When to Sharpen or Replace Your Lawn Mower Blade

When to Sharpen or Replace Your Lawn Mower Blade

How do you know when it’s time to sharpen or replace your John Deere lawn mower blade?

The first and most obvious thing to look for is unevenness in your lawn. When your 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 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 is 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 mower blade should cut beautifully every time you mow.

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John Deere Oil Filter Maintenance

John Deere Oil Filter Maintenance

It is important to remember to change the oil in your John Deere machine.  You will first have to change it after the first 8 hours of use, and after that it will need to be changed once a year.

Before performing any maintenance on your John Deere, refer to your owner’s manual for recommended maintenance and safety information. Maintenance instructions vary by model, so depending on your tractor model our instructions may vary slightly. Check your owner’s manual to get instructions specific to your model.

You will need an oil filter wrench, oil drain pan, a funnel, shop towels, new oil and a new oil filter.  Check your owner’s manual to make sure you have the correct filter and oil.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • run engine for a minute or two to warm up oil
  • park on a level, solid service
  • put the drain pan under oil plug
  • begin draining (be careful, the oil may be hot)
  • loosen dipstick to increase oil flow
  • once oil has drained, close drain plug and move drain pan to under the oil filter
  • remove filter by turning counter clockwise
  • drain oil and dispose of it properly (check with recycling officials)
  • install new filter
  • clean dirt and spills around the oil filter with a clean shop towel
  • place a bit of clean oil on new filter’s rubber gasket
  • attach filter and tighten
  • add new oil to your engine
  • secure dipstick and oil fill cap
  • run the engine to pump oil into the filter
  • check for leaks before checking the oil level
  • DO NOT OVERFILL
  • always check oil level before mowing

Use our illustrated parts diagrams to locate any replacement parts you may need for maintenance for your John Deere lawn mower.

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Commonly Asked Questions About John Deere Mowers

Commonly Asked Questions About John Deere Mowers

When it comes to a lawn mower purchase, most people want a machine that will give their yard a nice cut and last for a long time. It is perfectly normal for people who are mowing for the first time to have questions concerning their machine. It is also perfectly normal for an experienced mower operator to have a lawn mower question every now and then. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about John Deere mowers.

How Do I Remove the Mower Blade?

Begin by removing the mower deck. Place the deck on the ground so that the blades face up. Use a 15mm wrench or a 15mm socket with a ratchet to loosen the bolts holding the blades. You can also use a ramp to get underneath the mower.

How Do I Store my John Deere tractor?

First, and most importantly, you will need to empty all fuel from your tractor. Most gasoline contains a substantial amount of ethanol, which breaks down over time and loosens deposits that have formed inside the engine. This causes gum-like material to move around inside the fuel system, which can clog the carburetor and other small openings.

Drain your gas tank before the off-season. At the end of each mowing season, fill your fuel tank with just enough gas to run your engine for one last mow. Once you’re done mowing, let the engine run until it stalls out and there is no longer any gas in the tank.

If you have trouble completely draining your tank or prefer to keep your John Deere stocked with gas, you can choose to use a fuel stabilizer. Refer to the instructions on your package of stabilizer and add the correct amount, followed by a full tank of fresh, high-octane gas. Run your mower for a few minutes to circulate the mixture throughout the carburetor, then turn the machine off. This will allow you to store a gas-filled tank for up to six months, and should let you start your mower easily when mowing season begins.

Be sure to store your John Deere tractor somewhere clean and dry like a garage or shed that offers protection from rain, snow, and other winter elements. For additional protection, consider covering your mower with a tarp to block out possible moisture. You also have the option to remove the mower’s battery and store it in a warm, indoor location to help extend performance life.

How Do I Store Fuel?

Store your fuel in a clean, plastic, sealed container approved for fuel storage. This will help prevent rust and metallic contaminants from entering the fuel system. Store the container away from direct sunlight. Fuel will deteriorate faster when exposed to air and sunlight. Additionally, try to keep reserve fuel stored inside to avoid cold temperatures and harsh conditions.

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

What is The Proper Way to Transport my Tractor?  

First, load your John Deere tractor facing towards the front of the trailer, this will ensure that the wind does not open or damage the hood. Second, lower the mower deck all the way down to the trailer bed, relieving stress on the mower link. Third, tie down the tractor on all four points. This way, if one tie down comes loose, you still have the tractor tied down on three points. Forth, turn off the on/off valve for the fuel, if the engine has one.

How Do I Know When to Bag and When to Mulch My Yard Clippings?

Dry conditions are best for mulching. Avoid mulching if the grass is too wet from rain or dew. Avoid mulching when the grass is too long, as the grass will clump up. Take off no more than 1/3 of height of your grass when mowing. Grass struggles to recover when you cut off more than a third of its height in a single mowing.

