11 Simplicity Zero Turn Mower Problems and Solutions

Simplicity Zero Turn Mower Problems

Durability is an important consideration when buying a mower. Besides, a good mower must have premium features such as various deck sizes, steel frames and an ergonomic seat.

In fact, these are the reasons why simplicity is recognized as a top lawn mower. In addition, to the deck sizes, the mower is well-built and durable.

The 48-54 inches Simplicity Zero Turn mowers could suit anyone owning 1-2.2 acres of land (Read best riding mower for 1 acre).

But the 61-inch deck commercial mower is ideal for mowing between 5-10 acres of lawn.

Unfortunately, just like other top mowers, there is a host of Simplicity Zero Turn Mower problems you must learn to fix if you are looking forward to enjoying its service.

Read: Risks Associated with Using Zero Turn Mowers on Slopes

11 Simplicity Zero Turn Mower Problems

  1. The engine refuses to start
  2. The engine starts but runs poorly
  3. Engine knocks
  4. Hydraulic transmission problem
  5. Uneven cuts
  6. Excessive vibration
  7. Brake failure
  8. The engine produces black smoke
  9. Drive belt slips
  10. Step cut
  11. PTO Switch problems

1. The Engine Refuses to Start

Although this is a common problem in all mowers, the causes could vary from one tractor to another.

But the most common causes include faulty engines, lousy batteries, and clogged fuel lines. An empty fuel tank is the leading cause of the problem.

Also, you may experience this problem if your mower has dirty and faulty spark plugs, clogged air filters, and dirty oil.

Sometimes, the mower engine may fail to start when the fuel is contaminated or stale.


  • Check and clean air filters.
  • Clean oil filters.
  • Refill the fuel tank.
  • Inspect the mower for debris in the engine.
  • Check the fuel level and top it up if it is low. If the fuel is stale, drain it out. Alternatively, you may pour in fresh ethanol-free gasoline and try to power it.
  • Inspect the spark plug and spray them with carb cleaner.

2. The Engine Starts but Runs Poorly

There are cases when the engine starts well but runs poorly. If it’s perennial, you may need to troubleshoot it for fuel-air mixture issues.

Also, incorrect gapping and a faulty spark plug are likely to cause the problem.


  • Replace the spark plug.
  • Check for incorrect gapping and fix the problem.

3. Engine Knocks

Operating a mower with the wrong grade or low oil will likely cause an engine knock.

The symptoms of engine knock include oil leak, insufficient pressure and power, and failed compression test. In some cases, you may see bluish or whitish exhaust smoke.


  • Read the user manual before buying the oil.
  • Be cautious when refilling the oil.
  • Refill the oil regularly.

Read: Ideal zero turn tire pressure

4. Hydraulic Transmission Problem

A simplistic mower relies on hydrostatic and not automatic transmission for power and efficiency.

The mower features a back-and-forth maneuvering system that allows the operator to mow narrow spots and areas around an obstacle.

Typically, the hydraulic transmission transfers power from the engine to the wheels.

But if there is a hydraulic transmission problem, such as a rupture or when the filter is clogged, it may not transfer the power.

When the air gets into the hydrostatic transmission, the system could suffer from cavitations and result in hydraulic transmission issues.

The motor could run slowly or refuse to run altogether when air enters the system. Also, the mower could be problematic with a loosened drive belt, poor lubrication, and leaking hydraulic fuel.


  • Sometimes, the hydraulic fuel gets stale, so you need to replace it. Also, if the hydraulic fuel leaks, clean or replace the filter. Ensure to adjust the choke to stop further fuel leaks.
  • Lubricate the mower every three sessions because it is made up of many components that operate at high temperatures and move at high speeds.
  • Check whether the motor is on or off and troubleshoot the hydraulic transmission.
  • Check and ensure the wiring is correctly done and the motor components are working correctly.

5. Uneven Cuts

When your tractor starts mowing unevenly, it is a sign that the shells and the mower blades are damaged.

Also, if the mower decks are not level or the blade installation needs to be corrected, you will likely encounter an uneven cutting problem.

The mower may also cut unevenly if the tires are deflated. Similarly, you may see asymmetrical patterns cuttings when the deck needs some adjustment and the tires are deflated.

Read: Best lawn mower blades for zero turn


  • Check the safety switch.
  • Level the deck and ensure that they are not bent.
  • Check the deck blades and shell and fix any arising problem.
  • Check if the mower deck, the blades, and the spindle are operating correctly.

6. Excessive Vibration

The mower may vibrate excessively if the deck belts and the blades have a problem.

If the blade mounting bolt is loose, or the pulleys, the spindle, and the edges have bends, you will likely experience intense vibration.

However, you don’t need to worry if the mower throb when you start it. But if you notice the noise is too much, investigate and fix any of these problems and fix them.


  • Check the blades and sharpen them if blunt.
  • Check the mounting bolt and tighten it if loose.
  • Replace the blades if they have deteriorated beyond repair.

7. Brake Failure

Brake failure is one of the perennial problems with almost all simplicity mowers. When the brakes are incorrectly adjusted, or the pads wear out, you will likely experience the problem.

Also, if crooked or poorly adjusted, you will likely encounter parking brake difficulties. A loose drive belt is another cause of the braking issue.


