How To Start A John Deere Riding Mower?

Last Updated on September 12, 2023 by Marjorie R. Rogers

To start a John Deere riding mower, insert the ignition key and turn it to the “on” position. Then, set the throttle lever to the desired speed.

John Deere riding mowers are a popular and reliable choice for maintaining large lawns and gardens. Starting the mower is a simple process that requires just a few steps. Begin by locating the ignition key and inserting it into the ignition switch.

Turn the key to the “on” position to activate the mower’s electrical system. Next, adjust the throttle lever to the desired speed. Once you have completed these steps, you are ready to begin mowing your lawn with your John Deere riding mower. Remember to follow all safety guidelines and instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Table of contents

The Key Components Of Your John Deere Riding Mower

Understanding the key components of your John Deere riding mower is essential in knowing how to start it. Familiarize yourself with the ignition switch, choke, throttle, brake, and key safety features to ensure a smooth and safe operation every time.

If you are a proud owner of a John Deere riding mower, knowing the key components is essential for a smooth and efficient mowing experience. Familiarizing yourself with the engine and fuel system, the cutting deck, and the control panel and levers will help you operate your mower with confidence.

In this section, we will delve into these components, providing you with the necessary information to get started. So, let’s dive in and explore the key components of your John Deere riding mower!

Identifying The Engine And Fuel System

  • The engine: It is crucial to understand the engine of your John Deere riding mower. Here are the key points:
  • Location: The engine is usually located under the seat or hood of the mower.
  • Power and horsepower: The engine powers your mower and determines its cutting capabilities. It is typically measured in horsepower (HP).
  • Maintenance: Regularly inspect and service the engine to keep it running smoothly.
  • Fuel type: Determine the fuel type recommended for your mower (gasoline, diesel, or electric).
  • The fuel system: Understanding the fuel system is essential to keep your mower fueled and functioning optimally.
  • Fuel tank: Locate the fuel tank on your mower and ensure it is adequately filled with the recommended fuel.
  • Fuel filter: Check and replace the fuel filter as indicated in your mower’s maintenance schedule to prevent fuel contamination.
  • Fuel lines: Inspect the fuel lines for any signs of damage or leaks and address them promptly.

Familiarizing Yourself With The Cutting Deck

The cutting deck: The cutting deck is where the magic happens, as it houses the blades responsible for a precise and even cut. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Deck size: Each John Deere riding mower has a specific cutting deck size, which determines its cutting width. Measure the deck for reference.
  • Blades: Identify the cutting blades and make sure they are sharp, balanced, and free of debris. Replace or sharpen blades if necessary.
  • Cutting height adjustment: Understand how to adjust the cutting height according to your preferred grass length.
  • Maintenance: Regularly clean the cutting deck to prevent grass clippings from clogging, which can affect cutting performance.

The Control Panel And Levers

  • Control panel: The control panel is where you’ll find the necessary levers and controls to operate your John Deere riding mower effectively.
  • Ignition switch: Locate the ignition switch and become familiar with its operation to start and stop the engine.
  • Throttle control: Understand the throttle control to adjust engine speed, allowing you to match the mowing conditions.
  • Forward and reverse pedals: Identify the pedals responsible for moving your mower forward or backward safely.
  • Brakes: Locate and familiarize yourself with the brake system, ensuring you can stop the mower promptly when necessary.
  • Levers: Your John Deere riding mower may have additional levers for specific functions such as engaging the blades or controlling the speed.
  • Blade engagement: Find the lever responsible for engaging and disengaging the blades for cutting.
  • Speed control: If applicable, locate the lever or control for adjusting the mower’s speed according to your mowing needs.
  • Additional levers: Depending on the model, your mower may have other levers for specific functions such as bagging or mulching.

By understanding the engine and fuel system, the cutting deck, and the control panel and levers of your John Deere riding mower, you’ll be well-equipped to start mowing your lawn. Take the time to familiarize yourself with these key components, ensuring you can operate your mower efficiently and with confidence.

