Ariens Zero-Turn Mower Problems + How to Troubleshoot

Ariens Zero Turn mowers are state-of-the-art mowing machines boasting unmatched precision, maneuverability, and speed compared to regular lawn tractors. However, they’re not devoid of problems. You should know how to troubleshoot and fix your Ariens mower’s engine, cutting deck, battery, or any other part that might cause it to malfunction.

Common problems of the Ariens Zero Turn Mower include

  • The mower doesn’t start
  • Mower dies as you mow
  • The mower delivers uneven cuts on the grass
  • Mower transmission problems
  • The mower starts smoking
  • Maneuvering issues

Is Ariens Zero Turn a good mower?

Ariens Zero Turn mowers are a series of high-performance riding lawn mowers, including Zenith, Apex, Edge, and Ikon XD. Ariens’ range of Zero Turn mowers scores highly in precision, speed, and durability. 

Apart from high-performance Kawasaki engines, Ariens Zero Turn mowers have great maneuverability made possible by the Zero Turning radius. Their maneuverability has made them a top choice for anyone switching from lawn tractor to mower. 

Also, with this mower, you can mow closer to the edge of your lawn with precision since you have a clear view of the cutting deck located upfront. By contrast, it’s hard to mow near the lawn’s perimeter using a lawn tractor due to the mowing deck being located on the underside of the mower.

Ariens Zero Turn mowers are designed to cut grass much faster than standard lawn tractors. The superior maneuverability also helps to cut down the operator’s mowing time. 

And that’s not all. 

The two handles used to steer this lawnmower make it easier to drive than a lawn tractor with a regular steering wheel.

Common problems with Ariens Zero Turn mowers?

Common issues that owners of Ariens Zero Turn mowers experience include a mower that won’t start, mower starting then stalling, mower smoking, mower battery issues, and gas leaks.

Start-up Failure

It’s not uncommon for Ariens Zero-Turn lawnmowers to fail to start. This issue can mainly be attributed to various factors such as a clogged carburetor or fuel filter, a worn-out spark plug, or a defective fuel pump. 

Other parts that might also cause startup failure on an Ariens Zero Turn mower include the start switch, the flywheel key, the ignition coil, and the recoil starter assembly.

i. Clogged carburetor or fuel filter: Old fuel leaves behind a thick and sticky residue that clogs the inner parts of the carburetor or the fuel filter. This can lead to startup failure.

ii. Worn-out spark plug: A spark plug can wear down over time, causing it to produce no spark. It could also be due to excessive carbon buildup on the electrode or a cracked porcelain insulator. These spark plug issues can cause an Ariens mower to fail to start.

iii. Defective fuel pump: Whenever there’s an issue with the check valves or the pulse port on the fuel pump, there’s a high possibility of mower engine startup failure. Therefore, it’s crucial to immediately replace your fuel pump if there’s an oil leak into the pulse port or if the check valves are worn out.

iv. Faulty start switch: When the start or safety switch is faulty, there’ll be no continuity, and your Ariens Zero Turn mower won’t start.

v. Broken flywheel key: Apart from keeping the crankshaft turning, the flywheel key also cools down the mower’s engine. Your engine won’t start if the flywheel key is broken. 

vi. Defective ignition coil: The ignition coil routes voltage to the spark plug. If it’s faulty, the voltage reaching the spark plug will be insufficient, resulting in a mower that won’t start.

vii. Damaged recoil starter assembly: Parts of the recoil starter assembly, such as the recoil spring, can break down and cause starter rope recoil failure.

Blades won’t engage

If you can power up your Ariens Zero Turn mower, but the cutting blades won’t engage, either the PTO switch or PTO clutch is faulty. If the PTO switch is faulty and there’s no continuity, it’s unable to power up the PTO clutch. As a result, the operator cannot disengage the engine from the mower blades, thus causing blade rotation failure.

