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10 Common Kubota Lawn Mower Problems & Solutions

Wouldn’t it be great to own a lawn mower that never requires maintenance and never breaks down? Unfortunately, that mower does not exist. While Kubota manufacturers high quality lawn mowers, their mowers are subject to problems over time just like all lawn mowers on the market.

To prevent some of these common problems, service your Kubota lawn mower annually. This includes changing your engine oil and filter; replacing your air filter, fuel filter and spark plugs; cleaning around your engine and transmission; and inspecting your mower components for wearing and damage.

You must also regularly check and clean your air filter, grease the mower, scrape the mower deck, sharpen your mower blades and clean the Kubota mower during the mowing season.

Common Kubota lawn mower problems and solutions

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Follow all safety instructions provided in your equipment operator’s manual prior to diagnosing, repairing or operating. Consult a professional if you don’t have the skills, knowledge or are not in the condition to perform the repair safely.

Common Kubota Lawn Mower Problems & Solutions

Kubota Lawn Mower Won’t Start

There are many reasons why a Kubota lawn mower won’t start. Start identifying the issue by looking for an air or fuel restriction. Check for a plugged air filter, sufficient fuel supply, clogs in the fuel components or a plugged fuel filter. Old gas that has been running through the mower can be the cause of your clogged for failing fuel components.

Next, check your spark plugs and ignition coil. Without spark, your mower will not start. Continue checking your battery, safety switches and charging system to ensure they are all working correctly. Make sure all wires are securely attached and making good connection.

Detailed information can be found at:
Reasons Your Kubota Lawn Mower Won’t Start

CauseReason for ProblemSolution
No gas in the fuel tankFuel tank is emptyFill with fresh fuel
Bad or old fuelFuel breaks down overtime making your fuel less efficient and prone to clogging the fuel systemDrain the fuel tank and fill with fresh fuel. Use a fuel additive like Sea Foam to stabilize the fuel and assist with cleaning the fuel system. Use the right fuel.
Faulty or clogged fuel capThe vent in the cap can get clogged causing your tank to form a vacuum restricting fuel flowUse a thin piece of wire to try to clear the clogged vent. Replace the cap if needed.
Bad spark plugExcessively dirty or broken spark plug; bad connection; not gapped correctlyReplace with a new spark plug, secure connections and ensure it is gapped to manufacturer specifications
Plugged air filterDirt and grass can plug the air filter preventing air flowRemove the filter and clean it. Replace the filter if it is in bad condition.
Plugged fuel filterA dirty fuel filter will restrict fuel flowReplace the fuel filter
Bad fuel pumpA failed or leaking fuel pump will no longer create pressure needed to pump fuelReplace the fuel pump
Blocked fuel linesBad fuel deposits and dirt can build up and clog the fuel lines preventing the engine from getting the required fuelUse a carb cleaner and compressed air to clear the clog out of the fuel line. Replace line if necessary.
Dirty carburetorThe carburetor can become dirty and clogged due to bad fuel and ethanol deposits preventing fuel flowClean the components making up the carburetor. Replace if needed.
Bad battery or loose & dirty terminalsA dead battery, loose cables or corroded terminals can cause starting problemsCharge your battery and replace if it won’t hold a charge. Make sure your cables are tight and clean the corrosion from terminals.
Bad safety switchSafety switches is a safety measure that exist to prevent your mower from starting in certain situations. When a switch fails, your mower may not start.Test and replace faulty safety switch
Bad ignition switch or coilYour mower will not start when either the ignition switch or coil is badTest and replace a bad switch
Bad charging systemA charging system that can’t keep your mower charged and is constantly draining the battery must be repaired to prevent starting problems.Take your lawn mower to your local Kubota dealer for assistance identifying which part of the charging system has failed.
Reasons Your Kubota Lawn Mower Won’t Start

Kubota Lawn Mower Starts and Dies

Many of the items that prevents a Kubota mower from starting can be the same as those that cause it to die. When your mower isn’t able to get the air, fuel and spark it requires, it will run sluggish and possibly quit.

