Exmark Wheel Motor Problems

06 Most Occurred Exmark Wheel Motor Problems with Solutions

Exmark mowers are known for their speed and top-quality work. Their parts are readily available, and repairs happen within a day. Talking of repairs, several wheel motor problems are known to be frequent.

So, what are the common Exmark wheel motor problems? The first and most common Exmark wheel motor problem is a wheel not moving or being jerky. Also, noises come from the motor sometimes when working and a leaking hydraulic fluid is associated with wheel motor problems.

Most wheel motor problems are costly to repair, especially if it includes diagnosis. Read to know various solutions you can try and save some repair money.

6 Common Exmark Wheel Motor Problems with Solutions

The table below covers several common Exmark Mowers wheel motor difficulties and their possible solutions.

ProblemsOur Solutions
Wheel is JerkyReplace the motor, Check and remove twines on the motor
Noise from the motorApply lubrication to all the moving parts on the motor
Leaking hydraulic pumpInvestigate the leaking points and repair
Worn-out wheel bearingReplace the bearing
Loose wheel boltsCreate new bolt threads
Bad wheel motorReplace the wheel motor

The following section explains the points in the table to help you understand better.

Let’s have a look at the detailed solutions to the complications, causes and fix.

1. Jerky Wheel

While a wheel may become sticky for many reasons, a wheel motor is among the culprits. The Exmark wheel motor is built directly into the wheel hubs, and if it has problems can cause jerkiness.

If the wheel motor is clogged, it can cause the wheel to be jerky or sticky. Debris or twines can entangle the motor and interfere with the movements. However, the wheel motor may be damaged and cause this problem.


The solutions include disassembling the sticky wheel to remove the motor and clean it. Follow the steps below;

  • Unscrew and remove the wheel
  • Disconnect the hoses connected to the wheel motor
  • Pull the hub off to have access to the motor
  • Unscrew the connectors that connect the hoses from the wheel motor
  • Using a sharp tool, scrap around the motor wheel where any twins
  • Lubricate the motor
  • Mount it back on the housing

The video below will guide you on how to remove an Exmark vantage wheel motor.

Also, after you disassemble the wheel motor, check and repair any problematic parts. You will need a pulley puller to remove the wheel hub.

You can hire a professional to do the repair and replacement for you. Expect to spend between $1,500 and $2,500 to buy and replace the wheel motor.

2. Noisy Wheel Motor

Squeaking noises are also another reported problem a wheel motor could have. Users with this issue usually have a jerky wheel problem and this appears shortly before it.

The problem is often caused by reduced lubrication on the moving parts of the wheel motor. Without enough lubrication, the metal-to-metal contact may cause this noise.


Lubricate the wheel motor and the wheel hub with compatible grease. Exmark Lithium Grease is the quality grease recommended for Exmark parts like the motor. Follow these steps to lubricate the motor.

  1. Unscrew and remove the wheel
  2. Disconnect the hoses to the wheel
  3. Lubricate the wheel hub and the motor
  4. For better lubrication, disconnect the hub too
  5. Lubricate the wheel motor separately, then install it back
  6. Afterward, screw everything back, and also remember to screw the bolts on the wheels

You can expect to spend $30 and $50 to solve the noise problem. However, if you’re hiring a mechanic, you may have to spend more.

3. Leaking Wheel Motor

Hydraulic oil is crucial in the hydraulic wheel motor as it transmits energy to the wheel. With this great responsibility, any leakages in the system may cause a wheel motor problem.

Leakages can cause problems in the hydraulic system and the pump. The hydro oil can leak from a hairline crack on the cap or hydraulic pipes.


The first step is investigating the source of the leakage and fixing it. The diagnosis can take time, and you may require a professional for more accurate results. Afterward, you can top up the fluid just above the cold fill mark.

It’s best to use Exmark premium hydro oil to top up Exmark’s hydraulic system, as it’s tested and proven. The oil may cost between $15 and $30, depending on where you buy it.

4. Worn-Out Wheel Bearing

Bearing is a crucial part of a wheel as they help minimize friction as the wheel rotates.  If the bearing is worn out, they force the wheel motor to work extra hard, wearing and damaging it.

The reason for bearing wear is driving through deep waters and mud. However, lack of lubrication and poor servicing can also cause wear bearing faster.


Worn out bearing must be replaced from the affected wheel. Replacing the wheel bearing takes time and requires you to know how on vehicle mechanical parts. Therefore, it is best to let a professional do the replacement for you as they also have the required tools.

The cost of replacing the wheel bearing on your Exmark mower is between $150 and $400, but it might vary.

5. Loose Wheel Bolts

Wheel bolts hold the wheel on your Exmark mower in place as it moves. Due to various reasons, like not tightening the wheel enough or tightening too hard, cause surface damage and can make them loose.

When the bolts are loose, the wheel vibrates a lot causing more damage to the threads. Also, on the Exmark mower, these vibrations can work against the wheel motor causing problems.


A loose wheel motor doesn’t need much but just aligning the wheel and tightening the bolts. However, if the threads are already damaged, you may have to fix using a threaded insert kit or a tapping screw.

To fix using a tapping screw, follow the steps below

  1. Buy a compatible tapping screw that fits the wheel with worn-out threads on your Exmark
  2. Using a power tool, insert the screw into the worn-out bolt-hole to create new threads
  3. Remove the screw and wipe the metal shaving left in the bolt hole
  4. Screw the bolts back on

You may also need to diagnose other damages caused to other parts of the wheel.

6. Bad Wheel Motor

Sometimes the wheel motor problems may be because the motor wheel itself is faulty and has gone bad. If the damaged motors are not fixed soon, they can completely fail.

With the motor completely damaged on one wheel, the mower will mostly just rotate in one location.


Solutions involve replacing the faulty wheel motor with a new one. To replace, follow these steps.

  1. First, purchase a compatible wheel motor that fits your kind of Exmark
  2. Unscrew the wheel to access the motor
  3. Place a basin below the mower and detach the hoses that connect to the motor
  4. Using a pulley puller, pull out the wheel hub using a pulley puller and access the wheel motor
  5. Lubricate and insert the new motor
  6. Reattach the wheel hub
  7. Lubricate and reconnect the hoses and the wheel hub
  8. Screw the wheel back on and test the mower by driving around

Diagnosing Wheel Motor Problems in Exmark

To save diagnosis money, you can opt to do the diagnosis yourself. Follow the steps below.

Step 1: Try moving the wheels forward and backward to tell a faulty wheel motor

Step 2: Observe any metal shavings in the hydraulic oil, which can point to a worn-out wheel motor

Step 3: Check for oil leaks on the hoses or near the wheel motor

Step 4: Check and clean debris on the wheel and the motor

Step 5: Remember to bleed the system to remove air and top up the hydro oil after rebuilding the motor. If you skip this step, the problems may remain after cleaning.

Final Words

The wheel motor is a significant part that aids in moving and steering the Exmark mower. Therefore, when it develops a problem, it’s best to fix it immediately. You can use the tips in the article to diagnose the wheel motor problem and provide solutions.

While you can hire a professional to do the repairs, you can also do the repairs and diagnosis part yourself. You can find replacement parts in online stores or local dealers and fit them using the user manual.

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