To take proper care of your lawn, it is important to have the right equipment. That being said, a tractor is one of the best things you can have to maintain your lawn.
Not only is it used as a machine to traverse through the fields, but you can also perform various gardening tasks with it.
Similarly, Craftsman is a great company when it comes to selling tractors. But people have been experiencing difficulties with their tractors.
According to them, their Craftsman lawn tractor will not shift. This is why we will be listing some of the best ways how you can fix this for good. So, let’s get right into it!
Fixing Craftsman Lawn Tractor Will Not Shift
- Pushed Square Key
If you have removed a rear tire recently, it could be why you can no longer shift your gears. As the square key is near the rear tire, it is common to push the square key when removing the rear tire accidentally.
The main purpose of the key is to help lock the rim to the axle out. If the key is too deep, it might have been the cause for your gears not to shift at all.
- Checking the Drive Belt
Another thing that you will have to check is the drive belt. We recommend checking the tension of the drive belt.
You should be able to find an idler pulley which is usually spring-loaded, that helps in creating the tension. Whenever you push the clutch of your vehicle, it will release tension.
Also, check if the rear wheel hubs have screws mainly used to lock them on the axle. Ensure that they are tight enough.
- Brake Problem
There’s also a slight chance you could be having issues with your brake. As a bad brake can also cause your gears not to shift, you will need to check them. Locate and turn the adjustment nuts on your brake rod.
You may have to replace the whole disk if you notice a bad brake.
- Replacing the Transmission
If you have not had any luck so far, the only other thing you can do is get the whole transmission unit replaced. Do keep in mind that this will cost you a lot.
Alternatively, you can call a professional before spending that much money on the replacement.
- Check the brake adjustment.
Improper brake adjustment can cause shifter issues in a Craftsman lawn tractor. Excessive play in the brake-clutch linkage can prevent the transmission from shifting properly. If this is the case, you’ll need to adjust your brakes to ensure proper shifting.
First, locate the brake adjustment screw near the clutch linkage. This is usually a small oval-shaped or hexagonal-shaped head with a slot that can be turned by hand or with an appropriate socket wrench.
Turn the screw counterclockwise to loosen the brakes until there is no more play in the linkage. Then turn the screw clockwise until you feel a slight drag when pulling the clutch lever.
Once the brakes are properly adjusted, start the engine and shift into each gear to ensure they all engage. If everything is in working order, put your tractor back in neutral, turn off the engine and retighten the adjustment screw until it’s snug.
If the brakes are properly adjusted and the transmission won’t shift, the clutch could have an issue.
Inspect the clutch for wear or damage, such as worn teeth on the drive plate or a broken cable. If a damaged part is found, it will need to be replaced before your tractor can shift properly again.
6.Check reverse Operations
Reverse operations are a common issue for Craftsman lawn tractors. The first step in dealing with transmission issues is to check reverse operation.
If the tractor does not move backward, this can indicate an issue with the transmission or drive system. To diagnose this, start the engine and shift to reverse. If the tractor does not move in reverse, a few potential causes should be examined.
7. Check Transmission Fluid
The transmission fluid is an important component of any vehicle’s drive system, including lawn tractors.
Low or contaminated transmission fluid can cause shifting issues, so it is important to check the fluid level. Make sure that it is full and clean, and add new fluid as needed.
When adding fluid, be mindful of the recommended type, as some tractors require specialized oil. If the transmission is low on fluid or contaminated with debris, this can cause shifting problems and potentially lead to more serious damage.
8. Check Transmission Linkage
The transmission linkage could also be an issue when a Craftsman lawn tractor does not shift.
This system consists of various linkages and cables that connect the shift lever to the transmission.
If these connections become worn or damaged, they can cause shifting problems. Inspect all the linkage components for signs of wear and tear and replace any broken or loose.
At times, it could be a fault in the ignition switch that is causing the tractor not to shift.
When this happens, check the switch’s wiring and connections to ensure they are secure and functioning properly. If any issues are found, replace these components as needed before continuing.
9. Inspect the Clutch and Belt System
The clutch and belt system allow the tractor to move forward and reverse. If these components become loose or worn, the tractor may not be able to shift correctly.
Inspect them for any visible wear and tear and replace them if needed. Additionally, check the belt’s tension and ensure that it is tight enough to ensure proper operation.
If it’s not tight enough, the belt won’t be able to transfer power effectively and may cause shifting issues.
In some cases, other components, such as the differential or torque converter, can contribute to shifting problems.
If these are found to be faulty, they should be serviced or replaced as soon as possible to prevent further damage. If none of these solutions resolve the issue, it may be necessary to take the tractor to a professional.
How to maintain the Craftsman Lawn Tractor in good condition?
10. Regular Maintenance:
The first step in maintaining your Craftsman lawn tractor is regular maintenance. This includes periodically checking the oil and filter levels, spark plugs, air filters, fuel filters, tires, and belts.
Make sure you keep your mower blades sharp, as this is one of the most important steps in keeping your lawn looking great.
Also, check the battery every month or two to ensure it’s still performing well and that there are no signs of corrosion or other problems.
Be sure to keep your mower clean and free of debris, especially after mowing, so your engine can run at its best.
Regular lubrication of your Craftsman lawn tractor is essential to keep it running smoothly and prevent excessive wear and tear on the engine.
Be sure to apply oil, grease, and other lubricants according to the manufacturer’s instructions to keep all moving parts properly lubricated. This will help to reduce friction and keep the engine running smoothly.
12. Battery Care:
The battery of your Craftsman lawn tractor is very important for starting the engine and powering the headlights, so make sure you take proper care of it.
Check the electrolyte level periodically to ensure it is full and in good condition. If necessary, charge it with a charger or jump-start the battery periodically to keep it in good condition.
When storing your Craftsman lawn tractor, please take all necessary precautions to protect it from rain and direct sunlight.
Cover the tractor with a tarp or blanket and store it in an area that is dry and away from direct sunlight. If you are storing the tractor in a garage, keep it away from any flammable materials and disconnect the battery if possible.
These steps will help ensure that your Craftsman lawn tractor remains in good working condition for many years.
Taking proper care of your mower will also help it to perform better with fewer problems. With regular maintenance, lubrication, battery care, and proper storage, you can keep your Craftsman lawn tractor in tip-top shape for years to come.
In addition to regular maintenance and care, it’s important to know how to troubleshoot your Craftsman lawn tractor in case of any problems. Start by checking the spark plugs and fuel filter for dirt or clogs and replace them as needed.
Make sure that the battery is properly charged and connected, as this can often be a cause of engine failure. If you still have trouble, check the engine oil level and top up if necessary.
Finally, ensure all belts are in good condition and properly tensioned; replace any cracked or worn ones. If your lawn tractor is still not performing correctly, it may be time to take it to a professional for further inspection.