How to Troubleshoot a Craftsman Lawn Tractor

Craftsman lawn tractors are strong, durable grass-cutting machines, but, after years of service, the lawn tractors may need maintenance. Follow these troubleshooting steps to identify problems with your lawn tractor.

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Check for any fluid leaking under the motor. If it is black and dark, it is motor oil. If it is lighter in color and has a strong odor, it is gas.

Check the oil filter for any leaking oil under the motor. It could be coming from here. If it is, replace the oil filter with one from a Sears store or Sears certified parts store. Installing a filter not approved by Sears voids the warranty and could potentially damage the tractor. If there is oil leaking and it is not from the filter, you will have to dismantle the motor and find the leaking part. It could be any part, such as a cylinder head. The part will have to be ordered.

Locate the gas line, which is a long black rubber tube running from the motor to the fuel tank. If it is leaking, replace it with one from a local automotive or small engine shop. Also, a fuel filter is connected about halfway down the fuel line. It is noticeable by the plastic cap that sticks out from the line. Check the filter for any cracks or clogging. If it looks like it is clogged or cracked, replace it.

Check the tire pressure with a tire pressure gauge. Most Craftsman lawn tractors require pressure between 30 and 35 pounds. Read the owner's manual for the exact pressure as many will vary.

Check that all the cables, such as the throttle cable and brake cable, are connected. They can wiggle loose from years of going up and down hills and going over rough terrain. Use a flathead screwdriver to tighten the cables back into place.