Cub Cadet Reverse Problems

It may be time to spruce up your lawn but your Cub Cadet won’t move a bit or even reverse. This is something most users encounter but fortunately, there are many things you can do to troubleshoot using safety measures and methods.

As a gardener, I researched and curated all expert recommendations to solve the most common Cub Cadet reverse problems. 

In this guide, you will not only realise what are the common problems of Cub Cadet  but also their solutions. You will be amazed to find machines with similar components to automobiles. Let’s first find out why you won’t have your Cub Cadet reversed.

Why Won’t My Cub Cadet Reverse?

Over time, the Cub Cadet can develop problems related to moving forward or reverse. Loose driving belts, carburetor issues, battery issues, transmission failure, or old hydraulic fluid cause common reverse issues. Besides reverse matters, Cub Cadet  are prone to faulty transmission lines or failing batteries. 

With proper maintenance, clogged air filters can also stop the Cub Cadet from reversing. This will indirectly affect your Cub Cadet’s longevity. Other than these technical and mechanical reasons, a damaged spark plug or mower drive belt sometimes keeps a vehicle from reversing correctly.

If the drive belt is slipping off, make sure to replace it. The Cub Cadet also avoids moving in any direction if it has clogged or carburetor problems. If the battery is failing, consider replacing it.

Other than this, the old hydraulic fluid should always be replaced at least once a twice a year. If the issue persists, check for transmission failure or leaks in the fuel line that keeps you from adequately shifting gears.

If everything seems to be fine and you’re mowers still don’t reverse or move forward, here are ten other common related problems.

10 Cub Cadet Reverse Problems

#1: Clogged Fuel Filter

If your Cub Cadet’s fuel filter is clogged or blocked, your mower eventually loses power and starts stalling. If the fuel filter seems deteriorated or insufficient to adequately supply gasoline to the engine, get it repaired or replaced as per your requirement. 

If you keep using a clogged fuel filter or the damaged one, your Cub Cadet will likely be permanently damaged.

If you still can’t, you are starting or reversing can also be a sign of underlying mechanical disturbance or a permanently damaged part. While doing a quick inspection of your Cub Cadet’s components, make sure to check for signs of transmission failure as well.

#2: Clogged Carburetor

The second foremost reason for Cub Cadet ‘ reverse problems is blocked carburetors. As the carburettor is the component responsible for mixing fuel and air, your vehicle won’t be able to start or move smoothly if it encounters any issue. 

If your Cub Cadet carburetor is clogged, which is responsible for drawing air fuel mixture into the engine and unable to start to run smoothly, your mower will start stalling and lose power eventually. 

Check if the carburetor is clean and working fine or not. If there is any debris accumulated, clean it thoroughly. A carburetor may need a complete replacement by a professional mechanic. 

#3: Faulty Battery

Another reason your Cub Cadet loses power or its reverse is dead is battery failure. A poor-quality battery or the dead one will keep a Cub Cadet engine from starting because of insufficient power. With a faulty battery, your mower engine will need more ability to create and move. 

You should always avoid using weak batteries as it can directly interfere with how long your Cub Cadet lasts. It is advised first to check the voltage of your Cub Cadet’s  battery. The battery cannot be repaired, and it is never suggested also. Replace it. 

#4: Transmission Failure

If your Cub Cadet suddenly stops, it can be due to transmission failure. Transmission is usually engaged when your mower needs to start successfully. Any problem in communication may result in your Cub Cadet moving in one direction rather than the other. 

I recommend seeking professional mechanic help to find the root cause and fix it properly. If your mower is in the warranty period, you can contact the authorized dealer or manufacturer for a free repair and replacement service. 

#5: Damaged Drive Belt

Over time, the drive belt can get damaged with several pulleys needed to transfer the power from the engine to the wheel. Therefore if your Cub Cadet engine starts but doesn’t move its rotation, it can be due to a broken belt.

Using a faulty long drive belt while mowing the lawn for over 100 hours may get old and worn out quickly. In addition, the old drive belt is prone to breaking anytime when you are mowing your garden. It is OK because this problem also comes from well-established brands.

You need to focus on your Cub Cadet maintenance and cleaning schedule. It is recommended to replace the mower drive belt from time to time that is responsible for a continuous loop around several pulleys, & transfer power from the Cub Cadet engine to the wheel.

#6: Faulty Pressure Switch

According to Cub Cadet users, you should first check the pressure switch and look out for any issue. If you notice a faulty pressure switch, replace it or repair it as soon as possible. Faulty pressure switches can be responsible for Cub Cadet  not starting or even reversing.

Pressure switches can directly interfere with your Cub Cadet’s  mowing function, including reverse. Doing a quick inspection before using the mower is suggested by most experts.

#8: Defective Tensioner Pulley

If the power cannot transfer from the engine to the wheel, even a powerful John Deere will stop moving and reverse too.

Therefore I recommend checking for defective tensioner pulleys that are responsible for maintaining adequate tension on the drive belt to generate & transfer power. A faulty tensioner pulley can compromise a Cub Cadet reverse problem.

#9: Air In The Hydraulic System

Some owners prefer using their Cub Cadets only once or twice a year. According to experts, it can become stagnant if you don’t regularly maintain or use a vehicle.

And eventually, lose the power to move backward or forward. The primary cause tends to be air present in the hydraulic system. Air can be responsible for hydraulic system malfunctioning and reverse problems when the Cub Cadet is not used for an extended period.

#10: No Axle Key

We all know what an axle key is. It is the one that is responsible for keeping the wheel on the axle intact. If the axle key is deteriorated or sheared off, your Cub Cadet may prevent you from reversing or moving forward.

Again, the axle key is essential for the power transfer to the wheel. Without it, a Cub Cadet is nothing else than a mechanical showpiece. 

How Do You Get A Cub Cadet In Reverse?

If you want to get your Cub Cadet in reverse mode, turn the Blade off and come to a complete stop. Decrease the brake pedal pressure level and gradually move the shift lever into the reverse position.

You can use the axle key to turn on the reverse mode and turn on the PTO to engage the blades. This should get any model of Cub Cadet in a reverse way.

3 Tips To Keep In Mind When Reverse A Cub Cadet 

We all know what a reverse caution mode is. The module operates and moves the Cub Cadet in reverse with the blades engaged. Hence, here are a few tips to keep in mind while getting a Cub Cadet in reverse mode.

  • Never directly turn to a cautious mode. Get your Cub Cadet to a complete stop before changing from forward to reverse or vice versa.
  • Always look back and forth before and while backing. If there are kids around, stop the mover immediately.
  • When your Cub Cadet is in motion, avoid changing its direction of travel.
  • Without placing the PTO in the disengaged mode and using the parking brake, never leave the seat of your mower.
  • After turning off the engine and removing the ignition key, you can only leave your mower unattended.

Also Read: 10 Cub Cadet Mower Deck Problems (Also, Fixes!)


It would help if you had all the ideas for Cub Cadet reverse problems and their solutions. With all the information given above, you should be able to find out the root cause and its solution to why your Cub Cadet isn’t reversing. 

If issues persist and you’re unable to find the actual cause or don’t have enough experience troubleshooting a mower, take advice from a mechanic or professional. I tried to give you all the information needed on the Cub Cadet reverse problem. 

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