Hydrostatic drive lawn mower. Fix Your Hydrostatic Transmission Problems Fast

Fix Your Hydrostatic Transmission Problems Fast

Combustion engines, like those found in most cars, transfer power to the vehicle’s axle, which turns the wheels. Hydrostatic transmissions found in most modern tractors and zero-turn mowers, work by transferring power from the engine to hydraulic pumps which use liquid pressure to move the wheels. There’s no need for gears, and changing speed is smooth and efficient.

With any transmission, things can go wrong. The first step is to read your Operator’s Manual. There are many different types of equipment with hydrostatic transmissions, and we can only offer general advice. Your tractor operator’s manual will have information specific to your make and model, and will offer helpful information about where to find filters and other parts that might require servicing are located on your tractor or lawn equipment.

Where to find more information:

Hydrostatic transmissions include mechanical parts such as a differential and a drive axle, plus rubber or metal hoses the liquid is pushed through. Failure of any mechanical component, a broken hose, or clogged filter will cause tractor hydrostatic transmission problems. But the most common issue will be the oil itself.

In the transmission section of your operator’s manual, you’ll find a section that covers oil viscosity. Here’s an example from a John Deere manual. Note that, while temperature affects viscosity, the right oil has enough range to operate in any reasonable weather.

Here are some basic troubleshooting tips to fix your hydrostatic transmission lawn tractor problem fast!

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Zero-Turn Mowers: Purge Your Hydraulic Drive System

Zero turn hydrostatic transmission problems can start with air in the system, a condition known as cavitation. When the pump is full of air instead of oil, it can’t generate the pressure needed to provide power. This is pretty common in zero-turn mower transmissions. After your mower has been stored for the winter, it’s a good idea to purge the transmission before use. It’s also a good first step if your motor is sluggish or slow.

NOTE: If your mower or tractor has a transmission that must be removed for service, be sure to purge after it is serviced and before you use it.

  • Park the mower on level ground, set the parking brake, and put the rear on jackstands.
  • Make sure the oil reservoir is properly filled according to specs.
  • Disengage the transmission (check your operators manual to see how this is done).
  • Sit in the operators seat and start the engine.
  • With the engine running, move throttle control to slow position. Position the motion control levers in neutral (N) and disengage clutch/brake pedal.
  • Push motion control levers forward all the way and hold for five seconds.
  • Pull motion control levers to full reverse position and hold for five seconds.
  • Repeat steps 6 and 7 three times. This purges any air from the hydraulic transmission system.
  • Put the control levers in neutral (N). Shut the engine off and set the parking brake.
  • Check the oil and top off if necessary.
  • Engage transmission.
  • Remove from jackstands, start the engine, and disengage the brake.
  • Move control levers forward and roll about 5 feet. Then slowly reverse about the same distance. Return the levers to neutral and repeat this steps three times.

You’re done! The air is purged from your system and your zero-turn mower is ready for action.

Check The System

If your system is purged and you still have a problem, it’s time to do a little basic troubleshooting. Start with a complete visual check of the hydraulic system.

  • Check the oil level and add oil if needed.
  • Inspect the hoses and connections for damage or signs of leaks.
  • Clean pump cooling fins with a rag, brush, or compressed air, and check for damage.

Change Your Hydraulic and Steering Fluids

Sluggish operation is often due to old or overused fluids. If there are no signs of fluid leaks or damage, it may be time to change your hydraulic and steering fluids.

Hire An Expert Troubleshooter

If you need help troubleshooting your tractor’s hydraulic system, call your dealer. Their service department should be able to ask the right questions, give suggestions, and you can make an appointment for service if necessary.

Blairsville, GA: 706-745-2148

Some things are beyond DIY. When it’s time to call in an expert, don’t hesitate. Your tractor represents a significant investment in terms of both money and delay. It’s one of those farm equipment essentials you simply can’t do without. When it needs to be fixed fast and done right, call an expert!

Image source: Z915E ZTrak Zero-Turn mower with hydrostatic drive train, deere.com

Honda HRX217 Hydrostatic Transmission (20001-VE5-A01)

Orders ship from our facility by next business day. Available stock appears in green. The terms can be backordered and available on backorder allow you to order additional quantity from inbound stock orders. Backorders typically ship from our facility 2-3 days from date of order.

3 in stock (can be backordered)

Product Description

Honda Transmission Assy.

