Spark Plug Maintenance

Spark Plug Maintenance

Regular maintenance keeps your John Deere equipment running quietly and efficiently. If your John Deere lawn mower, snow blower, or other outdoor power equipment won’t start, a damaged spark plug may be the problem. Worn or dirty spark plugs cause issues for your machine, so be on the lookout for these as well.

As a rule of thumb, you should check and/or replace the spark plug on your small engine machine every year. Also check the spark plug every season or every 25 hours of use to determine whether it should be replaced. If your John Deere equipment won’t start, check and/or replace your spark plug.

To check for a damaged spark plug:

  • Turn your John Deere machine off and allow the engine to cool to the touch. Disconnect the spark plug wire to prevent accidental starting.
  • Blow or clean off the area around the plug with compressed air or a brush, making sure the area is clean. This will prevent debris from getting in the combustion chamber when removing the spark plug.
  • Remove the spark plug with a spark plug socket and clean any deposits from the plug.
  • Use a wire brush or spray-on plug cleaner to remove the deposits, or a sturdy knife to scrape off tougher deposits.
  • Check the spark plug for cracked porcelain, electrodes that have been burned away, or stubborn deposits. If you find any of these issues, change the spark plug.
  • Check the spark plug gap and adjust if necessary. Many manufacturers package new spark plugs with the cap pre-set, but it is still a good idea to double-check the gap and torque according to your John Deere owner’s manual.
  • If the spark plug is in good shape, re-attach. Make sure you don’t over-tighten the plug when replacing it.
  • Reconnect the spark plug wire and start your machine’s engine.

To replace spark plugs:

  • Disconnect the spark plug wire and clean the area around the spark plug.
  • Use a spark plug socket to remove the spark plug.
  • Check the gap on the new spark plug and replace it.
  • Tighten the spark plug but don’t over-tighten it.
  • Reconnect the spark plug wire.

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Fuel Tips for Your John Deere Equipment

Fuel Tips for John Deere Equipment

Your John Deere outdoor power equipment needs fuel to operate properly. That goes without saying, but not just any old fuel will do. Ensure that you know the right type of fuel to use in your machine and when to replace it. Our experts explain how to reduce fuel system issues with your John Deere equipment.

Only buy the amount of fuel that will be used in 30 days

Fuel starts to go bad after 30 days so do not let it sit in your machine for longer than that. After 30 days, the volatile compounds in the fuel start evaporating, and this occurs whether the gas is in your outdoor power equipment or in the gas can.

As fuel sits and grows older, it evaporates and forms brown sticky deposits that eventually turn into a hard varnish. Deposits and varnish can plug fuel lines and passages in the carburetor, preventing the engine from running properly.

Use fuel stabilizer

Many of us use fuel stabilizers in our machines when we store them for the off-season to have an easier time starting them when the time comes. This is a good practice. When fuel stabilizers are added to fuel they separate and create a thin film on top of the fuel to keep out air and moisture. They also reduce the rate at which the fuel’s volatile compounds evaporate.

Try adding fuel stabilizer to your fuel the day it is purchased. This way, the fuel will stay fresh longer.

Don’t use gasoline with more than 10% ethanol

Engines produced for use in outdoor power equipment are not designed for gasoline with more than 10% ethanol. Using higher ethanol fuel blends can lead to engine damage and performance issues. Read your John Deere Equipment Manual for information on the proper fuel to use in your machine.

Use ethanol-free gasoline

Gasoline without ethanol will reduce the amount of moisture the gasoline can absorb from the atmosphere. Many areas carry ethanol-free gas. Visit https://www.pure-gas.org/ to locate ethanol-free gas stations near you.

Purchase mid-grade gasoline with an octane rating of 87 or higher

Standard 87 octane gasoline is perfect for small engines like the ones found on lawn mowers. However, mid-grade or premium gas with an octane rating of 89 or higher can be used for engines that require the higher octane.

Again, read your owner’s manual for information on the proper fuel to use in your John Deere outdoor power equipment.

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How to Tune Up Your John Deere Lawn Mower

How to Tune Up Your John Deere Lawn Mower

Excited to start up your John Deere lawn mower but want to make sure it’s in peak condition before taking on your yard? We’re here to get you started! Use our checklist below to tune up your John Deere Lawn Mower and make sure it performs exceptionally all season long.

