Troubleshooting Manual

The troubleshooting section was created in order to address all inquires involving small repairs and/or adjustment that can be done without going to service station, proper maintenance and basic troubleshooting. Keep in mind that we always recommend to take your mower to the service station.

Safety first!

Yo shouldn’t attempt to repair your Bush Hog mower if you don’t have proper qualifications. Mowers, when used or repaired not in the proper way can cause serious health and life danger. Most accidents are caused by blades, or objects thrown accidental by mower- like part of a branch. Mower should never be used or repaired when children are around. Special cautions should be taken when mower is operating on a slop- do not reverse then or mower is going via ditch . Grass should be mowed when dry. User need to pay special attention to bumpy areas or any kind of obstacles. Whenever unsure how mower may react to certain obstacle always turn off the blades first. When storing your mower you should be very precautions about  safety rules not to case fire. Don’t forget to cool your mower’s engine before re-filling with the gasoline.

Safe clothing should be worn when operating the mower. Never leave your mower with the engine on unattended. Mower should be winterized with the empty tank.

The Bush Hog Zero Turn mowers are suppose to be used on lawns. Zero Turn mowers engine have a fused electronic ignition, a pressurized oil lubrication system with spin-on type filter and electric start. The two hydrostatic transaxles are used for steering and propelling. The Transaxles are belt driven by the engine output shaft. One lever for each drive controls both speed and direction. The Zero Turn Mower Deck is available in 44” or 73” cutting widths. The Zero Turn Mower has three cutting blades, driven by an electromagnetic clutch through a single v-belt.
Front, rear, left and right are determined by the normal direction of travel, the same as driving an automobile

Zero turn mower’s controls

The ignition switch

They ignition key of the Zero Turn mower is keyless and is a Red Button on the Console located on the right hand side of the Zero Turn Mower. The ignition switch is also shown on the picture below. The ignition switch controls stopping and starting the engine

The Parking Brake

The parking brake is located on the left side of the Zero Turn Mower. Parking brake location is shown on the picture below. In order to turn on the brake you should pull the lever up and then push down to release- exactly the same as it is done with normal cars. Pay attention that when turning on the parking brake your mower should be in completely steel position. The parking brake should always be set before dismounting. The parking brake needs to be released before your mower is put into operation

Issue with mower cause by not proper parking brake usage: in instances when the parking brake is not set in the park position when starting, the engine won’t engage and the red lamp will lit on the console. Solution: release the brake after the engine has started.
Attention- if you will engage the parking brake while in forward or reverse motion and the steering levers in the operating position will stop the engine. In most cases hydrostat drives will get damaged

Steering control levers

Steering control levers are responsible for controlling the speed and the direction of your mower. Typically for all zero turn mowers turning is controlled by pushing one lever forward and pulling the opposite lever backward or to the neutral position. When steering control levers are set equally forward our mower will go forward in a straight line. Logically when steering control levers are set backward your mower will go straight in reverse. Naturally the further the levers are moved forward or backward increases the speed of travel in that direction. In order to move left move the right hand lever forward and the left hand lever to the neutral position. In order to move right left hand lever forward and the right hand lever to the neutral position. If you want to left zero turn your mower you should move the right hand lever forward and the left zero turn – left hand lever backward or move the left hand lever forward and the right hand lever backward

Choke and throttle

Your mower’s choke provides a richer fuel mixture to the engine to assist on cold starts. To activate it you should pull the choke up to engage and once the engine starts push down to disengage. The throttle controls your mower’s blade speed when blades are engaged and general engine speed. In order to increase blade and engine speeds you need to push the throttle to the front. To decrease the speed do the opposite

Filler neck and fuel tank

In all mowers the fuel tank is positioned under the operators seat and the fuel cap is tettered in order not to allow fuel dropping while your mower is refilled. In all mowers the filler neck is positions on the left hand side toward the rear of the seat. Remember that your mower exhaust and engine should be cold before your refill the tank, and you should never overfill the tank

Seat adjustment controls

a) suspension seat- there are several knobs to be used for adjusting the seat: weight adjustment, backrest, armrest, seat slide and the lumbar support. Each should be used per driver’s preference

b) non suspension seat should be adjusted only backward or forward. The adjusting knob is located under the front right hand side of the seat

