Cub Cadet Zero Turn Steering Wheel Problems

Cub Cadet Zero Turn Steering Wheel Problems 

The Cub Cadet zero turn is one of the most effective machines used on lawns today, with its steering as the primary control.

However, this steering wheel is popularly known for coming with some issues, possibly due to several faults that could have developed with its various parts.

If you are faced with any of these problems, then you do not need to panic as this article will talk about the eleven Cub cadet zero turn steering wheel problems you might face and how to solve them.

Cub Cadet Zero Turn Steering Wheel Problems

  • Hard to turn
  • Loose steering wheel
  • Cub Cadet steering arms misaligned
  • Cub Cadet electric power steering problems
  • Vibrating steering
  • Steering going in the wrong directions
  • Mower is not moving
  • Mower stopped suddenly midway
  • Mower releasing excess smoke
  • Weak hydrostatic transmission
  • Difficulty starting

11 Cub Cadet Zero Turn Steering Wheel Problems

The big issue with knowing what is wrong with any machine is knowing which part or component is faulty or needs to be checked.

Here are eleven possible problems you might have with your mower, the possible causes, and how you can get rid of the issues to have a well-functioning mower.

1. Hard to Turn

When the steering of this mower becomes very difficult to turn, the wheel is stiff and might not move at all.

This could happen because of a lack of fluid in the system or a damaged steering rack.

When the inner brushings of the wheel are faulty, too, or there is no pressure coming from the power pump, it could lead to stiffness. This is also a common problem with Cub Cadet RZT 50.

The solution to this problem is lubricating the shaft, replacing the faulty parts, and cleaning out the connection.

2. Loose Steering Wheel

Another drawback of the Cub Cadet mower is the steering wheel getting loose. It happens due to loose steering components, such as the steering gear, or damage to the steering box’s linkage to the wheel.

This leads to overturning – random movements after turning the wheel a bit which could result in an accident while mowing.

To get the wheel to steer correctly, Cub Cadet needs to be fixed as soon as possible. You can check the steering connection and tighten the steering gear.

3. Cub Cadet Steering Arms Misaligned

Misaligned steering arms happen when there are worn steering components, or they could result from a collision that has a significant impact.

This leads to the wheel veering off a straight road or even trembling. You can correct the misaligned steering arms by unscrewing the bolts, adjusting each steering arm, and tightening the bolts.

4. Cub Cadet Electric Power Steering Problems

The mower could also have power steering problems due to a leak in the electric system, using low-quality fluid, clogged air filters, or insufficient power steering fluid.

This results in applying a great deal of effort to turn the mower. You can fix this by replacing the fluid and ensuring it is sufficient. Also, most importantly, repairing the leak in the system.

5. Vibrating Steering

When there are loose, worn steering and suspension components, or unbalanced blades, it could result in vibration.

This is also a problem most users have with this mower. Wheel imbalance in any of the four wheels, damaged or clogged rims also cause vibration in the steering.

The vibration would stop by simply adjusting the parts that need to be aligned and replacing the worn-out parts.

6. Steering Going in the Wrong Directions

When one tire moves faster than the other, it could lead to the mower veering off the road. Some causes include unequal tire pressure, worn-out steering parts, and bad dampers.

To fix this, you have to check your tires and ensure they are filled with enough compressed air. You should also replace the worn-out parts and adjust the speed bolt if necessary.

7. Mower is not Moving

When the belt drive and the tensioner pulley are damaged, the mower may not move.

Also, if the bypass rod or the release lever components on the hydrostatic is not correctly positioned, this could prevent the cub cadet from moving.

You can get your mower moving if the lever is correctly positioned and the damaged parts, like the tensioner pulley and drive belt, are replaced.

8. Mower Stopped Suddenly Midway

This is one frustrating thing that could happen while mowing. There are many reasons why the Cub cadet could stop while functioning.

Mostly it could be the air filter clogged from grass residue or dirt from previous use, which affects fuel flow.

Other times the cooling fans could have a fault, affecting airflow into the system and leading to an overheated engine. To fix this, you can thoroughly clean the air filter and fans.

9. Mower Releasing Excess Smoke

Smoke is produced when the oil in the fuel tank gets into the cylinder and begins to burn.

However, the smoke released could become excess when too much oil is in the crankcase, causing the other parts to burn.

When the mower produces excess smoke, you might need to turn it off and drain some of the oil in the crankcase until it is appropriate. If the smoke does not stop after this, you can take it for repair.

10. Weak Hydrostatic Transmission

When the hydraulic fluid level is low, or the drive belt has gotten bad, it could result in a weak hydrostatic transmission.

