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Do Lawn Mower Belts Stretch? Read Here!

Written by Danica Rojero
Last Updated on April 12, 2022

What You Need to Know about Lawn Mower Belts

People often ask if the belts on lawn mowers stretch. The answer is yes, but how much they stretch depends on many factors.

There's nothing worse than getting ready to mow your lawn and discovering that your lawn mower belt has stretched and broken. This means that you have to go out and buy a new belt, but it also means that you have to spend time replacing the belt.

In this article, we're going to take a look at what causes lawn mower belts to stretch, and we're going to provide you with a few tips on how to prevent this from happening.

Why Do Lawn Mower Belts Stretch?

The answer to this question is pretty simple. Lawn mower belts stretch because they're subjected to continuous mechanical stress. The pulleys that the belt goes around are also subject to mechanical stress.

They do this because they're designed to be used under a load, which means they're under a certain amount of tension. When the lawn mower is used, the belt is subjected to a certain amount of stress. 

The belt will stretch the longer it's used and if it's used under a lot of tension for an extended period. A belt will stretch under a certain point. When the tension becomes too great, the belt will break.

You should always test your lawn mower belt before using it. You don't want to be surprised when your belt breaks.

What is belt stretching?

Belt stretching happens slowly. When a belt stretches, it loses its ability to hold the pulleys together and can create misalignment. If a belt stretches beyond its original length, it can cause the pulleys to rub against one another, causing premature belt wear and an increased chance for belt failures.

There are many ways to repair a belt. Before repairing a belt, make sure you have the proper tools. If possible, replace the belt before trying to repair it.

If the belt is not damaged, you can try to flatten it out and tie the ends together. If the belt is damaged, you will need a belt splicing tool.

With the belt attached to the mower, tighten the belt and tie the ends together. If the belt is damaged beyond repair, you can replace it with a new belt.

What causes the mower deck belt to stretch?

Some of the leading causes of the belt to stretch are:

  • Too much force exerted on the belt. If you mow your yard too hard, your mower deck will exert more force on the belt, which can cause it to stretch.
  • Riding in hot or wet weather. The belt may stretch if you are riding in hot or wet weather. 
  • Using the mower in winter conditions. The belt may stretch if you are riding the mower in winter conditions.
  • The belt is too old. If your belt has been used for a long time, it may have stretched and broken.
  • The belt is in poor condition. If your belt is in poor condition, it may have stretched and broken.
  • The belt is too tight. If the belt is too tight, it may stretch.
  • The belt is too loose. If the belt is too loose, it may stretch.
  • The mower deck is too tall. If your lawn mower deck is too tall, it may cause the belt to stretch. This is because the belt is subjected to higher amounts of tension.
  • The mower deck is too short. If your lawn mower deck is too short, it may cause the belt to stretch. This is because the belt is subjected to lower amounts of tension.

How often should you replace lawn mower belt?

Depending on the type of mower, lawn mower belts can last from 3 to 10 years. You can stretch the belt regularly and have it checked by your dealer, but it's better to replace it before it breaks.

The life of the lawn mower belt varies, depending on how it's used. For example, if your lawn mower has a single-piece belt and uses it frequently, it may only need to last a few months. If you use your lawn mower infrequently, or if you're an inexperienced operator, the belt may last a lot longer.

What should you do if the mower deck belt stretches?

If you notice a stretch in your belt, you should stop the mower immediately and have the dealer adjust the belt or replace the belt.

When is the mower deck belt choking?

If the mower deck belt is choking, it will cause the mower to stop and make loud noises.

What is the best way to check the belt?

The easiest way to check the belt is to drive the mower with the belt in the on position. If the drive wheel doesn't spin, you'll know the belt is in terrible shape.

What is the difference between a drive belt and a deck belt?

A drive belt is used to connect the engine to the mower deck. The deck usually has a pulley that the drive belt slides around.

The mower deck is the area that you use to cut the grass. The deck is usually made up of one or more pulleys that the belt slides around. 

A deck belt is used to connect the engine to the deck. It's usually made of nylon or rubber material. It's the most common type of belt used in mowers.

When the belt bends, it's usually because the pulleys and drive belts are no longer aligned. When this happens, the belt tends to slip.

Do drive belts stretch over time?

Yes. A drive belt stretches and loosens over time. If the drive belt is not replaced, the wear will eventually cause the belt to lose grip on the pulley system.

How long should a drive belt last?

The drive belt should last a minimum of 4 hours of operation before being replaced.

Can mower belts be repaired?

Yes, however, it could be a costly repair. We highly recommend contacting your local mower dealer for service if you notice that your mower deck belt is stretching.

Can mower deck belts be repaired?

Yes, mower deck belts can be replaced. Contact your local lawnmower dealer for more information on how to do this.

Can mower belts be heavy ridden?

Yes, you can ride a mower with a drive belt.

How much does it cost to replace a drive belt?

The cost of a replacement belt on a riding lawn mower varies based on the type of mower and the brand. On a standard riding mower, the drive belt costs about $65.00 to $75.00. On a zero-turn mower, the drive belt may cost more. Check with your dealer to determine the costs.

Are drive belts cheaper than pulleys?

Yes, drive belts are cheaper than pulleys. For example, a replacement belt on a standard riding mower with a standard pulley will cost about $45.00 to $55.00. On a zero-turn mower, the drive belt may cost about $75.00 to $100.00. Check with your dealer to determine the costs.

How do I Find the Belt on my Lawn Mower?

  1. To find the belt, loosen the tensioner screw on the back of the motor.
  2. Turn the belt counterclockwise and pull it out of the pulley.
  3. Lay the belt out flat on the ground and hold the belt in place with a screwdriver.

Check the belt for cuts, fraying, loose threads, etc.

Are mower belts Universal?

Yes. Most lawn tractors use the same belt tensioner type. The belts are the same width, and the tensioners are the same.

Can I upgrade my drive belt tensioner?

Some lawn tractors come with a belt tensioner that is already installed. Don't pay extra for a new belt tensioner if you have an older model lawn tractor. A new belt tensioner will not improve the performance of the belt.

How to change a drive belt tensioner?

This is the easiest way to change a belt most of the time, and it is also the cheapest. If you have an older model, you may need to remove the mower deck. It may be hard to locate the right tools, and you will need a lot of patience, but it is well worth the effort.

How much tension should a mower deck belt have?

There is no specific tension recommended for lawn mower deck belts. However, it is recommended to use one that is not too tight or too loose. Generally, the belt should be snug but not tight to prevent slipping. Loose belts can cause slipping when the mower is in motion, and belts can wear out after a few years of use.

If you do not have a belt tensioner, you can look for signs of a belt that has lost tension. The belt should be tight but not overly tight, and the teeth should be closely spaced. The teeth should be evenly spaced, and no teeth should be missing or broken.

Last words

Keeping regular maintenance on your lawn mower belts are a great way to ensure you don't have to worry about your lawn mower stopping in the middle of a mow. However, it's a good idea to change them regularly.

About the author
Written by Danica Rojero
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