1. Tune Up Your John Deere Lawn Mower: Drain Old Fuel and Change the Oil

Typically, fuel should be drained from your John Deere lawn mower before putting it into winter storage each year, but if there is any leftover fuel from last season left in the tank, make sure you drain it now. Because old fuel can separate into deposits and clog the carburetor, it is possible that you will discover some damage as you inspect your mower (if you find that any parts have been damaged, you can search for replacement parts here). Next, change the oil to help ensure engine longevity and better performance.

2. Tune Up Your John Deere Lawn Mower: Clean or Replace the Air Filter

Depending on what type of air filter you have, you can boost performance by cleaning or replacing the filter. Foam filters can be washed with hot water and dish soap, while paper filters should be replaced once they are no longer usable. To determine if your paper filter is in working condition, remove it from your mower, tap off excess dust, and hold it up to a bright light. If the light shines through the filter, it is clean enough to put back on your mower. If you cannot see any light, the filter is dirty and should be replaced.

3.  Tune Up Your John Deere Lawn Mower: Change the Spark Plug

Ideally, spark plugs should be replaced each year or after 100 hours of use, whichever comes first. Although spark plugs rarely go bad, they are good indicators of underlying engine problems and as a result should always be taken care of. Use a crescent wrench or pair of vise grips to turn the metal base and remove the spark plug, then place a few drops of oil into the open cylinder. Start the engine a few times to coat inside valves, then replace your old spark plug with a new one. Remember to use the same part number, as there are many types of spark plugs available as you work with different equipment (click here to find spark plugs).

4. Tune Up Your John Deere Lawn Mower: Sharpen Blades

Sharp blades can make a huge difference in cut quality. Check blades for excessive dents, chips, or wearing that could have an impact on mowing performance, and sharpen or replace depending on severity of damage.

5. Tune Up Your John Deere Lawn Mower: Double-Check Bolts, Wheels, Cables, and Belts

Finally, inspect your John Deere for any loose bolts, worn cables or belts, or damaged wheels. Tighten, repair, and replace as needed to help avoid future problems that could pop up later in the mowing season (click here to find parts by illustrated diagram).

Paying attention to these important tips can help you stay on top of your John Deere lawn mower maintenance and enhance the quality of your lawn all season. For questions about replacement parts, you can contact us here. Best of luck, and let the mowing begin!

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Convert Your John Deere Tractor Into a Snow Blower

Convert Your Tractor Into a Snow Blower

Many of us dread clearing snow during the winter. We know that maneuvering your shovel or snow blower through heavy, wet snow during the winter can be exhausting. If you own a John Deere tractor, you may not dread clearing snow as much. Your John Deere tractor provides you with an alternative way to remove snow this year.  If you convert your tractor into a snow blower, you can avoid the need to shovel or purchase a snow blower. Here’s what you need to convert your John Deere tractor into a snow blower.

John Deere attachments and accessories vary by model. Refer to your owner’s manual for information on attachment and accessory compatibility.

Snow blower attachment

To convert your John Deere tractor into a snow blower, you need a snow blower attachment to remove the snow from your drive and walkways. These attachments have the capacity to handle big snow removal jobs and work well in all snow conditions.

Plow blade attachment

If you prefer to push snow instead of throw it, there is an assortment of John Deere tractor mounted plows to help clear snow from your driveway. Plow blades get closer to the pavement than blowers, leaving you with little to no snow on your pathways.

Snow cab

You can add a snow cab to your John Deere tractor for extra protection from freezing temps and harsh winds.

Tire chains

When using your John Deere tractor in the snow, your tractor tires may not have the stability and traction needed to remove snow. When the pavement is covered by snow or is icy, you can increase the traction by using tractor tire chains.

Tire chains are also beneficial when working on steep terrain and narrow roads. To maintain traction, make sure you have tire chains on your tires. They will make your snow removal tasks safer and more productive.

Wheel weights

Like tire chains, wheel weights provide extra traction when working on snowy or icy terrain. Weight wheels are recommended when adding attachments to the front of your John Deere tractor. Apply these weights to the rear tires to help weigh down the back end of your machine and press down so the tires grip better.

Cast-iron weights

Cast-iron weights are great attachments for the front end of your John Deere tractor. These counterbalance heavy attachments and provide better traction and stability.

Some tractors have built-in front and/or rear weight brackets to hang the cast-iron weights on. Other tractors require a weight bracket. Refer to your owner’s manual to determine what your John Deere tractor has and/or needs.

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Fuel Recommendations for Snow Blowers

Fuel Recommendations for Snow Blowers

If you take the time to properly care for your snow blower now, you should have little to no problems with starting your machine next winter. One of the most important things to do when caring for your snow blower is taking care of the fuel that goes inside the blower. If you’re not mindful of the fuel in your machine you may encounter starting or running problems and even damage to the fuel system. Use this guide to avoid fuel-related problems in your snow blower.

