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Ask Mark Dotson Your Own Question
Mark Dotson
Mark Dotson,
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 10
Experience:  Master Service Technician at Mark The Mechanic
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Second opinion] - I have a Deere LT-150 with a lot of hours

Customer Question

Second opinion] - I have a John Deere LT-150 with a lot of hours on it I use it semi commercially. It has a fairly new drive belt, pulleys are in good shape. It recently started going very slow and has trouble getting up inclines. When it goes down an incline to a flat surface it goes pretty good for a while then slows down again. Reverse seems OK but when you step on the forward pedal it makes a grunting sound very briefly. What's going on?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  Mark Dotson replied 4 months ago.

Hello there, my name is ***** ***** I would be glad to help. Does the mower have an hour meter on it and if so, how many hours are on it? Or how old is the mower?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
The mower is about 10 years old and does not have a meter. I use it for mowing lawns and leaf cleanup for 5 houses on my block so it has alot of hours on it.
Expert:  Mark Dotson replied 4 months ago.

If the belt and pulley system is in good condition, the transmission is going out on this machine. From what you have described and the many I have seen with a similar issue, that is what it turns out to be.

If this concludes our troubleshooting, please rate my response. If you have any further questions, don't hesitate to ask.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
The former Technician I wrote to concluded that I should add fluid to the rear end. There is no sign of any leakage. So how could the fluid get low? Also, as I stated before, I drove around for 15 minutes in forward and reverse and by the time I put it away, it hardly drove. I put my hand on the drive belt and it wasn't the least bit warm. I concluded That the drive belt tension is ok. Am I right?
Expert:  Mark Dotson replied 4 months ago.

There would need to be a leak for the fluid to be low as these are sealed units in most cases. You could try a fluid change, but that normally lands you back at the same place you are now with a transmission that is slipping internally. Another thing you can double check is that the spring that holds the pulleys in tension is connected and not broken. I don't suspect it is as you can drive it for a while. If the belt is slipping you would notice a shiny appearance on it and yes, it would be warm.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thank you very much.
Expert:  Mark Dotson replied 4 months ago.

No problem...glad to help!