How to Tighten Drive Belt on Craftsman Riding Lawn Mower – Easy 6 Steps To Follow

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Maintenance of your craftsman riding lawn mower is highly necessary to keep it ongoing for an extended period. Transaxle is an important part of the craftsman lawn mower, and the drive belt is the principal running component for the transaxle. It should be kept in proper condition to have a smooth riding and cutting experience with your craftsman lawn mower.

This drive belt may loosen at any moment, whether you are riding it or have kept it aside. There may be many reasons behind the loosening of the drive belt of the craftsman riding lawn mower. And you will have to deal with that situation by gaining knowledge about how to tighten drive belt on craftsman riding lawn mower.

The Signs When You Will Need to Tighten the Drive Belt of Your Craftsman Lawn Mower

The drive belt is the part that helps to run the lawnmower, and it is one of the most fragile parts of the mower as well. The loose drive belt will lower the engine’s performance, and it may even leave permanent damage to the engine along with the transaxle.

You will understand whether you need to tighten the drive belt or not by seeing some signs, and they are:

  • The riding experience of the lawnmower will not be smooth
  • An ear-killing screeching noise will come out from the engine of your craftsman lawn mower
  • The speed of the lawnmower will slow down gradually while you are cutting grasses on the lawn

The loosened drive belt can cause the lawnmower engine to shut down all of a sudden, even in the mid of your mowing session.

The Reason Why You Need to Tighten the Drive Belt of Your Craftsman Lawn Mower

When you face the loosening problem of the drive belt, you will need to tighten it by following the right path. The reason why you should tighten the drive belt are:

  • To save your lawnmower engine from having permanent damage
  • Tightening the drive belt of the transaxle will enhance the performance of the lawnmower
  • You will get an even cut of the grass from the blade as the drive belt will remain tight 
  • A smooth run in the lawn will be guaranteed because of this tight drive belt of the transaxle of your craftsman lawn mower.

The Step-by-step Process of How to Tighten Drive Belt on Craftsman Riding Lawn Mower

When the drive belt has been loosened, you will have to tighten it properly through the correct step-by-step path, and the processes for that are:

Step-1: Place Selecting and Collecting Necessary Tools

Selection of the place where you will tighten your craftsman lawnmower’s drive belt is much important for the whole procedure. The workplace should be even, and there shouldn’t remain any ups and downs. An even surface will make the drive belt-tightening process a whole lot easier by eliminating instability.

You will need some tools to complete the entire process, and the tools are:

  • Screwdriver – To unscrew the screws from different joints.
  • Wrench  – For unmounting the nuts and bolts from different parts.
  • Lifting Jack  – This tool will help to lift up the mower-body.
  • Cleaning Brush – It will help to wipe the dry-dirt from the deck.
  • Gloves & Sunglass   – For the safety of your eyes and hands.
  • Towel and clean cloth – For clearing the dirt from the mower-body.
  • A mat– To keep the mower body away from the dirty surface.

You will have to collect all these tools before the start of the proceedings.

Step-2: Preparing the Lawn Mower

At first, you will need to put a mat over the surface area you selected. Then place the lawnmower body properly on there, and make sure it is stable. After placing the machine, activate the parking brake, disconnect the spark plug wire, and turn off the ignition switch and the craftsman lawnmower engine.

Put the gloves on your hands and the sunglasses on your eyes. Another necessary thing you will need to do is emptying the gas tank of the mower. Keep a clean cloth beside you to put the needed materials there and tell one or two persons to stay ready for the necessary times.

Step-3: Detaching the Blade and the Deck

The next thing you will have to do is remove the blade and the steel deck from the lawnmower body. Lift-up the mower body by using the lifting jack you kept beside. You can even turn the mower upside down by taking the help of your assistants. With a wrench, turn the mounting bolts of the blade anticlockwise to loosen them.

As you will loosen the mount bolts, the blade will tend to fall on the ground. So, while you unmount, tell someone to hold the blade and put that down safely when the unmounting process completes. In the same way, you will have to unmount the bolts and screws off the deck with a screwdriver and a wrench to disconnect it from the mower body.

Step-4: Cleaning the Deck and the Blade

As you will detach the deck and the blade, you will need to clean them. At first, wipe as much dirt as possible from the steel blade and the deck with the cleaning brush. Then put the steel blade into the soapy water and scrub it using a scrubber. 

The deck should also be scrubbed with soapy water. After rinsing, let the blade and deck dry a bit, and then wipe them both with a clean towel.

Step-5: Tightening the Drive Belt

Locate the transaxle pulley first, and you will see the drive belt there. Detach the screws of the belt to remove it from there, and wipe the dirt with a piece of cloth or a towel. Make sure no dirt is causing the belt’s loosening or making it jammed in the pulley later. 

Then you will have to loop the belt back in its position in the transaxle pulley correctly. Tighten all the mount bolts and screws with the wrench and the screwdriver. Check it several times to make sure the drive belt is tightened enough. Install the flywheel screencap along with the washer and tighten the bolt of the screencap.

Guide the drive belt through the rest of the pulleys carefully, and make sure it is in the accurate route. Then you will have to place the crankshaft pulley, and all your tightening work will be completed.

Step-6: Re-assembling the Parts

Once the tightening work will be done, you will have to put the mower parts back together. Install the deck and the blade, and make sure the mount bolts and screws are tightened firmly.

Then drop down the lifting jack if you used it, or if you turned the mower body upside down, put it back in its actual standing form. Deactivate the parking brake, connect the spark plug wire, turn on the ignition switch and the engine, and the mower will be all set to run again with a tightened drive belt.


Why does the drive belt of my craftsman lawn mower keeps coming off?

The reason behind that is either the drive belt has been damaged or loosened. You will have to tighten the belt or even have to replace it if the belt is partially or entirely damaged.

What is the tightening process of my craftsman lawnmower’s drive belt?

Keep all the necessary tools and materials ready, remove the deck and the blade, and clean them properly. Detach the drive belt, clean and wipe it carefully, and it back on its actual route. Then tighten the mount bolts and screws so that the drive belt doesn’t loosen up easily.


You will find the drive belt near the crankshaft pulley and the transaxle pulley. The drive belt can loosen up from its route, and it is a pretty common thing to happen. But you will have to act smartly to deal with the situation. 

That will only be possible when you will have the knowledge and necessary tools for tightening the drive belt of your craftsman lawn mower. Thus, you will keep the engine safe from permanent damages and prevent it, even from firing up.

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