How to Tighten Belt on Ariens Lawn Mower

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There’s nothing more frustrating than a mower that won’t move or blades that aren’t cutting. Sometimes the solution is as easy as tightening one of the reinforced rubber belts that help keep your mower running. Find out more about the two belts on every mower, when they should be tightened, and the steps you need to take.

This article will explain and help you how to tighten belt on ariens lawn mower.

What Are the Belts on an Ariens Lawn Mower?

Ariens lawn mowers are some of the best mowers on the market, and they have two belts, a drive belt and a deck belt.

Man fixing his lawn mower

Drive Belt

The drive belt connects the transmission to the driveshaft and transfers the power needed for wheels to turn. A second belt connects to the crankshaft and turns the mower blades.

To move freely and provide power transfer, the belts must be intact and in good condition. When a belt stretches or starts to break, it won’t move properly around the pulleys and your mower will stop moving. The problems are likely to be intermittent at first, and get worse as the belt deteriorates and eventually snaps.

Deck Belt

The deck belt is responsible for turning the crankshaft that rotates the blade. Without this belt, the blades of your mower can’t turn, and no grass is going to get cut. If the blade is damaged or elongated, the cutting problems may be intermittent, leaving you with a patchy, uneven lawn.

When Should I Tighten the Belt on My Ariens Lawn Mower?

Once a belt is starting to deteriorate, it’s generally a matter of time before you need to replace it entirely.
You can sometimes put off a full replacement by tightening either the drive belt or the deck belt.

To test whether or not you need to tighten your deck belt, turn the mower on, maneuver it to uncut grass, and disengage the blades of your mower. Then, turn your throttle all the way up and lower the blades. You should hear cutting immediately.

If you don’t hear cutting sounds right away, that’s a sign you need to adjust the tension of your deck belt.

If the mower occasionally stops moving forward or refuses to move backward, that’s a sign that your drive belt might benefit from being tightened.

Tightening the Belts on Riding Ariens Lawn Mower

The belt location, belt route, and spring location differ from one model of Ariens lawn mower to another. Creating further confusion is the different configurations of riding and walk-behind mowers. Use this guide for a general overview, and consult the user manual for your specific machine before attempting any repairs.

Worker fixing the lawn mower
  1. Take precautions. Turn off the motor and allow it to cool completely. Remove the spark plug or disconnect the sparking wire, preventing the lawn mower from starting up accidentally. If you have a riding mower, place it in park and disengage the blades. Remove the key.
  2. Check the belt. Locate the appropriate belt and check it for damage, including nicks or partial cuts that lengthen the belt. Review the condition of the belt — is it hard and brittle or does it feel strong and supple.

In order to see the deck belt on a riding mower, you will need to remove the belt covers. In order to see the drive belt, you need to get underneath the mower or tilt the mower to a 45-degree angle, keeping the air filter facing up.

  1. Locate and check the spring. Each belt on a lawnmower is kept in position thanks to spring. On the drive belt, the spring is connected to the transmission. The location of the deck belt spring varies depending on the machine.

If the spring is damaged or stretched out, it may need to be replaced. If there is no damage, you can adjust the bracket that holds the spring to increase the tension on the belt.

  1. Adjust the tensioning spring bracket. Loosen the bolts that hold the spring in place. Tighten the spring by pulling back on the wire, then retighten the bolts. Reassemble the lawnmower.
  2. Monitor performance. If you’re lucky, re-tensioning the blade has solved your problem and the mower is now moving and cutting flawlessly. If the belt slips again, it’s probably time to replace it.

Related: Learn how to tell if a riding mower engine has seized up.


Ariens lawn mowers have two belts; a drive belt and a deck belt. When either belt is loose, the performance of the lawnmower is affected. Locate and tighten the springs that put tension on the belts to rule out belt slippage as the cause of your problem.