Zero-turn mowers are guaranteed to give you years of clean-cut lawns and priceless yard work, however, to get them to last for a long time, you need to care for your z-turn mower. Your wheels and bearings are always getting a workout every time you mow. To keep them running smoothly, you need to know how to grease a zero-turn mower properly.
What parts of your zero-turn mower need greasing?
Your ZTR has common grease points that constantly require regular lubrication, they are your spindles, caster wheels, and wheel bearings. These are the active joints of your mower that make mowing a smooth and easy ride.
Without proper lubrication, the joints that are constantly grinding as you trail blaze over your lawn start to weaken due to friction. If left ungreased for a long time, you may end up having to replace your spindles or wheel bearings.
Unlike typical push lawnmowers, your engine does not require any lubrication unless it is stated in the manual. However, in general, transmission on your ZTR is zero maintenance.
What parts of a zero-turn mower shouldn’t be lubricated?
Your belts and belt pulleys should not be lubricated at all. The need to rub any excess grease off your belt system is important or your belt will slip off while you are mowing. If slippage continuously happens, you will have to replace your belt.
How often should you grease your zero-turn mower?
If you’re mowing daily, you need to lubricate your mower at least once or twice a week. However, in occasional use, you only need to grease your z-turn every 25 hours of use for larger ZTRs and after every 35 hours for smaller residential mowers.
As a rule of thumb, the most active parts of your mower that need the most greasing are your spindles. If you’re mowing at least 15 hours a week, you need to oil your spindles twice and your wheel bearings and caster wheels at least once. Though your spindles have a large oil capacity, their constant turning consumes much of the lubrication as they drive your mowing blades while you’re trimming grass.
Aside from regular lubrication after use, you also need to grease your mower once you take it out in spring or after long storage. Remaining stagnant for a month or two will eventually dry up your grease points. If you haven’t done any maintenance during its hibernation, it’s best to clean, lubricate, and inspect your mower before taking it out on a spin.
How to grease a zero-turn mower properly?
Unlike a car, your mower only has a few parts that need lubrication since most ZTR manufacturers designed these machines to be low to zero maintenance.
General rules for lubricating your mower
No matter which brand and model you have, z-turns have the same parts that need greasing. These parts are also located in similar areas requiring the same process of lubrication. Before you start greasing your mower, always remember to:
- Turn off your engine to disengage all possible moving parts.
- Move your mower on a leveled ground and open space to have easier access to your grease points.
What to use in oiling your z-turn mower
Whichever part of your mower you want to grease first, always ensure your safety by using the right tools. In oiling your mower you only need:
- Grease gun or oil can
- At least 2 rags
How to grease your zero-turn spindles?
You can easily access your spindles by lifting the foot deck to reach your belt system. Lower your deck to give you more space for movement.
Step 1: With a clean rag, wipe your spindles, especially around the grease fitting.
Step 2: If you’re using a grease gun make sure you plug the tip of the gun to the spindle head and gently pump until oil oozes out. Many would say that you only need about 10 to 15 pumps. However, the oil needed by your grease point depends on how much lubrication the spindles require, and waiting for the oil to ooze out ensures that you’ve filled the cavity with the right amount of grease.
REMEMBER: Your spindles have a larger cavity requiring more oil compared to other parts of your mower. If you’re unsure of whether you have lubricated your spindle enough, look under your deck and see if oil or grease is gently seeping from the bottom of the spindle.
Step 3: Dislodge the nozzle of the grease gun and wipe the excess oil off the spindle quickly before it reaches your belt and pulleys.
How to grease your caster wheels and wheel bearings?
Your caster wheels and wheel bearings are much easier to lubricate. That’s because they require less oil and any spillage won’t damage other parts of your mower. Plus, these parts are much easier to access making it simpler for you to lubricate these oil joints.
Step 1: Clean your caster wheels with a new rag to remove any gunk, mud, grass, and other debris. It takes longer for you to clean these parts because they come in direct contact with the environment.
NOTE: Even the smallest debris that gets into your grease point can damage the wheel bearings or the caster wheels. The friction caused by the grinding movement of the smallest debris will damage the internal components thus requiring you to replace these parts.
Step 2: Attach the nozzle of your grease gun to the fitting of your caster wheels or wheel bearing and start pumping. This would usually require 4 to 5 pumps for smaller mowers but it’s also best to wait for the oil to leak out to ensure proper lubrication.