Lawn Mower Troubleshooting Tips

Lawn Mower Troubleshooting Tips

If your John Deere lawn mower is not properly cared for it will have a shorter life and experience more problems. Spring is upon us and that means it’s time to begin your yard maintenance. Here’s what to do when you’re ready to tackle yard work but your John Deere equipment isn’t.

Tip #1 – Utilize new fuel and air filters

For starters, fresh fuel and a clean air filter will help prevent lawn mower problems. To clean your air filter, tap it to remove lose debris. If you hold it to the light and see the light, it’s okay to use. If there is no light, replace it with a new air filter.

Use fresh, mid-grade fuel with no higher than E10 Ethanol rating, stored in a clean, sealed container.

Tip #2 – Check bolts, wheels, cables and belts

Tighten all bolts. Check that the lawn mower wheels, cables and belts are not overly worn to avoid problems when you are mowing.

Tip #3 – Check spark plugs and carburetors

Common problems that affect the performance of your John Deere lawn mower are fouled spark plugs, and flooded carburetors.

Replacing the spark plug can make a huge difference in the performance of your mower. Change your spark plug every two years. To avoid a flooded carburetor, you need to drain the carburetor and put new fuel in it.

Tip #4 – Keep a sharp lawn mower blade

A dull blade will not prevent your John Deere lawn mower from starting but it will affect your lawn. Dull blades trim grass unevenly and leave the tips of your grass torn and not cleanly-sliced. If your blade is dull, have it sharpened and balanced for efficient mowing.

Tip #5 – Keep up with routine maintenance

Staying on top of routine maintenance will increase the performance and life span of your John Deere lawn mower and other equipment.

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How to Grease the Wheel Bearings on your John Deere Zero Turn Rider

How to Grease the Wheel Bearings on your John Deere Zero Turn Rider

Your John Deere zero turn rider works hard and requires regular maintenance to ensure a long and reliable service life. Part of this maintenance includes greasing the wheel bearings on the front of your mower. You should lubricate the bearings one to two times each mowing season to protect them from wear and keep them spinning smoothly.

Before performing any maintenance on your John Deere lawn mower, refer to your owner’s manual for maintenance instructions and safety information. Also, you’ll need a grease gun and grease for your zero turn mower.

Park your John Deere mower on a level surface, stop the engine, and remove the ignition key. Move to the front of your mower and locate the grease fittings on the outside hub of the caster wheels. These fittings, also referred to as zerks, make it easy to apply grease to the wheels internal bearings.

Start by cleaning the fitting on the wheels with a rag. Remove any grass, dirt or debris that could interfere with greasing the wheel bearings. Make sure the spring-loaded bearing ball inside the inlet is visible and free to move.

Attach the nozzle on the end of the grease gun to the fitting on one of the caster wheels. Pump grease into the fitting until you see a little bit of grease ooze out of the wheel bearing. Use your rag to wipe away excess grease that oozes out to prevent the accumulation of dirt and debris. Move to the other front wheel and grease the wheel bearing. When complete, again wipe excess grease with a rag.

Don’t forget to factor your wheel bearings into your lawn mower maintenance checklist. No matter how small it may seem, performing maintenance on your wheel bearings plays a huge role in the performance of your John Deere equipment.

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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.

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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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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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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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How to Change the Deck Belt on a John Deere Riding Lawn Mower

How to Change the Deck Belt on a John Deere Riding Lawn Mower

When the deck belt on your John Deere riding lawn mower begins to make noise, slip, or snap, it’s time to replace it. It’s a good idea to stay on top of maintenance and repairs to extend the life of your mower. Though changing the deck belt on your lawn mower may seem overwhelming, it’s a relatively easy task. Here’s how to change the deck belt on a John Deere riding lawn mower.

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

Before changing the deck belt, make sure your lawn mower is parked on a flat, level surface. Shut off the engine, remove the key from the ignition, and disconnect the spark plug wire to prevent accidental starting.

Once this is done, raise the deck height lever to the highest setting. Place wooden blocks under each side of the mower deck to prepare for deck removal. Lower the deck height lever to its lowest position so the mower deck rests on the blocks.

Disconnect the deck lift linkages by removing the pins and washers. Remove the linkages from the deck, disconnect the rear draft arm, and disconnect the mower deck belt to remove the deck from the mower. Remove the wooden blocks and allow the deck wheels to touch the ground. Slide the deck from underneath the mower.

Remove the belt covers by removing the screws that hold it in place. Loosen the sheaves and remove the old deck belt. Replace it with a new John Deere deck belt.

Route the deck belt around the sheaves and pulleys, following the same path as the belt you removed. Replace the belt covers and screw them into place, and re-tighten the sheaves with the belt in position.

Place the deck height lever in the transport position to reattach the mower deck. Slide the deck back under the machine. Reinstall the pins and washers to reattach the linkage to the deck, and reattach the rear draft arm to the deck.

Lastly, reconnect the spark plug ignition wire and start the mower.

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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