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Question DetailsAsked on 4/28/2016

my john deere LX172 wont go into gear

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2 Answers


Does the gear selector move into gear and the tractor does not move or does the selector not move?

Answered 4 years ago by Tsully


Don't know the details about the transmission type you have and all, and your owner's manual should have a troubleshooting guide in the back (I was not able to get it to open on their website, sorry), but common causes of transmission failing or refusing to got into gear (or appearing to) or not going when in gear:

0) with many brands, brake has to be on to shift into gear from park/neutral

1) if won't go into gear (you can't move the lever), many models (especially automatic/hydrostatic transmissions) have an idle speed interlock that will not let you put it into gear if the idle speed is to high

2) ditto to above, but with respect to the PTO/mower blade being engaged when shifting into gear from neutral/park - most (or maybe all) require those be disengaged when starting the engine, and commonly when shifting out of neutral/park.

3) if hydrostatic transmission, might actually be sliding into gear but not go anwhere if your transmission fluid level is too low

4) clutch not disengaging, if has mechanical clutch - a mechanical clutch can fail to disengage if the linkage loses a clevis pin or nut and comes apart, so you push on the clutch pedal but the clutch does not actually move - typically the pedal would be loose (easily moved up and down) and you would feel no resistance when pushing down

5) clutch not disengaging - if a fluid assist (hydraulic) clutch, inadequate hydraulic fluid level will cause it to not engage

6) clutch not disengaging - if it has sat for quite a few months (especially if outdoors), sometimes the clutch facing will get rusted to the flywheel and not release even though the release bearing is pulling back - so it stays engaged and does not allow shifting. If this is the problem, commonly you can shift with the engine off (with a bit of jiggling of the shifter) but not when running - or when trying to shift while running you will be grinding teeth (grind a few pounds for me).

7) if your transmission has a synchronizer (gears are syncronized so they all spin at right speed for shifting) then if that fails you have to clutch or double-clutch when shifting gears to get gear shifting without grinding a pound

8) if your unit has a seat safety switch, I am not sure on current regs but used to be if you got off the seat on many/most models the engine cut out and would not start. I know some models will idle without anyone in the seat - perhaps there is a lockout switch that requires you to be in the seat (and switch sensing that) to allow you to shift.

9) broken or loose drive belt, if belt driven

10) if the mower or PTO is engaged and stuck or jammed (like mower mounted and on a ridge of earth jamming it or chunk of wood stuck in it or such) then the transmission might be locked in place by that and unable to synchronize for shifting

11) stick, branch, rock, etc jammed in linkage or shifter slot so it cannot move

If all else fails and you can't find your manual, then sounds like buying on online or Amazon or from JD dealer or JD website, or calling a Lawn Mower and Power Tool place (your Search the List category). Or contact your local JD small equipment shop, or maybe try calling the JD home tractor hotline or by eMail - contact info for home and construction equipment here -

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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