6 Common Bad Boy Mower Steering Problems

bad boy mower steering problems

If you’ve invested in a Bad Boy zero-turn mower, you will find that these tough and rugged machines are sturdy and keep your lawn looking great after every mow. However, like all things mechanical, owners will experience specific issues from time to time. 

Some owners will experience steering problems with their Bad Boy mower during its lifespan. Most of these are caused by worn or damaged parts and are easily fixed if you know how. However, one of the most important things to remember is that your mower does need regular maintenance to keep it in tip-top shape.

Let’s delve into the most common steering problems that owners can experience.

1. Damaged Or Broken Gears In The Steering System

Let’s face it when you use your mower regularly, parts can become worn or broken. The gears in your steering system are no exception. Especially if you accidentally run over something hard, like a brick or large rock, or hit the curb a few times.


  • Be aware of any obstacles in your yard and try to remove large rocks or broken bricks before you start mowing.
  • Take care to not run over a curb, especially when traveling at speed.
  • If the steering seems off, check the gears to see if they’re damaged or broken.
  • Make sure that the mower is turned off and parked on a flat surface before looking at the steering.
  • It’s also a good idea to disconnect the spark plug cable before you start examining the gears in the steering.
  • Replace any damaged gears and also replace the bushings that are situated underneath the gears.

2. Worn Steering Shaft

Once again, the steering shaft in your Bad Boy mower can eventually wear out after many hours of use. 


  • Park the mower on flat ground, turn off the engine and disconnect the cable to the spark plugs.
  • Examining the steering shaft to see whether you can identify any damage or signs of wear and tear.
  • Replace the steering shaft if necessary or take the mower to a qualified mechanic to do the job for you.

3. The Ball Joint Becomes Dislodged

If you accidentally hit a hard object while you’re happily mowing your yard, you might dislodge the ball joint in the steering.


  • Park the lawnmower on a flat surface, turn the engine off, and disconnect the spark plug cable.
  • Take a closer look at the ball joint to determine whether it’s become dislodged.
  • If the joint is dislodged, loosen the bolts that hold it in place.
  • Snap the ball joint back into its correct position and re-tighten the bolts.
  • Turn the steering wheel to one side and the other to ensure that the wheels are responding in the way that they should.

4. Steering Issues Due To Incorrect Tire Pressures

Just like in a car, the tire pressures can affect your steering. Tires that are too low in pressure will make steering your mower extremely difficult.


  • First, check the owner’s manual to determine the correct tire pressures for your particular model.
  • Check the pressure in the tires and adjust accordingly.

You should find the mower much easier to steer once you have the tire pressures correct.

5. Loose Or Unresponsive Steering Caused By a Broken Tie Rod

If the wheels don’t turn when you turn the steering wheels or your steering feels abnormally loose, you might have a broken tie rod.


  • Check the owner’s manual to help identify the tie rod if you’re unfamiliar with it.
  • Check to see if the tie rod is broken, worn or damaged.
  • Replace the tie rod if necessary or take the mower to a qualified mechanic if you’re unsure of how to fix it.

6. Loose Or Wobbly Steering Caused By Other Worn Parts

There are a variety of parts on your zero-turn mower that can wear out over time and result in steering problems.

For example, loose steering can be caused by a broken front axle. Therefore, if the front wheels are pointing slightly outward, you should replace the front axle.

Similarly, worn wheel spindles can cause your front wheels to wobble. This will definitely affect the steering of your mower. Replace these as soon as you notice the issue. Once again, consult the owner’s manual if you need help determining what you’re looking for.

How Can You Adjust The Steering On Your Bad Boy Zero Turn Mower?

Adjusting the steering on your Bad Boy mower is not all that difficult when you know how. Here is a step-by-step guide on what to do:

  • Make sure the mower is parked up and turned off, now detach the spark plug cable.
  • Using a socket wrench, loosen the three bolts that hold the left and right control arms in place.
  • Once you’ve loosened the bolts, move each of the steering arms from right to left.
  • Re-position the steering arms to where they should be and tighten the bolts at the base of each arm.
  • Move the steering arms from front to back until they’re in the correct position.
  • Tighten the remaining two bolts on each arm.
  • Sit in the driver’s seat and ensure that the steering arms are positioned correctly.
  • If not, repeat the process until the steering arms are positioned just right.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the steering hard on my mower?

This could be caused by worn bushings along the steering shaft. There could also be debris lodged between the shaft and the steering arms. 

Can I lubricate my steering wheel?

If you’re steering seems quite tricky, and you’ve checked that there are no damaged or broken parts that need to be replaced, lubricating the steering shaft may help to loosen up your steering.

What kind of hydraulic fluid does a Bad Boy mower use?

If your Bad Boy mower has a hydraulic system, it’s recommended that you use Bad Boy Hydrostatic oil.

Final Thoughts

If you’re experiencing steering issues with your Bad Boy zero-turn mower, it’s most likely that you have a worn or damaged part in your steering system. Additionally, it’s important to check your tire pressure because low pressure in the tires can make it difficult to steer your mower.