Kubota Zero Turn Mower Buyers’ Guide (Problems & Specs)

Many folks prefer Kubota zero turn mowers. After all, the company is known for producing quality machines and, as such, Kubota has certainly made a name for itself in the lawn mower sphere. But like any other mower company, no brand is perfect, including Kubota.

If you’re having Kubota zero turn mower problems, don’t stress. We’ll cover the top six most common issues with this mower — including stiff handles, transmission problems, PTO problems, overheating issues, start-up problems, or even fuel line issues — we’ll troubleshoot these potential issues throughout our guide. Common solutions include cleaning mower parts, replacing old or defective parts with new ones, and, worse comes to worst, taking it to a licensed professional equipped to handle Kubota zero turn mower problems.

Let our helpful guide walk you through these frustrating issues, why they happen, and what you can do to solve them. Let’s start with the most typical problems with Kubota zero turn mowers.

Typical Problems With Kubota Zero Turn Mower (+ Fixes)

If you have a Kubota zero turn mower, chances are, you might’ve faced one of these problems before. When facing problems with your lawn mower, you can try fixing it yourself via our troubleshooting guide. In this section, we’ll cover everything from stiff handles to transmission and PTO problems and overheating, not to mention starting and fuel line problems.

Problem #1: Your mower has stiff handles.

If you’ve noticed your lawn mower’s handles are pretty stiff and difficult to move, you’ve got a problem.

You’ll most likely want to use your mower, and the machine is rendered almost completely useless if the handles are too stiff to move. Plus, if you have a condition like arthritis or if you’re older, stiff handles can wreak havoc on your joints.

So, why are your lawn mower’s handles so rigid?

It could be that the bolts aren’t lubricated enough. The bolts need lubrication to function, so you can fix the stiff handle issue through lubrication. Once they’re able to move, the handles shouldn’t seem as stiff anymore.

However, if your lawn mower is relatively new, it’s possible that the bolts were tightened too much during the manufacturing process. If this is the case, you can take your Kubota to a licensed professional for servicing to loosen any stuck bolts.

Problem #2: Your Kubota zero turn mower has a transmission problem.

Unfortunately, based on customer feedback, Kubota zero turn mowers often have trouble with their hydraulic drive transmission. So, if you’re facing a transmission problem, you’re by no means alone in your struggle.

Hydraulic drive transmissions are used in Kubota zero turn lawn mowers to be able to build up a more impressive acceleration. However, by nature, these systems are vulnerable and often need constant maintenance, like switching out the fluid lest.

For example, if the hydraulic drive transmission system leaks, air can seep inside, forcing the mower to slow down and eventually come to a stop. When these hydraulic drive transmission parts fail, there’s an increased risk of a zero turn jam.

The main complaint seems to be a fluid leak problem. If you notice the fluid is leaking out through the filler cup and vents, chances are, the fittings are loose.

Hydraulic drive transmission

Keep in mind, you’ll also want to ensure the wiring is correct. It’s possible you might be hearing weird noises, and if that’s the case, take off the pump completely and check whether or not it was installed properly.

Although some people who have a Kubota zero turn lawn mower have discovered this transmission issue early on, before the warranty period expires, some make the unfortunate discovery post-warranty.

If that’s the case, expect some pretty hefty repair costs. You’ll likely have to take your mower to a local, licensed repair shop to get it fixed.

To lower the risk of hydraulic drive transmission problems in the future, be sure to carefully drive over the grass as opposed to wild maneuvers. Don’t use your Kubota zero turn lawn mower if the grass is too muddy or wet. And remember, if you’re mowing on a hill, don’t drive up or down — only operate your mower sideways to prevent the hydraulic drive transmission from failing.

Problem #3: Your mower is having a PTO problem.

The PTO — the power take off belt that helps your mower’s blades function — is critical to a Kubota zero turn mower. If it’s not working, there are several potential reasons you should look into.

First, we’ll look at the most common culprit: a safety switch. It’s possible that if you’re having PTO issues, the safety switch is stopping it from functioning properly. You can use your manual as a guide to evaluate the safety switch and decide whether or not it needs to be repaired or replaced.

Safety switch.

If that’s not the issue, you’ll want to examine the PTO clutch. Keep the PTO switch and key on, but turn off the motor. Use a voltmeter, a tool that measures electric potential in volts, to evaluate the pair of wires attached to the PTO clutch. If the clutch is defective, you should see a scarce bit of voltage in the line. If not, it could be time to take your machine to a licensed professional for an official diagnosis.