Mower Leaking Gas

Another common problem in Ariens Zero Turn mowers is gas leaks. An Ariens mower can start leaking gas if the carburetor gasket, primer bulb, or the float needle is faulty. Other causes of mower gas leaks include a missing float bowl gasket, faulty fuel filter, and cracked fuel pump.

i. Carburetor gasket: The carburetor gasket might dry out, leading to gas leakage at the bottom of the Ariens Zero Turn lawnmower.

ii. Float needle: a damaged float needle cannot regulate fuel flow into the float bowl and is a common cause of gas overflow in the carburetor.

iii. Primer bulb: This component is bound to wear out and become brittle over time, causing inefficiencies in the suction of gas into the carburetor from the fuel tank.

iv. Float bowl gasket: A missing float bowl gasket can cause gas leaks through the bottom of the mower.

v. Fuel filter: If the fuel line housing or the fuel filter is cracked, you’ll probably have a gas leak issue.

vi. Fuel pump: The body of the fuel pump may have tiny cracks through which gasoline may be leaking.

Battery keeps dying

If the battery on your Ariens Zero Turn mower keeps dying, it’s probably due to an issue with the battery itself or the alternator. This problem can also be caused by a charger with inadequate voltage output or a faulty voltage regulator.

Note: The voltage regulator controls the voltage amount coming into the battery from the alternator. Thus, the battery cannot receive enough voltage and drains faster. if it’s faulty

Mower starts, then stalls

If your Ariens lawn mower shuts down after running for a while, it could be due to excessive engine oil, a worn-out spark plug, or a misplaced choke.

Excessive engine oil: if you overfill the crankcase with engine oil, it will overheat and die due to the rise in pressure, causing your Ariens Zero Turn mower to stall after running for a while.

Defective spark plug: A dirty or worn-out spark plug may foul out, causing your mower to run intermittently.

Misplaced choke: When the choke is not in the correct position, it will continue to cut off the airflow after the engine starts running, causing the engine to shut off.

Mower is smoking

If your Ariens mower is emitting smoke, it’s likely running on low engine oil. Smoke coming out of your mower can also be caused by faulty internal engine components such as the valve train, engine gasket, or piston ring.

Headlights not functioning

Faulty headlights is a common complaint for many Ariens Zero Turn mower users. This issue is usually caused by a blown fuse, disconnected wiring, or an extinguished bulb.

How to fix Ariens Zero Turn mowers common problems?

Many Ariens Zero Turn mower problems can be fixed if you clean some interior components or fix loose connections. Fixes include cleaning the carburetor, spark plug, or battery terminals. You may also need to drain extra engine oil. 

However, more serious problems might need complete replacement of defective mower and mower engine components.

Replace old fuel

If the Ariens mower issue is caused by old fuel clogging the engine parts, drain the old fuel and replace it with fresh gasoline. Adding a fuel stabilizer to the fresh fuel also helps to stabilize the fuel and clean up your fuel line.

Clean or replace the carburetor

For a clogged carburetor, the best option is to remove the old fuel clogs using a carb cleaner. In extreme cases, you may need to replace the carburetor.

Clean the battery terminals

If your mower’s battery terminals are corroded, consider cleaning them using a baking soda solution. Also, check that the cables are loose. However, if the battery won’t hold charge, you’ll have to replace it.

Clean the spark plug

To fix a defective spark plug, clean it and check that its wires are well connected. To clean out the spark plug deposits, use a wire brush or a strong knife. There are also spray-on cleaners that are specifically formulated for this purpose.

Drain some of the Engine Oil

If your Ariens mower is smoking because of excessive engine oil in the crankcase, consider the manufacturer’s recommendations on the engine oil levels. Then, drain some engine oil out until you reach the recommended level.

Replace faulty Components

Some Ariens Zero lawn mower problems can’t always be fixed. Some problems require complete replacement. They include:

i. The fuel filter

ii. PTO clutch

iii. Carburetor gasket

iv. Float needle

v. Primer bulb

vi. Fuel pump

vii. Piston ring

viii. Headlights 

Tips for Care and maintenance for Ariens Zero-Turn Mower

i. Clean the air filter monthly

ii. Add fuel stabilizer to keep fuel fresher for longer

iii. Regularly check the mower’s tire pressure

References

Ariens.com: Zero Turn Mowers

1 thought on “Ariens Zero-Turn Mower Problems + How to Troubleshoot”

  1. I have an older 1648 Ariens zero turn mower that runs good but when using it the laterals seem to lock the tires up instead of working smooth, are there any adjustments that can be made them to stop this?

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