Cub Cadet XT1 Problems (Compiled with Solution)

The Cub Cadet XT1 series of lawnmowers is now popular as a resourceful tool to maintain lawns. But they also can have glitches.

Some of the problems are critical enough to make the mower useless. Do you want to know all the Cub Cadet XT1 problems?

Cub Cadet XT1 mowers’ engine, starter motor, blades, and transmission can have problems. The engine gets overheated, backfires, and has fewer sparks from time to time. Sometimes, they don’t move or turn. Often the blades don’t cut grass evenly or don’t engage properly.  

This article helps resolve all the common problems of Cub Cadet XT1 lawnmowers. You will know their reasons and how to resolve the problems effectively.

Cub Cadet XT1 Engine Problems

Problem Reason Solution
Overheating Clogged radiator, lack of coolant fluid, malfunctioning thermostat, overload Clean the radiator, and troubleshoot the thermostat.
Backfires Bent intake or exhaust valve, Clogged air filter, faulty spark plug or fuel pump Clean the air filter, and fix or replace the spark plug, fuel pump.
Not Enough Sparks Faulty ignition coil, or spark plug Troubleshoot the ignition coil and spark plug.
Poor Power Generation Clogged air filter, faulty fuel pump, or carburetor Clean the air filter, and troubleshoot the fuel pump and carburetor.

Problem 1: Engine Overheating

An overheated engine can make the mower catch fire. So, you cannot operate the Cub Cadet XT1 if the engine is overheated. Reasons for the overheating include:

  • Lack of coolant fluid
  • Clogged radiators 
  • Faulty thermostat 

The engine cabin temperature should be between 390° and 480° Fahrenheit. The coolant fluids move around the engine cylinders to keep the engine cool. So, a lack of coolant fluids will make your XT1 engine hot.

The coolant fluid flows through the radiator and calms down the engine. If the radiator gets clogged, the coolant fluid will not be able to reach the engine to cool it. 

A thermostat in the engine helps the cooling system determine when to release the cooling agent. If the thermostat becomes faulty, the cooling agent will not flow when the engine is hot.

Putting more load on the engine than it can bear can also make the engine hot.


To fix the engine overheating problem check the coolant fluid reservoir. You will find it next to the engine. The required level of coolant agent is indicated in the body of the reservoir. Top-up coolant fluid if necessary. 

Unclog the radiator if there is dirt in it. Remove any dirt from the radiator by flushing it out with a hose or pressure washer. 

Remove the thermostat housing and inspect the thermostat for any visible damage. If the thermostat is damaged, you will need to replace it.

Troubleshoot the thermostat following this video:

Problem 2: Backfires

Some Cub Cadet XT1 mowers experience backfires. When combustions happen outside the engineer cylinder it is called an engine backfire. The possible reasons for this problem are:

  • Bent intake or exhaust valves
  • Mistimed sparks
  • Wrong air-fuel ratio 

An engine backfire may occur due to bent intake or exhaust valves. The air-fuel mixture comes out from the cylinder if the valves are bent. As a result, the combustion occurs outside the cylinder.

Mistimed sparks fail to ignite the air-fuel mixture inside the fuel. As a result, the mixture comes out of the cylinder and burns outside the cylinder.

A high and low fuel in the air-fuel mixture are called rich and lean mixture respectively. A rich mixture doesn’t completely burn when valves are closed.

The burning process of a lean mixture is delayed. In both cases, combustion spreads outside the cylinder.


Check the exhaust valves. Change them with new ones if they are bent or cannot seal the combustion chamber properly.

Use this tutorial video to calculate the air-fuel mixture ratio of your Cub Cadet XT1.

Troubleshoot the air filter, spark plugs, and fuel pump if the air-fuel mixture is rich or lean.

Problem 3: Not Enough Sparks

A faulty ignition coil or spark plug can cause a lack of enough sparks in the engine. If the ignition coil is not functioning properly, you’ll need to replace it. Another reason for this problem is a faulty spark plug.


