How to Know if Mower Spindle is Bad- 4 Signs

A lawn mower is made of many parts, including a spindle. These components must be in good order for the mower to function effectively. However, most parts keep improving with technology, but others never change, such as the spindle.

If the spindle is bad, your lawn mower will not function. That’s because the spindle holds the blades. These blades are designed to give you an even cut for your yard to look spectacular. Therefore, you should know how to spot the difference and tell where things went bad after the spindle goes out.

It is easy to tell whether the mower speed is bad. You start to experience vibration, squealing and uneven cuts. The moment you experience such signs, you must check whether the spindle is bad and requires changing.

How to Know if Mower Spindle is Bad

If you are familiar with the mechanical parts of a lawn mower, then you know what a spindle is. Again, you may also be aware of what will happen after it goes bad. The part is essential and responsible for spinning blades. 

When taking maintenance practices, this is one of the parts to include in the list. It requires frequent checking and greasing.

The mower will have the same number of spindles depending on the number of blades. And therefore, with a problem with the spindle, the mower blades malfunction.

If you’re looking for ways to know whether a mower spindle is bad, read on:

Signs of a Bad Mower Spindle

Most mechanical parts give you a warning sign before breaking entirely. When you see part of these signs in your lawn mower, you need to change your spindle and prevent further damage immediately.

A bad mower spindle may cause many damages to the blades, deck, and even the lawn. Consider these signs to determine a bad spindle:

1. Uneven Cuts

The moment you find the lawn mower cutting unevenly, it could be a problem with the spindle. This is one of the problems easy to notice. After the spindle in the mower goes off the axis, it makes one blade not move evenly with the others. That damages the lawn with uneven cuts.

Remember that it will take months to repair those damages, particularly when the blade cuts the ground. The grass will either be killed or burned after its uprooted.

bent spindle on mower deck

2. Squealing Noise

Those spindles attached to the riding mower will be larger than those on other mowers. Some mowers have two or more spindles, which in return experience squealing noise with a bad spindle.

In addition, there will be wear and tear on mowers bearings, or even broken spindle, thus, needing replacement.

Ride-on mowers for striping

3. Vibration and Buzzing Noises

The other way of determining a bad mower spindle is experiencing vibrations and buzzing sounds. These sounds are only expected with a bad spindle. Buzzing noises will happen before vibrations.

When you experience vibrations, they occur because of the deck; and it will shake the entire lawn mower with such force.

If you are troubleshooting the problem, start by changing the frozen wheel first. After realizing that buzzing or vibration continues, change the mower spindle.

4. Bent or Broken Parts

Sometimes, a bad spindle will be visible after the spindle is bent or broken. After reaching the depth, the mower blade will hit other blades or stop. If the blade hits the deck, it may cut through it after hitting it many times.

You can hear loud cracking noises that are impossible not to hear. After seeing uneven grass and some parts falling, that means the spindle is bad.

Signs that you need to sharpen mower blade

Replacing a Mower Spindle

Now that you have checked the signs of a bad mower, you have decided to replace the spindle. Before that, there are tools you need for a DIY project. they include:

  • Safety glasses
  • Jack stand or concrete blocks
  • Hydraulic jack
  • Deep socket wrench set
  • Screwdriver
  • Work gloves
  • New spindle

If you want to replace the spindle, here are the steps to follow:

Kawasaki lawn mower engine oil

1. Park the Mower

Search for a flat ground place to park the lawn mower. It should be dry to allow you to work underneath the deck.

2. Prepare the Mower

Prepare the mower by allowing it to cool down after operation. Engage the parking brake and remove the key from the ignition. Underneath the tires, place blocks to prevent it from rolling back.

Remove the spark plug and drop the deck. With working gloves on, jack up the power.

Also read: How to tell if a mower spark plug is bad

3. Remove the Blade & Spindle

Start by removing the blade and then the spindle. The blade always comes first for you to access the spindle. Take precautions with the spindle not to fall on you. Remember to put your safety glasses on because there will be falling debris.

4. Replace Bearings

If you find the spindle in good condition, the bearings may have a problem. Replace them, but that’s not always the situation.

5. Change the Spindle

Once you have removed the worn-out spindle, put the new spindle back to the shaft. Push it up until it reaches the base of the deck.

Once done, put everything back to normal. You have now changed the simple, and the lawn mower is ready to test.

FAQ: How to Know If Mower Spindle Is Bad

What will a mower spindle do?

With a riding lawn mower, the spindle is used to hold the mower blades. The blades are attached to the spindle and rotate while the machine is operating.

Each riding mower will have one or more spindles – depending on the size of the mower and manufacturer.

How do I know a bad mower spindle?

A mower will make buzzing noises when it has a bad spindle. That may not be the only way to know a bad mower spindle. Other methods include uneven grass and vibrations.

How often should I grease my lawn mower spindles?

Generally, the caster wheels and spindles are mostly greased. You have to grease once a month not to damage the moving interior parts.

If the mower is for commercial use, grease it every day, but depending on usage.

Commercial lawn aerators

If you are looking at how to know if mower spindle is bad, we have shared it all.

Check through the article to know how you can identify a bad spindle.

However, the common ways include squealing, uneven cuts, and vibration.


  • Ricky

    Hi, I’m Ricky. I’ve been involved in lawn care and landscaping from when I was 15. To be honest, I didn’t like the idea of pushing mowers, collecting grass clippings, and maintaining flowerbeds at the time. But having seem the passion my parents had for gardening and outdoors and the effort they put in maintaining the health and beauty of our landscape, I couldn’t help but not only admire their hard work but also I became a part of it. As someone who loves to spend time with nature’s best, I find myself learning a lot more about gardening and outdoors on a daily basis. Not to mention I love to share the knowledge I’ve gathered over the years with my readers at We Mow Dallas. To be clear, I don’t have a Master’s degree in gardening or anything like that. Everything I’ve learned about gardening, landscaping, and lawn care spring from passion and engagement with my parents. And with a ton of free information out there, plus the ability to run tests and determine what works best for lawn care and landscaping, every day is an opportunity to learn and implement something new. My goal with We Mow Dallas is to teach you exactly how to maintain your lawn and landscape. And since I walk the talk in reality, you shouldn’t hesitate to join me in this wonderful world of landscaping and lawn care. K Beatrice

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