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How to Tell Your Cub Cadet Mower Belt is Bad

You may be wondering when you should change your Cub Cadet mower belt. There is no set time when a belt needs to be automatically replaced. It can be dependent on how often you use your mower and how well you maintain your mower.

You can tell your Cub Cadet belt may be going bad when you see visible wearing and damage of your belt; hear squealing from your mower deck; feel a vibration in your mower, or notice an uneven cut.

Your Cub Cadet belts can wear faster than normal when you are running an after-market belt that isn’t of the same quality as a Cub Cadet OEM belt. Failures in the pulleys, tensioner bracket, and spring can also cause your belt to wear sooner.

It’s important to keep debris out of your mower deck as any small thing putting extra stress on your belt can cause it to snap.

How to tell your Cub Cadet mower belt is bad

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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, or knowledge or are not in the condition to perform the repair safely.

Signs Your Cub Cadet Mower Belt is Bad

  • Visible cracking and wearing
  • Damaged or fraying sidewall
  • Squealing noise from the deck
  • Bad mower deck cut
  • Mower moves slowly
  • Vibration in your mower

Cracking and Wearing on Your Cub Cadet Belt

There are visible signs your Cub Cadet mower belt is going bad. A belt that has a glazed shiny appearance will need to be replaced. If your belt has cracks in it, you need to replace the belt as it can end up breaking while you mow.

Damaged or Fraying Sidewall on Your Cub Cadet Belt

Take a look at the sidewall on your belt. You’re looking for any signs of wearing or fraying from rubbing against a bracket or other component on the deck. Read more about items that can damage your belt in “Why Your Cub Cadet Belt Keeps Coming Off or Breaking”.

Squealing Noise Coming from Your Cub Cadet Deck

When your Cub Cadet belt is running too loose or too tight along the pulleys, because it doesn’t have the right belt tension, it can begin releasing a high pitch squeal.

This sound can also be caused by running the wrong type of belt or your Cub Cadet has a bad pulley with a worn bearing.

Your Cub Cadet Gives You a Bad Cut

When your belt is worn, it may begin to slip on the pulleys that turn your mower blades. It is no longer able to move your mower blades at the speeds it requires to give you a nice cut in the lawn.

Blade speed matters because the mower blades create air movement which creates a suction under the deck. This suction helps lift your grass as the blade passes by and gives your lawn an even cut.

Your Cub Cadet Moves Slowly

Your mower may have a belt that powers the transmission or hydraulic pumps. When this belt becomes worn, your mower may begin to move slowly because it begins slipping on the pulley.

Another cause your Cub Cadet moves slowly can be from running low on hydraulic fluid or running old fluid. Find out other items that can cause your slow movement in “9 Reasons Your Mower Won’t Move or Go Forward“.

Your Cub Cadet is Vibrating

Another sign your Cub Cadet belt may be bad is when you start to feel a vibration in your mower. Vibration can come from slack in the belt from improper belt tension. It can also be from a worn belt that has stretched.

If you are experiencing vibration and your belt appears fine, check your pulleys and look for debris that may have gotten stuck in your Cub Cadet. Read more about what to look for when your mower deck starts vibrating.

Changing Your Cub Cadet Riding Mower Belt

Replacing your Cub Cadet riding mower deck belt really isn’t as hard as it seems. This is a task most homeowners are capable to do the job.

With a little arm strength, bending and a few hand tools, you’ll be able to change out your belt. Check out my guide in “How to Replace a Cub Cadet mower belt”.

Uneven Cut from Your Cub Cadet

Not only can a bad belt result in an uneven cut, but the problem can be from damaged or worn components and blades on your deck. Something as simple as your tire pressures being wrong can through your off your deck level and give you a bad cut.

Read more about the long list of items that can affect your Cub Cadet mower’s finished cut at, “Why Your Cut Cadet Lawn Mower Cuts Uneven“.

Still Having Problems with Your Cub Cadet Mower?

If these tips haven’t solved your Cub Cadet problem or if you are experiencing a different problem with your Cub Cadet, check out my guide showing the most common Cub Cadet problems and their solutions: Common Cub Cadet Problems.

Here you’ll find the causes of Cub Cadet issues like the mower not starting, a bad cut, a vibration, or a smoking problem. I include solutions along with links to more in-depth information.