When it comes to bagging, try to collect all the leaves and grass in one pass. If you prefer your grass to grow long, the bagger will pick up long grass to leave a clean look.

When Is Oil Consumption Considered to Be Excessive?

As a standard, most lawn mower engines should not see their oil level go from “Full” to “Add” on the oil dipstick within 10 hours of use. One method to determine if oil usage is at an acceptable level is to compare the amount of oil consumed to the amount of engine run time in hours.

Tips on Improving My Mower’s Performance?

Sharpen mower blades at least twice a year and clean the mower deck thoroughly on a regular basis.

Adjust your mower gauge wheels as instructed in your operator’s manual.

Use our illustrated parts diagrams to locate any replacement parts you may need for maintenance for your John Deere lawn mower.

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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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John Deere Tractor Won’t Start in the Cold?

John Deere Tractor Won’t Start in the Cold?

If you use your John Deere tractor for assistance with snow removal or other winter-related tasks, you may encounter an issue where your machine won’t start as quickly as it does in warmer temperatures. Sometimes, your machine may not start at all. There are a few different reasons why this issue may occur, including an improper starting procedure or an improper choke adjustment.

Don’t let the cold weather keep you from using your John Deere tractor this year. Here’s how to cold start your John Deere tractor.

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

Here are three steps you should consider when your John Deere tractor won’t start in cold weather.

Proper Starting Procedure

If you are having trouble starting your John Deere tractor, first put the choke lever in the full choke position and crank the engine for about five seconds. If the engine still won’t start up, wait 10 seconds, and then crank again for an additional five seconds. Continue this cycle until the engine starts.

If the engine attempts to start but doesn’t turn over within five seconds, it’s okay to crank a bit longer than five seconds until it starts.

Properly functioning engines should start in 4 to 7 cycles at temperatures between 0- and 15-degrees Fahrenheit. Once the engine has started, allow it to warm a bit, and then gradually pull the choke lever back. The engine should be able to run without the choke after about 10 to 15 seconds.

Adjust the Choke

When the lever is in the choke position, the choke plate must be completely closed. When the lever is in the full throttle position, it must be completely open.

Make sure the linkage is tight when checking for this.

Proper Cranking Speed

For the engine in your  to start properly, the cranking speed should be a minimum of 250 rpm. A slow cranking speed can be a result of engine oil weight that is too heavy, low battery output, or corroded battery or starter terminals.

Turning the lights of your tractor on before cranking, for about five seconds, can increase battery power in the cold but make sure you turn the lights back off before you start the cranking process.

Use our illustrated parts diagrams to locate any replacement parts you may need for maintenance for your John Deere tractor.

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John Deere Tractor Battery Maintenance Tips

John Deere Tractor Battery Maintenance Tips

Whether operating your new John Deere tractor, or one you’ve had for years, battery maintenance is essential to keeping your machine operating efficiently. Without proper maintenance, your John Deere will eventually stop working so here are some battery maintenance tips you can use to keep your equipment running smoothly.

Tip #1 – Inspect and clean the battery terminals

When you’re inspecting the battery, it’s critical to check for corrosion. You always want to check the battery and terminals for corrosion, which can occur naturally over time. Corrosion occurs when hydrogen gas is released from battery acid and will look like a blue or greenish white crust built up around the metal terminals. If the corrosion is left untreated, it can prevent your battery from recharging properly or damage the battery terminals and wires over time.

Tip #2 – Clean the corrosion, if necessary

To clean the corrosion, disconnect the battery cables from the battery first. Begin with the negative terminal. Make sure to keep them separated.

Use a wire brush and a battery cleaner spray to clean the terminals. The cleaner will neutralize the acid in the corrosion, making it safe to clean. Spray the entire area, including areas that are not corroded. Leave the battery cleaner spray on for a few minutes, and then use a terminal brush to brush away the corrosion build-up until the metal on the terminal and posts are visible again. After that, flush them with water.

Tip #3 – Use battery terminal protectant spray

Using battery terminal protectant spray will help you prevent future corrosion. Spray your battery three to four times per year for best results.

Tip #4 – Additional troubleshooting

Once the corrosion is removed from the terminals, reconnect the battery and check to see if your tractor starts. If your machine starts and runs regularly, you’ve corrected a problem linked to corrosion. If your machine doesn’t start, try using a battery charger or battery booster cables to fix the problem.

Tip #5 -Know your battery

The batteries on your John Deere tractor should always be fully charged before you place them in storage. Batteries will always discharge over time, and lower temperatures slow down the process. If you don’t plan to use your tractor for an extended period of time, store it in a cool location.

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6 Tips for Effective Mowing

6 Tips for Effective Mowing

Do you know the best way to mow to keep your lawn happy and healthy? Stay fully prepared for the season ahead with these effective mowing tips.