Genuine Honda HRX217 Hydrostatic Transmission Assembly ( 20001-VE5-A01 ) Complete assembly for specific HRX217 HMA, HXA, HYAA HZAA models Please Note: This is an authentic Honda service part. Packaged by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for direct replacement of entire transmission components including traction cable. We recommend experienced users perform this replacement because kit does not include installation instructions.

Fits Honda mowers















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Weight and Dimensions

No Hassle Returns

You may return parts and products for any reason within 30 days of the delivery date. All products must be unopened and returned in sellable condition. Return shipping including the purchase of shipping labels is the responsibility of the buyer. For your convenience, we offer the option to request a shipping label (the cost of shipping will be deducted from refund). The Mower Shop provides prepaid return shipping labels in the following cases: carrier damage, lost packages and incorrect items.

Can You Push a Hydrostatic Mower?

When you’ve left your mower out in the yard, it can tempting to just try and push it back into the garage without starting it up again. However, trying to do this the wrong way with certain types of mowers – such as those with hydrostatic motors – could do lasting damage.

You can’t push hydrostatic mowers without disengaging the transmission. Fluid is pumped to the wheels to turn them, so if the motor is off the pump is too and the wheels won’t turn. If you push the mower when it’s off, the fluid already at the wheels will flow back into the pump and damage it.

With that said, let’s dive down into what a hydrostatic mower actually is, how they work and why pushing them when the engine is off is a bad idea. We’ll then compare hydrostatic engines to other popular types of motors.

How Do Hydrostatic Lawn Mowers Work?

Choosing a lawn mower is hard. There are a lot of choices. If you decide you are in the market for a riding lawn mower, then you will have to choose a transmission.

We all know that cars can have manual transmissions or automatic ones. Those are options for riding lawn mowers as well. In addition, riding lawn mower manufacturers have added one more transmissionhydrostatic.

Transmissions transfer power from the engine to the wheels, and they manage the vehicle’s speed. Experts recommend you choose your riding lawn mower transmission type based on your lawn topography, how often you mow and your driving habits.

Is a hydrostatic mower a good choice for you? Do you have a lot of sharp turns to make? Do you live in a damp climate where the grass is often a little wet? Do you have steep hills? Does your lawn have lots of flower beds and trees to dodge?

Do you think you’d use cruise control? Are you bored with slow mowers? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you should consider a hydrostatic mower.

Here’s a handy resource that explains most of the choices.

Hydrostatic motors are not new – they were invented in 1965. Most modern tractors have them. In hydrostatic mowers, there are no shifting levers or clutches. Gear changes are smooth and fast. Hydrostatic mowers have power and torque – they won’t leave you stuck on a steep hill.

Hydrostatic riding lawn mowers (HST’s, hydros, or hydro-drives) are a lot like an automatic car, but instead of a series of belts that turn the axle mechanically, they use fluids. Powered by a standard engine, a hydrostatic pump moves pressurized oil into the hydrostatic drive system.

The oil moves the pistons, which power the hydrostatic motors. The hydrostatic motor engages the drive wheels.

Many hydrostatic mowers are riding lawn mowers, but you can have a hydrostatic walk-behind as well.

For all you hydrostatic transmission enthusiasts, here’s a video. Geek your heart out!!

What is The Advantage of Hydrostatic Transmission?

The advantages are control, power, and simplicity. Hydrostatic mowers are the most high-powered of all transmissions. They change gears the smoothest. These transmissions last the longest (with some routine maintenance).

There are no gear levers to operate. No clutches. For lawns with a steep slope, hydrostatic mowers have an advantage: they have greater torque than other mowers.

Hydrostatic mowers offer the best acceleration and maneuverability. For lawns with complicated topography, they change gears faster and smoother. They turn around better – which saves time. If you have a large yard with several flower beds and trees to dodge, consider a hydro mower.

If you think mowing the lawn is a boring chore, consider a hydro mower. Maybe you need a mower with pizzazz. Reviewers call hydro mowers “fun” and “like a go-kart”. In fact, hydro mowers can get away from some drivers, so be careful. They have the power to accelerate – and decelerate – quickly.

Hydrostatic transmissions are fluid-filled – there’s minimal wear from friction. With simple maintenance, they last longer than other transmissions. Hydro mowers need routine fluid level checking.

Check your manual, but most experts recommend using 20W50 motor oil – not hydraulic oil. They recommend that you change the oil when the mower is new, within the first 50 hours of usage. Then, every 250 hours or once a year.