The PTO switch

The PTO switch is market in yellow and is located on the console. PTO switch is used to to engage the blades. To switch it on you need to pull it up, do disengage do the opposite.
Attention The PTO Switch should be switched on only while the steering levers are in located in neutral position and the engine is running . The PTO Switch should be switched off before your tun on your mower

Transaxle bypass control

The transaxle bypass linkages must be pulled out when the engine is switched off  and when  you are pushing or pulling your mower. The linkages are positioned at the rear of your mower close to the muffler and they should be pulled out and locked in order to relieve hydraulic pressure so that your mower can be moved. The Tansaxle bypass linkages must be disengaged in order for your mower to move forward or backward under its engine power

Seat belts and ROPS 

Each zero turn mower is equipped with seat belts and  a ROPS (Roll Over Protective System). The ROPS should always be raised and locked. Seat belt shouldn’t be worn when ROPS must be lowered for clearance

Cutting height controls

The height if the cut is controlled by pushing the control foot pedal all the way forward while turning the knob adjusting the height to the required height. In order to maintain an even cutting height, all tires must have equal air pressure of 15 psi /103kPa / 1bar.

Attention!  When transporting the mower you should raise your mower to the highest position and disengage blades.

Bush Hog troubleshooting

Number of alarms will be displayed on the LCD display once error/fault occurs

– high voltage alarm – “HIGH VOLTS”- once the system voltage is above 15.0 V for more than 2 seconds

– low voltage alarm – “LOW VOLTS”- once the system voltage is below 12.0 V for 90 seconds
– low oil alarm -“OIL” “PSI”- once the oil pressure switch closes for ten seconds while the engine is running, LED indicator first flashes and then shuts down the engine. There is a way of configuring this alarm not to shut the engine but to lock out the PTO rather

You are free to use the table below to diagnose problem with your Bush Hog mower

Table 1. Troubleshooting based on fault applicable for all Bush Hog mowers

Problem Possible solution
Engine won’t start Steering Levers not in Neutral Lock Position
PTO Switch Engaged
Fuel Line Clogged Fuel Filter Ignition System Faulty
Battery Dead PTO
Parking Brake Not Set Contamination in Carburetor
Engine overheats Engine overloaded
Clogged air intakes or cooling fins
Fouled Spark Plugs
Low Oil Contamination in fuel line
Mower deck not engaging Faulty PTO switch Blown Fus
Drive Belt has come off
Connection to clutch is loose or off
Faulty electromagnetic clutch
Mower Belt tension needs adjusting
Starter doesn’t turn over Clutch is engaged
Dead Battery
Steering Levers not in the Neutral Lock position
Starter Parking Brake not set
Blown Fuse Faulty
Poor contact of the battery cable connection
Uneven mowing Grass build up under Zero Turn Mower deck
Bent blade or blades
Grass too high
Air pressure not equal in all tires
Driving speed to fast
Blades are dull
Mower Deck not adjusted level
Battery not charging Faulty engine charging system
Charging Lead Disconnected
Poor contact of the battery cable connection
Machine vibrates Blades not balanced
Loose Blade or Blades
Engine mount bolts loos
Transaxle leaking oil Air trapped in hydraulic system
Damaged seals, housing or gaskets
Engine runs rough Clogged ventilation valve fuel cap
Clogged air filter
Clogged Fuel Filter
Water in fuel
Fuel tank near empty
Wrong type fuel
Rich Fuel mixture or fuel air mixture
Fouled Spark Plug
Faulty Carburetor
Machine moves slow, uneven, not at all Bypass linkage engaged
Park Brake engaged
Air in hydraulic system
Pump Belt for tranmissions loose or has come off
Engine power is weak Air trapped in hydraulic system
Carburetor out of adjustment
Fouled Spark Plugs
Clogged Air Filter


Bush Hog maintenance

Service alerts are designed to remind to fulfill particular service or maintenance work on your mower.While the console is unlocked click key code button 1 to enter service alert display, next choose the alert that should be displayed. The display will return to engine hour meter after 30 seconds. In order to reset the service alert enter key code into the console, choose the service alert you want to reset and then click button 1 untill the LCD will show the message that the alert was reset “0000”. In order to assure log life of your Bush Hog mower following maintenance activities should take place within recommended duration

