How To Adjust Tension On Honda Self-Propelled Mower

Upgraded Home Team
by Upgraded Home Team

Owning a Honda self-propelled lawnmower makes it easy to cut your grass quickly. However, over time, your mower will need routine maintenance and care. One of the most crucial elements to pay attention to is the drive belt. In some cases, this belt can come loose, which means that you’ll have to adjust the tension by tightening it.

To tighten the belt on your lawnmower, you need to remove the belt housing. On Honda mowers, there is a screw head that you can turn to adjust the tension, making this job simple and straightforward.

If you want to get your mower back to pristine conditions, tightening the belt can make a huge difference. Here’s what you need to know to make it happen.

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What You’ll Need to Adjust the Tension

Fortunately, you don’t need many tools or experience to get the job done. The only tools required are both a flathead and Philips screwdriver. However, you may want to have a set of pliers handy as well. They can help with some of the pieces if they’re too stuck to take off by hand.

Step by Step Guide for Adjusting Tension on a Honda Self-Propelling Lawnmower

Step One: Remove the Grass Bag

To get to the belt, you’ll have to go through the rear of the lawnmower. So, the first thing to do is remove the grass bag so that you have easy access. On Honda mowers, the bag should be locked in place via hooks.

If you’re having trouble getting it off, we recommend looking at your owner’s manual for tips. We suggest doing this when the grass bag is empty so that you don’t make a mess.

Step Two: Disconnect the Spark Plug Wire

As with a standard car engine, your lawnmower uses a spark plug to ignite the fuel. There is a wire that connects the plug to the motor. You can simply detach the end of the wire and move it out of your way. Be sure not to damage the metal piece, as that could cause motor failure.

Step Three: Remove the Belt Housing

To help protect the belt and other internal components, there is a plastic housing piece covering them. Here is where you’ll be using the screwdriver. Once the housing is detached, you can set it off to the side. Also, keep the screws nearby so that you don’t lose them by accident.

Step Four: Tighten the Transmission Pulley Wheel

With the housing removed, you should be able to see the belt. There is also a pulley system that keeps the belt moving while the mower is running. Follow the pulley to find the tension screw head. This head will require a flathead screwdriver, while the belt housing requires a Philips.

You may recall the jingle, “righty-tighty, lefty-loosey.” So, be sure to turn the screw head to the right to increase the tension on the belt. However, don’t turn it too far, as you could make it so that the pulley system won’t work. To make sure that you still have enough slack, pull on the belt. If it moves, you should be okay. If it doesn’t, then you have to loosen the screw head a little.

In some cases, you may tighten the screw all the way, and the belt still feels loose. If that does happen, that indicates that it’s time for a replacement.

Step Five: Replace All Parts

Once you’ve adjusted the tension, you can replace the belt housing and re-attach the spark plug wire. Then, return the grass bag, and your mower should be ready to go.

Step Six: Do a Test Run

Whenever performing any maintenance work on your lawnmower, we recommend taking it out for a test drive immediately afterward. This way, you can be sure that you replaced everything correctly and fixed the problem. If you still notice any issues with your mower, then you know that the belt is not the cause.

Tips and Tricks For Adjusting Your Mower’s Tension

To ensure that you get the job done smoothly, here are some of our top recommendations.

  • Place the Mower on a Work Bench or Table – This way, you don’t have to stoop to the ground to work on the motor.
  • Clean Your Lawnmower – Since you’ll be working underneath the chassis, now is the perfect time to clean it up. Wipe off any dirt or grass clippings that can affect your mower’s performance.
  • Inspect Your Blades – Lawnmower blades can get dull over time. Now might be an ideal opportunity to sharpen them.

How Does Tension Affect My Lawnmower?

Since the drive belt works on both the wheels and your mower’s blades, it needs to be tight. As it loosens, your mower will become less efficient when cutting grass. In extreme cases, the belt may come off the pulley system, which can cause it to get snagged in the motor. If that happens, you’ll need to take the machine to a repair shop.

How to Tell if You Need to Adjust the Tension on Your Honda Lawnmower

Fortunately, belts don’t come loose all at once. Instead, you’ll start to notice some problems with your lawnmower that will get worse over time. Here are the most common indicators that the belt tension is getting too loose.

  • Squealing – Since drive belts operate at high speeds, they can make a lot of noise when they’re in bad shape. If the belt is loose, it will slip on the pulley system, which causes extra friction. When that happens, the belt lets out a high-pitched squeal. Usually, these sounds will be in rapid succession, rather than a long-sustained noise.
  • Trouble Moving – If you’re noticing that your mower isn’t moving forward or backward as smoothly as it used to, the culprit could be a loose belt. However, if there is no squealing, then the problem is likely with one of the tires or axles.
  • Choppy Results – A tight belt ensures that your lawnmower blades spin as efficiently as possible. When it comes loose, your mower will start to have trouble cutting the grass. If you notice uneven cuts after making a pass, the belt may be the problem.

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Related Questions

How can I tell if the belt needs tightening or replacing?

No matter what, your lawnmower’s drive belt will get worn down over time. In some cases, adjusting the tension can extend a belt’s life, but other times, it may need replacing.As we mentioned, if the belt stays loose after tightening the pulley system, it’s time for a new one. Also, if you notice frayed edges or cracks on the belt itself, you should replace it as soon as possible.

What happens if I don’t adjust the tension on my mower?

If your drive belt loses tension, it will cause the material to wear down faster since it can get caught more easily. In some instances, the belt may snap, which can damage the motor. In other cases, the belt could get stuck, which can make it hard to remove.Overall, if you don’t adjust the tension, you’ll increase the chances of having to take your lawnmower to a repair shop, which will be costly and time-consuming.

Upgraded Home Team
Upgraded Home Team

We are a team of passionate homeowners, home improvement pros, and DIY enthusiasts who enjoy sharing home improvement, housekeeping, decorating, and more with other homeowners! Whether you're looking for a step-by-step guide on fixing an appliance or the cost of installing a fence, we've here to help.

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