Check the ignition coil first. Remove it from the engine and test it with an ignition coil tester. If the ignition coil is in good condition, you’ll need to check the spark plug next.

Remove the spark plug from the engine and inspect it for any visible damage. Then test the spark plug with a multimeter using the following steps:

  • Keep the spark plug on a solid surface.
  • Put the leads of both the multimeter cables on different ends of the spark plug.
  • If the ohm reading is between 5 to 15, the spark plug is okay.

Change the spark plug if the ohm reading is not in the safe range.

Problem 4: Poor Power Generation

Your Cub Cadet XT1 engine can produce less than expected power if the air filter is dirty. Or the fuel injectors can be problematic.

An engine needs the right amount of air and fuel to produce power. Lack of supply of any of these inputs can decrease the engine performance.

A clogged air filter can deprive the engine of the right amount of air by hindering airflow. On the other hand, a faulty fuel injector denies the engine the right fuel amount. 


Be sure about exactly how much power the engine is producing. You need to schedule a dynamometer test of the engine for that.

This video will help you read the dynamometer report:

If you find the engine to underperform, troubleshoot the air filter and the fuel injector. 

Cub Cadet XT1 Starter Problems

The Cub Cadet XT1 lawnmowers can have problems with the starter too. Here are some common starter problems with their reasons and solutions. 

Problem Reason Solution
Mower Doesn’t Start Faulty starter motor, bad ignition switch, dead battery Troubleshoot the starter motor, ignition switch, and battery.
Mower Clicks But Won’t Start Bad faulty solenoid or starter motor Troubleshoot starter solenoid and starter motor.

Problem 1: Mower Doesn’t Start

The Cub Cadet XT1 may not start for the following reasons:

  • A faulty starter
  • Dead battery
  • Bad ignition switch 

The starting process starts with the ignition switch when you turn the engine key. At that moment, the starter motor is turned on using power from the battery. A part of the starter is connected to the flywheel of the engine. 

Then the starter motor accelerates the engine rotation until the engine can run on its own. The engine cannot start with any problem with the ignition switch, the battery, or the starter.


If your Cub Cadet XT1 has a starting problem. Do the following. 

  • Check the starter motor. If the starter motor is not functioning properly, you’ll need to replace it. 
  • If the starter motor is in good condition, you’ll need to check the battery next. To check the battery, you’ll need to use a multimeter to test the battery’s voltage. If the battery voltage is below 12.4 volts, it is likely dead and will need to be charged or replaced. 
  • If the battery is in good condition, you’ll need to check the ignition switch next. To check the ignition switch, you’ll need to test it with a multimeter. If the ignition switch is not functioning properly, you’ll need to replace it.

Problem 2: Mower Clicks But Won’t Start

If the XT1 clicks but doesn’t start, check the starter solenoid and motor for a problem. A malfunctioning solenoid can prevent the starter motor from engaging.

A malfunctioning starter motor can also cause the XT1 to click but not start. 


Check the starter motor. If the starter motor is not functioning properly, you’ll need to replace it.

Troubleshoot the starter solenoid if the starter motor is okay. If the starter solenoid is not functioning properly, you’ll need to replace it. 

Cub Cadet XT1 Blade Problems

Another common issue that XT1 owners may encounter is problems with the blades. Sometimes the blades don’t rotate. Sometimes, they cut grass unevenly. 

Problem Reason Solution
Malfunctioning Blades Faulty engine belt, bad blades Troubleshoot the engine belt and the blades.
Cutting Uneven Dull blades, uneven terrain, wrong blade height Sharpen the blades, level the terrain, and adjust the blade height.
Blades Won’t Engage A problem with the blade control lever, or in the power takeoff clutch Troubleshoot the blade control lever and the power takeoff clutch.

