With the ability of making a full 360 degree turn, Ariens zero-turn mowers is a popular choice among home owners. But even it’s powerful engine and effortless dodging of obstacles doesn’t spare it from occasional hiccups.
Yes, Ariens zero-turn mowers can develop issues compromising your mowing efficiency. Problems with starting, sudden engine shutoffs, frames breaking down and switching mowers are just a few common Ariens Zero Turn Mower problems.
About Ariens Zero Turn Mowers
Ariens mowers fall in line somewhere with the Gravely. They’re good residential mowers, if you have an acre of land. They can take on such lawns under 25 minutes with slight turns and unevenness.
Ariens has many variations available under the zero turn models. This includes the IKONS, APEX, EDGE, ZOOM and MAX series’. The IKONS are what you should be watching out for as they come with the most problems.
In the following section, the most common issues are disussed:
5 Common Ariens Zero Turn Mower Problems and Their Solutions
Other than lack of care, you have some factory issues that makes for all the complaints against Ariens zero turn mowers!
The most common issues with Ariens zero-turn mowers are:
1. Starting Difficulties
If you’re having trouble starting your Ariens zero-turn mower, you’re not alone. Numerous owners have experienced this same issue making is a common problem. It does not restart with key and moves to clicks, or no sound at all.
Having air, fuel, and a good spark are all necessary for getting a mower going. If your lawnmower isn’t getting any of these, it won’t start.
Here are the reasons your zero-turn won’t start:
- Faulty carburetor or fuel filter.
- Your charging system could be broken.
- Malfunctioning fuel pump.
- Worn-out spark plugs.
- Wrong switch key or a bad ignition coil.
- Old or contaminated fuel.
- Plugged air filter
- Clogged fuel delivery lines.
- Dirty carburetor
The first thing you must do is to test the battery while its running. Your voltmeter should register 13.4 volts or greater. Also, make sure you have a good ground to the chassis. If you lose ground, the engine may shut down.
Now you need to investigate a wide range of potential causes for the riding mower’s inability to start.
- Make that the spark plug and carburetor are in good working order.
- A blocked fuel filter or fuel pump could be the problem so check that.
- The mower’s starting switch should also be checked.
- Clear the clog from the fuel line with a carb cleaner and compressed air.
- If the spark plug, fuel pump, or starter button is broken, replace it. If the problem persists, try cleaning the mower’s fuel filter and carburetor.
2. Frame Breaking
Many Ariens Zero Turn models have a known issue with the frames snapping just in front of the flange that holds the hydros. You will often find one side entirely broken and the other cracked.
The cause of this problem basically is the bad production quality. They’re well aware of this issue and even sell same repair kits for all models.
- Ariens know they have frame problems. However, they don’t fix them for free. So you will have to take it to Ariens to get it fixed.
- You’ll probably have to strip it down to the frame. Have a welder have a look at it. Luckily, a zero turn has few moving parts.
- Or you can do it yourself if you know welding work. Weld the crack all the way around, with the frame tightly secured to prevent warping. Now grind the welds flush.
- Put a patch plate of steel. It should be at least 1/2 the thickness of the frame steel over the weld. Then execute a thorough fillet weld around each plate.
- If you can’t put a plate on one side, don’t grind the weld on that side back. It will be twice as sturdy as the original frame if done correctly.
3. Transmission Issues
Just with 20 hours on the machine, you can see classic tranny issues with this one. Your Ariens zero turn will not run correctly. There will be extreme vibration when its just sitting still. And at engaged situation, the vibration will decrease.
People have also reported transmission overheating, failure of the hydrostatic transmission pump, hydraulic malfunction, and worst of all, loss of drive with their “Ariens”.
The main causes of hydrostatic transmission issues are-
- Faulty belt drive
- Damaged tensioner pulley
- Old or contaminated hydraulic oil
- If you replace the worn-out pulley and belt with a new one, the drive will immediately improve.
- Make sure your hydraulic fluid is always full by doing regular oil checks.
4. EZT Hydros
The Ariens ZTs come with sealed hydros that are non-serviceable. So if anything goes wrong, it will need full replacement.
Another problem with these hydros is that they are mostly much more sluggish. Which makes many other ZT is faster than this one.
Moreover, when you replace one hydro, you will have to replace the other one as well. Because replacing one after a few hundred hours can result in a drastic change in power output.
This is due to the sealed units declining in power over time. Thus you need to replace both to keep the mower serviceable.
The hydros are also unwarranted. Ariens only covers the hydrogear. They also won’t cover the hydro unless the other one is okay and the other is irretrievably destroyed.
- You will have to buy a new hydro gear if it goes out. It will cost you around $650 to buy a new one.
- The shop rate may be around $60-90/hour and it will take a minimum 4-6 hours to get it fixed.
5. Deck and Spindle Issues
The Ariens zero turn mowers have the problem of the deck not adjusting and the spindles wearing out. There are three spindles and all of them tend to go out.
Many of those mowers have stripped-out spin-dial deck adjusters. These decks simply lay on the ground and ride on the anti-scalp wheels.
This is a much more approachable service. It is lower cost but you’re still looking at $150 or so per spindle.
Check for bent or dull blades as well if the deck is causing you uneven cutting. Replace them if you find issues.
Warranty Coverage of Ariens Zero Turn Mowers
The typical warranty is a limited warranty that Ariens provides for a particular period. This ranges from a 2 to 5-year warranty.
In terms of parts, Ariens mostly doesn’t cover anything useful, that’s all you need to know. The parts that go bad are mostly not covered or always come in a sort of impossible condition.
For Ariens, you can minimize the problems mentioned in this article with maintenance. And the most important thing to maintain are the fluid levels and the deck level.
As the deck tends to go out of level, this can injure the blades and get grass clippings stuck in mean places.
Moreover, winterproofing, and storage in proper conditions are some things you should know from the manual. You must follow them and keep the mower tidy.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How good are Ariens Zero-turn mower?
The zero-turn mowers from Ariens are widely regarded as the best in the industry because of their reliability, responsiveness, and longevity. Users have praised them for their precision and dependability as cutters, despite their few issues.
Who makes Ariens zero-turn?
Ariens Company makes zero-turn mowers and other outdoor power equipment.
How can I keep my Ariens zero-turn mower from clogging or bagging?
Avoid tall or wet grass and mow consistently to avoid clogging or bagging. Maintain the mower deck, bag, and discharge chute airflow.
What should I do if my Ariens zero-turn mower cuts poorly?
Dull blades cause poor cutting. Maintain the blades. Clean the deck and set the cutting height.
Can you fix all Ariens zero-turn mower problems yourself?
You can fix certain faults, but not those that need replacements.