For all these benefits, there is a cost – hydrostatic mowers are the most expensive. They also need more fuel and maintenance. Routinely check oil levels.

Hydrostatic Vs Hydraulic Mower Transmission

The transmission types hydrostatic and hydraulic have something in common: “hydro” or liquid. Both transmissions work because of basic fluid properties: liquids won’t compress, they have no shape, and they exert equal force to all perpendicular surfaces.

Hydrostatic and hydraulic transmissions require a pump – and the pumps for each system are different. In a hydraulic system, the pump moves a fixed amount of fluid in one direction. In a hydrostatic system, the pump (called a variable displacement pump) is capable of moving liquids in two directions and can move variable amounts.

Final Thoughts

So in the final analysis, you can safely push a hydrostatic mower without damaging the pump or motor if you follow the simple steps outlined in this article.

As a teenager I remember trying to push our riding lawn mower once when it was switched off, and it wouldn’t budge an inch. My old man came out and went crazy and then told me about the transmission thing – so I learned this the hard way! Hopefully this article will help you avoid the mistake I made, and ensure your hydrostatic mower has a long and well-maintained grass cutting life

Homeowner and property investor Mark H. aspires to bring you the very best outdoor living content, based on his years of experience managing outside spaces. Read more

Troubleshooting Husqvarna Hydrostatic Drive Problems

If you own a Husqvarna lawn mower with a hydrostatic drive system, you know how smooth and effortless it makes mowing your lawn.

However, like any machine, it may encounter some issues along the way. The good news is that most hydrostatic drive problems are easy to troubleshoot and fix. Here is a list of 5 common Husqvarna Hydrostatic Drive Problems.

  • Hydraulic Fluid Leak
  • Creates Noise During the Operation
  • Doesn’t Respond to the Shifting
  • Stalls When Accelerating
  • Dirt in the Transmission

In this blog post, I will review some common issues with the Husqvarna hydrostatic drive system and provide simple solutions to keep your mower running smoothly.

Craftsman mower will not move, fixed

Most Common Husqvarna Hydrostatic Drive Problems

Maintaining a power tool can take time and effort for beginners. However, this maintenance helps to lengthen the lifespan of the power tool. Like every other power tool, the Husqvarna mower has its problems.

Let’s take at some of the most common Husqvarna Hydrostatic Drive problems and how to solve them.

Hydraulic Fluid Leak

One of the most common problems with hydrostatic drive systems is a hydraulic fluid leak, which can happen due to worn-out seals or damaged hoses.

  • You need to identify the leak’s source and replace the faulty part.
  • You can locate the leak by inspecting the hoses, fittings, and pump.
  • Once you pinpoint the leak, you can replace the defective seals or hoses.

Creates Noise During the Operation

If your Husqvarna hydrostatic drive system makes noise during operation, it could be due to air in the hydraulic lines, worn-out bearings, or damaged gears.

First, ensure the hydraulic fluid level is correct to fix this issue. If the fluid level is okay, check for air in the lines and bleed the system.

Doesn’t Respond to the Shifting

If your mower doesn’t respond to the shifting, it could be because of damaged gear or a worn-out belt.

  • First, check the belt tension; if it’s too loose, you may need to adjust or replace it.
  • If the belt tension is okay, check for any damage or cracks on the gears and replace the damaged parts.

Stalls When Accelerating

Stalling when accelerating can be due to a clogged fuel or dirty air filter.

To fix this issue, replace the fuel filter and clean the air filter. Ensure the carburetor is clean and the fuel tank is free from dirt and debris.

Air in the Fluid Lines

If you hear a banging noise or experience a shaky start, this could be due to air in the hydraulic fluid lines.

  • To fix this issue, you must bleed the system and ensure no air in the fluid lines.
  • You can do this by running your mower for a few minutes and then checking the hydraulic fluid level.

Dirt in the Transmission

Dirt or debris may get stuck in the transmission, leading to poor performance and even damage in the long run.

To solve this problem, clean the transmission system regularly. You could remove the transmission casing and clean the gears.

Mower is Stuck, Not Going Forward and Backward

One of the major problems you might encounter with your Husqvarna mower is that it might get stuck and won’t go forward or backward.

A simple solution to this problem is to check the drive belt. The drive belt might need to be fixed or worn out. If it is loose or worn out, simply adjust or replace the belt as necessary.

