9 Cub Cadet XT1 Problems and Quick Fixes

Cub Cadet XT1 Problems

Cub Cadet makes some of the best lawn tractors with practical attachments for maximum convenience and productivity.

Unfortunately, all machines have issues, and Cub Cadet lawnmower tractors aren’t different. This guide explains common Cub Cadet XT1 Problems and fixes.

What’s Cub Cadet XT1?

Cub Cadet XT1 mowers, also popular as Cub Cadet Riding Mower systems, are electric mowers with a hydrostatic transmission system.

The Kohler engine-powered lawn mowers are specially designed to mow grass with ease in dry and wet weather.

Specifically, the XT1 LT50 FAB is a 24 hp 7000 Series twin-cylinder engine mower with a 50-inch fabricated, 11-gauge deck. The triple-blade AeroForce deck design enables the famous Cub Cadet Signature Cut.

Moreover, the steering wheel system is optimized for responsive handling and offers a 16-inch turning radius.

Buyers get a 3-year no-hour-limit comprehensive warranty that covers the whole tractor, including the powertrain. Additionally, you get a 5-year chassis and front-axle warranty.

Top 9 Cub Cadet XT1 Problems and Fixes

The following are the nine most common Cub Cadet XT1 LT50 FAB mower tractor issues and solutions.

Problem #1: Cub Cadet XT1 Starting Problems

Cub Cadet XT1 tractors can fail to start for several reasons. Perhaps the engine is not getting fuel. Or maybe it’s getting the wrong fuel.

The tractor may also fail due to spark plug issues or failed electrical components. Here’s how to diagnose the issue;

1. Fuel system issues

Begin by checking whether the fuel tank has enough juice. If not, replenish the tank. If the problem persists, check the air filter and replace it if it’s clogged.

Finally, inspect the tank for leaks and repair it appropriately.

2. Ignition system failure

A bad spark plug is the most common cause of ignition system failure. Is the spark plug dirty? Is it broken? Clean it and replace it if broken.

Also, check for a dirty fuel filter and replace it accordingly.

Other issues

The XT1 Cub Cadet may also fail due to a dirty carburetor, blocked fuel lines, a bad safety switch, or a bad ignition switch. You may need to call a professional mechanic to troubleshoot some of these issues.

Problem #2: Cub Cadet XT1 Engine Hard-starts

Hard-starting includes circumstances when the tractor starts and stops almost immediately or when the engine roars but the tractor doesn’t respond.

These issues can arise from various factors as follows;

1. The fuel pipes are dirty or clogged

If the fuel lines are dirty or clogged, the engine struggles to generate enough power. So, it may roar for a few seconds, then die down.

Clean the fuel system and replace cracked or broken pipes. Then test the machine to see if the problem is gone. If not, diagnose the carburetor.

2. Wrong or contaminated fuel

Contaminated fuel can also cause hard starting. Test the fuel to determine if it’s the right grade. Also, is the fuel fresh? If not, replace it.

Other issues

Two other issues that can cause hard starts in the Cub Cadet XT1 are a malfunctioned spark plug and a defective cooling system. Clean both parts thoroughly or repair and replace broken ones.

Problem #3: Cub Cadet XT1 Mower’s Engine Overheats

Overheating is a common problem on the Cub Cadet XT1 LT50 FAB. Fortunately, most overheating causes are easy to fix without professional intervention or special tools.

1. The tractor is overloaded

The mower’s engine will overheat under heavy load. Avoid overloading or overworking the tractor to prevent overheating issues.

2. The cooling system is compromised

The cooling system easily handles normal overheating issues in an efficiently functioning automotive. So, perhaps your tractor overheats because the radiator is compromised.

Check if the cooling fins are in good condition and fix leaks appropriately. Also, ensure sufficient coolant levels.

3. Engine oil issues

Are you using the right engine oil? Is it the right oil grade? If not, change the oil.

Additionally, ensure a sufficient oil level and viscosity. The issue should be gone by now. If not, consult a professional.

Problem #4: Cub Cadet XT1 Engine Runs Roughly

The Cub Cadet XT1 LT50 engine runs smoothly if everything works as envisaged. Unfortunately, you may occasionally encounter stop-start operation, engine knocks, backfiring, and sudden loss of power.

Here’s what to do;

1. The engine runs but misses

If the engine runs but misses, the spark plug has failed, or the carburetor is defective. So, change the spark plug or repair the carburetor.

