How to Troubleshoot the Hydrostatic Transmission in a Cub Cadet

Many hydrostatic transmission problems on a Cub Cadet tractor are due to a transmission control rod misalignment. The transmission control rod causes the tractor to rock slightly forward or backward when the engine is powered high idle speed while it is in neutral. If your tractor has been in use for a few years, this form of 'creeping' may occur. Troubleshoot the hydrostatic transmission control rod first to avoid unnecessary and costly transmission repairs.

Set the front of the tractor against a stable post or wall that is in a fixed position. The object the tractor is leaning on must not move.

Jack up the tractor's rear. Both rear wheels must be one inch off the ground.

Put the drive control levers in neutral, disengage the parking brake, start the tractor and idle it high.

Inspect the rear wheels and verify that both are rotating. If one or both wheels do not move, turn off the tractor, take the flange locknut off of its designated transmission control rod and then use the hex screwdriver to remove the hex screw.

Start the tractor and then inspect the rear wheels and verify that the affected wheel is not rotating. If it continues to rotate, stop here and contact Cub Cadet for further support; otherwise, continue to the next step.

Turn off the tractor and then move the control rod either up or down to the free hole in the control arm.

Reattach the hex screw and flange locknut.

Use the jack to lower the tractor to the ground and then move it out from under the tractor.


Test your tractor for creeping at least once a year or as needed if hydrostatic transmission symptoms appear sooner.


Take care to practice safety measures to avoid serious injury when the tractor is jacked up off of the ground.

Things You'll Need

  • Jack
  • Hex screwdriver
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About the Author

Nina Nixon has more than 30 years of professional writing experience. She enjoys writing about business and technology. Her articles have appeared on Chron, eHow Business & Personal Finance, Techwalla, and other digital content publishing websites.