Tip # 1 – Check your mower blade

Make sure your lawn mower blade is sharp. You should always mow with a sharp mower blade. If you notice unevenness in your lawn or notice the tip of each grass blade is torn and not cleanly-sliced, then your mower blade is dull and needs to be sharpened or replaced.

Check your mower blade and look for large chips or dents in the cutting edge that cannot be smoothed out. Inconsistencies in the blade are likely to tear your grass rather than cut it.

Pay attention to the thickness of your lawn mower blade. Over time, yard debris can erode the blade and cause the metal to weaken and become thin. If you notice this, replace the blade.

Tip #2 – Properly install your mower blade

If you remove the blade from your mower to sharpen or replace it, make sure your properly reinstall it. If your blade is installed upside down, it will cause the blunt backside of the blade to be used as the cutting edge. This will result in a raggedy cut.

Tip #3 – Set the mowing height

When mowing, be mindful that you’re not removing more than 1/3 of the height of your grass. Grass struggles to recover when you cut off more than a third of its height in a single mowing. Also, continuous short mowings will weaken your lawn and leave room for weeds to grow.

Tip #4 – Change directions when mowing

Change your mowing pattern to prevent lawn damage. The pattern change will control coarse grass and create even surfaces. Different patterns not only add an aesthetically pleasing design but also promotes a healthy lawn.

Tip # 5 – Plan ahead for grass clippings

Grass clippings can be beneficial when you allow them to remain on your lawn. The grass clippings will allow nutrients to return to the soil. If you stay on top of mowing so that there are no big clumps left behind when mowing, there’s no need to remove the grass clippings.

Tip #6 – Do not mow the grass when it is wet

Don’t mow the lawn after it rains because wet grass can cause clumping and ruts. Mowing wet grass leaves your lawn more vulnerable to certain diseases.

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How to Change the Oil in a John Deere Tractor

How to Change the Oil in a John Deere Tractor

Regularly change the oil in your John Deere tractor because it is critical to the life of the engine. It is recommended to change the engine oil after the first eight hours of use, then every 50 hours of use. We suggest performing this task every spring as part of a regular maintenance routine for your John Deere. Here’s how to change the oil in your John Deere tractor.

Before performing any maintenance on your John Deere tractor, refer to your owner’s manual for recommended maintenance and safety information. Maintenance instructions vary by model, so depending on your riding lawn mower model our instructions may vary slightly. Check your owner’s manual to get instructions specific to your model, including information about the recommended oil type.

Begin by parking your mower on a flat, level surface. Turn the engine off and allow it to cool, remove the ignition key, and disconnect the spark plug ignition wire to prevent accidental starting.

Raise the hood on your John Deere tractor and locate the oil drain valve. Place a drain pan under the valve. Remove the drain cap and let the oil drain into the drain pan. Let the oil drain completely and then return the drain cap. Remove the oil dipstick and clean it with a rag.

Close the drain plug and move the drain pan underneath the oil filter. Turn counterclockwise to remove the oil filter. Use a wrench if the filter is too tight to loosen by hand. Drain the oil out of the filter and dispose of it. Use a rag to remove any dirt or old oil from the oil filter area. Place a few drops of clean oil onto the rubber gasket of the new oil filter and then spin the filter onto the engine.

Add new engine oil to your machine. Pour the new oil into the housing without overfilling. Check the oil level. Reinsert the dipstick for five seconds and pull it out again. Check the dipstick. The oil level on the dipstick should be no higher than the full mark. Reinsert the dipstick.

Start your John Deere tractor and let it run for 10 minutes before turning it off again. Check the oil level using the dipstick again. Add more oil if necessary until the oil level reaches the full mark. Reinsert the dipstick and make sure it fits snugly.

Lower the hood on the tractor and remove the drain pan. Properly dispose of the old engine oil.

Use our illustrated parts diagrams to locate any replacement parts you may need for maintenance for your John Deere tractor.

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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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John Deere Gator Oil Change

John Deere Gator Oil Change

Maintenance is critical to ensuring your machine runs properly for years to come. Oil changes should be performed on your John Deere Gator a routine basis to extend its lifespan. Here are the steps required for a John Deere Gator oil change.

Before performing any maintenance on your John Deere, refer to your operator’s manual. It lists required maintenance, safety information, and instructions for your machine. Maintenance instructions vary by model, so depending on your model our instructions may vary slightly.

To perform an oil change on your Gator, you’ll need a new oil filter, new engine oil, drain pan, funnel, oil filter wrench, and rags.

Start the engine of your Gator to warm the oil. Park the machine on a level surface and allow the engine to cool. Engage the parking brake. Raise and secure the cargo box. Remove the key and disconnect the battery.

Drain the oil by removing the oil fill cap from the filler opening. Place the drain pan under the engine pan drain hole and the oil filler drain hole. Remove the drain plug and drain the oil into the pan. Allow the oil to drain completely.

