A self-propelled mower makes mowing much easier by helping you “push” the mower with a belt and pulley. The mower uses a belt and pulley (connected to the motor) to drive the unit automatically, so you don’t have to use too much force to push it. However, from time to time, the belt may wear out and must be replaced. There’s no need to fear though, it’s an easy DIY job, and this guide will show you how.
Step 1 – Remove the spark plug cap
Just to be safe, you should always remove the spark plug cap before working on your mower to prevent it from starting while you are working on it.
Step 2 – Remove the strap cover
At the top of your mower and near the rear wheel, there will usually be a cover on the casing that contains the belt used to power your mower. Depending on the model you have, you will need to use a screwdriver or wrench to remove this cover.
Step 3 – Deactivate the drive pulley
If the pulley is hooked, you will need to release the tension on the belt by using the shift lever near the top of the handle to disengage it. On some mowers, the belt engages with a second handle that is pulled toward the main push handle and uses a spring to engage the pulleys. If your mower is of this type, the pulley will disengage automatically each time you release the second handle. Therefore, you will not have to worry about this step.
Step 4 – Tilt the mower on the side
Place a piece of cardboard or plastic on the ground that is large enough to keep your mower from getting too dirty. Then tilt the mower on its side so that it rests on the cardboard or plastic. When tilting the mower, make sure the gas tank and filter are up and not pressed against the ground.
Step 5 – Remove the old belt
If you’ve released the tension on the belt with the handle or the gearshift, you should be able to remove the belt quite easily. However, sometimes you may need to use a flat head screwdriver to gently pry the belt off the pulley. Once you remove the old belt, do not throw it away as you will need it when purchasing a replacement.
Step 6 – Buy and Install a New Belt
Take the old belt with you and purchase a replacement belt at your favorite hardware store or local home improvement center. Once you return home, install the new belt by sliding it over the blade pulley and then the wheel pulley. To do this, you may need to push the wheel pulley towards the motor slightly.
Step 7 – Adjust the tension
Once the new belt is installed, check the tension. If the belt seems to be a little loose, look for a small bolt or nut on the pulley wheel that will allow you to adjust the position of the wheel pulley. Adjust the belt tension as necessary.
Step 8 – Turn the mower upright
Turn the mower over so that it is back up.
Step 9 – Replace the Belt Cover and Spark Plug
Screw or screw the strap cover and place the cap on the spark plug. You should now be able to use your lawn more as you normally would.