How Much Do Lawn Mower Belts Stretch? All You Should Know


Having a lawnmower to clean your grass is great, but it may be challenging to maintain this machine. 

You must ensure it can mow grass neatly while you need to know ways to sharpen the blade, fix belts, or do other maintenance. 

How much do lawn mower belts stretch? Let’s click on this article to learn more about mower belt tension!

How Much Do Lawn Mower Belts Stretch?

The mower belt tension depends on the type of your machine. You can’t twist it over a quarter turn with your hands if it has the proper stretch. 

Moreover, you can read the manufacturer’s manual to know these specifications.

The belt may be looser if you turn off your machine and flip the lever to disengage. You should loop 1-2 fingers over it and gently pull it away from the pulleys.

Lawn mower belts may stretch with time or break sometimes. It also causes the belt’s tension on the pulley to weaken, which makes the machine less effective or slower.

Read more: Black+Decker BEMW472BH Lawn Mower review

Lawn Mower Belt

What Happens If Belt Tension Is Too High? 

The belt-driven attachments will experience excessive damage if the tension is excessively high.

Due to the excessive stretching that high tension causes, increased bearing loads may shorten the life of both the belt and the bearings.

While examining the belt tension, it’s essential to look for any tearing or cracks, as these are signs of belt deterioration.

Mower belt wear is simple to spot due to specific telltale indicators, but how can you distinguish between a severely worn and a worn belt?

The best method is to check the belt of your machine visually and look for any signs of whether it requires replacements. 

One indication is whether the belt is glossy and flat with no bump in the area, which goes with the pulley system’s grooves. 

Besides, you may observe cracks. When bending the belt against its natural shape, it often slits open, meaning it cracks and eventually snaps!

Furthermore, you can notice these signs if the belt tension has issues: 

  • Squeaking or squealing noises when your machine is on.
  • Uneven grass cutting
  • The mower occasionally stalls or stops.
  • Excessive shaking of the machine

Is A Lawn Mower Belt Supposed To Be Loose? 

The lawnmower belt shouldn’t be too loose since it may cause potential issues such as damaged bearings. 

Some individuals find it easy to notice a loose deck belt, particularly if they have no experience.

If you are a novice, the following guides may help determine whether the belt is loose. 

  • Squealing noise: The belt is loose if your machine constantly produces a loud squeaking sound as it passes around the numerous pulleys. 
  • Falling off: If insufficient strain keeps your belt going, it may come off continually.
  • Draining the power: A slack belt can’t maintain tension, which slows operation. Thus, when operating, your machine may suddenly slow down.

Yet, a damaged deck can also show signs similar to a loose belt mentioned above.

It’s best to examine the ribs for cracks, the textiles for fading, or the missing pieces to distinguish between them.

Read more: [Top 6] Best Mower For Thick Grass

lawnmower belt shouldn't be too loose

Loose belt issues

Can A Lawn Mower Belt Be Repaired? 

The good news is yes! If your belt has minor cracks, you can get a mower dealership in your region to check your machine and repair it if possible. 

If the problem worsens and you can’t repair your belt, it’s time to replace another one. 

With a new belt, your lawn mower’s drive system will continue to run at peak efficiency.

Before installing a new belt, the technicians will check the pulleys and idlers to ensure these components are in good operating condition. 

These professionals also work to identify the belt’s cause and address any underlying problems that may have existed.

Moreover, they always test the repair after replacement to ensure it is effective. 

Hence, after you notice signs that your belt needs repairing, contact a dealership to get the best solution. 

How Often Do Mower Belts Need To Be Replaced?

Depending on your mower type and frequency, you should replace the belt after 3 – 4 years of usage. 

If you bought the machine from someone else secondhand, inspect it to determine if it needs replacement.

Examining a drive belt visually is the most reliable way to determine if it is worn out or excessively worn and prone to breaking.

A few significant warning indicators are as follows:

  • The belt has no bumps or ridges and is shiny. It indicates that the belt becomes worn and slides inside the pulley’s grooves.
  • The edges of the belt are ripped or cracked. It occurs just before it breaks.
  • The belt is quite slack. When this happens, it won’t function effectively.
  • The belt deflects over 1/2 inch, which means it may ride too far away from the pulley. Thus, the pulley will also be worn out. 

Time to replace the components

Do You Have To Remove Mower Deck To Replace Belt? 

It depends on your machine type. In some models, you can replace the belt without removing the deck, but most varieties require taking this component apart. 

Generally, it’s not too challenging to replace the belt in this machine, even if you are inexperienced. 

Ensure you prepare essential tools before replacing the process. Here are some tips to consider: 

  • Lower the mower’s height as much as you can.
  • Remove the deck’s covers.
  • Remove the worn belt.
  • Locate the idler arm, then take off the surrounding hardware to gain access to the hook.
  • Remove the springs.
  • Reposition the deck to its highest setting.
  • Place the belt on the back idler pulley. Put the belt keeper back in place.
  • Put the belt on the unit’s clutch pulley.
  • Lift the deck and place the idler piece back in place before replacing it.
  • Securely fasten the nut. 
  • Lower the deck as much as you can. 

If you want more tips for replacement, you can watch this video:

Final Thoughts

The lawn mower belts may stretch after a specific time. Depending on usage frequency and your machine type, the tension may vary. 

Typically, these components can last from 3 – 4 years, but it’s best to check for any wear and tear signs to replace them promptly. 

Hopefully, this post will be helpful for you. Thanks for reading!

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