So, let’s get out there and make your lawn look its best with your John Deere riding mower!

Checking And Preparing Your John Deere Riding Mower

To start your John Deere riding mower, first, check the oil level and fill it if needed. Then, prime the engine and set the throttle to the choke position. Next, turn the key or push the start button to start the engine.

Finally, engage the blades and adjust the cutting height as desired.

Checking The Oil Level And Quality:

It is essential to regularly check the oil level and quality of your John Deere riding mower to ensure optimal engine performance. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Park your mower on a level surface and allow the engine to cool down.
  • Locate the oil dipstick, usually positioned near the engine block.
  • Remove the dipstick, wipe it clean, and reinsert it fully.
  • Withdraw the dipstick again and check the oil level. It should ideally be between the minimum and maximum marks on the dipstick.
  • Examine the oil’s color and consistency. Clean, amber-colored oil is ideal, while dirty or dark oil may signal the need for an oil change.
  • If the oil level is low, add the recommended type of oil slowly, avoiding overfilling. Consult your mower’s manual for the specific oil type and fill capacity.
  • After adding oil, recheck the level using the dipstick and ensure it falls within the acceptable range.
  • Always dispose of used oil properly, following local regulations.

Inspecting The Air Filter And Cleaning If Necessary:

A clogged or dirty air filter can impair engine performance, making it crucial to inspect and clean it regularly. Follow these steps:

  • Turn off the mower’s engine and let it cool down.
  • Locate the air filter housing, usually on the side or top of the engine.
  • Remove the housing cover, either by unscrewing it or releasing the clips.
  • Take out the air filter and inspect it for dirt, debris, or excessive dust buildup.
  • If the filter appears dirty, gently tap it against a hard surface to remove loose debris. Avoid excessive force to prevent damage.
  • Inspect the filter for damage. If torn or severely clogged, it is recommended to replace it.
  • If cleaning is required, use compressed air or a soft brush to remove the remaining dirt. Ensure the filter is completely dry before reinserting it.
  • Align the filter correctly in the housing and secure the cover back in place.
  • Regularly check and clean the air filter to maintain optimal airflow and prolong the mower’s life.

Testing The Battery And Charging If Needed:

A reliable battery is crucial to starting your John Deere riding mower. Here’s how you can test and charge the battery as needed:

  • Ensure that the mower’s engine is off and parked on a level surface.
  • Locate the battery, usually positioned under the seat or near the engine.
  • Check for any visible signs of corrosion or loose connections. Clean away any corrosion using a wire brush and tighten any loose terminals.
  • Use a multimeter to test the battery voltage. A fully charged battery should read around 12.6 volts or higher.
  • If the voltage is significantly lower, connect the battery to a trickle charger or battery maintainer. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the specific charger model.
  • Leave the battery charging for the recommended duration, ensuring it reaches a full charge.
  • Once charged, disconnect the battery charger and retest the voltage to confirm it is within the recommended range.
  • Reinstall the battery, ensuring proper connection and secure fastening.
  • Regularly check the battery and its connections to ensure optimal performance for starting your John Deere riding mower.

Starting Your John Deere Riding Mower

To start a John Deere riding mower, simply turn the ignition key in the right sequence, ensuring the parking brake is engaged and the blades are disengaged. Then, move the throttle to the proper setting and gently turn the ignition key to start the engine.

Enjoy a hassle-free start to maintaining your lawn with your John Deere riding mower.

Sitting in the operator’s seat and adjusting the settings:

  • Take a seat in the operator’s seat of your John Deere riding mower.
  • Ensure that both your feet are positioned firmly on the floorboard.
  • Adjust the seat to a comfortable position, allowing you to reach all the controls easily.
  • Familiarize yourself with the various settings and controls on the mower, such as the throttle, cutting height adjustment, and attachments.

Engaging the parking brake and shifting into neutral gear:

  • Before starting the engine, engage the parking brake to prevent the mower from moving unintentionally.
  • Locate the parking brake lever or pedal and engage it securely.
  • Check that you are in neutral gear by shifting the gear lever into the neutral position.
  • Gently release the brake pedal or lever to make sure the mower stays in place.