Alternatively, the ignition air gap is incorrect. Adjust the gap to the correct level.

2. Engine backfires

A backfiring Kohler engine is often due to a bad spark plug. Clean the plug or change it. Also, diagnose the carburetor and inspect the inlet and outlet valves.

If the problem persists, test and adjust the valve clearance.

3. The engine knocks

A stalling Cub Cadet XT1 engine is often due to stale gasoline. Change the fuel and see if the problem is gone.

Alternatively, the engine oil is bad and must be replaced. Low engine speed, damaged pistons, and a cylinder bore can also cause knocks.

4. The engine gets too much fuel

The engine will get too much gas if the choke doesn’t open well or the carburetor has malfunctioned. So, adjust the throttle cable and the carburetor to fix the issue.

Problem #5: Cub Cadet XT1 Lawn Mower Blades not Engaging

Diagnosing a dysfunctional mower deck is challenging because the issue can originate anywhere.

Nevertheless, the following are the most common causes of poor deck mower performance and how to fix them;

1. The mower cuts grass unevenly

An out-of-level mower deck is the main cause of uneven grass cuts. Secondly, check if the mower has sufficient tire pressure and correct wheel height and fix the issues.

Finally, ensure the blades are sufficiently sharp, and the mower runs at the recommended speed.

2. The mower blades scalp grass

The most common reason an XT1 mower blade scalps grass during mowing is wrong height adjustment. So, check and adjust the height. Don’t forget to adjust the mower rollers too.

If that doesn’t fix the problem, diagnose the tractor for insufficient tire pressure, bent mower blades, and overly high mower speeds.

3. The mower runs but doesn’t cut grass

Often, if the mower runs but doesn’t cut grass, the discharge area is clogged and needs cleaning. Alternatively, the blade is defective.

Perhaps it’s time to install a new blade. Also, ensure the deck isn’t set too low.

Problem #6: Cub Cadet XT1 Mower Tractor Doesn’t Move

This is often a complex problem because it leaves you confused about the origin of the problem. The following are a few troubleshooting tips to consider;

1. Drive pump belt is worn or fallen

The XT1 mower will not move if the drive belt is damaged, worn, or fallen out of place. So, replace the deck belt and ensure it’s securely attached around the pulleys.

2. The drive release lever/bypass rod is in the wrong position

The release lever must be correctly positioned on zero-turn, and the bypass rod disengaged. Otherwise, the mower will not move.

3. Hydraulic oil issues

Bard or old hydraulic oil can also cause a static mower. For instance, a poorly lubricated hydraulic system often seems weak and hard to operate.

So, change the hydraulic oil or top up the oil level appropriately.

Other issues

Three other issues that may cause a static mower are air bubbles in the hydraulic system, a missing idler arm spring, and a bad tensioner pulley.

Changing the hydraulic fluid and bleeding the system solves the first problem. Meanwhile, consider replacements for the latter two issues.

Problem 7: Cub Cadet XT1 IntelliPower Problems

Cub Cadet’s IntelliPower is a revolutionary engine monitoring technology that allows users to conveniently monitor engine speed, giving operators up to 20% more available power.

It also allows the mower to tackle heavy projects and wet grass without slowing down.

Unfortunately, many users report issues with the IntelliPower feature. Below are solutions to the most common complaints.

1. Low oil level

Unfortunately, IntelliPower doesn’t work effectively when the oil level is low. So, replenish the engine oil and see if the problem disappears.

While at it, fix the root cause of low oil levels, such as leaks and dirty air filters.

2. Mower deck issues

IntelliPower may also become erroneous if the mower deck has issues. For instance, an unbalanced deck level confuses the IntelliPower feature.

Similarly, dull mower blades can cause a few monitoring issues. Of course, a static mower deck may also leave the IntelliPower feature idle.

Other issues

Other reasons why the IntelliPower feature may malfunction include a worn drive belt and debris-filled wheels. Replace the belt and clean the wheels to restore IntelliPower function.

Then diagnose the self-propulsion system. If the problem persists, it’s time to engage the Cub Cadet customer service desk.

Problem #8: Cub Cadet XT1 Mower Vibrates Excessively

Of course, all tractors vibrate lightly. However, excessive vibration is often a sign of underlying issues. The following are common problems to look out for;

1. Loose or missing engine bolts

Engine bolts secure the engine firmly to the base, preventing movement and accompanying noises.

So, missing bots can cause loud vibrations. Fortunately, fixing back the bolts instantly solves the problem.

