How to Change a Mower Deck Belt

One thing keeps your riding mower's two or three blades rotating: the mower deck belt. With enough use, that belt can fray or snap because its rubber becomes brittle over time. Each mower is different, but generally all have a system of pulleys around which the belt runs and keeps the blades functioning. A deck belt replacement, while not the simplest piece of maintenance, can be done in 20 minutes. It spares the expense of having the mower serviced by a professional.

Things You'll Need

  • Work gloves

  • Replacement mower deck belt

Step 1

Wear work gloves to protect your fingers from being pinched during the belt replacement or installation process. Disengage the deck from the mower and pull it out from beneath the mower so you can have easy access to the deck's top.

Step 2

Locate the belt retainers that hold the belt in place against your mower deck's pulleys. Start at one of the pulleys and pull back the belt retainer while removing the belt from the pulley. Repeat that process for each pulley until you have removed the old belt.

Step 3

Choose a pulley and push the belt retainer back so that you can thread the replacement belt around that pulley. Repeat that process around the other pulleys on the top of the mower deck. Check that the belt retainers are re-engaged once the belt has been positioned against the pulleys.

Step 4

Position the deck beneath the mower and reattach once you have installed the replacement belt. Discard the old belt.


Most mower manufacturers recommend that you buy replacement belts bearing their name because off-brand belts may not function properly.

References & Resources