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How to Tighten a Riding Lawnmower Belt

Updated April 17, 2017

A lawnmower is a machine used for cutting or trimming the grass on the lawn. No matter how lawnmower are operated, they all have a belt that runs from the drive wheels to the engine. The belt is used to transfer power from the engine to the wheels and when the belt is not tight, the mower will not move forward or backward as it should.

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  1. Turn off the engine of your lawnmower and disconnect the spark plug wire as well. Some models of riding lawnmowers you will need to remove the deck, which is basically a plastic or steel casing, to access the belt.

  2. Locate the mainframe tube on your lawnmower. Then loosen the clamp bolts on your lawnmower's frame by using a wrench tool. Instead of a wrench tool, you can also try using a pair of pliers. This will allow you to access the belt of your lawnmower.

  3. Locate the belt, also known as the drive belt, inside the deck of your lawnmower. It is a belt that goes from the engine of the machine to the drive wheels. Riding lawnmower models usually have V-belts that go from the front motor pulley to the transmission, with a possibility of varying revolving blade speed. You will recognise a belt in a riding lawnmower as a black, rubber strong band or a strip, wide somewhere between 3/8 and 5/8 inches.

  4. Tighten the belt of your lawnmower by shortening the location of the mainframe inside the clamps. The length of a riding lawnmower's belt is adjusted by loosening the cap screw at the middle of the pulley. This way, you will be able to manipulate and adjust the length or the belt on the transaxle pulley.

  5. Reinstall the clamp bolts to their original position and tighten them with a wrench tool or a pair of pliers. If you needed to remove the deck, reinstall it as well.

  6. Reconnect the wire that connects to the spark plug and then turn on your lawnmower. Check if the lawnmower moves more smoothly now, after you fixed and tightened the belt.

  7. Tip

    If you notice that the belt is too severely damaged or worn out, it is absolutely necessary to replace it with a new belt.


    Every lawnmower has sharp and dangerous revolving blades as a main part of its internal mechanism: so make sure to wear sturdy, durable working gloves whenever you are working on your machine.

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Things You'll Need

  • Wrench
  • Pliers

About the Author

Based in New Jersey, Susan Raphael has been writing technology-related articles since 1991. Her work has appeared in “Wired” magazine, and “Mac Addict” magazine. Raphael received the Janet B. Smith Literary Award in 2002. She holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism from New York University.

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