Right Wheel Locking on Ego 21″ Self Propel unit

My 21 inch Ego mower with the updated self propel unit has developed an annoying quirk. Some of the time when I try to move it, or make a turn at the end of a row, the right wheel “locks”. This isn’t an issue when making right pivoting turns, but when you are trying to pivot around the left wheel and the right wheel locks up, it stops the turn.

It appears to happen both with or without the mower motor engaged. It sort of acts like the “anti-roll-back” feature, except that I’m not trying to make the mower go backwards, and it’s always the right wheel that locks up, never the left.

I had never noticed this behavior before a month ago, so it appears to be a newly developed issue. So far the self propel unit is working fine when engaged, but given my history of self propel unit failures, I’m concerned that this quirk may indicate something in the motor control unit is having issues…

June 2021 Update:

The issue shown in the above video kept getting worse until I called Ego support and described it to them. They immediately sent me to the local Ego certified repair place who fixed the issue in about a week. The issue was that the nylon gears at both ends of the drive shaft (as well as the plastic gears inside the wheels) were worn down and slipping/jamming. The shop tech said that he replaced both the motor/drive unit and both wheels. Here is a photo comparing what the nylon gears are supposed to look like with what the actually looked like.

22 thoughts on “Right Wheel Locking on Ego 21″ Self Propel unit

  1. I’m seeing this on my Ego mower as well. Bought it in April 2021, but here in June it seems to be getting worse. Have you found any way to avoid the issue?

    • No, I spoke to Ego customer support and they instructed me to take it to the local Ego certified repair shop to have them service it. See the update above for a photo of the cause of the issue.

  2. Jay, found your posts today when I started researching this issue with my Ego self-propelled. I have to check which wheel is locking when I mow again in a couple days but like you said I’m able to “unlock” the wheel. I usually don’t use self-propel unless I’m on an incline but I’m pretty sure I’m having the wheel lock when I’m on flat ground and not using self-propel. I “unlock” it by briefly using self-propel and it will turn freely again. My question to you is how long it was between first noticing the wheel locking and having to get the gears replaced. I have the “new” self-propel design as you showed in photos, my label says it was built in Dec. 2018 and I bought it in spring 2019 at Ace Hardware. I’m planning to call Ego on Monday morning. I appreciate any insight.

  3. This is happening to mine as well. I purchased a refurbished LM2102SP-FC from Acme Tools. Initially I noticed that the right wheel would lock entirely at a certain point in each revolution, forwards or backwards, beyond which it would not turn without pushing it extremely hard. This was without the self-propel feature being activated but happened with the self-propel as well. I first noticed this when I tried to push it in the garage after unboxing it. Long story short, I removed the wheel and found a small steel pin stuck in the teeth of the metal drive gear. I removed the pin, and the problem was solved, or so I thought. The mower works well, but every so often I will encounter sudden resistance when pushing the mower without self-propel, as if a clutch is engaging and spinning a motor that is not activated. I do the same as was mentioned – I activate the self-propel briefly, and the problem is corrected. I’m guessing my plastic gears are mangled as a result of that pin I found in the drive gear. Thanks so much for posting this issue and your helpful picture, and wish me luck getting this thing serviced!

      • Unfortunately, with all the rain we’ve had, I cannot be without my mower for a week or two or something so minor. And doing a little more research, I’m trying to figure out if that clutch mechanism in the wheel is for engaging the power or is acting as a breaking mechanism to prevent more from rolling backwards. Also the one repair shop in the Rochester area is across town and by the time I drove over dropped it off rover and picked it up again what are usually take me another hour and a half.

        Wish I had a full shop manual so I could see further details since they expand the details online are very limited and poor qualityI in order to determine all of the working parts in the self-propelled real wheels.

  4. I found that by going into the wheel there is a spring, that’s a very light weight, that appears to be wearing down prematurely and not allowing the clutch to disengage. I addressed this by going into the housing, and finding the best comparable springI could find and replacing it. At the same time I cleaned out the housing which appeared to have some dirt that got mixed in with the Transmission grease. I replace the transmission grease with white lithium grease and it appears to have solved it. Unfortunately, process took me two hours plus and now I find the left wheel is doing the same thing. Time to kill another two hours. I don’t mind putting in the time, but I would like EGO to send me some replacement springs, at least a pair or two, And I’ll cover the cost of the white lithium grease which is quite a bit of an upgrade to what was in there.
    I’d like to know if anybody else has come up with a better solution to what could be a somewhat simple fix and hopefully an upgrade that EGO will consider other future models.
    PS yes the retaining clip can be a pain to remove and re-place, but that’s just part of the “Fun “. And yes, I’ve been in insurance for 50 years, I am a frustrated engineer the dabbles and such items. I would love to Repair and figure out upgrades to anything I work on.

    • Could you please post a picture of the parts you are referring to? That would be extremely helpful. I tried disassembling mine to diagnose, but I’m not sure which spring you mean, and I’m not sure my model is built the same way. I did try to clean some obvious grime and added a little red wheel bearing grease to some of the gears to little effect.

  5. Yes, 1-year warranty, but we’ll see how that goes. I disassembled my mower to investigate, and the gearing all looks OK. I think the issue is maybe with the sprag clutch/bearing located under the curved, ribbed brackets to the far left and right of your picture above. I’ve also noticed that when it locks up, I can also resolve it by manually reversing direction and going forward again. Everything moved freely when I had it disassembled.

  6. Is this a doable DIY project? I can’t seem to find any instructions on the WEB for doing this myself. What’s the part number? Thanks for the info!

    • I don’t believe that Ego sells parts to anybody but an Ego certified repair shop, so you may have difficulty sourcing the part (without locating a junked mower where the self propel unit was still working but something else had failed).

  7. There needs to be a class action lawsuit brought against EGO for producing and selling a bad product design, and then try to cover it up under the guise of a “safety feature”. They said it is to keep the mower from rolling back on me. I asked the 58 IQ idiot at EGO “how are you supposed to bring the mower back out from under a bush, once it is pushed under it to cut the grass?” They couldn’t answer me. It is a known problem, yet they deny any problem exists. I own 1st and 2nd generation 21″ mowers, and they both have the problem. I will NEVER purchase EGO mowers again.

    • I’ve never had a problem pulling it backwards from a bush/hedge as long as it wasn’t under self propel power on the way in. Their are locking pins that go out when it spins forward under power, but they are supposed to retract on their own, perhaps yours were a bit sticky.

  8. Same problem here as described in the wheel locking with or without using the self propelled. I took mine into an EGO designated shop and of course they could not duplicate the problem or find anything wrong with it.

    I see above where on has mentioned the spring may be the culprit. Also saw that a plastic gear could be it also. Obviously this is very annoying and should be taken care of by EGO.

  9. I purchased a new Ego Select Cut 21″ self propelled mower in May of this year. From day 1 had the issue of rear wheels locking up at radom times. I don’t know what to do at this point, try and return it or find a way to have it fixed.

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