Overheating can cause your Kubota mower to die. It’s important to use the correct engine oil; maintain the correct engine oil levels; and clean out your engine cooling fins and around the engine so air can circulate around your engine to keep it cool.

The electrical system or clogged mower deck can also cause your mower to die after it has been running. Check the charging system, switches, ignition coil and spark plugs.

Detailed information can be found at:
Why Your Kubota Lawn Mower Starts Then Dies

CauseReason for ProblemSolution
Bad fuelFuel breaks down overtime making your fuel less efficient and prone to clogging the fuel system and engine damageDrain the fuel tank and fill with fresh fuel. Use a fuel additive like Sea Foam to stabilize the fuel and assist with cleaning the fuel system
Plugged air filterDirt and grass can plug the air filter preventing air flowRemove the filter and clean it. Replace the filter if it is in bad condition.
Dirty or broken cooling finsCooling fins get packed with dirt, oil and grass not allowing air to effectively cool the engine blockReplace broken fins and clean the cooling fins.
Clogged fuel lines or filterBad fuel deposits and dirt can build up and clog the fuel lines preventing the engine from getting the required fuelUse a carb cleaner and compressed air to clear the clog out of the fuel line. Replace a plugged fuel filter.
Dirty carburetorThe carburetor can become dirty and clogged due to bad fuel and ethanol deposits preventing fuel flowClean all components making up the carburetor. Replace if needed.
Too Much Engine OilToo much engine oil increases pressure in the crankcase causing it to overheat and dieCorrect your engine oil level by removing a little oil
Bad Spark PlugDirty or damaged spark plug causes plug to foul out and cause intermittent running problems.Clean or replace spark plugs if needed. Ensure spark plug wires are securely attached and the plug is gapped correctly.
Faulty Ignition CoilA windings on the coil can separate and short out on a bad ignition coilCheck for a break in the continuity using an ohm meter and replace is found bad
Choke is in the Wrong PositionA choke is used for cold starts. The choke can cause your engine to shut off when it continues to restrict airflow after the engine warms.Make sure the choke is in the correct position
Battery is Not ChargingA battery that doesn’t hold a charge or a bad charging system that can’t keep the battery charged will cause your Kubota to die after running.Test your battery and charging system. Replace any electrical components found to be bad. Read more about testing your battery and charging system here.
Bad Gas CapGas caps have vents for air to pass through. When the vents get plugged, the fuel tank will cause fuel restrictions.Replace a fuel cap that no longer vents
Clogged Mower DeckClogged mower deck causes a strain on the engine causing it to work hard and possibly shut downPeriodically scrape your mower deck to keep it clean
Reasons Your Kubota Lawn Mower Dies While Mowing

Kubota Lawn Mower is Smoking 

Seeing smoke come from your Kubota lawn mower can be quite alarming. A Kubota mower may start smoking when the air filter is plugged or the choke setting is incorrect restricting air flow. This causes your engine to run rich allowing a higher concentration of fuel to burn creating a black smoke.

It can also begin smoking when there is an insufficient engine oil level or internal engine problem including piston ring failure, valve train problems and gasket failure. Oil that drips onto your muffler or is spilled on your engine during an oil change will burn off also causing your Kubota to smoke.

Detailed information can be found at:
Why Your Kubota Lawn Mower is Smoking

CauseReason for ProblemSolution
Plugged air filterDirt and grass can plug the air filter preventing air flowRemove the filter and clean it. Replace the filter if it is in bad condition.
Too much oil in the crankcaseExcessive oil can cause pressure to build in the engine allowing oil to get into the cylinder through the valve trainDrain a little engine oil until it is at the manufacturers recommended oil level.
Engine oil level is too lowLack of oil can increase friction in your engine causing extreme heat.Bring to a small engine repair shop to inspect engine damage. You can try adding oil, but it is often too late to have this fix your engine problem.
Internal problems including the piston ring, valve train or engine gasketInternal engine problems can have a detrimental effect on your mower if they are not caught soon enough and fixed.Bring your Kubota to your local small engine repair shop for troubleshooting
Reasons Why Your Kubota Mower is Smoking

