Honda Self Propelled Lawnmower Not Pulling? (We Have A Fix)

Upgraded Home Team
by Upgraded Home Team
Honda’s self-propelled lawnmowers are among the best on the market, that is until they stop pulling. This can happen for several reasons, including a worn belt pulley. Follow along as we explore what you can do to fix a Honda self-propelled mower that won’t pull.

It can be frustrating when a piece of equipment is not operating correctly. One of the most annoying things I can think of is when a self-propelled lawnmower will not pull. You try to push it forward or backward, but it just won’t budge. So, in this circumstance, how do you fix the issue?

The most common problems and fixes for a Honda self-propelled lawnmower not pulling is the belt being worn out, the drive pulley is worn or broken, or the pins in the gears being worn out. Identifying and replacing these parts is the best way to fix it.

Troubleshooting a problem doesn’t have to be hard. Start with the most common issues. Inspect the problem areas for broken or worn parts. We’re going to show you some of the most common reasons your Honda mower is not self-propelling and a few ways to fix it.

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Troubleshooting Your Self Propelled Lawnmower

A self-propelled lawnmower may sound like a slightly complicated piece of equipment, but surprisingly, troubleshooting is not that difficult. There are only a few problems that could be causing issues. Fixing these issues is not a heavily involved process and can be done in no time.

Something like a loose belt could be causing the mower not to pull, rather than the transmission being worn out. Start, by eliminating the most common issues, with the easiest to fix first, until you find the actual problem. This will save you from changing out complicated parts that were never the issue to begin with.

Some Common Problems With A Honda Self Propelled Mower

We’ve been there before; That point when frustration sets in, and you want to find the problem so that you can fix it. Here are some of the most common issues with a Honda self-propelling lawnmower.

Common problems:

  • Drive cable needs adjusting
  • Loose drive belt
  • Worn gears on the axle
  • Worn out drive pulley
  • The transmission is weak

All of these problems could be causing your Honda self propelled lawnmower not to pull or push. Some have easy fixes, like adjustments; others require you to change out parts completely.

Try Adjusting The Drive Cable

The first problem to check for is the drive cable. The most common issue with these Honda lawnmowers is the drive cable stretching. The drive cable has an adjustment that makes this a straightforward fix. An adjustment screw is attached to the drive cable that can be adjusted to pick up the slack of the stretched, inner braided cable.

This can also help pick up the slack from a worn-out belt. You will know these parts are worn out if your mower becomes slow or harder to pull as the lawnmower gets older. After you adjust this cable by opening the lock nut, you can then screw the adjusting nut counterclockwise.

This takes some of the slack out of the cable and gives you more drive power. However, if you accidentally over adjust it, the mower will be harder to pull. Just back off the adjusting nut a little bit until you find the sweet spot. Then, tighten the lock nut back up to keep it dialed in.

Check And See If The Drive Belt Could Be Loose Or Worn Out

The drive belt is the next issue to look for. Over an extended period, the drive belt could get loose or worn out. These belts are pretty durable and last a good while. However, if yours does become too loose or worn, it will start to slip. The power will not make it to the engine, and your machine will be slow or unable to pull.

You can also tell that the belt is worn if it is making a lot of noise or causing vibration. If this happens, then you will need to inspect the belt to make sure that there is no deflection.

You will know that the belt has deflected and became loose if you squeeze both ends of the belt, and you can physically feel that it is loose. If your belt is worn out and loose, then it is time to replace it. However, when you remove the belt you will want to bring it into a garden parts store so they can match it up and get you the correct replacement.

Look For A Worn Drive Axle And Gears

Once you have ruled out the cable, and the belt, check the drive axle; it’s time to check the gears and drive axle. The cause could be worn gears inside of the drive axle or a worn driveshaft pin. The driveshaft pin is the most likely culprit out of all of them. The pins hold the gears in place to the axle.

These get worn out pretty easily over time. If this is the case, you will need to replace the pins. If the drive axle’s gears are the problem, you have to switch out the entire system. Unfortunately, the drive axle in these mowers are connected to the transmission, and essentially, they are one piece.

On the other hand, if the driveshaft pins are not the problem, you will need to replace the whole drive axle/transmission. They are pretty easy to swap out with the right tools.

Check The Drive Pulley

Next up, we have the drive pulley. The drive pulley is connected to the engine crankshaft. If the drive pulley is worn out or broken, then you will have to replace it. If this piece is broken, then the transmission will not be able to engage the wheel assembly.

This could cause the lawnmower not to pull. You will need to inspect the drive pulley to make sure it is not damaged or broken. If the piece is broken, you will need to replace the pulley. To do this, you will need the right tools and a place to work on it. If you do not have the tools, you can rent them or have a local small engine repairman fix it for you.

The Transmission Could Be Worn

The very last thing you will be up against is the transmission itself. As mentioned before, the transmission is attached to the drive axle. Honda makes a pretty tough transmission, these will rarely breakdown, but it does happen. If your transmission is worn, your lawnmower will be slow or hard to pull.

Since the transmission is a solid-state piece, you will not be able to get parts for it. You must replace the entire transmission/drive axle. Since this could be exceptionally pricey, you might want to look into getting a brand new mower.

Tips For Repairing Your Honda Self Propelled Mower

Here are a couple of tips for repairing your Honda self-propelled mower.

  • Start with the easiest fix first. By starting with the most straightforward repair and working your way down, you can avoid replacing expensive parts that were still in good shape.
  • If you do not feel confident fixing or changing parts, have a repairman do it. This can save you a lot of frustration and time.

Give it your best shot, and if you can’t figure it out, there is always someone who can. You can always bring it to a professional who able to diagnose and fix the problem.

Cost Of Hiring A Professional To Fix Your Lawnmower

For the cost or repair itself would depend on what exactly was wrong. If you’re looking for a full transmission swap, then this can cost a few hundred dollars on top of labor fees. However, most mowers will cost between $80 and $120 for the parts that are needed. In addition, the professional will then charge you labor fees.

You can expect to pay anywhere between $30 and $50 for labor fees for someone to fix your mower. This is not to be mistaken for the storage fee or shop fee. Sometimes, if your mower is kept for a few days, the business will charge you a storage fee per day ($15 – $30) and then a shop fee that’s typically around $60. Altogether, you will pay about $195 to $270.

Related Questions

What if the mower still pulls but is slow?

If the lawnmower is slow to pull, or hard to pull, you will need to troubleshoot. It could be as simple as adjusting the drive cable. This could also be because one of the parts are worn out.

What if the rear wheels are locked up?

This is usually an easy fix. This happens when the drive cable is adjusted too far. This causes the wheels to lock. You can fix this by letting up on the nut and finding the sweet spot.

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Wrapping It Up

If your self propelled Honda mower is not pulling, the issue typically lies within the drive cable or a loose belt. However, there are a wide variety of problems that can cause this particular issue. By working on going through each one, you will eventually find and solve the problem. However, if you can’t, you can always bring it into a shop where they will restore your mower to get it back into working condition.

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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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