Store fuel properly

Store your fuel in a clean, plastic, sealed container approved for fuel storage to help prevent rust and metallic contaminants from entering the fuel system. Close the vent when not in use and store the container away from direct sunlight. Fuel will deteriorate faster when exposed to air and sunlight.

If it takes longer than 30 days to use the fuel in the container, add a fuel stabilizer when you fill the container.

If you do not use your snow blower much during the winter, add a fuel stabilizer to your fuel storage container

Gas left in your snow blower can deteriorate quickly, causing problems for your machine and the fuel system. If you make sure the fuel in your snow blower is stabilized, you will minimize the chances of deterioration and damage.

Do not use gasoline with more than 10% ethanol

Gasoline containing higher levels of ethanol is corrosive and attracts water, which can cause starting or running problems and damage to your snow blower’s fuel system. Engines produced for use in outdoor power equipment are not designed for gasoline with more than 10% ethanol.

Read your owner’s manual for information on the proper fuel to use in your snow blower.

Remove fuel for summer storage                      

Before storing your snow blower, drain the fuel out of your machine. There may still be fuel in the fuel line and carburetor so start your blower and allow it to run until no fuel is left in the machine.

Make sure there is no old fuel resting in your snow blower. Old fuel left in your snow blower during the off-season will deteriorate and cause problems for your machine. Your blower may not start or run properly and, in some cases, there will be damage to the fuel system.

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Green-Parts-Direct.com stocks a wide inventory of parts for John Deere power equipment. Our comprehensive parts selection allows us to provide quick response times and help you confidently find the parts you need.

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When to Sharpen or Replace Your John Deere Lawn Mower Blade

When to Sharpen or Replace Your John Deere Lawn Mower Blade

To achieve a great cut and a healthy lawn, it is essential to regularly sharpen or replace your John Deere lawn mower blade. While many people only need to sharpen their lawn mower blades once every couple of months, people who mow more than once a week will need to increase maintenance to once each month. The exact timing depends on workload, but if you’re not sure how often to perform blade maintenance, there are a few tell-tale signs that will help you stay on schedule. With the following tricks, you can develop a trained eye and keep your John Deere lawn mower blade up to par all season.

The first and most obvious thing to look for is unevenness in your lawn. When your John Deere lawn mower blade is sharp, your grass should be cut at the same height every time with just one pass of the mower. If you find yourself making multiple passes to compensate for missed patches of grass, a dull blade may be the culprit.

Another way to tell if your John Deere lawn mower blade needs sharpening is by closely inspecting the grass. If you notice that the tip of each grass blade is torn and not cleanly-sliced, it may be time to switch out your blade. Torn tips may also decrease grass health, causing grass to lose its lush, green color to an unhealthy shade of brown.

Lastly—and perhaps most obviously—you can inspect the blade itself. While your John Deere lawn mower blade can usually be salvaged with routine sharpening, it is important to look for large chips or dents in the cutting edge that cannot be smoothed out. Inconsistencies in the blade are likely to tear grass rather than delivering the clean cut that’s important for your lawn. Also pay attention to the thickness of your John Deere lawn mower blade. Over time, sand, dirt, and other yard debris can erode the blade, causing the metal to weaken and become paper-thin. If you notice this, replace the blade immediately to avoid breakage during mowing, which can cause pieces of metal to fly apart and possibly injure you or other bystanders.

Overall, paying close attention to your lawn and your mower will help greatly in determining when to sharpen or your replace your John Deere lawn mower blade. Remember the signs, perform maintenance regularly, and your John Deere lawn mower blade should cut beautifully every time you mow.

About Green-Parts-Direct

Green-Parts-Direct.com stocks a wide inventory of parts for John Deere power equipment. Our comprehensive parts selection allows us to provide quick response times and help you confidently find the parts you need.

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Fuel Tips for Outdoor Power Equipment

Fuel Tips for Outdoor Power Equipment

Your outdoor power equipment needs fuel to operate properly, that goes without saying. However, you need to make sure you know the right type of fuel to use in your machine and when to replace it. Our experts explain facts about fuel and how to reduce issues with your outdoor power equipment.

Tip #1 – Use gasoline with an octane rating of 87 or higher

Standard 87 octane gasoline is perfect for small engines like the ones found on lawn mowers. However, mid-grade or premium gas with an octane rating of 89 or higher can be used for engines that require the higher octane.