Kubota Lawn Mower Has a Weak Hydrostatic Transmission 

CauseReason for ProblemSolution
Bad drive beltA bad drive belt can cause your pump not to work efficientlyReplace a frayed, cracked or worn belt
Bad tensioner pulleyWhen a tensioner pulley fails, it fails to keep tension on the drive beltReplace the pulley and grease the tensioner arm
Low or old hydraulic oilLow or old hydraulic oil can fail to lubricate the hydraulic system causing your hydraulic system to seem weakChange your hydraulic oil at regularly intervals as recommended by Kubota.
Check your hydraulic oil periodically to ensure your hydraulic fluid is full.
(Some transmissions systems are sealed and they can’t be serviced. If you are having troubles with a sealed system, see your dealer).
Reasons Why Your Kubota Lawn Mower Hydrostatic Transmission Seems Weak

Kubota Lawn Mower Won’t Drive Straight or Steer Correctly

It can get frustrating when you are always having to adjust the operating of your mower because it is pulling to the right or left. Here is a list of items to check on a zero turn or riding lawn mower to make the necessary corrections to get your mower to drive straight.

CauseReason for ProblemSolution
Incorrect tire pressureUnequal tire pressure can cause your mower to pull to one side.Check tire pressures and keep them filled to the manufacturers spec. Tires on each side of your mower requires equal pressures.
Bad dampers on zero turnBad dampers will cause your mower to jerk to one side when moving forwardReplace with a new damper
Tracking adjustment needed on zero turnWhen one tire is moving faster than the other, your mower can pull to one sideAdjust speed adjustment bolt to change the rotation speed of the tire. Refer to your owner’s manual.
Worn or loose steering components in riding mowerWorn bushings, washers and gears can cause your mower to not steer one way or the otherInspect and replace the parts that failed on your steering system
Reasons a Kubota Mower Won’t Drive Straight or Steer Correctly

Kubota Lawn Mower Won’t Move

Detailed information can be found at:
9 Reasons Your Mower Won’t Move or Go Forward

CauseReason for ProblemSolution
Drive release lever in the wrong positionThe drive release lever allows hydrostatic mowers to roll freelyThe drive release lever must be in the operating position.
Missing key in the axleYour riding mower may have a small key in the axle that may have fallen out of placeReplace the key in the axle
Drive pump belt is wornThe mower won’t move if your drive belt has fallen off. It could also not move if the belt is worn.Replace a worn or cracked belt. Make sure the belt is securely around the pulleys.
Bad tensioner pulleyThe bearing in the tensioner pulley can failReplace the tensioner pulley
Missing idler arm springIf the idler arm spring breaks or goes missing, it can no longer place tension on the drive beltReplace the broken or missing spring
Low or old hydraulic oilLow or old hydraulic oil can fail to lubricate the hydraulic system causing your hydraulic system to seem weakChange your hydraulic oil at regularly intervals as recommended by Kubota.
Check your hydraulic oil periodically to ensure your hydraulic fluid is full.
Hot hydraulic fluidHot hydraulic fluid can be a sign of damage to your hydrostatic transmission systemLet your hydraulic oil cool. If you find your mower runs fine when it is cold, but does becomes weak when the hydraulic system gets hot, have your mower checked at your local Kubota dealership.
Air in the hydraulic systemAir must be bled from the hydraulic system after changing your hydraulic fluid or the mower will not be able to move at normal speedsFollow Kubota’s procedures for changing hydraulic fluid and bleeding air from the system in your owner’s manual.
Reasons Your Kubota Lawn Mower Will Not Move or Go Forward

Kubota Lawn Mower is Vibrating

Mowing isn’t the most comfortable task even if you do have one of those comfortable seat suspension systems on your Kubota lawn mower. Your comfort level can quickly deteriorate when your mower starts to vibrate and shake excessively.

