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Why Will a Snapper Lawnmower Not Move?

Your grass is getting a little too tall, and the lawn is in need of a manicure. But when you power up your Snapper lawnmower, you can’t get it to move forward. Your riding or self-propelled Snapper mower isn’t much use if it will only mow in one spot, so you need to figure out how to make it perform correctly. The reasons why your mower won’t move can range from the very simple to serious mechanical problems.

In Gear

If your mower started up normally and everything seems to be in working order except the fact that it won’t move, try checking the position of the gear shifter. Make sure your Snapper is in the proper gear and not in neutral. Unless the gears are engaged completely, the mower isn’t likely to move forward. You can also check the speed setting to make sure you are giving it enough power to mow, particularly if you are facing uphill. It seems like a simple user error, but it is a real possibility.

Parking Brake

Even if you have your mower in gear and have the throttle up, it may not move if you have the parking brake engaged. Check the parking brake’s position and be sure it is completely disengaged so that the mower can roll forward. This safety device can be very effective in most scenarios, but it could be your problem in this one.

Hydraulic Pump Belt

Your Snapper riding mower uses a belt-driven hydraulic pump to operate. If the belt on the hydraulic system is broken or excessively worn, the mower will not move. Check the belt for wear or breaks and replace it if necessary. The hydraulic system should also have fluid in it. If it is dry, it could also prevent the mower from functioning properly.

Bypass Valve

The bypass valve on your Snapper mower should be closed at all times. This valve allows the mower to be pushed manually when the engine is off. If the valve is left in the open position, it will not allow the gears to engage and drive the mower forward.

Linkage Problems

In self-propelled push mowers there is a linkage that causes the wheels to turn. A hook at the end of the linkage attached to the cable can sometimes come unhooked, and this will prevent the self-propulsion system from working. This linkage will have to be reattached to make the mower move on its own.


If the wheels on the front of your self-propelled Snapper mower become worn out, they may lose their tread and simply spin in the grass. This lack of gripping power may be enough to prevent the wheels from pulling the weight of the mower, making it sit motionless with its wheels spinning.

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