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Craftsman lawn tractor will not move when in gear????

The mower starts fine when I put it into gear it does not move what could be the problem??????

Craftsman , Lawn Tractors , Lawn Mowers
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3 Answers from these members:
Mark T
Thank you for your question. I see that you have gotten a link to an answered question. I would like to add the following.

The most likely reason for a lawn tractor to not drive is a broken ground drive belt or a belt that is off the pulleys. To check the belt lower the deck to the lowest position and don’t start the engine. Visually inspect the belt that goes from the engine pulley, through some idler pulleys, and around the input pulley on the transaxle. Get someone to push the clutch pedal in and see if the belt gets loose and then gets tight when the clutch pedal is let out. Sometimes the idler pulley bracket will stick or bind and not move to tighten the belt. This can usually be corrected by spraying the idler pulley bracket with WD40 or a similar product. After spraying move the idler bracket back and forth by hand to free it up.

Set the parking brake and chock the rear tires to keep them from turning and start the engine. Be sure the ground drive belt is turning the input pulley on the transaxle. If the input pulley is turning the belt is doing its job. If the input pulley is turning on a lawn tractor with a 5 or 6 speed transaxle and the tractor is not moving, something is broken or worn inside the transaxle or the keys are not installed in the rear wheels. If the keys are left out the axle will turn but the wheels won’t.

If the input pulley is turning on a hydrostatic transaxle but the transaxle is not driving the lawn tractor, the keys in the rear wheels could still be the problem. The brake pads can also stick and cause this problem on a hydrostatic transaxle.

The brake pads stop the tractor by stopping a brake disc on the side of the transaxle. You can test the brake shoes by inserting a .010 feeler gauge between the brake shoes and the brake disc. If the brake is working properly there will be .010 clearance between the brake disc and the brake shoes when the brake pedal is released. You can usually solve this problem by spraying the brake mechanism liberally with WD40 or a similar product and moving the brake lever on the side of the transaxle back and forth by hand. Sometimes some parts of the brake mechanism might need to be replaced.

There is a possibility that the hydrostatic transaxle could be low enough on oil that it is not driving the lawn tractor. If this is the case there will be evidence of oil leaking around the seam where the top and bottom housings of the transaxle join or where the axle seals or a shaft comes out of the housing. You will probably need a technician to repair this kind of problem. You can call 1-800-469-4663 or go to


and schedule service for a Sears technician to diagnose and repair the problem.
by Mark T Earned 1,649 community points in Craftsman
September 20th, 2010
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