I’m sure you’ll agree with me that owning a lawnmower comes with tons of amazing benefits. In case you don’t know, one of the many benefits attached to that is that it allows you to mow your lawn regularly, and doing that can make you achieve a stronger lawn. However, owning a mower isn’t without its issues.
A lawnmower can always develop issues unexpectedly; an example of that is when its clutch becomes defective. Sadly, this can become very annoying if you’re not aware of the issue.
There are several different warning signs that you’ll get to understand that your lawn mower’s clutch is defective. For instance, one of the symptoms is when you keep experiencing a hard or sticky clutch. When engaging your lawnmower clutch, if you encounter high engine rev, this could also be a warning sign.
Do lawn mowers have clutches? How exactly do lawn mower clutches work? What are the warning signs that you’ll get to understand that a lawn mower clutch is bad? These and more are the frequently asked questions that you’ll get answers to as you read through the rest of this article.
Do lawn mowers have clutches?
Yes, lawnmowers, be it electric or gas, are usually equipped with clutches. Usually called “power take-off (PTO) clutch,” an electric lawn mower clutch is the component responsible for engaging the blades.
When a PTO clutch engages the lawnmower blades, what happens is that it’ll stop the blades from spinning when the engine is still running. Since that’s the case, it means that the lawnmower clutch is the safety component of the farm equipment.
Furthermore, the function of an electric mower clutch also extends to transferring the engine energy to the drive train.
How exactly do lawn mower clutches work?
As earlier mentioned, the PTO clutch is the safety component of your lawnmower. The primary function of the component is to engage the blade, stopping it from spinning when the engine is running. The clutch does that by transferring the energy from the lawnmower engine to the drive train.
Here’s how a PTO clutch works; it’s connected to two drive shafts inside the electric mower. The clutch works together with these shafts to secure your lawnmower when the engine is running.
In case you don’t know, the PTO clutch comes with a couple of basic components. For instance, it has a pulley, which you can always find on the housing brace of the machine. Moreover, the pulley is designed in a way that allows it to spin easily around the housing brace of the lawnmower.
Here’s the thing; when the power to the PTO clutch switches off, the magnetic energy releases control of the rotating coil of the electric mower. When this happens, the springs controlling the rotation of the coil force the coil back against the brake.
It’s the brake that stops the PTO pulley, which in turn stops the blades from spinning. The working principle of a power take-off (PTO) clutch is no doubt complicated. For a clearer understanding of how the component works, you can watch this video.
What are the warning signs to know that a lawn mower clutch is bad?
The lawnmower clutch is, no doubt, one of the essential safety components of the farm equipment. Since that’s the case, it’s very important to understand the signs that come with having a bad clutch.
As previously mentioned, there exist several warning signs to know that the lawnmower clutch is faulty or bad. Let’s have a quick look at a couple of them below:
- Hard and sticky clutch
Do you keep experiencing a hard clutch every time you try to operate your lawnmower? If yes, you need to understand that this could be a warning sign that your PTO clutch is defective.
A power take-off clutch is designed to engage the lawnmower blades. However, if the component is hard, it’ll become pretty difficult for you to operate for both engagement and disengagement.
The same thing also goes for sticky clutches – this situation occurs when the clutch fails to return to the disengaged position. When this happens, it’s also a warning sign that you’re using a bad or defective mower clutch.
- High rev when the clutch is engaged
If you also experience high engine rev every time you try to engage the clutch, this could be a sign that your lawn mower clutch is defective. Yes, it could be that the machine has a worn friction plate.
How to replace a bad electric clutch on your zero-turn riding lawn mower
If you end up having a defective PTO clutch, the best thing you can do is to replace the component with another one. To do that, you can follow the simple and direct steps below:
- Locate the spark plug of your electric mower. After finding it, the first thing you need to do is disconnect the spark plug’s wires.
- Next, you need to release the belt around the blades. To do that, start by lowering the electric mower deck to the least cutting position. Then, remove the left pulley cover. This way, you should find it easy to release the blade belt.
- After successfully releasing the blade belt, the next thing you need to do is to remove the clutch. This doesn’t come easy though. To do that, start by unplugging the electric clutch wiring located around the motor. Next, locate the flywheel cover and remove the mounting screws. Now, carefully pull off the PTO clutch from the engine crankshaft.
- Install the new clutch where you removed the defective one.