5 Common Cub Cadet Mower Deck Problems and Solution

If you own a large lawn, you must own a riding lawn mower or tractor too. And sometimes even if you think you have maintained it well it still might cause many problems. Despite it running great, the lawn does not look right after being cut. You might see kinks, stingers, or step cuts left by your mower. An uneven cut results from a faulty deck on your lawn tractor. The deck of your tractor needs to be leveled periodically to keep your lawn smooth.

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It is very important to take very good care of the mower. And sometimes when you are not using your mower for a long time, you should troubleshoot your mower deck for tracing the problems and solving them accordingly. To level your Cub Cadet lawn mower deck, you only need a few tools and a few minutes. In this article, we’ll provide you with solutions to problems you might have with your Cub Cadet Mower Deck. So, the 5 common problems of the Cub Cadet mower deck and its solutions are given below.

5 Cub Cadet Mower Deck Problems:

Having mower deck problems is not unusual or a cause for concern. A few problems are common in every mower after a long period of use, not only Cub Cadet. It is also possible that the problem is caused by misuse or long periods of time without using the mower. Finding out the problems and solving them then and now would keep your Cub Cadet mower ready whenever you need to use it.

Following are the five most common problems people encounter with Cub Cadet mower deck:

1. Step Cuts

In step cutting, the lawn is left with sharp bumps. A damaged mower deck, improper adjustment, or a damaged mower blade is usually to blame for step cutting. It is sometimes necessary to just re-level the deck.


The mower deck may also be out of alignment, which may cause step-cuts. You can turn off the mower if it’s running. Make sure the spark plug is disconnected so that it cannot be improperly started. You can measure the mower blade’s tip on either side on a level surface. Measurement 2 and measurement 3 should be identical. It trims grass at an angle if they are not. If the blades are pointed higher, you will not be able to see if the cut happened. Measure again while wearing heaving gloves to check for a bent blade.

Each wheel of a push mower is usually equipped with an adjustable deck height. Each slot number should be fixed to the same to ensure the deck is level. It is necessary to lock the tabs on each wheel into the same slot, for example, if one wheel is locked into the third slot below it.

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You can also take these steps to prevent step cuts:

  • Make sure the vehicle is parked flat.
  • The tractor must be aligned perpendicular to the blade flight direction.
  • You can check this by measuring from the outer edge of the left blade to your parking surface
  • You should note down these measurements as you measure the distance from the right blade tip to the surface of the tractor.
  • Make sure the measurements are the  same
  • Turning the blades and measuring again are the next steps. A bent blade is most likely the cause of the differences between the measurements.
  • Lastly, check the deck shell for cracks and bends, and the spindles for looseness

2. Streaking

Another common complaint is stuttering or streaking. When the mower leaves thin strips of uncut grass behind, this is called streaking. Poor blade maintenance or operator error is usually the cause of streaking. An engine running too slowly can cause stuttering. It is best to run mowers at full throttle to cut most effectively. The blades are not able to cut grass properly if the mower is run below top speed. A dirty blade can also be a cause of streaking.

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Mowing at a slower speed than full throttle causes more damage to your engine. It is important that the blade tip speed is correct. Uplifts should not wear too much and should be sharp. The speed and uplifts raise the grass up much like a barber makes your hair straight by lifting it up with a comb. It is crucial for the cutting deck to have good air movement. Grass clippings clog decks and prevent them from properly moving air. A mower’s underside is covered in grass and dirt that prevents airflow over the blades. So, it is very important to clean the mower thoroughly. 

3. Leaving marks on the lawn

The deck design and the tractor itself can also contribute to streaking and step cutting. Leaving marks in the lawn may result from the operator not overlapping the cutting row enough or making very tight turns. The best way to determine why this is happening is to lift one of the tractor’s rear wheels a little off the ground using a jack. Doing this will cause your tractor’s deck to tilt if your deck does not have full free-floating capabilities. When one wheel is raised above the other in tight turns and when uneven ground contours cause one to tilt, a mark will appear.

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To fix this problem, you have the option of slowing down, making wide turns, overlapping cuts, or getting another tractor equipped with a floatable deck.

