or replace fluids.
  • Fix or replace cooling fan.
  • Fix or replace brakes.
  • Readjust selector.
  • Fix or replace springs in the pump.
  • Fix or replace drive belt.

2. Hydraulic System Overheating

This is a common MTD riding mower transmission problem. Due to the nature of the hydrostatic transmission system, overheating may occur. The possible causes of this problem are:

  • Oil level may be too low.
  • Heat exchanger may be faulty or damaged.
  • Inline pressure filters may be faulty or worn out.
  • Cross port relief valves may be faulty.
  • Pump may be faulty, damaged, or worn out.
  • Motor case drains could be faulty.

Troubleshooting Hydraulic System Overheating Problem

It is always important to quickly address the overheating problem. The good thing is that you can usually figure out the cause quickly. Once you have narrowed down the probable causes you can explore the following solutions:

  • Top up oil or replace if need be.
  • Fix heat exchanger.
  • Fix or replace inline pressure filters.
  • Fix or replace cross port relief valves.
  • Fix or replace pump.
  • Fix motor case drains.

3. Shifting Difficulty

Another common MTD riding mower transmission problem is when gear shifting becomes difficult. The issue can worsen to a point when you cannot shift at all. This is a problem that can be caused by:

  • Transmission fluid may be leaking.
  • Gearbox oil may be inadequate or contaminated.
  • Faulty or worn out transmission oil pump.
  • Contaminated hydraulic fluid.
  • Clogging of hydraulic fluid due to cold temperatures.

Troubleshooting Shifting Difficulty Problem

You have to conduct some checks on your hydraulic system and other related components. That is how you can figure out what the actual root cause is. Then you can address the problem through any of the following:

  • Plug leakages and ensure transmission fluid is fresh and adequate.
  • Top up or replace gearbox oil.
  • Fix or replace transmission oil pump.
  • Replace hydraulic fluid.
  • Preheat system or add anticoagulant to transmission fluid.

4. Mower Not Moving

As you are about to start using your MTD riding mower you may notice it is not moving. It may also happen during operating i.e. it can stop and fail to move again. Your MTD riding mower may fail to move forward, reverse, or both. This is a common MTD riding mower transmission problem often caused by:

  • Stale hydraulic fluid.
  • Air contamination in the lines.
  • Faulty or worn out drive belt.

Troubleshooting Mowing Not Moving Problem

When you encounter this problem do the necessary checks on your MTD riding mower. There are many possible causes so it is essential you check thoroughly. Some of the probable remedies to this problem are:

  • Replace hydraulic fluid.
  • Clean hydraulic lines or replace if need be.
  • Fix or replace drive belt.

5. Engine Not Starting

This is a fairly common MTD riding mower transmission problem. There are obviously several possible causes of this problem. Some of the common ones are:

  • Faulty neutral control level settings.
  • Low fuel level; stale or contaminated fuel.
  • Faulty ignition system.
  • Clogged fuel lines.

Troubleshooting Engine Not Starting Problem

Conduct thorough checks to ascertain the root cause. Once you have an idea you can explore the following solutions:

  • Fix neutral control level settings.
  • Top or replace fuel.
  • Fix ignition system.
  • Flush fuel lines.

How To Avoid MTD Riding Mower Problems

Making regular maintenance checks on your MTD riding mower is paramount. In principle, you must check your MTD riding mower before and after every use. After every use you must clean your MTD riding mower. Get your MTD riding mower serviced as per schedule. Always ensure you do oil changes when needed. It is also important to operate your MTD riding mower as indicated in the user manual. All these practices will avoid MTD riding mower problems.

How Often Should I Change The Transmission Oil?

The transmission oil in your MTD riding mower needs to be regularly changed. It is recommended that you do a transmission oil change after every 400 hours.

What Are The Disadvantages Of A Hydrostatic Transmission?

Typically, when hydrostatic transmission is involved, the speed range is low. Costs are also much higher when dealing with a hydrostatic transmission. Hydrostatic transmission tends to be high maintenance too.


A MTD riding mower is good to have. You just have to be abreast with the common MTD riding mower transmission problems. This will prime you to optimize you usage, handling and care routines.