A Kubota lawn mower can begin vibrating when the clutch bearing fails; the engine mounting bolts are worn; mower blades are unbalanced; the spindle bearings or pulley bearings have failed; the deck belt is worn or debris is lodged in your mower.

Don’t overlook the small stuff. Something as small as a acorn or stone stuck in your mower can cause a significant vibration.

Detailed information can be found at:
How to Stop Your Lawn Mower from Shaking & Vibration

CauseReason for ProblemSolution
Loose or missing engine mounting boltsEngine bolts are used to reduce vibration of the mower when the engine is runningSecure engine bolts and replace any missing bolts
Clutch is badWhen there is bearing failure and it falls out of the clutch it can cause vibration. A manual engagement clutch can have a bushing and linkages that can fail.Replace the clutch
Unbalanced or damaged mower bladesDamaged and unbalanced blades can send a vibration through your mower. Blades must be balanced before installingReplace any damaged blades and make sure they are balanced.
Material wrapped around the blade spindleForeign materials like string or long weeds can get wrapped around your blade shaft causing vibrationRemove all debris and items wrapped around the blade shaft. Check for spindle damage.
Bad spindle housing bearingsVibration can be caused by a bad bearing in the spindle housing.Replace bearing in the spindle housing or replace the whole spindle housing assembly
Worn pulleys or deck beltCheck deck belt and pulleys for wearing of the belt and bearing failure in the pulleysReplace any damaged or worn belts and pulleys
Debris lodged in mowerThe smallest little things can cause your Kubota to excessively vibrate. Check over your mower for debris stuck in the deck or mower. Don’t overlook the small stuff.Check over your mower deck and mower for any place small items can be stuck in your mower. Remove these foreign materials.
Reasons Your Kubota Lawn Mower is Vibrating

Kubota Lawn Mower Has a Bad or Uneven Cut

Kubota mower decks normally give a nice cut. The quality of cut can suffer with a bent, worn or unbalanced mower blade; an unleveled mower deck; a low tire; a clogged mower deck; worn spindle or pulley bearings; or a worn belt.

Operator error can also contribute to your bad cut. Not overlapping your mowing paths correctly or operating your mower at a fast ground speed or low engine speed can also affect your Kubota mower’s cut quality.

Detailed information can be found at:
Reasons Your Kubota Lawn Mower Cuts Uneven

Worn mower bladeUneven tire pressuresEngine speed is too low
Bent mower bladeUnleveled mower deckGround speed is too fast
Blade installed wrongBent blade spindle or spindle bearingDamaged deck shell
Clogged Mower DeckWorn deck pulleys or beltOperator error
Reasons Your Kubota Lawn Mower is Cutting Uneven

Kubota Lawn Mower is Leaking Gas

When gas evaporates into the air, it can often be hard to find the place your Kubota lawn mower is leaking gas. A Kubota mower can leak from its fuel components including the fuel filter, fuel pump, fuel lines, fuel shut-off valve and fuel cap.

Detailed information can be found at:
Your Kubota Lawn Mower is Leaking Fuel

CauseReason for ProblemSolution
Dirty of Failed CarburetorThe carburetor can collect a buildup of substances remaining from old gas that can cause blockages or parts failuresClean the carburetor and replace any damaged parts
Old Fuel FilterFilter can become pluggedReplace fuel filter
Bad Fuel PumpPump can wear and deteriorate over time and may begin leaking at the seamsReplace the fuel pump
Bad Fuel TankA metal tank can develop a rust hole. A poly tank can leak at the seams of the tank.Replace the fuel tank. Sometimes, a rust hole can be repaired if you can no longer find a replacement tank.
Bad Fuel Shut-Off ValveMetal and plastic shut-off valves are prone to leakingReplace the shut-off valve
Cracked Fuel LinesRubber fuel lines become dry and cracked causing gas to leakReplace the fuel lines
Bad Seal in the Gas CapThe gas cap seal can fail and no longer seal allowing gas to splash out of the fuel tank around the gas capReplace the gas cap
Places Your Kubota Lawn Mower May Be Leaking Gas