Problem 1: Malfunctioning Blades

If the blades on your XT1 aren’t rotating, check the engine belt and the blades. If the blade is broken or damaged, it can also prevent the blades from rotating. 


Try the following measures to fix malfunctioning blades:

  • Check the belt first. Change the belt if it is worn out or damaged. 
  • If the belt is in good condition, check the blades. Align the blades properly. Change the blades if they are broken. 

Problem 2: Cutting Uneven

If the XT1 is cutting unevenly, it could be due to:

  • If the blades are dull, they won’t cut evenly.
  • If the terrain is uneven, it can cause the XT1 to cut unevenly
  • If the blade height is not set properly, it can also cause the XT1 to cut unevenly.


Take the following measures to fix the problem of uneven grass cutting:

  • Check the blades first. Sharpen or replace the blades if needed. 
  • Inspect the terrain. Level the terrain as much as possible. 
  • Check the blade height adjustment. To fix this issue, you’ll need to adjust the blade height to the appropriate setting.

Problem 3: Blades Won’t Engage

If the blades on your XT1 won’t engage, the reason could be a problematic blade control lever. Another possible reason is a faulty power takeoff clutch. 


Take the following measures to fix the problem of disengaged blades:

  • Check the blade control lever first. Repair or replace it as needed. 
  • Check the PTO. Fix or replace the PTO clutch if necessary.

The red arrow in the image shows the PTO lever and the green arrow shows the blade control lever.

Cub Cadet XT1 Blades Won't Engage
Source: YouTube

Cub Cadet XT1 Gear and Steering Problems

Sometimes, The Cub Cadet XT1 mowers face problems with the gearbox and steering. Then the mower doesn’t move at all or can’t turn.

Problem Reason Solution
Mower Doesn’t Move A problem in the transmission or drive belt Troubleshoot the gearbox and drive belt.
Mower Won’t Turn Dead battery, faulty starter motor, bad ignition switch Change the battery, troubleshoot the starter motor and ignition switch.

Problem 1: Mower Doesn’t Move

The engine of the Cub Cadet XT1 sometimes starts but the mower doesn’t move at all. It may happen for the following reasons:

  • Transmission problem 
  • Drive belt problem


  • Check the transmission first. Remove the transmission cover and inspect it for any visible damage. Check the transmission following this video if there is no visible damage.
  • If the transmission is damaged, you’ll need to repair or replace it. 
  • If the transmission is in good condition, check the drive belt. To check the drive belt, remove it from the engine and inspect it for any visible damage. If the drive belt is damaged, replace it. Use this youtube video to replace the drive belt.

Problem 2: Mower Won’t Turn

If the XT1 isn’t turning over, it could be due to the following reasons:

  • Dead battery
  • Faulty starter motor
  • Problem with the ignition switch

Turning over is the process of a vehicle to start producing power in the engine. Vehicles need power from the battery to complete the process. So, dead batteries are a common reason for the mower to not turn over. 

Another common reason for the problem is a faulty starter motor. The starter motor is attached to the engine. They make the crankshaft rotate in the initial phase. So, a faulty starter motor will also hinder turning over. 

Finally, if there is a problem with the ignition switch the mower won’t turn over. The turning-over process begins when you turn on the ignition switch. And any fault in this section will stop the turning-over process.


Follow these steps to resolve the problem:

  • Check the battery using a multimeter to see if it is dead or not. If the battery voltage is below 12.4 volts, it’s likely dead and you should charge or replace it. 
  • Check the starter motor. If the starter motor is not functioning properly, you’ll need to replace it. 
  • If the starter motor is in good condition, check the ignition switch. Use the following video to check the ignition switch.

 Replace the ignition switch if it is a faulty one. 


Was this article helpful to know all the Cub Cadet XT1 problems? I hope it was.

Knowing all these problems and their solutions will make you prepared for any emergency you may face with the mower. However, proper maintenance of the mower will let you experience very few of these problems.

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