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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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!

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.

Free Parts Search - Tips to Store Small Engine Equipment for Winter   Shop Now - Tips to Store Small Engine Equipment for Winter

Maintenance Tips for John Deere Zero Turn Riders

Maintenance Tips for John Deere Zero Turn Riders

Your John Deere zero turn rider takes care of your lawn all summer long, and you need to take care of your machine in return. Over time, normal wear and tear occurs and things don’t run or function like they used to. Regular maintenance is the key. With regular maintenance, your John Deere will have a long, healthy life so use these tips to keep your zero turn rider running like new.

Before performing any maintenance on your zero turn, refer to your operator’s manual as it lists the required maintenance, safety information, and instructions for your machine. Maintenance instructions vary by model, so depending on your zero turn rider model number our instructions may vary slightly.

Make sure you engage the parking brake, stop the engine and allow the engine to cool before performing any maintenance on your John Deere zero turn rider.

Air filter maintenance

Wipe away any debris from around the air cleaner area and open the cover. Remove the air filter and gently tap it to dislodge any dirt and debris. Never use compressed air to blow an air filter out because it will open the pours of the paper and let dirt into the engine.

Inspect the air filter and if dirt is deeply embedded in the pleats or there is obvious wear and tear, it’s time to replace the filter. Before reinstalling or replacing the air filter, clean the area around the air cleaner base.

Engine oil maintenance

Change the oil in your John Deere zero turn rider after the first 5 hours of mowing, and then every year or 100 mowing hours after that. To drain the oil, run your engine for 5 minutes or more to warm the oil. Warm oil drains easier. Park your mower so the drain side is slightly lower than the other side to help make sure the oil drains completely.  Drain the oil into a drain pan.

Wipe around the dipstick to get rid of any dirt that may fall into the filler hole. Remove the dipstick and add oil. Refer to your owner’s manual for the proper oil to put in your machine. Pour about 80% of the oil into the filler tube and check the oil level with the dipstick, and then add more oil as necessary.

Oil filter maintenance

Change the oil filter in your John Deere zero turn rider every time you change your oil. Remove the old filter by hand or with a filter wrench. Use a drain pan to catch oil spilling from the old filter. Wipe excess oil off the engine opening with a rag.

Apply a thin layer of clean oil to the new oil filter’s gasket and screw the filter on. Turn the filter until the gasket contacts the engine and then tighten it an additional three-quarters of a turn. Be sure not to over tighten it.

Spark plug maintenance

Clean around the base of the plug before removing the spark plug to prevent dirt and debris from contaminating the engine. To replace the spark plug, remove the ignition wire and use a deep well socket to remove the plug and metal washer.

Inspect the condition of the spark plug and the washer. If you see light brown or gray on the insulator, the engine is working properly. Check the gap between the center and side electrodes with a feeler gauge. If there is a black coating on the insulator the air cleaner is dirty and the spark plug needs to be replaced. Install and tighten the new spark plug with the socket wrench and reconnect the ignition wire.

Perform maintenance on your John Deere zero turn rider regularly to improve performance and keep the machine running smoothly.

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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John Deere Spark Plug Maintenance

For smooth and efficient running, your John Deere’s spark plug must be maintained.  To complete the following steps you will need a wrench with spark plug socket and feeler gauge.

  • make sure engine is cool and key is removed
  • remove spark plug wire
  • use spark plug socket to remove spark plug
  • discard foul plug and install a new one (if dirty, cracked, and/or broken)
  • use operator’s manual to adjust new plug gap
  • tighten the spark plug in place and reattach the spark plug wire