  • Adjust the brakes and place them in the correct position.
  • Replace the brake pads if depilated or worn out.
  • Refer to the manual and place the brakes as per the specifications.

See Also: TYM tractor transmission problems

 8. The Engine Produces Black Smoke

After many hours of mowing, you will notice that the exhaust turns black. This could happen when the choke control is closed and the air filter is dirty.

If the mower spits oil or throws out black soot, the engine could run rich on fuel hence burning too much gasoline.

Similarly, the engine could produce black smoke when the carburetor does not receive enough air, so the fuel-air mixture is not ok.


  • Clean the air filters and change them if they are worn-out.
  • Start the mower to allow it to run for a while.
  • Check the choke and ensure it is ok.

9. Drive Belt Slips

Tear and wear are the main reasons the belt could slip since the belt wears out or gets damaged when the mower operates at full speed.

Also, the belt is likely to loosen up due to regular mowing.  


  • Check for a loose belt.
  • Replace the belt.

10. Step Cut

The zero-turn lawn mower suffers from step cuts when the deck level is incorrect. Also, the mower will cut the grass unevenly if the tires are not inflated.

Damaged blades are likely to result in step cuts. Similarly, if the deck shell is damaged or the blade’s position is improper, you will likely experience a step cut issue.


  • Level the deck correctly.
  • Inflate the tires.
  • Replace or reinstall the blades.
  • Replace the deck.
  • Replace or fix the spindle.

Related: best zero turn for hills

11. PTO Switch Problem

When you start the ignition switch,  the mower reeves but stops suddenly, it is a sign that the PTO switch has a problem.

This could happen if the starter solenoid has a problem. The solenoid allows fuel to get into the carburetor.

Therefore, if it is defective or has a loose connection, the engine will stop running as soon as it starts.

You may troubleshoot the solenoid by checking if it supplies enough power to the PTO clutch and, similarly, check if it produces a clicking sound. If it does not, it is faulty.


  • Check for the bad solenoid. Here’s a guide on symptoms of a bad fuel shut off solenoid to help you out.
  • Fix loose connections.
  • Replace the PTO pulley.
  • Check the battery voltage; if it is not adequate, charge it. But, if it is dead, replace it.

Troubleshooting simplicity courier problems

1. Engine refuses to start– Clean the air and oil filtersTest for bad ignition switch
– Inspect the mower for debris in the engine
– Top up the fuel
– Drain the fuel if stale
– Spray the spark plug with carb cleaner
2. Engine starts but runs poorly– Replace the spark plug
– Fix the gapping problem if any
– Check fuel flow
3. Engine knocks– Read the user manual before buying the oil
– Refill the oil regularly
4. Hydraulic transmission problem– Replace the hydraulic fuel if stale
– Clean or replace the fuel filter
– Adjust  the choke to stop fuel leaks
– Lubricate the mower regularly
– Ensure correct wiring
5. Uneven cuts– Ensure the deck is not bent
– Fix any problem with the deck blades and shell
– Ensure the deck, blades, and spindle are working
6. Excessive vibration– Sharpen the blades if blunt
– Tighten the mounting bolt if loose
– Replace the blades if it has deteriorated
7. Brake failure– Adjust the position of the brakes
– Replace the brake pads if depilated
8. Engine produces black smoke– Clean the air filters; change them if worn out
– Ensure the choke is ok
9. Drive belt slips– Replace the loose belt
10. Step Cut– Level the deck correctly
– Inflate the tires
– Replace the blades and the deck
– Fix the spindle
11. PTO switch problem– Fix the solenoid connections
– Replace the PTO pulley
– If the battery is dead, replace it

Related: Bad Boy Mowers Problems


What are the common problems with Simplicity Zero Turn mowers?

Simplicity Zero Turn is a good mower for home use. However, it has many problems you must learn to solve independently.

The most common issues include the engine refusing to start or switching itself off as soon as it starts. Sometimes, the tractor experiences hydraulic transmission problems, PTO switch issues, and excessive vibration.

See: Ferris Zero Turn Mower Problems

Which engine does the Simplicity Zero Turn mower use?

Simplicity Zero Turn mower comes fitted with Briggs & Stratton engine. This is a powerful and reliable engine designed for mowing.

The engine is not just easy to maintain but will give you service for a more extended period. You could choose the 33″ deck 18hp, 42″ 20hp, or the 42″ 21 hp engine.

What is the life expectancy of a Simplicity Zero Turn mower?

Nothing lasts forever. Therefore, like all other mowers, the simplicity lawn mower has a general life expectancy of 1500- 10,000 hours.

However, the average life expectancy ranges between 2500-3500 hours. A high-quality brand may serve you for 4500-5000 hours. In terms of years, the mower could help you for 8-10 years.

Generally, riding mowers last for 10-15 years with proper care.

Final thoughts on Simplicity Zero Turn Mower Problems

Keeping your lawn neat is one of the ways to enhance the value of a home. Unfortunately, not all mowers will give you the service you may want.

But the Simplicity Zero Turn mower could be the right choice if you own between 1 and 2.2 acres of land.

It comes with the right features meant to make your work easier. The Briggs & Stratton engine-propelled mower is designed to solve all your mowing issues.

However, to optimize it, you may need to learn how to solve some of the Simplicity Zero Turn mower problems it comes with.