10 Most Common Bad Boy Mowers Problems

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By Marvin Tucker

Farming Equipment

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Bad Boy Mowers pride themselves on producing heavy-duty zero-turn mowers using premium manufacturing techniques resulting in some of the most well-constructed riding mowers.

However, as with all mowers, they are not without their own set of problems. And while you may usually troubleshoot these on a model-by-model basis. Bad Boy Mowers seem to experience similar issues across the board if they are not correctly looked after.

So in this article, we’re going to walk through the 10 most common issues you’ll run into as a Bad Boy Mower owner, and for the prospective buyer, we’ll also share our thoughts on whether this is a good investment for you.

The most common problems with Bad Boy Mowers

These tough, rugged, zero-turn lawn tractor machines come with a hefty price tag to compliment their sturdy construction. But they are the company of choice for mower enthusiasts who don’t want a no-compromise machine.

Most of the issues you will face with a Bad Boy Mower are certainly not due to poor manufacturing; they are general wear and tear things that can be circumvented with a solid regular maintenance schedule.

Here’s a comprehensive rundown of all the main issues you are likely to have with your lawn mower/lawn tractor that you should address to ensure your mower can provide solid cutting performance for years to come.

1. The engine fails to start or will start but cannot move

One of the reasons this issue seems to be so prevalent is the fact that so many different things can trigger it. The culprit can be anything from the fuel pump to the batteries.

If you find your lawn mower is unable to start, here are the main things you should inspect first:

  1. Old fuel – if your machine’s been idle for a while and that fuel’s been sitting there, you should drain the old fuel and re-fill it up with new, high-quality fuel
  2. Spark Plug – if the engine doesn’t start at all, it may be due to a faulty spark plug; fortunately, these are very cheap and easy to replace
  3. Dirty carburetor – if you haven’t done so recently, check and ensure the carburetor is nice and clean. Here’s a handy guide if you’re not sure how to clean it already
  4. Faulty wiring – an unfortunately quite broad issue that can take some time to diagnose, but if you introduce checking the writing into part of regular maintenance, you can keep on top of this quite easily.
  5. Faulty battery – check that the battery is both charged and that it’s also still able to hold a charge. If you find it can’t hold a charge, then it will need to be replaced.
  6. Dirty air filter – If dirt or debris builds up in the air filter, your engine won’t be able to get an adequate supply of air, making the engine either underperform or not start at all.

Some other components that may need checking and replacing are the fuel cap, the air filter itself (if it’s too old) or the fuel pump, the fuel line, or the fuel filter if it’s damaged.

2. Steering/alignment issues

Another common issue with a zero-turn mower is that, over time, the mower may develop some steering problems, such as pulling to the side as you are mowing. 

Suppose there isn’t a significant mechanical problem with the transaxle (in case the mower should be taken to a qualified mechanic). In that case, several smaller, quickly solvable issues may come together to throw off the unit’s steering.

The first thing to check is the tires; they must always have air pressure. Otherwise, they will lean to one side. You should also check the mower for oil leaks around the transaxle and inspect the shock absorbers (dampeners) to ensure they are in good working order.

Take these steps, and you’ll soon find that your mower’s steering problems are solved.

3. The mower deck lift system fails

Designed to keep the frame of the zero turn mower at an even height to ensure the cut length is maintained and supported. However, the electronic mower deck lift may sometimes fail for several reasons.

This can include an unlevelled mower deck, where one of the corners is too high or too low, so adjusting the overall height does not seat the mower deck level. The easy solution is to raise the entire mower deck so each corner is as high as it can go and then lower it back to your desired height, and now each corner should be level.

Another issue that can cause an uneven mower deck is that moisture has been able to creep into the actuator housing and is causing slippage. You will need to open the actuator here and clean it. Also, check the sealed extra carefully.

You should also ensure that the mower shaft screws are correctly fitted and not moving in and out as the actuator is spinning.

4. The motor is excessively vibrating

Of course, all mowers will vibrate when under operation. Still, sometimes this vibrating can become excessive and indicate a bigger problem with the machine, such as a bad clutch or debris stuck in the machine.

