4 Most Common John Deere LT116 Problems And Troubleshooting Guide

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past century or so, you have definitely heard of the name John Deere. For enthusiastic landscapers or professionals, the brand earned somewhat of a legendary status. I, for one, absolutely adore the amazing lawnmowers that they manufacture.

The thing that sets them apart from the other brands is how versatile their catalog is. You can practically start shopping in any price range, and there’s a good chance that you will find a mower that you love within your budget. The same cannot be said for most other lawnmower and garden equipment brands out there.

Take the John Deere LT116, for instance. When it first came out back in the eighties, it cost only around 3000 bucks, which is pretty amazing for the level of performance it offered. And if you can find one on sale near you, it can still be a solid investment to trim your front lawn.

Of course, with any lawnmower, there are some issues that you need to worry about. And the John Deere LT116 has its fair share of problems. But if you take care of your mower and know what to do to fix the problems as they come up, you should be able to get a decent use out of it.

In this article, I will talk about some of the common complaints regarding the LT115 and give you some troubleshooting tips to help you get the most out of it. So, let’s hop in.

4 Common Issues With The John Deere LT116 And How To Fix Them

Lawnmowers can be quite finicky at times. If you don’t take care of them, they can start showing weird issues from time to time. And unless you fix these issues the moment they appear, they can escalate to even bigger problems. The John Deere LT116 is no different.

Here are some of the common problems that people complained about with the John Deere LT116, along with some troubleshooting tips to resolve them.

1. The Mower Doesn’t Start

Troubles starting the engine are a pretty common problem in the John Deere LT116, especially if you have had it for a while now. There might be a couple of things going wrong that are preventing your engine from starting up. The likely suspects here are the fuel quality, a faulty spark plug, or blocked-up filters.

Before you can fix the problem, you need to go through these components one by one. I like to start with the fuel system as it’s the easiest one to check. Simply pop open the fuel tank and inspect the condition of the fuel. If the fuel is stale, then that’s what’s preventing the engine issues.

Simply draining the fuel might not be enough if the fuel is extremely old. You need to drain the tank and clean the inside properly before you pour in a fresh batch. Make sure you are using high-quality gasoline to ensure it lasts longer this time around.

If that doesn’t fix your problem, then you need to check the air and fuel filters. Blockages in the filters can prevent fuel flow to the engine, which can prevent it from firing up. So, you need to clean the filters and replace them if they are damaged beyond repair. You should also check and clean the carburetor.

After that, if the problem persists, you need to check the spark plug. A gummed-up spark plug might also prevent engine startup and cleaning it should set things right. However, if the spark plugs look damaged, you need to replace them to get the engine running again.

2. Overheating Engine

Engine refusing to start up is one thing, but if it starts but overheats, that’s a whole other problem. Overheating is never a good thing for a lawnmower engine, and unless you figure out what’s causing it soon and fix it, it can lead to complete engine failure.

Engine overheating is usually caused by a blocked air filter or cooling fins. Insufficient engine oil can also cause the engine to overheat. Of course, if the quality of the engine oil is not good, then that might also be responsible for the problem. So, let’s go through all of these possibilities one by one.

Start with a quick inspection of the air intakes. If it’s blocked, then your engine is not receiving enough fresh air, and that explains why it’s heating up. Cleaning or replacing the filters should help the engine dissipate heat more efficiently.

You also then inspect the cooling fins and make sure they are working properly. Sometimes loose connections can cause the fins to shut down, which results in a temperature increase in the engine. However, if the fins look bent or damaged, you might need to replace them.

Lastly, check the condition of the engine oil. Make sure it’s at an optimal level. Too little or too much engine oil can also reduce the efficiency of the engine and trap the heat leading to engine overheating.

3. Decline In Engine Power

The John Deere LT116 comes with a powerful 16 HP engine. And if you have had the mower for a while, you should be able to tell if it’s suddenly underperforming. In fact, many users report that their lawnmower is lacking in power after a couple of years of use.

Well, if the engine is suddenly delivering less power or stalling when you put it under stress, there can only be one reason behind it – a blocked fuel filter. Because of blockages in the filter, the engine receives less fuel, and it eventually shows a drastic decline in performance.

This becomes even more apparent when you are doing tasks that require the engine to push itself, such as mowing uphill or cutting wet grass. You might see that your engine shuts down on its own when you are pushing the engine.

To fix the problem, all you have to do is clean up the filter thoroughly. However, since fuel filters are pretty cheap, I would recommend tossing out the old filter and replacing it with a new one. This will give your mower a fresh new start, and your engine power will be fully restored.

4. Black Smoke Coming Out Of The Exhaust

Another issue that many people complain about with their John Deere LT116 is that black smoke comes out of the engine occasionally. This usually indicates fuel inefficiency and clogged air intakes. While it might not seem like a big deal, it’s important that you fix it right away to prevent more expensive repairs.

The first thing you should do is inspect the fuel viscosity. This problem usually happens when the amount of fuel in the air-to-fuel mixture is too high, causing your mower to burn too much fuel. The best way to fix it is to drain the tank and pour in a fresh batch in the right ratio.

You should also check for clogs in the air filters, as blocked vents can cause the air quantity to become low. Cleaning up the filters should fix the viscosity and eliminate the issue of black smoke entirely.

Frequently Asked Questions

Since the John Deere LT116 is a pretty old model, it’s natural to have second thoughts before you commit to a purchase. Well, the best way to shed those doubts is to ask questions. And in this section, I will address some of the questions that people have asked me about this specific lawnmower.

1. Is the John Deere LT116 lawnmower reliable?

Much of the performance and durability of the John Deere LT116 depends on the user. If you take care of the vehicle and service it regularly, you should have little to worry about.

However, reckless use can lead to a host of issues, including component failures. And since it’s an old model, you will have a hard time finding replacement parts.

2. Is the John Deere LT116 an expensive lawnmower?

Not at all. Back when it first came out, the John Deere LT116 was considered a moderately-priced lawnmower. However, these days, you should be able to find some second-hand models that only cost a fraction of the original price. This makes the unit a perfect pickup for budget-concerned homeowners.

Final Thoughts

The LT116 by John Deere was discontinued around 1985. But in its run, the brand sold quite a few of these mowers. Even to this day, you might see a couple of them crop up in the second-hand market. So, if you found one nearby and have a tight budget, this might be a great pickup for you.

Is it the best lawnmower out there? Definitely not. But at this price range, you would be hard-pressed to find a model that offers a better level of performance. As long as you take good care of this lawnmower, it will serve all of your mowing needs without a hitch.

I hope my article on the John Deere LT116 problems could help you resolve any issues you might be having with your vehicle. Good luck!

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