Activating the choke and turning the ignition key:

  • Most John Deere riding mowers feature a choke to aid in starting the engine.
  • Locate the choke lever or knob and activate it by moving it to the “choke” position.
  • Insert the ignition key into the ignition switch, typically located on the dashboard.
  • Rotate the key clockwise to start the engine while ensuring that the choke is engaged.

Remember, practice proper safety measures and refer to your John Deere riding mower’s user manual for specific instructions tailored to your model. Happy mowing!

To address fuel-related starting problems on a John Deere riding mower, follow these steps for a smooth start. First, check the fuel level and ensure it is sufficient. Next, inspect the fuel filter and clean or replace if necessary. Then, verify that the spark plug is clean and properly connected.

Finally, prime the engine by pressing the priming bulb several times before starting.

If you’re having trouble starting your John Deere riding mower, the issue could be related to fuel. Addressing fuel-related starting problems is crucial to ensure a smooth and hassle-free mowing experience. Here are some essential steps to help you troubleshoot and resolve these problems:

Checking The Fuel Level And Quality:

  • Always start by checking the fuel level in your mower’s tank. Low fuel can prevent the engine from starting or running properly. Ensure the tank is adequately filled before attempting to start your John Deere riding mower.
  • Along with checking the fuel level, make sure the fuel is of good quality. Stale or contaminated fuel can cause starting issues.

Cleaning Or Replacing The Fuel Filter:

  • A clogged or dirty fuel filter can restrict fuel flow, leading to starting problems. Regularly clean or replace the fuel filter as per your mower’s maintenance schedule.
  • To clean the fuel filter, remove it from the mower and use compressed air or a brush to remove any dirt or debris.
  • If the fuel filter is beyond cleaning, consider replacing it with a new one. This will help maintain proper fuel flow to the engine, ensuring easy starts.

Ensuring The Fuel Shutoff Valve Is Open:

  • Sometimes, the fuel shutoff valve can accidentally get closed during maintenance or storage. Before starting your John Deere riding mower, double-check that the fuel shutoff valve is open.
  • Locate the fuel shutoff valve near the fuel tank and ensure it points parallel to the fuel line, indicating an open position. This will allow fuel to flow freely to the engine.

Remember, addressing fuel-related starting problems is essential to keep your John Deere riding mower running smoothly. By regularly checking the fuel level and quality, cleaning or replacing the fuel filter, and ensuring the fuel shutoff valve is open, you can overcome these starting issues and enjoy an uninterrupted mowing experience.

Troubleshooting Electrical Starting Issues

Having trouble starting your John Deere riding mower? Follow these troubleshooting steps to identify and resolve any electrical starting issues effectively.

If you’re having trouble starting your John Deere riding mower, it can be frustrating. Before you panic, though, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot and potentially fix any electrical starting issues. By following these simple procedures, you may be able to get your lawn mower up and running in no time.

Testing The Battery Voltage And Connections:

  • Check the battery voltage using a voltmeter: Connect the positive and negative leads of the voltmeter to the corresponding battery terminals, and ensure that the reading is at least 12 volts. If it’s below that, you may need to recharge or replace your battery.
  • Inspect the battery connections: Make sure the connections are tight and free of corrosion or damage. Clean the terminals if necessary, using a wire brush or battery terminal cleaner.
  • Test the battery with a load tester: Attach a load tester to the battery and apply a load. If the voltage drops significantly, it may indicate a weak battery that needs to be replaced.

Checking The Ignition Switch And Wiring For Damage:

  • Inspect the ignition switch: Ensure that the switch is in the “off” position before starting. Check for any visible damage or loose connections. If needed, replace the switch.
  • Examine the wiring: Look for any frayed or damaged wires that could be causing a short circuit. Repair or replace any faulty wiring.