Table 2 Basic maintenance activities applicable for all Bush Hog mowers

Time frame Activity
Monthly Check the battery charge
Yearly Check the torque on the wheel lug nuts
Before placing in storage Clean The Underside of the mowing deck
Check all maintenance procedures listed above before storage
Paint chipped surfaces
After the first 8 hours Change the engine oil and oil filter
Check the torque on the wheel lug nuts
After the first 50 hours Change the hydraulic system filter
Change the oil
Before each use Verify the engine oil level
Verify the safety system
Verify ROPS knobs positions
Verify the seat belt
Check the blades
Clean the deck
Clean engine screen

Replacement Parts

Every Bush Hog mower has a plate with a serial number, this serial number and product model will be needed for purchasing replacement parts, additional accessories as well as finding online users manual. The picture below shows the exact location

Naturally Bush Hog parts are made and tested to meet special Bush Hog specifications and therefore replacement parts should always come from the original producer- this is the only way of keeping same quality and equipment functionality. Non-original parts may fit, but then won’t eventually meet Bush Hog specification and therefore fail, usually causing much more severe issue as well as they may immediately reduce your mower’s performance

Moving mower manually

Your mover should never be moved without first releasing the hydraulic pressure that is located in the integrated transaxles- you will need to pull the two bypass linkages out and down. Lock linkages in the in the keyhole slot location. Logically the linkages  should be put back into starting location before using the mower. It was mentioned before that the linkages are located at the rear under the engine plate and the bypass linkages is positioned under the mower next to the muffler.

Safety interlock switch troubleshooting 

In normal conditions the control console identifies interlock switches that are closed, have failed, or have been bypassed closed and then LED lamp will start to flash displaying a fault message brake/ drive/seat/ intlk or simple fault. Your mower will be able to operate normally with the LED lamp on but only for a short time- it is designed to give owner time to take the mower to the service station. Troubleshooting the interlock switch needs its replacement

Weak or Discharged Battery

Your mower’s engine won’t start if the battery is to weak weak. Battery should be recharged using a battery recharger. If battery can no longer be recharged it will need to be replaced. The minimum battery capacity  for zero turn mower is a 12 Volt

Jumper cable usage

Jumper cable should be attached to the positive (+) end on each battery. Then connect the black end cable to the negative (-) end of battery. Keep those till fully charged. To remove jumper cable disconnect first the black end cable from the chassis ground first and them from your mower. After this you can remove the red end cable from the positive end

The zero turn mower transportation

Your zero turn mower should be transported only on a heavy duty trailer that is adequate to handle its weight and size. Mowers shouldn’t be driven on streets or roadways as mowers are not equipped with proper lighting, turn signals etc When loading your mower to the trailer you should do it slowly to avoid tipping over and only rapm wider that the mower itself should be used. Your mower should be connected via all safety chains and brakes applicable. Tie all down points located on the mower (front, rear). Trailer should do any sudden stops. When unloading the mower you should move very slowly on the ramp to avoid tip over, unloading shouldn’t be done on a slope. Release the chains and straps, start the engine, go slowly on a ramp, park the mower.

Maintenance of the mower’s blades

To achieve good mowing results your blades need to be in a good shape- they shouldn’t be physically damaged and  should be sharp. Blades should be replaced whenever your observe that they are cracked, bent etc. Your mower should be disconnected from the battery and engine should be off when you are replacing the blades. You should never work underneath of your mower

Deck adjustment and leveling

Remember to verify all 4 tire pressure before adjusting the mower deck. Adjust the deck. To properly level the deck park the mower, turn it off and engage the parking brake. Rotate the outer blades so the blade tips align with the deck sides. Depress the deck lift pedal and place the cutting height adjusting knob at the 3”cutting height position. Release the pedal. Measure from the blade tip to the level surface and adjust the rear hangers on the deck so the right and left blade tips are equally 3” above the level surface. Adjustment is completed by turning the hanger nits at tyhe reat deck on each side of the deck until the blade tips are at the 3” position

Mower cleaning

Bush Hog mowers shouldn’t be cleaned by high pressure commercial washes, cleaning should be done by hand with warm water and household soaps usage. Grass excess can easily be removed by stiff brush. No water should get into the engine or/and electrical wiring or filters. Always dry your mower before storing.