Snapper Lawn Mower Problems

Snapper boasts of diminutive mowers with powerful hydrostatic transmission that makes for a smooth mowing experience. With proper care and maintenance, these mowers can give you a good run for the longest time. This article will help you to deal with the occasional problems that may arise as you operate your Snapper Lawn Mower.

Table of Contents

Driving/Steering Problem

The steering system plays the most important role in controlling your lawn mower. Any malfunction in this area poses a threat to the operator and the immediate environment. Some of the steering problems you may encounter include stiff steering, loose steering wheel, misaligned steering arms. There are components like steering rods, shafts, ball joints which all form part of the steering system. If these components are not checked and serviced regularly, you may begin to experience certain problems.

This problem is quite manageable, if you pay attention to the following areas.


Tires on opposing sides must be filled with equal pressure. Before adjusting deck and before inflating your tires, make sure all four wheels of the Snapper Lawn Mower are on level ground to avoid problems of inequality. Front tires should be filled to 20psi while rear tires work best at 12 psi. These are the specifications as outlined by the manufacturer.

Steering System

Grass or other debris may clog the system where the steering shaft joins the front steering arms and prevent them from turning. It is important to check the shaft for accumulated debt or other forms of damage.

Steering Handles And Shaft

The steering system to run efficiently, the shaft, column, rack and wheel must all be in good working order. Worn, damaged or faulty bushes in the shaft will most likely cause driving problems on the Snapper Lawn Mower. The manufacturer recommends doing and inspection by following a simple process.

  • Remove nuts and bolts that are screwed to the handle shaft.
  • Seperate the steering shaft from handle by removing clamps
  • Disconnect the rods from the drag link and Pull shaft out of the underside
  • Check shaft bushings for damage and replace, where necessary

Weak Hydrostatic Transmission

The hydrostatic transmission  uses fluid or liquid pressure to transfer power from the engine to the wheels through hydraulic pumps. A weak hydrostatic system will cause mowing problems since the Snapper Lawn Mower will lack sufficient power to perform its full functions. Some of the causes of this include, but are not limited to running old hydraulic oil, using the wrong oil or under filling oil in the hydraulic tank. You can troubleshoot this issue and restore your mower to full power in no time.

Purging Transmission System

For the pump to generate enough pressure needed to provide power, it must have sufficient oil. If there is excess air in the system, especially after winter storage, it is always best to purge the system. This process will get rid of trapped air inside the transmission which may have developed during shipping or storage.

  • With mower parked on level ground and parking brake set, put the rear on jack stands.
  • Seat in the operator’s seat and start the engine.
  • While your throttle control is on “slow position” have the motion control levers on neutral at the same time disengaging the brake pedal.
  • Push motion control levers forward, hold for 5 seconds, then pull them back to full reverse ad hold again for 5 seconds.
  • Repeat the last step about 3 times and air will flushed from the hydraulic system.

Check Oil

One of the most important fluids that increase efficiency and minimize power problems on the Snapper Lawn Mower is the hydraulic oil. It serves as an energy transmission agent, a lubricant that prevents component damage and a sealant. Apart from this, oil also acts as a coolant and cleansing fluid that carries contaminants away from the system. It is,therefore, important to ensure that it’s not only maintained at the right levels but also in the correct quality.

While the manufacturer recommends that this be a dealer only service, you need to know the oil change specifications. Recommended, is SAE 20W-50 fluid for all hydrostatic drive transmissions. Oil change interval is 250 hours, and when cold, level of oil should be 4″ (10cm) below top of the filter neck. Ensure that the area around the reservoir cap is always free of dirt and dust.

Excessive Oil Consumption

This problem can make it very expensive to operate your Snapper Lawn Mower because you will replenish oil more frequently than normal. Having the engine run too hot, using the wrong oil specifications or overfilling the crankcase may all lead to your mower burning too much oil. A number of remedies are are available for troubleshooting this issue.

Clean Engine Fins

Air-cooled engines don’t always cool as effectively although they keep the engine and the mower lighter. There are metal fins built onto the outer side of the engine cylinders which divert heat away from the engine to prevent It from running too hot. Fins may wear, damage or accumulate dirt, which compromises their functionality. In order to minimize the possibility of overheating, ensure that you clean the fins and regularly check if they are in good condition. Replace them when need arises.

Also related to this, conduct regular checks on your air filter. A dirty or clogged air filter may cause the engine of you Snapper Lawn Mower to “run rich” and this is a problem as it burns way too much oil in the process.

Check/Change Oil

The most recommended is Briggs and Stratton Warranty Certified Mower oil. Paying attention to manufacturer oil specifications will save you  problems with your Snapper Lawn Mower in terms of excessive oil burning. In weather Conditions above 80°F (27°C), the use of 10W30 may lead to increased consumption. Oil capacity (Riding Mower) without filter change is 1.8L and 1.9L (2 quarts) with filter change.

Engine Won’t Start

This is a common problem, not just for Snapper Lawn Mowers but for many others, and it’s possible causes are not very few either. It could  e something as simple as an engine that is out of fuel or more complicated issues like faulty  safety interlock or stater solenoid. A systematic check through common causes will get you to the solution much quicker.

Gas Levels And Quality

The mower could be having too little gas in the tank, too much gas in the carburetor (flooding) or stale gas. Flooding happens when the carburetor float gets jammed up and allows the plastic float to float. In this case, the sealing of the fuel supply inlet cant happen and the carburetor keeps filling up. When the spark plugs get flooded, you have a problem because Snapper Lawn Mower engine will start and stall or fail to start completely. Check the float needle for wear, tear or damage and always ensure its functioning properly.

Safety Interlock System

There are safety switches that prevent the engine from starting by sending battery negative (ground) to the engine coil and preventing it from engaging starter motor. Although this only happens when unsafe conditions are detected, it can also be triggered in the event that one of the switches is faulty or malfunctioning. It is always best to start by testing the seat safety switch, which is the main part of the interlock system. See the owner’s manual for a detailed procedure on testing the interlock system.

As a safety measure, the mower will not start when parking brake is not engaged, so ensure that you engage it first.

Check Battery

As a primary source of power for your Snapper Lawn Mower,a faulty battery will undoubtedly cause starting problems for the engine. Before charging or changing the battery, try to clean the terminals. When terminals are clogged with dirt, the transfer of 12v battery positive may be interrupted.

Charge Battery:

  • Before winter storage of mower
  • Before starting mower for the first time after a lengthy storage season
  • When you have cleaned terminals, with no results and you are inclined to suspect that the battery is still the cause of the starting issue.

It’s advisable to use a charger with an output of 10 amps. A greater output may put your battery in danger of damage. When charging, connect the positive (red) charging cable to the positive battery terminal first, then follow with the negative. Always in that order. When your charger has the option, try to adjust its voltage to match your mower battery’s voltage.

Final Word

Snapper has a variety of mowers (Walk-Behind, Zero Turn, Riding Mower etc) and as such, it is always wise to service, repair and maintain your specific mower with close reference to its owner’s manual. While most of the components and specifications are similar, leaving it to assumption may cause problems with the longevity of your Snapper Lawn Mower.