Inspecting The Starter Solenoid And Motor:

  • Locate the starter solenoid: It is usually mounted on the engine or battery tray. Check for any signs of damage, such as corrosion or loose connections.
  • Test the solenoid using a multimeter: Measure the resistance across the solenoid terminals using a multimeter. If there is a high resistance reading or no reading at all, the solenoid may be faulty and require replacement.
  • Inspect the starter motor: Look for any visible damage, such as loose connections, worn-out brushes, or a faulty armature. If necessary, repair or replace the starter motor.

Remember, before attempting any troubleshooting or repairs, always refer to your John Deere riding mower’s manual for specific instructions and safety guidelines. With these troubleshooting steps, you’ll be well on your way to diagnosing and fixing any electrical starting issues with your John Deere riding mower.

Happy mowing!

Handling Mechanical Starting Problems

Having trouble starting your John Deere riding mower? Here are some effective tips to handle mechanical starting problems. Get your mower up and running smoothly in no time.

Starting a John Deere riding mower can sometimes be a bit tricky, especially if you encounter mechanical starting problems. In this section, we will explore three key aspects to consider when handling mechanical starting problems. Let’s dive in:

Checking The Spark Plug Condition And Gap:

  • Inspect the spark plug for signs of wear, such as carbon deposits or damage.
  • Ensure that the spark plug is securely attached to the wire.
  • Use a spark plug gap tool to measure the gap between the spark plug electrodes. It should be within the recommended range specified in the user manual.
  • Adjust the gap if necessary, as an incorrect gap can inhibit proper ignition and lead to starting issues.
  • Consider replacing the spark plug if it shows significant signs of wear or damage.

Verifying Proper Belt Tension And Alignment:

  • Check the belt tension by applying moderate pressure with your finger. It should have a slight give, but not be too loose or too tight.
  • Inspect the belt for any signs of wear, cracks, or fraying. A damaged belt can prevent the engine from starting properly.
  • Ensure that the belt is aligned correctly on the pulleys. Misalignment can cause the belt to slip or not engage properly, resulting in starting difficulties.
  • Adjust the tension or replace the belt if necessary to ensure proper functioning.

Examining The Engine’S Compression Levels:

  • Use a compression gauge to measure the compression levels of the engine cylinders.
  • Each cylinder should have a similar compression reading, as a significant difference can indicate a problem.
  • Compare the compression readings with the manufacturer’s specifications to determine if they are within the acceptable range.
  • Low compression levels can result in hard starting or no starting at all, indicating potential engine issues.
  • Consult a professional technician if you suspect compression problems, as they can provide further guidance and assistance.

Remember, addressing these mechanical starting problems can significantly improve the performance and starting capabilities of your John Deere riding mower. Regular maintenance and inspections are key to preventing these issues from occurring in the first place.

Performing Regular Maintenance Tasks

Performing regular maintenance tasks is essential for starting a John Deere riding mower. These tasks include checking the oil level, inspecting the spark plug, cleaning the air filter, and ensuring the battery is charged. By following these steps, you can ensure a smooth and efficient start to your mower.

Regular maintenance is crucial in ensuring the longevity and optimal performance of your John Deere riding mower. By following a few simple maintenance tasks, you can keep your mower in excellent condition. Let’s take a look at three essential maintenance tasks you should perform regularly:

Changing The Oil And Oil Filter:

  • Drain the old oil by removing the oil drain plug beneath the mower.
  • Replace the oil filter by unscrewing it counterclockwise and installing a new one.
  • Refill the engine with the recommended oil, ensuring it reaches the proper level.

Cleaning And Sharpening The Cutting Blades:

  • Start by disconnecting the spark plug wire and turning off the mower.
  • Remove the blades carefully by loosening the bolt at the center.
  • Clean the blades using a brush or hose, removing any grass clippings or debris.
  • Inspect for damage or excessive wear. If necessary, replace the blades.
  • Sharpen the cutting edges with a file or grinder, maintaining a balanced shape.
  • Reinstall the blades, ensuring they are secured tightly.