A faulty tensioner pulley also affects the overall functioning of the mower, especially when its arms are not greased often.

You can change the drive belt and fix the hydraulic system according to the directions given in the manual to correct this.

11. Difficulty Starting

If you have a dirty carburetor or you are running the mower on old fuel, it might be challenging to get it to start. A bad spark plug or clogged fuel filter could prevent the mower from starting.

To fix the Cub Cadet starting issues, you can clean the carburetor and fuel filter,  replace the spark plug, or change the fuel in the tank.

How to Fix these Problems

There are specific solutions to each of these problems, as stated above. However, these are general fixes that will help your cub cadet zero turn to move without any hitch, irrespective of the problem.

You can call these maintenance tips. They are:

  1. Drain the fuel tank as often as possible and replace it with fresh fuel.
  2. Clean out the mower deck, filters and vents regularly to prevent clogging from debris and grass after use.
  3. Check for any faulty or damaged parts, such as the pump, spark plug, carburetor, safety switch, recoil, drive belt, or tensioner pulley, and replace them as soon as possible.
  4. Take your mower to a repair shop, especially if it has engine-related problems.
  5. Lubricate the parts subject to friction with sufficient oil before use to prevent wear out.
  6. Service the mower regularly, mainly if it is often used on rough terrains.
  7. All parts that could get loose should be checked and screwed tight.

Cub Cadet Steering Problems for Common Models

Cub cadet lt1045 steering problems

This mower operates on an automatic transmission, so there is no need to change the gear at intervals.

Due to this, the pedal is used to move it faster or slower, which could easily get faulty if too much pressure is applied. It is also difficult to start.

Cub cadet lt1050 steering problems

One of this model’s most common problems is that it stops working while it is in use.

Blocked cooling fans that should prevent the engine from overheating could also contribute to this. Also, a clogged air filter could be responsible for this.

Cub cadet gtx 2100 power steering problems

One common problem with this cub cadet model is difficulty turning the steering. It uses an electric power steering motor which could need a battery change at any point in time.

So if the battery has run down or there is not enough voltage to power the steering, it poses a problem with the use of this mower.

Cub cadet i1046 steering problems

Steering jams are common with this model. It refers to a tight spot in the steering gears, most likely due to accumulating debris.

Another problem common with it is, it requires increased steering effort. Inadequate lubrication and residue gathering in the steering gears are the major causes.

Cub Cadet GT1554 steering problem

The engine producing insufficient power is one of the common problems with this model. This could result from a clogged air filter or an above-average engine oil level.

This affects the starting of the mower, and until the problem is rectified, it cannot be switched on.

How to Fix Steering on Riding Lawn Mower

Fixing the steering properly on riding lawn mowers is crucial, so it does not start to veer off the road. You can do this in the following steps:

  • Turn off the lawn mower and park it on flat terrain to prepare it for repair.
  • Check the tire pressure; if any is low, fill it.
  • Open the bolts supporting the steering to look closely at the steering gear.
  • Replace the damaged bushings, bearings, shafts, and other parts of the steering.
  • Check the connector that links the tie rod with the gear; if any need replacement, they should be replaced and fixed.
  • Proceed to test the lawnmower to see if there is an improvement in its performance.


Which Cub Cadet has power steering?

The Cub Cadet GSX has an electronic type of power steering model. It has a lot of advantages over other types, as it reduces fatigue from long hours of riding, decreases the torque, and allows continuous steering functioning.

How to adjust steering on Cub Cadet zero turn mower

To adjust the steering on a Cub Cadet zero-turn mower, you must first check the tire pressure before aligning and adjusting the steering levers. Also, it is crucial to either increase or decrease the speeds of the drive wheel.

How does the Cub Cadet zero-turn with the steering wheel work?

This mower uses a dual rear transmission that transmits power to each rear wheel. When the steering wheel is turned, a steering box turns the front axle, but a pair of directly connected linkages runs from the steering box to each rear transmission.

What are riding lawn mower steering problems?

Riding lawn mower steering problems include difficulty making turns, worn-out steering shaft or steering support assembly, and loose drag linkage. These result in vibrations and wrong turn while using the mower.


There is no perfect machine, and even the best Cub Cadet zero-turn mower is not one. Over time with use, one or more of these problems stated above is inevitable.

So you do not have to panic if the steering seems stiff or loose; it might result from a fault in one of the steering components.

You should always check the parts of your mower, so you know what needs cleaning or replacing.

If you cannot rectify the issue, you can take the mower to a repair shop and fix it. In no time, you would have your cleared lawn without causing any damage to yourself or your property.