how to adjust belt tension on riding lawn mower
Guides | Lawn mower

How To Adjust Belt Tension on Riding Lawn Mower?


If your lawnmower belts are loose, then there are two solutions; adjust them or look for a replacement. The first part might be tricky for most of us; how to change a mower belt’s tension? Follow the given steps, and you will know the answer.

The belt-tightening process is easy. All you need is a 10mm wrench. The given procedure apply to riding lawn mowers with a lever to engage/disengage the blades. Shut down the mower and do not start it until and unless you tighten the belt.

Steps To Adjust The Tension Of Riding Mower Belts

1. Check the belt: Make sure that the blade is not the end of life. You will see a long cable that goes from the blade engagement by your steering wheel to the mowing deck. It’s the cable that stretches over time.

  • Lower the deck down to the ground. Put the blade engagement lever back to disengage the blades.
  • Now, look at the belt and make sure there are no cracks. Check if big chunks are missing that can disturb its movement. If you notice cracks or missing chunks on the bet, then you should replace the belt.

2. Inspect the swing arm: You need to make sure that the swing arm is pivoting freely. You will notice a couple of springs attached to a metal swing arm. It’s the part you need to review. So, grab that part, make sure it moves back and forth freely.

  • If the swing arm is not moving back and forth freely, you should spray some lubricant on its pivoting point. Spread the lube using your fingers over the connection so that the swing arm can be free.
  • Once you verify that the belt is in good shape and its swingarm is not at fault, it’s time to adjust the straps.

3. Engage the blades: Push the blade engagement lever all the way forward as if you have activated the edges. Look underneath the deck, check the spring and belt. You will notice that both the components are slack, and it’s the reason why you need to tighten the belt.

4. Tighten the belt: Disengage the blades by pulling the lever back to idle.

  • Follow the long cable that connects your blade lever to the swingarm. You will see that it’s fixed with the deck using a bracket with some screws.
  • Use the 10mm wrench to loosen the bracket’s bolts off.
  • Pull that bracket away from the spring, somewhat towards your body. Pull it back all the way and tighten those bolts.

6. Verify the belt: Engage the lever and check the belt as well as its spring. Both the component should be tighter now.

7. Check the mower: Fire up the mower and see if the blades engage almost instantly when you push the lever. If it does not, then the belt has worn out to the extent that the adjustment is not making any difference to its movements. So, it would be best if you replaced it.

Last Updated on April 22, 2021

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