Problem #4: Your Kubota zero turn lawn mower is overheating.

If you find that your mower is overheating, you aren’t the only one tackling this issue. It’s pretty common among those who own a Kubota mower.

Overheating usually happens because of one main mower component: the filter.

This problem might crop up after you’ve had the mower for some time. Over the years, the aforementioned filter traps both grass and dust particles, which can, over time, completely block the filter, causing the machine to get too hot. If cool air can’t flow over the engine to cool it, the engine’s temperature will rise and, thus, the mower will overheat.

If you ignore this problem, it can wreak havoc on the lawn mower’s radiator and, later on, problems with the radiator can lead to more serious complications.

Overheating can also wreck the mower’s engine, leading to severe, serious damage (as well as higher maintenance costs).

Luckily, the solution is pretty easy.

Every so often, you need to take a look at the filter to make sure it’s not clogged with dust and grass. If it is, give it a good deep clean and put it back. This should fix any overheating issues immediately.

Overheating can also be caused by dirty engines. In this case, they can be cleaned, repaired, or replaced.

To clean your lawn mower and remove any grime, residue, or debris, take off the mower casing. Also, take the time to ensure the mower has sufficient oil to function before you try to start it again. If it needs more oil, add it, and then try starting it. These solutions should fix the overheating issues. 

Problem #5: Your mower is having trouble starting.

This might be the most frustrating problem on our list: a lawn mower that doesn’t start up properly. Maybe your mower turns on half of the time; maybe it doesn’t turn on at all. Regardless, you need to nip this problem in the bud.

The main reason this is the most irritating issue is due to the laundry list of potential causes for start-up issues. Before you start diagnosing your Kubota zero turn mower, make sure it’s filled with fresh, new gas. There are a few instances of Kubota lawn mower owners who had start-up issues only to realize they didn’t have sufficient fuel inside the gas tank.

Start by assessing your surroundings. Does the area you live in often experience cold temperatures? If so, that could be your issue. Because the Kubota zero turn mower uses gas, cold temperatures can affect the fuel and cause it to not start. In warmer temperatures, it’s likely that the lawn mower will start up just fine.

However, if your mower is having trouble starting, it could be that you have a weak or even dead battery. To solve this, you can simply replace the battery to ensure a fresh power source. For the future, check the battery and constantly recharge it when need be to keep the battery’s performance up.

To continue evaluating a start-up issue with your mower, check the spark plugs. If they’re defective or faulty, replacing these parts with their brand new counterparts can stop the problem in its tracks. Spark plugs don’t even have to be defective to cause your mower issues starting up. If these parts are disconnected, dirty, or otherwise loose, the spark plugs can cause your mower to not start properly.

Along the same lines, take a look at the gas tank. There could be old and stale gas or residue buildup causing problems. If that’s the case, clean out the fuel tank thoroughly and use new, fresh gas.

It’s also possible that the carburetor is dirty. If that’s the problem, clean it thoroughly or, at the very worst, replace the part with a new one.

Lastly, it could be a connection issue. If you suspect that, start by cleaning all the terminals. Worse comes to worst, you can take your lawn mower to a licensed auto professional for a diagnosis and solution.

Problem #6: Your Kubota zero-turn mower is having fuel line issues.

With Kubota zero turn lawn mowers, fuel line issues aren’t exactly rare. In fact, you can find customer testimonies discussing this exact issue.

The fuel line is responsible for transferring the gas to the engine, therefore making the motor run. With fuel line issues, the fuel isn’t actually getting to the engine and, as a result, the mower won’t work. A line like a pipe is used to carry the fuel to the engine and makes the engine work.

This can also cause gas leaks, since the fuel line carries the fuel. As you might expect, the gas also won’t make it to the engine if it’s leaking out.

If you think your engine is sucking up fuel or not running normally, these signs could point to fuel line issues.

One of the main potential reasons is that parts have dissolved inside the fuel line. As strange as it sounds, it’s completely plausible. To solve this issue, the fuel line will have to be replaced with a new one. After that, your problem should dissipate.

Replacing the fuel line will also fix the problems related to gas leaks and faulty lines that can’t carry fuel to the engine.

Whatever your Kubota zero turn lawn mower issue is, rest assured that a solution exists. It’s just a matter of whether or not you can fix the issue at home or if you’ll need outside professional help.