Husqvarna Mower Not Starting

This problem could cause by reasons, including a dead battery, faulty spark plugs, or an empty fuel tank. Diagnosing the root of the issue as soon as possible is important to prevent further damage to your mower.

The quick solution is to replace the battery to clean the carburetor. With a little effort and some troubleshooting, you’ll return to a perfectly running mower in no time.

Blade Brake Could Fail

The blade brake is an essential component of the Husqvarna mower. This component helps to stop the blades from rotating when you release the blade control lever. One common problem with the blade brake is that it could fail.

To solve this problem, inspect the brake pads and lever for wear or damage. Replace the brake pads or lever if necessary.

The Engine is Failing – Not Working Properly

The last problem with the Husqvarna mower is that the engine might fail to work properly. Several factors, such as a dirty air filter, a clogged fuel filter, or a bad spark plug, could cause this.

However, you can take a few quick and simple steps to try and fix the issue yourself without breaking the bank.

  • Double-check your spark plug to ensure it’s not dirty or corroded, which can cause engine problems.
  • Check your air filter and clean it if it’s dirty, as a clogged filter can cause engine issues.
  • Ensure your blades are properly attached and tightened, as loose blades can cause issues with your mower’s overall performance.

You can quickly restore your Husqvarna mower’s function by performing these basic checks and troubleshooting the problem.

hydrostatic, drive, lawn, mower, your, transmission

A Guide to Using Husqvarna Hydrostatic Lawn Mover

Maintaining a lawn requires considerable time and effort, especially during the peak season. Here is a comprehensive guide that covers everything you need to know to use a Husqvarna lawn mower while keeping yourself and others safe.

Pre-Use Inspection

Conduct a pre-use inspection before starting the lawn mower to identify any faults or damages. Check the oil level, fuel level, blades, belts, cutters, and tires.

Ensure that all safety features are operable. If you notice any irregularities, rectify them before using the lawn mower. Faulty machinery can cause severe injuries or accidents.

Protective Gear

Do not operate the lawn mower without wearing appropriate protective gear. Wear sturdy boots with slip-resistant soles, safety glasses, and hearing protection.

Gloves, long pants, and a shirt with long sleeves should be worn to prevent debris from kicking up and causing harm.

Safe Operation

Always remain alert and mindful of your surroundings when using a Husqvarna lawn mower. Do not allow children to operate this equipment.

Always keep your hands and feet away from the blades while it is functioning. The lawn mower should be pushed forward and not pulled backward.

Slope Operation

Husqvarna lawn mowers are designed to operate on hills and slopes without issues. However, keeping the lawn mower at a 15-degree slope is recommended for safe operation.

Plan your mowing route to avoid driving too close to holes, bumps, or ruts. Avoid any sudden or jerky movements using a firm grip on the handlebars and maintaining a steady pace.


Always store the Husqvarna lawn mower in a dry area that is out of reach for children. Store all gasoline-operated equipment with the fuel tank empty or less than half full.

Keep the lawn mower blades clean and sharp, ensuring they are stored separately from the mower.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to Service Husqvarna Hydrostatic Transmission?

Clean the debris from the cooling fins and change the transmission fluid according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Be sure to use a compatible fluid.

Lastly, check belts, pulleys, and chains for wear, tears, and damage that may affect your lawn mower’s performance.

How to Keep Husqvarna Hydrostatic Mower Out of Problems?

Proper maintenance is the key to keeping your lawn mower out of problems. Aside from servicing your transmission periodically, always check the air filter for debris and change it as needed.

Clear the deck of grass clippings and debris to prevent corrosion and damage.

Fix Your Hydrostatic Transmission Problems Fast

Why Won’t Husqvarna’s Hydrostatic Mower Move?

There are several reasons why your lawn mower’s hydrostatic transmission won’t move. A lack of transmission fluid or a damaged drive belt is a common issue.

Another issue could be a clogged fuel or air filter, which can cause low power and transmission issues. Lastly, check the tire pressure and make sure they’re at the appropriate levels.


Hydrostatic drive systems are a great convenience in lawnmowers, making mowing effortless and efficient. However, like any other machine, they may encounter issues at some point.

By troubleshooting and fixing these problems early, you can save hassle and money in repairs or replacements.

The solutions in this blog post are easy to follow and can help you keep your Husqvarna lawn mower running smoothly for many years.

Hey, It’s Noah Smith, writer and founder of this blog and horticulturist by profession. I’m here to make your lawn, garden, and backyard perfectly green and full of beauty.

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