You use your mower at least a few times a month to keep, depending on the season, to keep your lawn looking nice. Mowing can be relaxing task after you get home from a long day at work.
To some, it’s just another chore that needs to get done. Whatever mowing the lawn is to you, it can get very stressful and unenjoyable when the mower begins to shake.
A Snapper lawn mower may begin to vibrate when the engine mounting bolts become loose; the clutch fails; hardware is loose or missing; the debris is stuck in the mower; bearings have failed in the deck pulleys or spindle housings; the deck belt has become worn, or deck brackets are worn or damaged.
I share details for all of the items you need to check on your Snapper mower when trying to identify the cause of your shaking.
9 Reasons Your Snapper Lawn Mower is Vibrating
Engine Mounting Bolts
Your engine vibrates while it is running. You would feel more of the vibration if Snapper didn’t install engine mounting bolts under the engine.
These mounting bolts often referred to as motor mounts, absorb the vibration from the engine. If any of the engine mounting bolts are missing, worn, or broken, replace them with new mounting bolts.
A bad clutch can cause you to feel a vibration in your Snapper mower. It doesn’t matter if you have a manual engagement clutch or an electric clutch.
They both can fail. A manual engagement clutch, the kind that uses belts and pulleys, can develop bushing and linkage wearing causing the mower to shake. An electric mower will cause a vibration when the ball bearing in the clutch fails.
You will not find a clutch on a Snapper push mower. On a push mower, check the engagement linkages and bushings for wearing that may cause a vibration.
Unbalanced Mower Blades
A blade must be balanced before being installed on your Snapper mower deck. This means each blade needs to be of equal weight on both sides of the blade. When there isn’t equal weight, your blade will wobble when it rotates.
At high speeds, this will generate a significant vibration. An unbalanced blade can cause damage to the spindle housings on your mower deck and will need to be repaired.
A blade can become unbalanced in a couple of different ways:
- Sand sucked into your mower deck can wear your blade unevenly causing an unbalanced blade.
- During the blade sharpening process, more metal was removed from one blade edge than the other making the blade lighter on one side.
Use a blade balancer to check the balance of your blade. You can also use a nail on the wall. When using a nail to check the balance, place the nail head 3/4” to 1” away from the wall.
Place the center hole of the blade onto the nail. Shave a little metal off the side of the blade that hangs lower until it sits level on the nail.
Foreign Material Around the Blade Spindle
You may be good about walking your yard to remove any objects that could damage your mower before you begin mowing your lawn. These could be things like toys, rocks, and branches.
Even though you attempt to remove everything you see, there may be small items you miss, like string, wire or long weeds, that can wrap around your blade spindle.
Inspect your spindles for foreign material that is wrapped around them. Remove anything you find and check for additional damage to the spindle or spindle housing.
Bad Bearing in Your Spindle Housing
A bad bearing in your spindle housing will allow extra movement in your blade causing a vibration to be felt. To identify a bad bearing, first, confirm your ignition key is removed and the spark plug wires are disconnected for safety precautions.
With your Snapper mower blades still installed on your deck, grab a hold of each end of the blade. Make sure you are wearing a good pair of gloves to protect your hands. Rock the blade up and down.
You are checking to see if there is any movement. You may even hear a knocking sound when there is movement.
If you find movement, disassemble your spindle housing and check for bearing wear or spindle shaft damage. Replace any damaged or worn parts.
If you have a Snapper push mower, you will want to inspect your mower for a bent crankshaft that may cause your blade to not sit balanced.
Worn Belt on Your Mower Deck
A worn Snapper deck belt that has become stretched can cause a vibration in your mower. This is from the extra slack in the belt as it moves around your deck pulleys.
A belt that is showing signs of wearing including a glazed shiny appearance, cracking, or stretching should be replaced.
Bad Pulley Bearing
The bearing in your pulley can wear over time. This will cause your pulley to not sit securely on the deck leaving some extra play or movement in the pulley.
Your pulley may sit higher off the deck on one side than the other. When your belt runs around a pulley with a bad bearing, the pulley can wobble and the vibration is sent through the mower.
Check each pulley for a bad bearing. Slowly rotate each pulley slowly and feel for a restriction or bearing noise. If you find either of these symptoms or the pulley isn’t sitting securely on the deck, repair the pulley.
You can replace the bearings on some pulleys. Some pulleys have sealed bearings and the pulley and bearing assembly must be replaced.
Worn Idler Bracket or Spring
You will find an idler bracket on a Snapper zero turn and riding mower decks. The bracket usually has a pulley mounted on one side and a spring attached to the other side.
The hole in the bracket can wear and become larger. The spring can also become weak and stretch. These items can cause a vibration.
Replace any worn parts on the idler bracket. Also, check the engagement linkage for wearing.
Even the smallest items stuck in your mower can cause a vibration. Check out every part of your mower and remove any debris you find in your mower.
Small debris stuck under your pulleys, tensioner and other areas of your mower can cause a big vibration.
Still Experiencing Problems with Your Snapper Lawn Mower?
Own a lawn mower long enough, you’ll start running into problems with it starting, not continuing to run, smoking, leaking gas, giving a bad cut, vibrating, or another issue.
To help you save time and money, I have put together a guide to help you troubleshoot the next problem that develops on your Snapper mower.
You can find this guide at Common Snapper Lawn Mower Problems & Solutions.
If you are unsure how to perform diagnostics and repairs on your lawn mower safely, it’s best to have a professional complete the repairs.
This will help you avoid personal injury or additional damage to the mower. Your local Snapper lawn mower dealership or lawn mower repair shop will be able to help you solve your problem.