Toro Personal Pace Lawn Mower Problems

Toro Personal Pace Lawn Mower Problems

The Toro Recycler 22″ Self Propeled Personal Pace Lawn Mower is a unique walk-behind mower that automatically senses and adjusts to your walking speed. Apart from its innovative self propel system, it boasts of other features like a 7.25 ft-lb Gross Torque Briggs and Stratton EXI Engine, adjustable height and washout port, to mention a few. Just like any other mower, the Toro Personal Pace does develop various problems over the course of its useful life span. This article discusses some of these problems while suggesting workable, proven solutions.

Table of Contents

1. Difficult To Push And Pull (Traction Problems)

A defective drive mechanism may cause traction problems with your mower. The drive cable is usually the most likely reason why you are having a hard time pushing your mower forward because the machine depends on the cable to engage transmission. Other factors include worn wheel and belt or damaged pulleys. You can probably solve this problem for Toro Personal Pace by giving attention to the following.

Drive Cable

In order for the mower to engage transmission and move across the grass, the handle drive control lever must be connected to the transmission. The drive cable serves that purpose of linking the two, so a poorly adjusted or damaged drive cable will create traction problems for your Toro Personal Pace. Ensure that you regularly check it and replace when necessary.

Drive Belts

Power is transferred from the engine to the blades through the drive belt. This, in turn causes the blades to circulate. When blades are not working, it leads to a traction problem with your Toro Personal Pace. Depending on the amount of usage, drive belts should be replaced every 3rd or 4th year. Drive belts are prone to wear and tear and as such, they should be inspected at the beginning of each season.


Your mower has a single mechanical assembly that combines three functions; transmission, differential, and axle. It is the final component that makes the mower to actually move. This assembly has a pulley fixed to its top and this pulley receives power from the engine via the drive belt. To curb problems with pushing your Toro Personal Pace, always ensure that the pulleys are in good working condition.

2. Smoking Engine

Nine out of ten times, an overly rich fuel-to-air mixture is the cause of a smoking problem on your Toro Personal Pace. If the carburetor is not getting enough air and letting in too much fuel, it can create black smoke. On the other hand, the burning off of spilt oil on the engine will produce white or blue smoke. Below are very helpful suggestions to get rid of a smoking engine.

Oil Spills

Smoking that results from oil spills is usually not much cause for concern as it dissipates after a complete burn out, but it’s still preventable. When replacing oil, be careful not spill too much on the engine. Also, avoid moving on acutely steep slopes with the Toro personal Pace as this may cause oil spills and smoking problems. If the oil has already been spilled, just allow it to burn off.

Air Filter

While preventing any dust, particles, sand or debris getting into the engine, the air filter also ensures a good mixture of air and fuel. A clogged filter does not allow the carburetor to breathe sufficiently. It is recommended that every 25 hours, you clean the air filter, and do it more frequently in dusty conditions. The air filter must be replaced yearly on your Toro Personal Pace to avoid smoking problems.

After adjusting your carburetor to increase airflow, servicing or replacing air filter and taking care of oil spills, if you see the problem persisting, it is best to seek professional advise and assistance.

3. Carburetor Gas Leaking

Small gaps between assembled parts are sealed off using gaskets. On your mower, the engine is sealed off from the rest of the components by the head gasket so leaking problems on the Toro Personal Pace may be caused by bad gaskets. A sticking float needle is another leading cause. There are measures that you can take to diagnose and solve the leaking problem.

Float Needle

The float needle plays an important role in regulating fuel flow, maintaining optimum fuel levels in the chamber and preventing flooding of the engine. A damaged or malfunctioning float needle will not open or close the float valve, thereby causing the carburetor to overflow and leak. Gas leak problems on your Toro Personal Pace will be minimized if you regularly check thy the float needle is not damaged, sticky or malfunctioning.

Fuel Shut Off Solenoid

When the engine is turned off, fuel supply is cut off by a shut off solenoid. The fuel shut off valve must not leak and fuel lines should close tightly on the valve. Replace a faulty or leaking fuel shut off solenoid.

Fuel Filter

The fuel filter purifies gas that passes through to the carburetor but it also receives fuel through fuel lines. All connections to the filter must be tightly fitted and not cracked or dry. When you keep these secure, it will reduce chances of experiencing the leaking problem on your Toro Personal Pace.

4. Battery Keeps Dying

Since the battery is used as a power source for cranking the piston engine of the mower, you will not get much out of your mower if it (the battery) keeps dying. Typically, the battery cells will die over the course it’s life span. This, however, does not imply that everytime your battery dies, you have to buy another one. There could be other problems with the Toro Personal Pace that are causing this.


A properly functioning alternator should recharge the battery and provide voltage to the mower while engine is running. The voltage of the alternator can be tested using a multimeter. A reading of less than 10.5v on a 12v battery will cause problems for your Toro Personal Pace. It most likely means that there is a dead cell and the battery may need replacement.


A voltage regulator controls the recharging of the battery. It keeps the battery charged by sending the right amount of voltage from the alternator. A defective regulator will cause the battery to drain quickly and as such, should be replaced before it causes major problems on the Toro Personal Pace.

5. Self Propel Not Engaging

While Toro ’s Personal Pace feature gives you three basic options for operation, the self propel feature may have problems engaging after a while. If you are not going fully manual,  you can opt for the fully-automatic self-propelled handle that moves forward at your pace. When this feature is giving you a headache, there are a number of areas you can look into for a solution.

Drive Belt

Drive belt rotates the pulleys, transferring power from the engine shaft to the input shaft of the transmission, which then propels the mower forward and spins the blade. Open the cover and check that the belt is not worn, cracked or damaged in any other way. With good care, your belt can give you 3 to 4 years, but be sure not to go beyond this period without replacing it.

Wheel Assembly

Basically,  a wheel assembly connects the wheel to the vehicle body. It has bearings, which allow the quiet and efficient rotating of wheels. Regularly inspect the set of gears on the assembly. Your Toro Personal Pace will experience transmission problems when these gears are worn out. When you suspect any defects, contact your manufacturer.

Traction Control Cable

Under the flap that you lift up when placing or removing the grass bag, you will find the traction cable,  which connects to the traction bail and is attached to the traction bracket close to the transmission. The cable should move freely because if its stuck, worn or damaged, the Toro Personal Pace will have problems with the self-propel feature. Lubricate the cable by squirting oil onto its end, but replace it when it is beyond repair.

The Toro Personal Pace Mower, like all types of medium to heavy machinery generally lasts longer and develops less frequent problems when taken care of in accordance with Manufaturer recommendations. Ensure that you full familiarize yourself with the owner’s manual before attempting to operate, repair or service the machine or any of its components.