Changing the mower’s belt is a common task when you own a riding mower, whether you do it yourself or hire someone to do it for you.
Even if you are a seasoned landscaper, it’s a good idea to change your mower’s belt once every 12 months or so, or sooner if you’re experiencing problems like a grinding sound or an occasional “thumping” noise when mowing.
If you wait this long, though, you may need to replace your belt more frequently, since they will start to stretch and wear out.
Learning how to fix riding mower’s belt issues can be quite a task, so getting your hands on a resource that explains common causes of breakdown can make the job go much more smoothly.
Check out this blog post on how often to change the riding mower belt for more information about when it’s time for an upgrade.
Common causes of lawn mower belt breakdowns
A lawn mower belt is an essential tool for a homeowner that has a riding lawn mower. Without it, the equipment cannot run properly and efficiently cut your grass.
The belt is one of those parts in which you are constantly making a trade-off between quality and cost: The better the material from which the belt is made, then the more durable it will be but at an increased price point.
The belt typically lasts for a year or two, and then it starts to show wear-and-tear.
Common causes of lawn mower belt breakdowns can be quite unpredictable – there is no specific time frame or mileage when the belt will start to break down due to use.
But we do know that this happens more often in high-stress areas and climates.
Looking into a lawn mower belt breakdown, I found the common causes of belt decomposition were:
- Overuse: Overuse is a common cause of lawn mower belt decomposition. If you use your mower for more than an hour a day, you may be increasing the likelihood of a breakdown.
- Heat: Excessive heat will cause your mower’s belt to deteriorate faster than normal.
- Friction: In some conditions, the friction in the mower’s belt will increase, causing the belt to break down faster.
- Acid: Exposure to acidic materials, such as fertilizer, can deteriorate the mower’s belt.
- Grass clippings: Wet and excessive grass clippings will create a sticky environment around the mower’s belt, which can clog up the area.
- Missing belt guard: If you don’t have the belt guard on, it will lead to increased wear and tear
- Improper tension: Your mower belt may be too loose or too tight.
How often do you need to change your lawn mower belts?
With summer fast approaching, it’s important to keep your lawn mower in good working order.
This includes inspecting the belts, learning how to put on new ones correctly and checking that everything is tightened down securely.
Not only will this help you avoid a breakdown right at the height of the sunny season, but you’ll also be able to enjoy a freshly cut lawn all summer long.
If you’re like most homeowners, you’ve probably never even considered changing a belt before.
This is understandable, as it’s not something that typically happens until the old one wears out or breaks and needs to be replaced. But how do you know when this time has come?
If you mow your lawn more than once a week, you should be changing your mower’s belts every season before they finally break.
I don’t want you to have to wait that long.
That’s why I’m going to give you a few tips on how often you should be checking your belt for signs of wear and tear.
- Take a close look at your belt once per week, and especially after you mow the lawns or if it starts making squeaky noises.
- For the best results, check it when you have a chance to let your mower sit for a while and cool down.
- Run your fingers along the belt and feel for any cracks, splits or cuts.
- If you find that a part of it is hard and does not flex, then it is time to replace the belt.
- It’s in your best interest to use a rule of thumb and change your belt every season. That way you can be sure that it’s never too late and if the old one starts to give out, you’ll be prepared.
- The best thing you can do is to change out your belt before it becomes damaged and starts affecting your lawn mower’s performance.
- Otherwise, it will be too late to replace the belt and you’ll have to deal with a bigger issue than just your lawn mower’s belt.
Manufacturers recommend checking on them at least monthly while in use.
This is because blades can get caught up in the belt if it snaps or becomes frayed, and this can lead to more costly repairs.
How often should your riding lawn mower be serviced?
Mower maintenance is a crucial part of owning and using your riding mower.
The most important thing to remember is that the blade needs to be sharpened at least once every 25 hours of running, which will in turn help your lawn’s appearance and health by keeping it free of weeds or other unwanted growths.
The best thing you can do is change out the belt before it becomes too worn, or if you notice that the belt has started to fray.
This will help keep your blade in good condition and ensure a long life for your lawn mower.
If neglecting this one small but important step leads to anything serious such as a snapped belt, it could end up costing much more money than just replacing the belt to begin with.
It’s important that you be proactive about your lawn mower maintenance and take care of it before any real problems arise!
Your riding lawn mower may need oil changes more frequently depending on its age, how much it is used, and the type of oil that was originally installed in the machine.
When it comes to replacing engine oil, you can change after every 50 hours of use, but it’s always best to check your owner’s manual for the suggested time.
As far as spark plug is concerned, it’s recommended that you replace it at every 25 hours of use.
It’s best to change the air filter after every 100 hours of use, but it also depends on how often you mow your lawn and if there are any serious allergies in your area.
If you have a riding lawn mower with hydraulic lines, be sure to change or inspect them every 100 hours – if they are worn out, your ride may not operate smoothly!
How can you tell if your lawn mower belt is stretched?
Mower belts are one of those things you only learn about once they break.
Lawn mowers are tough machines to keep running, and every year I see the same pattern: the mower would operate just fine for a while, but then the belt would start to slip, and then it would break.
You’re probably familiar that the belt runs around the outside of the mower.
This belt is there to make sure the mower cuts evenly, and is used to turn the blades in the mower.
If this belt is stretched or worn out, the mower will not cut evenly.
A stretched belt is easy to identify:
- Loose grip: it’s easy to see how loose the belt is; you can feel it if you grab it and use your fingers to stretch it back and forth.
- The blade doesn’t turn: if you’re running your mower and it doesn’t seem like the blade is turning, you probably need a new belt.
- Noisy mower: stretched belt creates some noise, and if you’re not hearing any sounds coming from the mower while it’s running, then there are likely issues with the belt.
- You can also check for wear patterns on the pulley: if there’s small grooves in the pulley, it’s likely your belt is worn out.
- If you’re cutting grass and there are patches that don’t get cut, it’s likely the belt is stretched.
Change your mower belt when worn out!
If you want to avoid the expense of a mower belt replacement, it is important to keep track of your current belt condition.
This means inspecting for cracks in the rubber on a regular basis and replacing as necessary before any damage can occur that will require an expensive repair or replacement.
The correct answer to the question about how often a riding mower belt should be changed depends on how much use it gets and what type of material it is made from.
The more frequently you change the belts on your lawn tractor or other ride-on equipment, the less likely they will break in half while driving which could lead to injury for yourself and others around you.
Keeping up with this simple maintenance routine should extend the life of your riding lawn mower’s belts so they last years instead of weeks!