Remove the oil filter and use your rag to clean the filter and remove any debris. If necessary, use the oil filter wrench to loosen the filter. Drain any residual oil from the filter into the drain pan.

We recommend applying a layer of engine oil on the gasket of the new filter to help with installation of the filter. After the filter is in place, tighten it until it is snug but do not overtighten.

Install the drain plug and tighten. Use your funnel to add oil. Fill the oil to the recommended level and check the oil level before cleaning around the dipstick to remove any debris.

Reconnect the battery of your John Deere Gator, and then start the engine. Allow it to run and idle, and check for any leaks.

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6 Lawn Care Tips for Fall

6 Lawn Care Tips for Fall

Summer is over, but before the warm weather is completely gone for the year, now is the perfect time to groom and prepare your yard for fall.

Tip #1 – Keep the grass tall

Tall grass helps keep moisture during warmer temperatures. Mowing high also decreases turf damage from mowing too short, the grass is more drought tolerant, and more weed and grub tolerant.

Tip #2 – Trim and clean up your edges

Hedge trimmers and pruners are great lawn care tools to use this time of year. Fall is the perfect time to handle overgrown bushes and shrubs. Cutting old and thick branches promotes the growth of new stems.

An edger, string trimmer, or brushcutter are also great tools to enhance the look of your yard. They add bold, new definition to the area, and additionally they stop the entrance of plant roots into your sidewalk and driveway. After winter is over, it will be easier to reestablish a beautiful lawn and garden.

Tip #3 – Overseed when needed

You don’t want bald spots on your lawn when fall ends so it’s a good idea to overseed now.

If you are overseeding, do not mow high. When overseeding, cut the grass at your mower’s lowest height and bag the mower clippings instead of using them as mulch. This way, the seeds will get maximum contact with the soil and new grass will grow.

Tip #4 – Fertilize

While there are a variety of blended fertilizers in stores, fertilizing starts with you and your mower. Mow your lawn as you normally would and leave the finely chopped grass clippings on your lawn as mulch. Mulching allows the grass to naturally decompose while allowing nutrients to reach your soil and improve the health of your lawn.

Tip #5 – Aerate compacted soil

Aerating entails punching holes into the lawn to allow oxygen, water, and nutrients to reach the soil. The goal of aeration is to loosen compacted soil and is needed for lawns that suffer from heavy foot traffic and construction.

Tip #6 – Dethatch the lawn

Controlling the thatch on your lawn is an important part of lawn care. The thatch layer is the layer of dead grass, roots, and debris that accumulate on the surface of the soil. Over time, a thick mat forms and this prevents air and water from reaching the soil. Therefore, your lawn is more susceptible to diseases and pests.

If the thatch layer is over a half inch thick, it should be removed. Most lawns need dethatching once a year. To check if it’s time, work your fingers into the grass and take note of the thatch layer. To remove thatch from your lawn, use a dethatching rake or power dethatcher.

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5 Ways To Prepare For Winter Storms

5 Ways To Prepare For Winter Storms

When it comes to winter storms, are you doing everything you can to get ready for heavy snow and prevent possible weather damage? Gear up ahead of time with these preparation tips and reduce winter weather-related problems before they hit.

1 – Use A Good De-Icer On Walkways

When it comes to de-icers, the benefits of professional-grade ice melt greatly outweigh ordinary rock salt. Typically composed of calcium, magnesium, potassium, chloride, or a combination of these, ice melt lowers the freezing point of water to melt snow and ice at much lower temperatures.

Additionally, ice melt is less corrosive than rock salt, making it safer for your driveway, sidewalk, and yard. Less corrosion is also good news for your shoes and carpet, so you can breathe easier when accidentally tracking residual ice melt indoors.

2 – Trim Overgrown Branches

Winter storms bring extreme winter winds, ice, and heavy snow. When that wind, ice and snow hit, your trees may pose a potential hazard to you and your home. Branches that are close to your house can break off and cause serious damage, leaving you with more than just a damaged tree.

To help prevent damage and injury, use a chainsaw to trim overgrown or loose branches before storms pass through.

3 – Clean Gutters

Leaf-clogged gutters often cause major problems when combined with winter weather. Left unattended, debris buildup can lead to water overflow, ice dams, and even flooding.

If you’ve experienced some flooding before, try using a water pump to collect standing water from floors or other areas where liquid and debris may have settled.

4 – Choose A Reliable Generator

Having the right generator on hand can mean the difference between operating your home without interruption or going days without power. Avoid being stuck without lights, charging stations, and appliances by keeping a generator nearby for surprise outages.

5 – Tune Up Your Snow Blower

For ultimate convenience this winter, remember to tune up your snow blower and make sure it is in great working order before the first big snowfall. Having your snow blower ready to go will help cut down on any surprise malfunctions when it’s time to clear your driveway.

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