How to Fix Yard Machine Lawn Mower Steering Issue 

Lawn mower steering plays an important role in riding,  handling and turning correctly. Once you find it troubling, you are worried about the expense of repairing or replacing it. Last month, I also faced the same problem with my MTD lawn mower steering. Finally, I was able to fix the issue within 20 minutes without extra money. Actually, it’s very easy to fix when you find out the main cause of riding lawn mower steering issues.

There are many causes behind the yard machine lawn mower steering issues. Low tire pressure, damaged bushing or gears, worn-out steering shaft, and loose joints are the top reasons. After knowing the exact reason, fix it according to the instructions given below.

In this guideline, I’ll list all the possible reasons and solutions with proper instructions. I assure you that it takes only  30 minutes to fix the steering issue although you’re a beginner. Check it out now! 

Yard Machine Lawn Mower Steering Issue
Yard Machine Lawn Mower Steering Issue

Yard Machine Lawn Mower Steering Issue: Top 5 Possible Reasons and Solution Chart

Don’t miss the chart because it’ll give you a summary of the project.

CausesSolutionRequired tool
1. Damage steering gearLoosen the mounting nuts and clean or replace them. 18mm socket 
Steering pinion gear 
2. Damage bushingClean or replace it with a new one.Bushing or small hex flange
3. Worn out steering shaftReplace it.9/16 socket Steering shaft
4. Damage bearingGrease the bearing.Grease gunLithium grease
5. Low tire pressure Fill the tire according to the mentioned pressure in psiPressure gauge

How to Fix the Yard Machine Lawn Mower Steering Issue: Full Guideline

You’ll get back your steering working!  Just follow the instructions to solve the issue perfectly. Before starting the project, must take this safety precaution-

  • Turn Off the ignition switch
  • Make sure there is no fuel in the tank
  • The clutch actuator level is in off position

1. Damage Steering Gear 

The damage or broken steering gear can be the most possible reason that is troubling the steering. Because the steering gear is the main component for getting comfortable turning on a lawn mower. 

If your lawn mower is hit by a solid object, tree or bricks, then the steering gear can damage.


First, all you need to do is get out of the gas tank from the mower. You need to loosen a couple of bolts with a 10mm socket that holds the gas tank. 

Now, Check the bolts that hold the steering gear. Loosen the nuts and pull off the steering gear pinion with 18mm socket. Once you have the pinion in your hand, you have to inspect if it looks damaged or worn badly or not. Sometimes, the steering gear pop slips onto the rack. If it looks lightly worn, then clean the steering gear. If it’s damaged or badly worn, replace it with a new one.

2. Damage Bushing

 The badly worn bushing can be the cause of the steering issue.


Check the bushing that is placed underneath the gear. Here, you need to wiggle around the steering shaft to pull it out. You’ll see the small hex flange or bushing under the hole. Clean or replace it according to its condition.

After resembling the gear, bushing and shaft,  try to turn the steering wheel. If it works, then all good. If it is still not working, go forward to replace the steering shaft! 

3. Worn-out Steering Shaft

The steering shaft is the reason why the steering wheel turns. The steering shaft provides rotary motion from the wheel to the gearbox. If it gets damaged, the steering system will start troubling. 


First, remove the retaining pins and detach the arm. Then remove the deck and steering wheel as well. 

Use a plier to remove the spring clip that holds the steering shaft. Then, use a 9/16 socket to loosen the mounting bolts.

Try to pull off the steering shaft with the washer. 

Now, it’s time to install the new steering shaft through the steering plate. Replace the mounting nuts to resemble the washer and supporting plate. After that, slide the shaft through the bushing and then secure the pin tightly. Reposition the fuel tank. Reattach the deck, steering wheel and all parts you apart. Next, examine the steering wheel whether it works or not. If it doesn’t work, then move forward! 

4. Damage Bearing 

You are now frustrated, right? Look that you haven’t checked one part – the bearing. Sometimes, damage bearing is the cause behind the riding lawn mower steering problem. Let’s check the part and lubricate it! 


First, pull off the steering wheel cover. Use a ¾ socket to loosen the nuts that secure the steering wheel. Remove the nuts and washer to pull off the wheel. Now, take the bearing out from the axle. Now grease the bearing and lubricate it inside the wheel. Now, reverse the process to reattach the wheel. Now, check the steering issue! 

5. Low Tire Pressure

The lawn mower steering works well when there is perfect pressure in the tires. So, it’s important to check the tire pressure on each wheel of the lawn mower.


You need to use a pressure gauge to check the tire pressure. If the tire pressure is lower than the mentioned pressure in the manual operator, then fill the tire until it reaches the exact pressure in psi. 

If your lawnmower won’t start then follow this article Yard machine lawn mower won’t start? What’s the reason?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Why is my steering on the lawn mower hard?

Your lawn mower steering is hard to turn because of the damaged steering pinion gear and bushing, damaged bearing or worn out steering shaft etc. Check the important parts that connect to the steering system. You’ll find the exact reason. 

How do you remove a steering shaft from a Craftsman lawn mower?

Detach the arm, and remove the deck and steering wheel by loosening mounting nuts. Next, use a plier to remove the pin that holds the shaft. To remove a steering shaft use a 9/16 socket to unthread mounting bolts. 

How do you fix a loose steering on a Cub Cadet riding mower?

Check the steering gear pinion and remove it. Also, remove the bushing and steering shaft. Remove the steering wheel by unthreading the mounting nuts. Now, clean the parts if necessary. Reverse the process to reattach the steering system tightly.


Hope that you have enough guidelines in this article to do this project. Keep patience! Find the exact cause and then get it fixed within a short period. If you are afraid of doing so, then call a professional to help you out! Never forget that good maintenance reduces repair or replacement costs. So, proper inspection of parts twice a year can ensure the lifespan of a riding lawn mower. Leave a comment if you want to know anything about this topic. Have a good day! 

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