For a company that has only existed for less than a decade, Spartan Mowers know what they are doing.
Besides creating one of the most gorgeous zero-turn mowers on the market, they have consistently added revolutionary tech upgrades and premium parts.
The result is an absolute beast for residential and commercial lawn mowing. However, when you hear some people talk about Spartan mower problems, you might think that the brand isn’t great.
In this article, we will examine these problems and their solutions and determine if your next mower should be a Spartan mower or if you should look elsewhere.
10 Spartan Mower Problems
Here are 10 spartan mowers’ complaints, possible causes and solutions.
- Spartan mower won’t start
- Spartan mower won’t move
- Uneven cut
- Spartan lawn mower starts then dies
- Spartan mower smoking
- Shaking Spartan mower deck issues
- Spartan mower pulling to one side
- Spartan mower leaking fuel
- Poor cuts on a hill
- Spartan mower control panel problems
1. Spartan mower won’t start
Spartan mowers have the most advanced starting sequence for any zero-turn mower. The smart design will tell you if you have followed the proper starting procedure by giving you the green light.
A red light by the start/stop button means you have missed a step. If you have a green light, but the engine still doesn’t start, it means something is wrong with your Spartan mower, and you need to investigate.
Here is how to troubleshoot spartan mower starting problems;
- Check the fuel. Even if the fuel gauge shows fuel, it could be old gas, so you need to inspect the fuel tank. Gasoline breaks down after about 4 weeks, so if you haven’t used your zero turn for a while, empty out the tank and pour fresh gas.
- Check the spark plug. An old or dirty spark plug won’t create the ignition required to burn fuel. Remember to change spark plugs every 25 hours. A disconnected spark plug will also prevent the engine from starting.
- Check for a clogged air filter. Air is the third component to burn the fuel in your engine, after gas and the spark. Don’t wait until your scheduled maintenance to change a blocked air filter.
- Check the fuel system. Old gas and debris can clog fuel filters, pump, and lines. Use a carb cleaner and compressed air to clear lines, and buy a new fuel filter.
- Check the battery for power.
- Check for loose wires and connections, especially ones connecting to the safety switch, control console, battery, and hydraulics.
You will notice that we didn’t mention oil on the list. If it was any other lawnmower brand, this could be a problem.
However, Spartan mowers have a proprietary system that doesn’t require you to change oil or oil filters for 500 hours.
If you have gone through all of these and the engine still isn’t starting, the two other likely options are that the carburetor might be dirty or you have a faulty ignition coil.
You could learn to diagnose and clean these yourself, but if this is your first mower, get a professional.
2. Spartan mower won’t move
Because of their design, zero-turn mowers are always eager to move. That is why you would often have problems like a zero-turn creeping on idle.
The Spartan mower is not immune from this problem, which is why it is surprising when a mower doesnt move at all.
If you have taken your drive levers off neutral and your Spartan lawnmower still isn’t moving, here are the things you should check:
- Check the drive belt and tensioner pulley. If you have a broken belt or pulley, your lawnmower won’t move. Spartan have made their components easy to access and replace as needed.
- Check the hydraulics. Ensure you don’t have a leak, and change the hydraulic oil as needed. If the hydraulics are hot, it could mean there is a problem somewhere. Remember to bleed out air after changing the hydraulic oil.
- Check the battery. If the battery is too weak, it might be able to get your engine to start, but it will die as you try to move it or engage the blades.
3. Uneven cut
With all the tech that goes into Spartan mowers, you would expect them to cut evenly and not leave streaks on your lawn.
If you notice this happening, the first thing you must determine is whether it has always been like this, or is it a new development.
If, from the time you bought your Spartan mower, it was leaving streaks on your lawn, that will mean something was not set right, and it could still be covered under warranty.
If this is a new problem, there are several reasons why this could happen. The most common options are:
- The tire pressure is uneven
- The blades aren’t sharp
- You aren’t driving at full throttle
- Dirty mower deck
- Dull blades or damaged mower blades
- Spartan mower spindle problems
Another option is a damaged cutting deck, but considering Spartan mowers are made from fabricated American steel, this could only happen if you’ve been doing something crazy with your mower.
If you check all these and still have streaks, you might want to check how you use your Spartan zero-turn mower.
These things are pretty fast at 13 mph, but this speed won’t give the best cut. You should also vary your cutting pattern and not use it on very high or wet grass.
4. Spartan lawn mower starts then dies
This is one of the worst things you can experience on a lawn mower, especially if you’re far away from the shed and have to walk back.
