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Poulan Riding Mower Won't Shift Gears?

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I have a 10 year old Poulan 42 inch 17.5 HP riding mower. A local mechanic had just replaced the carburetor and drive belt. When I got the mower back, I noticed it was much more difficult to stop. I had to throttle down (which I never had to do before). Braking gradually got worse.

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Now, a month later, I can only stop the mower by pulling out the key. Also, it will only shift gears when off. It will not shift gears while running. The brake is basically useless. What is wrong? Is the brake dirty or loose? I DO believe the brake is the heart of this problem. What do you think?

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 677 Posts
July 8, 20210 found this helpful

If someone serviced your mower and it was working worse, you should have informed that person immediately. Hopefully you still have time.

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July 9, 20210 found this helpful

I contacted the shop owner about an hour after he dropped off the mower. He said it was fine (I didn't realize he was throttling down to get the mower to stop). I never had to do that before.

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I don't dare have him pick up the mower, again. I wouldn't see it for over a month. I have over an acre to cut. The guy is incompetent and very difficult to contact by phone.

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Bronze Feedback Medal for 2021. 15 Feedbacks
July 8, 20210 found this helpful

Talk to the mechanic that worked on it. It's possible that he didn't get the drive belt on properly, and it is somehow causing the brake problem.

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July 9, 20210 found this helpful

I checked the drive belt. It's fine.

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