Here you should look at the clutch and ensure it’s operating correctly. Then check all nuts and bolts on the machine and ensure nothing is loose and rattling, particularly around the engine.

You may also need to remove the mower blade and rebalance them as the weight shift can often manifest as vibrations. Also, ensure you remove any debris caught in the mower blade/mower shaft.

5. Fuel leakage

Sometimes your mower can leak gas in such small amounts that it’s not always detectable. Your first sign that this is happening is usually when you go to get the mower from storage and notice the accumulated gas smell.

So identifying that this is an issue is only the first step. Finding exactly where the leak is coming from is even more challenging as there are so many points where it can occur.

You should inspect the entire fuel line from the gas tank to the engine and check for any signs of pooling or a strong gas odor. Also, check the duel shut-off valve, check that the fuel filter isn’t jammed (and clean it if it is).

Inspect all fuel lines for breaches or cracks, particularly around joins.

Any identified breach will need to be sealed, or the component should be replaced if that is impossible.

Finally, you should also recheck the carburetor as this can cause blockages which lead to leaks. 

6. Underperforming hydrostatic transmission

If your hydrostatic transmission feels weak can be due to a poor pulley or hydraulic belt, or the hydraulic oil in the hydraulic tank may be old, or there’s not enough of the stuff.

So the first thing to do is to top up the hydraulic oil, or if it’s really old, it should be replaced with fresh.

Then inspect the drive belt; if it’s old and worn out, it may need to be replaced. And finally, check the tensioner pulley and apply grease to the tensioner arm if necessary.

7. Issues with the transaxle

The transaxle provides power from the engine to the wheels. It’s an essential part of the machine and, as such, needs to be maintained if you want the mower to continue to perform well.

Many of the transaxles on the cheaper Bad Boy Mowers are purposely designed not to be user serviceable. They are supposed to be put under lighter use, and it’s assumed the intended end user for a product like that would not be able to service something as critical as the transaxle.

So unless you know what you’re doing here, if you suspect there is a transaxle-related issue, you should find a reliable mechanic to troubleshoot it for you. This is not addressed by general maintenance and upkeep of the machine.

8. Spindle issues

The spindle is the component that sits above the blades and allows them to spin correctly. And as such, it needs to be in good working order, or you will quickly find that the quality of your cuts degrades due to it spinning unevenly.

If you hear an audible sound, such as a squeaking or high-pitched rubbing, it may indicate the bearings are worn out. These should be replaced immediately as the bearing needs smooth travel to cut well.

A bent or damaged spindle can often be spotted by your cut not being even on both sides. If you inspect the underside of the mower, you may even notice it’s visibly even or bent. Unfortunately, you can’t just bend it back into place. It will need to be replaced.

9. The battery drains too fast

Often if you store the machine for an extended period, it’s pretty normal to discover that the battery has drained. However, if you are finding that the battery is draining even though you have just charged it, it may indicate a deeper issue with the battery.

Before simply replacing the battery, you should inspect the connection points around the battery for corrosion or wear. Sometimes these can be cleaned up with a wire brush allowing the battery to make a more solid connection to the mower.

If all the connections are clean, it may indicate the battery is old and needs to be replaced.

10. The mower blades are not engaging

If you are starting the mower, but the blades are not starting to spin, it may indicate the belt is slipping or has completely come off.

The blades might also stop spinning if debris or excessive grass has accumulated underneath the mower.

Some additional troubleshooting tips include ensuring the power PTO plug is switched on, and the safety switch underneath the seat is plugged in.

Finally, perform a thorough check of all wires and connections just in case anything has come loose.

Bad Boy Mowers problems: Are they a deal-breaker?

Bad Boy Mower is undoubtedly one of the best mower manufacturers around and is often picked over competitors such as John Deere. Their products are well respected and highly reviewed by users.

We have no reservations about recommending Bad Boy Mowers, and the issues you will face with one of their products can be circumvented mainly by a good maintenance routine.

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