Inspecting And Replacing The Air Filter:

  • Locate the air filter, usually positioned near the engine or under the hood.
  • Remove the air filter cover by loosening the screws or clips.
  • Inspect the filter for dirt, debris, or damage. If necessary, replace it with a new one.
  • Clean the air filter housing before installing the new filter.
  • Reattach the cover securely, ensuring it is airtight.

By performing these regular maintenance tasks on your John Deere riding mower, you can ensure its proper functioning and extend its lifespan. Remember to consult the user manual for specific instructions and recommended maintenance intervals. Keep your mower in top shape, and enjoy a well-maintained lawn year after year.

How To Start A John Deere Riding Mower?


Storing Your John Deere Riding Mower Properly

Properly storing your John Deere riding mower is crucial to ensure its longevity and functionality. Here’s a simple guide on how to start your John Deere riding mower and keep it in great shape all year round.

When it comes to storing your John Deere riding mower, proper maintenance and protection are essential. Follow these steps to ensure that your mower remains in top condition during the off-season:

Draining The Fuel Or Using A Fuel Stabilizer:

  • If you plan to store your riding mower for an extended period, consider draining the fuel tank completely.
  • Alternatively, you can use a fuel stabilizer to prevent the fuel from deteriorating and causing starting issues.
  • Add the fuel stabilizer according to the manufacturer’s instructions, run the engine for a few minutes, and then turn it off.
  • This will ensure that the stabilized fuel reaches all the necessary components.

Cleaning The Mower Thoroughly:

  • Before storing your John Deere riding mower, give it a thorough cleaning to remove any dirt, grass clippings, or debris.
  • Start by removing the mower deck and cleaning the underside to prevent rust and corrosion.
  • Use a brush or compressed air to remove any residue from the blades, belts, and engine.
  • Clean the exterior of the mower using a mild detergent and water, ensuring all surfaces are free from dirt and grime.
  • Dry the mower thoroughly before storage to prevent moisture-related damage.

Protecting It From The Elements:

  • Find a suitable storage space for your John Deere riding mower, such as a garage, shed, or covered area.
  • Ensure that the storage location is dry and well-ventilated to prevent mold or mildew growth.
  • If storing outdoors is the only option, invest in a durable, weatherproof cover to protect the mower from rain, snow, and harsh sunlight.
  • Secure the cover tightly to prevent it from blowing off in strong winds.
  • Additionally, elevate the mower on blocks or use a tire jack to prevent flat-spotting of the tires during long-term storage.

By following these storage tips, you can keep your John Deere riding mower in optimal condition and ensure a smooth start when the mowing season begins again. Remember to drain the fuel or use a fuel stabilizer, clean the mower thoroughly, and protect it from the elements.

With proper care and maintenance, your mower will be ready to tackle any lawn when the time comes.

Troubleshooting And Fixing Common Issues

Having trouble starting your John Deere riding mower? Learn how to troubleshoot and fix common issues in just a few steps. Find out the easy and practical ways to get your mower up and running smoothly.

Is your John Deere riding mower giving you trouble? No worries! We’ve got you covered with some handy troubleshooting tips and fixes for common issues. Whether you’re dealing with engine overheating, uneven cutting or striping problems, or steering and control difficulties, we’ll help you get back on track.

Keep reading to find out how to address these issues and restore the performance of your John Deere riding mower.

Addressing Engine Overheating Problems:

  • Check the cooling system: Ensure that the radiator, cooling fins, and air passages are clean and free from debris.
  • Monitor the coolant level: Make sure the coolant is at the proper level and not diluted or contaminated.
  • Inspect the cooling fan: Verify that the fan is working properly and not obstructed. Replace if necessary.
  • Check the oil level: Ensure the engine has adequate oil, as low levels can contribute to overheating.
  • Examine the spark plug: A worn or damaged spark plug can cause the engine to overheat. Replace if needed.