There are many reasons why a lawn mower would start and die, but the most common ones are:
- Low fuel. It is common to forget to top up the tank. However, checking that you don’t have a leaky fuel tank is also important.
- Bad gas. If the gas in your fuel tank begins to smell sweet, drain the tank and pour in fresh gas.
- Clogged air filter. Just enough air might be able to squeeze through a dirty air filter to get the engine started, but not enough to sustain it.
- Low engine oil.
- Faulty ignition coil. Unlike the name suggests, an ignition coil doesn’t just ignite once and then stops; this is a continuous process.
- Dirty spark plug. Like the coil, it will get you started but won’t finish.
- Clogged fuel line. If the fuel filter fails, debris and lawn clippings could enter the fuel line. Bad gas can also clog the lines.
- Clogged mower deck. When there is too much debris, the mower blades overwork the engine and will eventually cause it to stall. Try to clean the mower deck after every intense session or every time you cut wet grass.
- Dirty carburetor. This is tricky to diagnose if you don’t have engine-repair experience.
Considering Spartan lawnmowers have not been around that long, it is unlikely you will experience some of the more extreme problems.
If you do, they have a solid 3-year warranty, so go to any Spartan dealer to check it.
5. Spartan mower smoking
This isn’t a problem you see every day. A lawnmower will usually emit smoke when the oil level is too low, which then causes the engine to overheat.
Insufficient airflow into the cooling fins can also cause the engine to heat up. Besides, too little oil, too much oil and pouring the wrong oil can also cause smoking.
Again, this isn’t a common problem, as your Spartan lawnmower is built for effective oil consumption.
If you have been following the Spartan mower maintenance tips, you shouldn’t have any oil or air filter problems, meaning it’s unlikely for your Spartan zero-turn mower to start smoking.
6. Shaking spartan mower deck issues
When you have a powerful engine moving at top speed, it’s pretty normal for it to start vibrating.
However, Spartan zero-turn mowers have a vibration control deck system to keep the mower steady.
So, if you notice the mower deck shaking, you are one of the few Spartan owners to have experienced it.
First, you should check if any mounting bolts are loose or missing. Another culprit could be a bad clutch or broken mower blades.
A problem with the hydraulics could also affect the stability of the mower deck.
7. Spartan mower pulling to one side
When a zero-turn mower is misaligned, it is usually because it has been assembled poorly.
However, because Spartan mowers are assembled in Arkansas, you will unlikely have this problem from the factory.
Therefore, this problem is more likely to develop over time, and the cause is usually tire air pressure.
When you don’t have enough tire pressure or traction in one tire, the fuller one will push the mower aside, kinda like a three-legged race.
So, if you don’t remember to check tire pressure often, you will soon encounter some difficulties.
Another reason the steering is warped is if you need tracking adjustment. This will ensure that both tires are moving at the same speed.
8. Spartan mower leaking fuel
When you leave gas in your mower for the whole winter, some of that gas could begin to compromise the fuel lines. So, when you swap out the gas in Spring, you might begin to smell fuel as you drive.
That is because your Spartan mower is now leaking gas from your fuel lines or the carburetor.
Two ways to check if you are leaking fuel are if the fuel gauge goes down overnight or if you notice a trail of burnt grass as you ride.
You will need to trace the leak and replace any broken parts. If the leak is from the carburetor, it will need some servicing. To prevent gas from breaking down quickly, use a fuel stabilizer. Here’s where to find a mower’s carburetor.
9. Poor cuts on a hill
One of the major selling points of Spartan mowers is that they work great on slopes with declines up to 15 degrees.
As a result, it has been known to perform better than Bad Boy mowers. The problem with that is many Spartan owners begin to have unrealistic expectations.
As a rule, you should cut slopes with a lawn tractor and not a zero-turn mower. Even a Spartan mower won’t compete with that.
To get the best cut with a zero-turn mower on a hill, you must move slowly and make a few passes to perfect it.
10. Spartan mower control panel problems
Spartan has done a great job modernizing the control center of zero turns. The problem, though, is that technology will often let you down.
One complaint from a handful of Spartan owners is that the console developed a fault so that they couldn’t drive their mowers.
When that happened, Spartan was gracious enough to replace it. Unfortunately, this isn’t a problem you can fix on your own, but as long as you’re under warranty, you have nothing to worry about.
If you’re not, you can use it to bargain for a decent upgrade, as this is a factory fault and not your doing.
