I have a Cub Cadet ZT1 42" zero-turn mower. Last month, just after my mower was two years old, a quart of oil was on my garage floor. The shop I bought it from replaced the transmission under warranty.

Cub Cadet seemed to have recently come out for an hour meter for my specific mower, so I installed it. Whenever I turn the key, the message "Low Oil Press" appears even before starting. I checked the oil, and it's right at the top mark for where the level should be. After running the mower for a while, the engine never shuts off, even though the low oil pressure is still displayed.

Does anyone know what the issue could be or what I should check? If it was low oil pressure, it seems to me that the engine would immediately shut off when it gets too hot. Since that doesn't happen, I wonder if it's a faulty hour meter.

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  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! What I think @MTA is trying to say: is the light part of the hour meter or has it always been there, but now is coming on? If part of the hour meter, follow their advice. Commented Jul 31, 2023 at 21:54
  • Apologies, I misunderstood your question. I thought you were saying that there's a low oil pressure warning light on the new hour meter. I found your hour meter online, and there is no oil warning light on it. So you must have a separate low oil pressure warning light and perhaps you disconnected its connector or broke its wiring harness when you installed the hour meter. Check that all connectors are firmly seated in back of the control panel.
    – MTA
    Commented Jul 31, 2023 at 22:23
  • @mta, I've updated my post to include photos of what is displayed on the LCD. To install the meter, I just had to remove the back panel from what you see above and plug it into an empty plug/wiring harness. I will look and ensure it's snapped in all the way.
    – Cofey
    Commented Aug 2, 2023 at 15:59
  • @Cofey Yikes, that's not the hour meter for your mower that I found online. In order to answer your question, we need to know (1) does your engine have an oil pressure switch or sensor and (2) is the hour meter attached to it through wiring. If no to both, just ignore the message. If it has an oil pressure sender and the hour meter is not connected to it through wiring, again ignore the warning. If you have a sender and meter is connected, either there's a loose plug, a broken wire, a bad sender or you really do have low oil pressure, so test the sender with a volt or ohm meter.
    – MTA
    Commented Aug 2, 2023 at 18:21
  • 1
    @Cofey Suggest as a first step that you physically trace the wiring from the oil pressure sender to the hour meter and confirm that the wiring leads to a pin in the connector that you plugged into the hour meter. If it does not, the warning is bogus.
    – MTA
    Commented Aug 3, 2023 at 17:49

1 Answer 1


We had an extended discussion through chat and solved your problem. This is a summary of findings and solutions that may be useful to someone in the future.

Although the Kohler 7000 engine in your Cub Cadet ZT1 mower comes with a low oil pressure sensor, Cub Cadet does not provide a warning light for low oil pressure as original factory equipment and does not shut down the engine if oil pressure falls below minimum. It was only by installing an aftermarket hour switch that doubles as a low oil pressure indicator that you learned that there was a problem.

The Kohler 7000 engine manual states that automatic shutdown for low oil pressure is only available on engines for stationary equipment that may run unattended, such as pumps or generators. Kohler does not support automatic shutdown on any equipment that is driven by a user. Cub Cadet runs a green wire from the low oil pressure sensor to a wiring harness inside the control panel, but does not connect it to anything.

The diagnosis consisted of three parts: (1) Is the hour meter displaying an appropriate message based on the input it is receiving? (2) Does the engine have oil pressure when running? (3) Does the low oil pressure sensor respond appropriately to oil pressure?

(1) The wiring diagram showed that the green wire that runs from the oil pressure switch to the hour meter should be a hard ground when there is no oil pressure and an open circuit when there is oil pressure. When you disconnected the green wire from the oil pressure switch, the low oil pressure message on the hour meter stopped displaying. Therefore, the hour meter is displaying appropriately for the input that it is receiving.

(2) You attached an oil pressure test gauge at the pressure switch port on the oil filter housing and read 0 psi with engine off and 33 psi with engine running. So you have oil pressure.

(3) You reinstalled the oil pressure switch and attached an ohmmeter to its single terminal. You read 0 ohms to ground with the engine off and it remained at 0 ohms with the engine running. The switch should have read “open” (infinite ohms) as soon as oil pressure reached 3-5 psi. Therefore, the switch is confirmed bad.

You replaced the oil pressure switch with a new one and reattached the green wire. The hour meter now displays a low oil pressure warning when the ignition is on and the engine is not running, and the message stops displaying as soon as you start the engine.

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