My Craftsman rider mower clutch pedal stays depressed and mower will not go forward or reverse when in gear. It is a belt driven basic rider. How can I release the clutch pedal to go back to normal?

  • Specific model of Craftsman?
    – Moab
    Jul 6, 2018 at 13:39
  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Jul 6, 2018 at 15:06
  • Is it a hydraulic clutch? If so, check for fluid leaks.
    – Spivonious
    Jul 6, 2018 at 19:02

2 Answers 2


According to the Operator's Manual, page 16, under "Parking Brake" release the brake by depressing the pedal and then move the speed control lever out of the "park" position, into one of the speeds 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6. That's it.

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Great first answer here. Hope you stick around!
    – H. Daun
    Oct 14, 2020 at 3:12

From your brief description, I'd suggest the spring which deactivates the "clutch" is probably broken. There really isn't much of a clutch on riding lawn mowers. What happens is, the drive belt is allowed to slip on the main pulley coming off of the engine when the pedal is pressed. When the pedal is released, a tensioner pulley takes up the slack in the belt and friction is once again applied against the belt and things start to happen. If the clutch pedal is not returning to its normal position, this is usually a sign the return spring is no longer connected or is not functioning as it should be.

Secondarily, it might be that the drive belt is either dislocated or broken.

You'll have to get under the mower to see what is going on. This may involve dropping the mowing deck away from the chassis.

Here is an image of a Craftsman deck. Your's should look something very similar to this:

enter image description here

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