Resolving Uneven Cutting Or Striping Issues:

  • Check the mower deck height: Ensure that the mower deck is set at the correct cutting height for your desired outcome.
  • Inspect the blades: Dull or damaged blades can result in uneven cutting. Sharpen or replace as necessary.
  • Clean the mower deck: Remove any debris or grass clippings that may be obstructing the blades or impeding the cutting process.
  • Maintain a consistent speed: Avoid speeding up or slowing down abruptly, as this can lead to uneven cutting patterns.

Fixing Steering Or Control Problems:

  • Check the tire pressure: Ensure that all tires are properly inflated to the recommended pressure for improved steering and control.
  • Inspect the steering components: Look for signs of wear or damage in the steering linkage, Pitman arm, and tie rods. Replace any faulty parts.
  • Lubricate moving parts: Apply grease to lubrication points such as the steering shaft, pivot points, and front axle to reduce friction and improve control.
  • Adjust the steering alignment: If the mower veers to one side, adjust the steering alignment using the adjustment mechanisms provided.

With these troubleshooting tips and fixes, you’ll be able to address common issues with your John Deere riding mower and ensure it remains in optimal working condition. Remember to perform regular maintenance and inspections to prevent problems from arising in the first place.

Happy mowing!

Frequently Asked Questions For How To Start A John Deere Riding Mower?

How Do I Get My Riding Lawn Mower To Start?

To get your riding lawn mower to start, follow these steps: 1. Check the fuel and make sure there’s enough in the tank. 2. Ensure the ignition switch is in the “on” position. 3. Prime the engine by pumping the primer bulb a few times.

4. Pull the starter cord firmly and swiftly to start the mower. Remember to properly maintain your lawn mower by cleaning the air filter, changing the spark plug, and using fresh fuel regularly.

How Do You Operate A John Deere Riding Lawn Mower?

To operate a John Deere riding lawn mower, follow these steps: 1. Sit on the mower seat and ensure the parking brake is engaged. 2. Insert the ignition key, turn it to the “On” position, and engage the choke if needed.

3. Push the throttle lever to the desired speed, usually indicated by rabbit, turtle, or numbers. 4. Release the parking brake and slowly depress the brake pedal to disengage the brake. 5. Gently push the forward or reverse pedal to move in the desired direction.

6. To cut grass, engage the mower blades by pulling the PTO (Power Take-Off) switch or lever. 7. Steer the mower using the steering wheel, keeping an eye on obstacles and other safety precautions. 8. When done mowing, disengage the blades by releasing the PTO switch or lever.

9. Gradually bring the mower to a complete stop by releasing the forward or reverse pedal. 10. Turn off the engine by turning the ignition key to the “Off” position. Remember to read the operator’s manual for more detailed instructions and safety guidelines.

How Do You Start A John Deere L110 Lawn Mower?

To start a John Deere L110 lawn mower, follow these steps: 1. Insert the key into the ignition. 2. Turn the key to the “on” position. 3. Push the throttle lever to the “fast” position. 4. Depress the brake pedal fully.

5. Turn the key to the “start” position. 6. Release the key once the engine starts. 7. Release the brake pedal. 8. Adjust the throttle lever to your desired speed.

How Do You Start An Old John Deere?

To start an old John Deere, follow these steps: 1. Check the fuel and oil levels. 2. Turn the ignition key to the “on” position. 3. Push the clutch fully in. 4. Engage the choke if needed. 5. Turn the key to start the engine.

How Do You Start A John Deere Riding Mower?

To start a John Deere riding mower, ensure the parking brake is engaged, seat is occupied, and turn the ignition key to the start position.


Starting a John Deere riding mower is a simple and straightforward process that can be accomplished by following a few easy steps. By ensuring that you have a clear understanding of the mower’s controls and safety features, you can safely and confidently start your machine.

Remember to conduct a thorough inspection of the mower before starting it, checking the fuel level and oil levels, as well as the condition of the air filter. Once everything is in proper order, you can begin the starting process by engaging the parking brake, setting the choke, and turning the key.

With these actions, you’ll be on your way to maintaining a well-manicured lawn and enjoying the benefits of your John Deere riding mower. Happy mowing!

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