Spartan mower troubleshooting
|Mower won’t start||– Old or contaminated fuel|
– Dirty spark plug
– Clogged air filter
– Clogged fuel system
– Weak battery
– Loose wires and connections
– Dirty carburetor
– Faulty ignition coil
|– Check fuel and replace if necessary|
– Replace spark plug
– Clean or replace air filter
– Clean fuel system and replace fuel filter
– Check battery power
– Check and secure wires and connections
– Clean or replace carburetor
– Replace ignition coil
|Spartan mower won’t move||– Broken drive belt or tensioner pulley|
– Hydraulic issues
– Weak battery
|– Replace drive belt or tensioner pulley|
– Check and fix hydraulic issues, including changing hydraulic oil and bleeding air
– Check battery strength
|Uneven cut||– Uneven tire pressure|
– Dull or damaged blades
– Not driving at full throttle
– Dirty mower deck
– Spartan mower spindle problems
|– Check and adjust Spartan mower tire pressure|
– Sharpen or replace blades
– Drive at full throttle
– Clean mower deck
– Check and fix spindle issues
|Lawn mower starts then dies||– Low fuel or leaky fuel tank<br>- Bad gas<br>- Clogged air filter<br>- Low engine oil<br>- Faulty ignition coil<br>- Dirty spark plug<br>- Clogged fuel line<br>- Clogged mower deck<br>- Dirty carburetor||– Refill fuel tank or fix leak|
– Drain and replace with fresh gas
– Clean or replace air filter
– Check and add engine oil
– Replace faulty ignition coil
– Clean or replace spark plug
– Clean fuel line
– Clean mower deck
>- Clean or replace carburetor
|Spartan mower smoking||– Low oil level|
– Insufficient airflow
– Excess oil or wrong type of oil
|– Check and add oil if needed|
– Ensure proper airflow
– Drain excess oil or use the correct type of oil
|Shaking mower deck||– Loose or missing mounting bolts|
– Bad clutch or broken mower blades
– Hydraulic problems
|– Tighten or replace mounting bolts|
– Replace clutch or mower blades if necessary
– Check and fix hydraulic issues
|Spartan mower pulling to one side||– Tire air pressure imbalance<br>- Tracking adjustment needed||– Check and adjust tire pressure|
– Perform tracking adjustment if required
|Spartan mower leaking fuel||– Compromised fuel lines|
– Carburetor issues
|– Replace broken fuel lines|
– Service carburetor
|Poor cuts on a hill||– Zero-turn mowers are not ideal for cutting slopes||– Use a lawn tractor instead for cutting slopes|
|Faulty control console||– Console malfunction||– Contact Spartan for replacement if under warranty|
Spartan mower start button is not working
One possible cause could be a faulty or worn-out start button switch. Also, loose or disconnected wires connecting to the start button can prevent it from functioning properly. Another possibility is a problem with the mower’s electrical system or battery.
To resolve this issue, it is recommended to inspect and test the start button switch, check the wiring connections, and ensure that the battery is charged and properly connected. If the problem persists, seeking professional assistance may be necessary.
Spartan mower flashing electrical fault causes
The exact cause of the fault can vary, but some common possibilities include a malfunctioning sensor, a damaged wiring harness, a faulty control module, or a problem with the battery or charging system.
It is important to address this issue promptly to prevent further damage or potential safety hazards.
To determine the specific cause of the electrical fault, it is advisable to consult a professional technician who can diagnose the problem using specialized equipment and expertise. They will be able to identify the root cause and provide the appropriate solution for resolving the electrical fault on the Spartan mower.
Spartan mower grease points
Spartan mowers have several grease points that require regular lubrication to ensure optimal performance and longevity. The specific grease points may vary depending on the model and components of the mower.
However, some common areas that require greasing include the mower deck spindles, caster wheel bearings, pulley bearings, idler pulleys, and other moving parts with grease fittings.
Spartan mower warranty terms
Spartan mowers typically have a 3-year warranty for residential use (shorter for commercial use). Read the warranty terms carefully, follow maintenance guidelines, and contact the manufacturer or authorized dealer for assistance.
Final thoughts on Spartan mowers complaints
There is a reason Toro was quick to acquire the Spartan mower brand.
In our review of common Spartan mower problems, you will see that many are due to human error, easy to fix, and/or pale compared to competitors.
The bottom line is every mower will have problems, including Bad Boy, arguably the best commercial zero-turn mower today, and John Deere, arguably the best farm equipment maker in the world.