2. The clutch is bad

When failed bearings fall out of the clutch, it can also cause vibrations. Engagement clutch bushings and linkages can also fail and fall off, causing movements and vibrations.

Replace the failing clutch to resolve the problem.

3. Mower blade problems

Unbalanced, damaged, or blunt mower blades can cause vibrations during mowing.

For instance, blunt blades struggle with thick grass patches, causing a bumpy ride. Fortunately, all three issues are easily fixable.

Other issues

Foreign particles wrapped in the blade shaft, worn spindle housing bearings, and a bad deck belt or pulley can also cause excessive mower vibrations. Fix them promptly, and the issue will be gone.

Problem #9: Cub Cadet Hydrostatic Transmission Problems

Finally, Cub Cadet XT1 hydrostatic transmission issues are legendary. Few people use the tractor without reporting transmission system failures or related challenges.

Here’s how to fix the most common issues;

1. Old or low transmission oil

The first thing you want to check when you have a weak transmission is the condition of the transmission oil.

Is it enough? Is it clean? Is it fresh? Fix all three issues promptly. Additionally, make sure you’re using the right hydraulic transmission oil.

2. Bad drive belt

A damaged or defective drive belt can cause inefficient transmission pump function. To fix the issue, inspect the belt for cracks or general wear and repair or replace it appropriately.

Cub Cadet XT1 Troubleshooting Overview

The following is a summary of the various Cub Cadet XT1 LT50 problems and recommended fixes;

ProblemMain CausesSolutions
Engine doesn’t startThe fuel tank is empty. You’re using bad or wrong fuel. Ignition system issues. Dirty or broken carburetor Replenish the fuel tank. Empty the tank and replace the fuel. Ensure the spark plug works. Clean and repair the carburetor.
Engine hard-startsDirty or clogged fuel lines. Bad or wrong fuel. Defective spark plugClean and repair the fuel pipes. Replace the fuel.Replace spark plug
The engine overheatsThe tractor is overloaded. Defective cooling system. Engine oil issuesAvoid overloading the tractor. Diagnose and repair the radiator.Top up or replace the engine oil.
Engine runs roughlyBad or dirty spark plug. Defective carburetor. The choke doesn’t open well Clean or replace the spark plug. Fix the carburetor.Adjust the throttle cable 
Mower blade not engagingOut of level mower deck. Bent mower blades. Clogged discharge areaRealign the mower deck. Realign the blades. Clean the mower discharge area
Mower doesn’t moveWorn mower belt. Bad or damaged lever. Insufficient hydraulic oilReplace mower belt. Replace the release lever. Top up the hydraulic oil
XT1 IntelliPower Issues Low oil level. Mower deck problems. DebrisReplenish the oil. Ensure the mower deck works well. Remove debris from the wheels
Lawn mower vibrates excessivelyLoose or missing engine parts.A bad/defective clutch. Lawn mower blade issues. Dirt and foreign debrisReplace worn and missing engine bolts. Repair or replace the clutch. Ensure the blade is sharp and straight. Clean the mower to remove dirt and debris.
Hydrostatic transmission issuesOld or low transmission oil. Bad drive beltTop up or replace  the engine oil.Repair or replace the drive belt. 

Cub Cadet XT1 Verdict: Hit or Miss?

Cub Cadet XT1 LT50 FAB is a fabulous mower tractor. The 24-hp Kohler-engine tractor makes light work of regular mowing on relatively flat surfaces.

Moreover, the 50-inch fabricated, 11-gauge mower deck design gets deserved attention.

Of course, we’re unimpressed by the long list of potential problems, especially the preventable engine issues.

Surely, the manufacturer can do something about the constant issues. The hydrostatic transmission issues are another major worry.

Fortunately, Cub Cadet offers a great warranty program covering every part of the tractor.

Moreover, the manufacturer offers timely customer support. Many users say they’ve called Cub Cadet and got an instant response.

Cub Cadet XT1 Alternatives

Suppose you’re unimpressed by the XT1 LT50. The following are excellent alternatives within the same price range;

  1. Cub Cadet XT1 LT46
  2. Cub Cadet XT2
  3. John Deere S100

Cub Cadet XT1 Problems and Fixes Summary

Cub Cadet XT1 LT50 is a great mid-range mower at a great price. It packs enough power to handle regular tasks and comes with all the bells and whistles of a modern mower tractor.

Unfortunately, it isn’t without issues. So, be prepared for regular maintenance and periodic repairs.