John Deere is one of the few brands in the world that have no real haters. In the landscaping industry, the brand made a huge name for itself by offering a wide variety of commercial and residential tractors at different price ranges. If you have done any mowing in your lifetime, you’ve probably heard their name already.
The 1010 by them is a truly old-school heavy-duty riding mower designed to tackle any job you throw at it. It can use a host of attachments, and its powerful engine can work wonders in lawns of any size. While it may not hold a candle to today’s top-tier lawnmowers, it still works well in a residential setting.
And if you found one on sale, it will make a pretty nice pickup. However, there are some issues that you need to know about before you make that jump. Like any other lawnmower out there, the John Deere 1010 can also show several issues if you don’t take care of it.
That’s where I come in. In this article, I will guide you through some of the common problems that can come up in your John Deere 1010 lawnmower and give you some troubleshooting tips to fix them. So, let’s hop in.
Common Issues In The John Deere 1010 And How To Fix Them
I believe the best way to keep your tractor healthy is to get ahead of the problem. And if you know the sort of issues that can come up in the John Deere 1010, you will be able to diagnose and fix them before things get too complicated.
So, if you have this lawnmower in your shed, it’s a good idea to read up on its problems. Here are some of the common issues that you might face in your John Deere 1010 lawnmower.
1. Engine Running Rough
The John Deere 1010 is equipped with a 36 HP engine that is truly a beast. This lawn tractor can handle all sorts of landscaping and gardening tasks, including but not limited to mowing, mulching, sowing, etc. And its performance is also pretty smooth and relaxing.
However, some people complain that their John Deere 1010 starts poorly performing all of a sudden. The engine starts making weird noises, or the overall performance becomes rough and uneven. This usually indicates a problem in the fuel system or the carburetor.
The first thing to check here is obviously the fuel system. You need to open up the fuel tank and inspect the condition of the fuel. The most frequent cause behind this issue is old, stale fuel. And if you see the fuel in your tank has gone stale, you need to drain it and refill it with fresh fuel.
But when you do that, make sure you are only going with high-quality fuel as per the manufacturer’s recommendation. Going with cheaper fuels might seem like a more budget-friendly option, but the alcohol additives in cheap gasoline can cause engine issues such as this. It is also not very efficient and will go stale faster.
If the fuel system is fine, then there’s a chance that a dirty carburetor is the root of your problem. In that case, access the carburetor and inspect it for any signs of damage or dirt and debris. Use a clean cloth to wipe the carburetor and check if the engine issues are fixed.
2. Stuck Or Stiff Steering Wheel
The John Deere 1010 comes with a round steering wheel that feels smooth when it’s working as it should. However, in some cases, people notice that the steering wheel in their lawnmowers suddenly gets stiff. Some people even complain that they can’t move the steering at all as it’s stuck in place.
Don’t panic; the problem is fixable. A stuck or stiff steering wheel can mean two things – the fuel level is low, or the hydraulics are acting up. Fixing both of these issues are pretty easy, but since checking the fuel level is easier, I would recommend starting with that one.
Simply open up the fuel tank and check how much is left in the tank. If the fuel level is low, you need to top it off. But if you find that the fuel has gone stale, then you need to drain the tank and replace the old fuel.
If that doesn’t fix your problem, you need to inspect the hydraulic system in your tractor. Of course, if you are not comfortable with tinkering around, you should take it to a repair shop to get it checked by an expert. But if you decide to do it yourself, then all the more power to you.
Inspect the different hoses and connectors in the hydraulic system and look for any signs of leaks or damage. If you find any dirt or debris stuck there, you should remove it right away. Any damaged components also need to be replaced. Finally, check the filters and hydraulic fluid level. If the fluid level is low, refill it.
3. The Tractor Doesn’t Drive Straight
Another frustrating problem that you might face with your John Deere 1010 is that it moves awkwardly and does not seem to respond properly to your commands. As you drive the mower, you will notice that it tugs to the left or right, which can completely mess up your project.
There can be a lot of different reasons why this is happening. Low tire pressure, damaged hydraulics, or problems in the transmission can all play a part in this problem. So, you need to go through each of these areas one by one.
I would recommend starting with the tires. An uneven tire pressure can lead to maneuverability issues like this. So, you need to check the pressure in each tire and make sure they are at the same range. If the pressure is low in one tire, make sure you pump it up to match the rest.
After that, take a look at the hydraulics. Clean up the entire system and reapply hydraulic fluid, as that can mess with the tractor’s drivability. You also need to look for damaged dampers or worn-out bushings in the mower. If you find any, replace them right away.
4. Engine Overheating
The engine in your John Deere 1010 draws a lot of power, and it’s natural for it to get a bit hot. But if you suddenly notice that your engine is getting hotter than usual, you need to stop using the tractor right away. This indicates that your engine is overheating, and if you continue to push it, it might be damaged permanently.
The engine can overheat for a lot of reasons. But the first thing to check here is the coolant level. If the coolant level is low, your engine will not be able to perform optimally. And if you push it, it will eventually overheat. So check the coolant level and top it off if it’s low.
You also need to check the condition of the air and fuel filters. Blockages in the filter can raise the engine temperature. If the filters look damaged, you need to replace them. However, if they are simply dirty, cleaning them well should do the trick.
Frequently Asked Questions
Over the years, people have come to me with a lot of queries regarding John Deere’s lawnmowers. And when it comes to the 1010, people seem to be generally on the fence before buying it. So let me address some of the questions that I get asked to help eliminate any doubts you might be having about the lawnmower.
1. Is The John Deere 1010 A Reliable Mower?
The John Deere 1010 is a pretty reliable lawnmower when you take care of it. It has an extremely powerful 36 HP engine that can deliver massive performance on demand.
But that also means the engine is prone to damage if you are using cheap gasoline with it. If you treat it well, the mower should offer you a reliable performance.
2. Why Was The John Deere 1010 Discontinued?
The John Deere 1010 was one of the earliest lawnmowers that the brand produced back in 1960. It had a solid track record, and it eventually got replaced by the eco-friendlier 1020 after a good five years. With the 1020, the manufacturers came up with a better chassis design and a more efficient fuel usage system.
The 1010 by John Deere isn’t exactly a new lawnmower. It has a pretty old, outdated design that makes it hard for it to keep up with most of the other options available in the market today. Regardless, in a domestic setting, the performance it delivers is pretty outstanding.
Of course, being an old lawnmower, it requires a bit more maintenance than most. But if you take good care of it and service it well, it should serve you well for a long time.
With that said, I hope my in-depth look at the common John Deere 1010 problems could help you resolve any issues you had with the lawnmower. Good luck!