8 Most Common Spartan Mower Problems

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By Marvin Tucker

Farming Equipment

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Spartan Mowers is undoubtedly a brand that will make its way onto any prospective buyer’s radar for anyone looking for a top-of-the-line zero-turn mower to handle small residential yards to massive commercial plots.

They offer a wide range of versatile, heavy-duty mowers that can be customized with many accessories to fit your vision of the perfect mower.

However, these machines are not without issues. So in this article, we aim to cover all the main problems Spartan mowers face so that, as a prospective buyer, you can be well informed on whether this will be a good purchase for you.

The most common problems with Spartan mowers

As the name might suggest, these mowers are designed to be warriors. They are reliable, fuel-efficient, and simple, making them appropriate for commercial and residential applications. All that power, combined with the coveted zero-turn system, makes them an important consideration and potential purchase.

However, they have been known to run into problems where they won’t start. Some of the electronic systems can be a bit temperamental, as well as some minor issues you will need to keep on top of.

So let’s take a look at what these problems are. We’ll provide some suggestions on how to rectify these problems and then give our verdict on whether they are worth their money.

1. The mower leaves noticeable streaks on your lawn

When dealing with a zero-turn mower of this caliber, expecting an exceptionally high cut quality is normal. Otherwise, what’s why buy the machine in the first place?

Generally speaking, Spartan mowers will consistently deliver a premium lawn cut regardless of the lawn size. But some users have noticed that, over time, the cut quality will degrade, resulting in either an uneven cut or perhaps a cut that leaves noticeable streaks on the lawn.

This is not just an issue relating to Spartan Mowers. Most popular brands of mowers will experience this issue, especially as the use time increases. And it usually boils down to some problem with the mower‘s blades. Or, in rarer cases, it might be a more serious electrical issue.

The first thing to check is how sharp the blades are. No matter which zero-turn mower you have, and regardless of brand, the blades will dull and struggle to provide that pristine cut over time. Most mower manufacturers recommend re-sharpening the blades every 25 hours (that’s total cutting time) to ensure the cut quality is up to par.

So if it’s been some time, the first thing you should do is both clean the blades and re-sharpen them.

However, while that is undoubtedly the most common cause of poor cut quality, other issues can cause this. So the next thing to check is any gouges or dents in the blades.

Sometimes the blades may pick up rocks or objects, which can take chunks out of the blades that will not only compromise the cut quality but also be a safety hazard. If you notice any significant damage to the blades, they should be replaced immediately.

Other common areas of failure may be that the bearing on which the mower blades spin has become blocked or clogged up. If this is the case, they should be cleaned out accordingly.

Finally, you should also check the air filter and fuel levels as this may affect the lawn mower’s operation resulting in the uneven or inconsistent spinning of the blade.

2. The mower is uncomfortably loud

All high-powered engines and lawnmowers will produce a certain amount of noise. But if you notice that the noise levels are reaching an uncomfortable level, it may indicate something wrong with the machine that needs to be looked at.

The mower blade bearings are the primary things that will cause a loud rattling sound. They will produce a loud sound if worn as the blades spin at such a high speed. These should be replaced immediately as they present a safety hazard.

The engine also may be making unusual sounds if the fuel tank is not filled up, so the level should be checked and filled up accordingly. In addition, you should also check that the tires have the correct amount of pressure, so there’s no undue wobbling of the chassis/components during operation.

Suppose you find that the engine continues to make strange sounds even after troubleshooting these areas. We recommend stopping the machine and taking it to a Spartan mower dealer to have a trained professional look at it, as this may indicate something more serious.

3. The mower gets stuck easily

The build of a Spartan lawn mower is designed to be able to handle things like a few tree roots or the odd bit of uneven terrain. However, some users have reported that over time, their mower gets stuck on things more easily, and it causes problems with starting the machine up.

This usually indicates a problem with the fuel line or the battery, essentially anything that can affect the machine’s raw power.

The first thing to check is adequate fuel in the tank. If the engine is not receiving enough fuel, its power will be reduced. If the tank level is full, you should inspect the fuel system and pump, check for leaks and functionality and fix them up accordingly.

Likewise, you should check the battery is charged as poor battery performance will strip some of the power from the Spartan lawn mower. Check the electrical connections and repair anything that has come loose or looks corroded.

4. It has problems with starting

While not an issue unique to the Spartan riding mower, the machine will run into troubles starting sooner or later, whether due to age, heavy use, or wear.