4. Getting Scalped

Lawns that have been scalded are often caused by too low mower blade settings. It is ideal to mow your lawn no more than once every third of an inch. Lawn scalping involves removing all the leaves, thus exposing the roots. In most cases, dull blades and out-of-adjusted machines are to blame for scalping.


In order to prevent scalping, wait a few days. Keep the roots hydrated without allowing them to become soaked. This should allow them to store enough energy to grow leaves. In order to prevent future occurrences, get your faulty lawn mower fixed with a help of an expert. Make sure you are mowing frequently and pay attention to the high spots.

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  • Use the mower deck for height adjustment
  • Correctly level the deck
  • check the tires and the air pressure
  • Cut at a higher height

5 Uneven cuts

Until the tires are properly inflated, any further adjustments should also be done. Make sure you check the tire pressures before doing anything else. It is typically recommended to set the tire pressure for front tires at 14 psi, and the rear tires at 10 psi. It is wise to check the tire sidewalls for the maximum inflation psi ratings as various tire manufacturers offer various pressure ratings.

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Having your tires inflated properly may not fix your problem. You may need to adjust the deck-leveling as well. The chapter on adjustments in the Operator’s Manual describes how to adjust the deck level. Follow the instructions in the tractor’s owner’s manual while servicing.

The problem may also be caused by one of the following if the above solutions do not solve it:

  • You may need to replace worn blades or spindles.
  • There might be hung-up deck hangers that are bent, damaged, or detached.

Cub Cadet Mower Deck Problems and Solution – FAQ

What is Troubleshooting? Why is it necessary for lawn mowers?

Troubleshooting is the method of problem-solving to repair machines or systems that have failed. Troubleshooting requires three steps- to find the source of the problem, to fix the problem, and make the machine usable again. 
As for a lawn mower troubleshooting is very important as it is a machine and it is not always used. So, when it is used after a long time, there might be some problems. With troubleshooting, one can fix the problems before use and then use it without any concern.

Is Cub Cadet better than John Deere?

Cub Cadet and John Deere are both two of the best mowers in the market. Each one has special specifications which makes them unique. If Cub Cadet is reasonable but priceworthy then John Deere has more features than Cub Cadet. So, you just have to choose one up to your requirements.

What to do if my mower is smoking?

If this happens, do not be scared even though it looks serious. It is actually a very common problem. When you tilt your lawn mower to one side, oil can leak into the exhaust muffler, causing your engine to smoke. When the engine is hot, it simply burns off. However, if you see lighter colored smoke, as well as difficulty keeping the lawnmower running, we suggest you have a professional check it out.

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Final Words

Do not think that Cub Cadet is a bad mower as it has deck problems sometimes. This can happen to any mower of any brand. Sometimes this happens due to lack of device care and sometimes it happens because of not using it for a long time. So, when you use your Cub Cadet mower make sure to troubleshoot before using it and handle it with care and it will last for a long time.

2 thoughts on “5 Common Cub Cadet Mower Deck Problems and Solution”

  1. I have been needing to lift the deck higher to get an equal level that I got last year. I have scalped in areas where I had not scalped before and even with the blades at the second notch from the top it looks like the cut is very short. At the 3 or 4 notch from the top it will scalp like the deck is down on the ground

    I have not found an answer to my question on height adjustment. I have an LTX1042KW. I have checked tire pressure, the blades seem to be the same height left and right. This unit has a cable the lifts the deck, connected from the handle, over idlrr pu,ky and then to the deck.

    When I lower the deck on a level concrete surface the roller wheels bottom out with 3 notches left. The cable is slack at that point and there are still lower notches left.

    Note, when I have the deck at the highest point on the lift Handel the bottom front of the deck is at about 2.5″, the rear of the deck at the bottom is less than 3″. I think I need to get the front and rear closer to the same beight.

    One other item is that last year she. I backed up with the blades running, the deck left a pattern of cutting the lawn shorter while I wsd backing up, like the deck dropped half an inch

  2. Do cub cadet deck shells have to be exact original part number? I have a 17crcacs009 that’s several years old and need to replace the shell and I see a few used shells that look like mine but the part numbers given don’t match even the replaced numbers.


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