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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: 11 months ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  Mark Dotson replied 11 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 11 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 11 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 11 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 11 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 11 months ago.
Thank you very much.
Expert:  Mark Dotson replied 11 months ago.

No problem...glad to help!