While this may appear like a catastrophic failure at first, it’s often a very solvable problem, and some good maintenance and upkeep will get your machine back to working order in no time.

The difficulty comes in diagnosing exactly what is causing the problem as there are quite a few potential culprits, ranging from bad wiring or a failed spark plug to a blocked filter.

Here’s a rundown of everything you should inspect to fix this startup problem:

  • The first thing to check is all the electrical connections. Pay particular attention to the battery to make sure no wires have come loose, and there are also no signs of corrosion. You may wish to test these with a multimeter and repair any that are not working.
  • You should also check the spark plug. This generates an electrical current that starts the engine’s combustion process. Sometimes these get dirty or straight up fail. In either scenario, these are very cheap to replace, and it’s something you can do yourself.
  • The air filter may have become clogged, which prevents the engine from maintaining that vital air-to-fuel ratio. This is an integral part of the engine’s ability to start. So clean out the filter if possible, or if it’s already quite old, you can replace it.
  • The final thing to check is the gas level in the fuel tank. Ensure it’s adequately topped up. If the gas is quite old (for example, the mower’s been in storage all winter), you should discard it and use fresh fuel for optimum efficiency.

Once you have troubleshot all these areas, we’re confident your engine will return to working order.

5. The mower is hard to maneuver

Some users have reported that the Spartan riding mower can become challenging to handle when cutting on uneven ground or around heavily rooted areas. While it’s always advisable to cut on as level ground as possible, sometimes this isn’t always an option, and we would expect a machine as robust as a Spartan mower to be able to handle this.

The first thing to check is the steering fluid to ensure that the riding lawn mower can turn properly. You may also find that uneven tire pressure will stifle the mower’s ability to handle rough terrain, and you should add air pressure to them as required.

Depending on which riding lawn mower model you get, it may be better or worse at handling uneven terrain and roots. So if you find your machine is operating optimally yet still seems to struggle with these things. We recommend avoiding them and finishing those areas by hand as that machine level is not designed to handle that kind of workload.

6. The keypad stops responding

As we always say, technology is great until it stops working. The Spartan lawn tractor makes good use of electronic features to streamline and make your user experience more comfortable.

However, one component we keep hearing reports of unusual behavior is the keypad. These keypads are supposed to be protected against the elements, so rain/moisture exposure shouldn’t affect them much.

However, this appears not to be the case with Spartan mowers. Many reports have mentioned that when the mower is stored outside or in damp areas for too long, moisture has made its way into the keypad, making it behave strangely or become non-functional.

This can be circumvented with good machine storage and regular cleaning of the keypad to ensure water doesn’t work its way into the component.

But if your keypad is already behaving strangely, you should take it in for repairs as the end user does not easily service this component.

7. Fuel and air gauges not displaying correctly

Fuel and air gauges are critical in monitoring the machine’s performance, so you know when to fill up the fuel tank or put additional air pressure in the tires.

However, some users have reported that even though they are sure the fuel tank is full, the gauge only displays half-full. Likewise, the air gauge doesn’t seem representative of what has been put in the tires.

This can cause unwanted headaches as warnings go off, and you have to worry that you cannot trust what these gauges display.

Here we recommend getting them repaired by a professional as this kind of problem needs addressing by a trained repairer.

8. Costly replacement parts

While not necessarily a component failure in and of itself, is it prevalent enough that users consider it a ‘problem’ with owning this machine?

Unfortunately, because of how many proprietary components Spartan mowers use, any failures requiring component replacement must use original parts directly from a Spartan dealer.

Because these are unique parts to spartan mowers, they carry with them a premium cost which has left many users with delayed onset buyers remorse as, over time, the cost of owning and maintaining the machine can start to add up in a way it wouldn’t with a machine from a more common manufacturer.

Spartan mower problems: Are they a deal-breaker?

So as we can see, functionally, these are robust machines that have no significant points of failure that you wouldn’t also need to address on another machine.

These machines can be kept in good working order with a solid general maintenance routine and a good storage solution if you leave them inactive for some time.

However, the more expensive than average replacement parts costs can make this an unappealing choice over another brand as you will still face all the same issues – but they will be cheaper to fix.

Therefore, we recommend Spartan mowers if you are confident you can keep them in good working order and have a registered dealer nearby for easier access to parts. 

If these are not good options for you, then you should consider another more popular brand to get access to cheaper replacement parts that will save you a lot of money over a long enough period.

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