Read your owner’s manual for information on the proper fuel to use in your outdoor power equipment. Using the correct fuel in your outdoor power equipment is very important. If you do not use the proper fuel, your machine will suffer.

Tip #2 – Use fuel stabilizer

Many of us use fuel stabilizers in our machines when we store them for the off-season to have an easier time starting them when the time comes. This is a good practice. When these stabilizers are added to fuel they separate and create a thin film on top of the fuel to keep out air and moisture.

Try adding fuel stabilizer to your fuel the day it is purchased. This way, the fuel will stay fresh longer.

When purchasing fuel stabilizer, make sure to purchase the right one for your needs. There are specific stabilizers for gas that does and does not contain ethanol.

Tip #3 – Use ethanol –free gasoline (E0)

Gasoline without ethanol will reduce the amount of moisture the gasoline can absorb from the atmosphere. Many areas carry ethanol-free gas. Visit https://www.pure-gas.org/ to locate ethanol-free gas stations near you.

Tip #4 – Don’t use gasoline with more than 10% ethanol (E10)

Engines produced for use in outdoor power equipment are not designed for gasoline with more than 10% ethanol. Using higher ethanol fuel blends can lead to engine damage and performance issues. Read your Equipment Manual for information on the proper fuel to use in your machine.

Tip #5 –Purchase fuel and use it in 30 days

Fuel starts to go bad after 30 days so do not let it sit in your machine for longer than that. After 30 days, the volatile compounds in the fuel start evaporating, and this occurs whether the gas is in your outdoor power equipment or in the gas can.

About Green-Parts-Direct

Green-Parts-Direct.com stocks a wide inventory of parts for John Deere power equipment. Our comprehensive parts selection allows us to provide quick response times and help you confidently find the parts you need.

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How to Level a John Deere Riding Lawn Mower Deck

How to Level a John Deere Riding Lawn Mower Deck

When mowing around your home and businesses, pay attention to the recently mowed lawn. If you notice ridges forming where you recently mowed, the deck on your lawn mower may not be leveled. Luckily, leveling your mower deck is not a time consuming task, allowing you to get back to cutting the grass in no time.

Before performing any maintenance on your riding lawn mower, refer to your owner’s manual for maintenance and safety information. Maintenance instructions vary by model. Depending on your riding lawn mower model, our instructions may vary slightly so refer to your owner’s manual for more specific instructions.

Before you begin leveling your lawn mower deck follow these safety instructions. Park your mower on a hard, flat surface and shut the engine off. Set the parking brake to prevent your machine from rolling back, injuring you or others. Remove the ignition key to prevent accidental starting and wear heavy leather gloves since you’re working near mower blades.

Tools you’ll need:

  • Exact Adjust wrench
  • 18 mm wrench
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Mower gauge

Here’s what to do:

Before starting, make sure the tires on your John Deere mower are inflated. Check your owner’s manual for information on tire pressure numbers.

John Deere Tractors

Raise the mower and place the mower cutting height knob at the position specified for deck leveling. Lower the mower and check that the mower wheels are not making contact with the ground and raise if necessary. Place the mower gauge under the mower at the adjustment point near the left rear corner. If your tractor does not make contact with the gauge, adjust the deck accordingly.

Check the mower front to back level at the front adjustment point on the front left deck hanger bracket. If necessary, use the 18 mm wrench to loosen the rear nuts on each of the front lift rods. Turn the nuts on each side until the gauge slips under the front adjustment point.

Fully raise the tractor and adjust the height control knob to the desired height, then lower the machine. Adjust the wheels so they’re at least 1/4 inch off the ground. The wheels will carry the mower deck over higher areas in the lawn to give it an even cut.

John Deere Zero Turns

Make sure the mower is parked and then mount the mower. Raise the deck into the transport position. Make sure the anti-scalp wheels are not making contact with the ground.

Lower the deck to 76 mm (3 inches). Position the right mower blade on the discharge side in the front to rear position. Once the blades are in the correct position, measure the distance between the front blade tip to the ground. Use the mower gauge to check the mower blade level. The front blade tip should be 76 mm, with a tolerance of +/- 2 mm.

Move to the other side of your zero turn and position the mower blade in the front to rear position. Measure the blade’s tip to make sure it is 76 mm as well.

If one side is lower than the other, loosen the jam nut on the adjustment rod and turn the rod tube as needed to bring the tip into the proper position. When satisfied, lock the jam nut to secure the setting. Re-check both sides of the deck after the adjustment has been made to ensure it is within specification.

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