There are very few brands in the landscaping industry with as much impact as John Deere. Whether you are on a tight budget or not doesn’t matter when you are going with this brand, as they have plenty of options for you to choose from in all price ranges.
The X300 series by the brand is catered towards those on a moderate budget who don’t mind spending a few extra bucks for a top-tier product. And if I had to choose one among that line of mowers, I would probably go with the John Deere X354 because of its tight performance at a compact form factor.
But that being said, no lawnmowers are perfect. And even a top-notch model like the X354 has its share of flaws. However, in my experience, this mower will last you close to a lifetime if you take care of it regularly. Inversely, neglecting your maintenance duties will lead to weird issues every now and then.
In this article, I will address some of these issues and help you figure out what you need to do to fix any John Deere X354 problems that you might be facing. So, without further delay, let’s get started.
Common Issues With The John Deere X354 And How To Fix Them
Problems can come up in any lawnmower if you don’t maintain it regularly, and the John Deere X354 is no exception. If you suddenly notice any weird issues in your mower, then you need to know what’s causing the problem and how you can fix things.
So, in this section, I will talk about the common issues that people might face with the John Deere X354 and offer my insights on troubleshooting the problem.
1. Poor Engine Performance
The Kawasaki engine in the John Deere X354 lawnmower is a top-of-the-line beast capable of delivering excellent drive speed and smooth start. So, if you suddenly see your mower acting sluggish and the engine struggling to give its best, there’s a problem that needs fixing.
In my experience, the main reason behind most engine problems is fuel quality. A lawnmower works best when it’s working with high-quality gasoline. But since gas can be expensive, many people opt to go with affordable fuel, which can cause all sorts of engine issues.
Cheap gasoline contains alcohol additives which can lead to frequent engine backfire, overheating or even complete engine failure. So, you should always go with high-quality gasoline for your lawnmower.
Inspect the oil tank and check the condition of the fuel. If the old fuel got stale, that might be what’s causing your engine issues. In that case, drain the old fuel from the tank and pour a fresh new batch.
Sometimes dirt in the fuel system can also cause engine malfunctions. So, make sure you clean up the insides of the tank and all the filters when you are changing the fuel.
If the issue still seems present, there’s a chance that it’s caused by a dirty carburetor. So, for the next step in the troubleshooting process, take a clean cloth and wipe the carburetor clean. You should also check the spark plugs and make sure they are working properly. If the plugs are damaged, replace them.
2. Engine Won’t Crank
If the engine outright refuses to start or even crank, then the problem might be something other than just the fuel. However, it is still a good idea to check the fuel pumps as the first step in any troubleshooting process.
Before you try and go inside the mower to find the problem, though, make sure you are starting the lawnmower the right way. A lawnmower only starts when you are pressing down on the brake pedal. So, when you are turning it on, if the pedal is not depressed, the engine won’t crank.
But if the obvious solution doesn’t fix it, then there’s a chance that you have defective components. The three likely suspects here are the mower engagement, the brake system, and the key switch.
Start with a quick inspection of the brake system. If the brake pedal or the discs are worn, then you need to replace them immediately. Do the same for mower engagement and key switch. Once you replace the faulty component, your mower’s engine should start up without any issues.
3. Starter Troubles
On occasion, you might notice that the lawnmower won’t start up even when the engine seems fine. If you are a relative newbie to lawnmowers, then this would definitely boggle your mind. But those with experience know immediately that the issue lies in the electrical starter system.
Now, the problem is fixable, but there are a lot of things that you need to check. So make sure you take your time as you start with a thorough inspection of all the wirings and connections around the starter. A damaged wire or a loose connection can cause the starter to not function properly.
Of course, there’s a chance that the starter itself is damaged. In that case, you need to replace the starter switch. But before you do that, it’s a good idea to check the condition of the battery.
If the battery is drained, recharge it to full and try starting the mower. Check the terminals in the battery and make sure that there is no corrosion. If the terminals are corroded, that means you have a dead battery in your hands, and you need to replace it.
Another element that you need to check is the main fuse. Even after replacing the battery and the starter switch, the mower might refuse to start up if the main fuse is blown. So, you need to replace that too, and your mower should start working as usual.
4. The Mower Won’t Move
Another weird issue that many people complained about is that they can’t move their tractors. The engine starts up, and the starter switch works, but for some reason, they cannot drive their lawnmower.
To fix this, you need to check the brakes. Sometimes, the parking brake can get locked, and you need to unlock it manually to get it running. If the brakes are damaged, that can also cause the brake to lock up. So, you might need to replace it.
If the hydraulic oil level in the transmission is too low, that can also lead to this type of problem. So, check the oil level and top it off, and that should get your mower moving again.
5. Excessive Vibrations
If your mower vibrates excessively while riding, then there’s a problem with the drive belts. The X354 is designed for a smooth ride, and excessive vibrations can ruin your entire mowing experience.
So, start with a quick check of the drive belts. If there is dirt or debris stuck in the belt, remove them with a clean cloth. Inspect for any signs of damage on the belt, and if you find any, you need to replace the entire belt.
Sometimes, rubbles getting stuck between the blades can also cause your lawnmower to vibrate excessively. So, if the belts seem fine, check between the blades for any blockages. With any luck, this would fix any rattling or vibrating issues you are having with your lawnmower.
Frequently Asked Questions
I have always been a huge fan of the John Deere X354, and people have come to me with questions about it from time to time.
Whether they are considering buying one or are having issues with the one that they have, I always like helping out. In this section, I will answer some common questions hoping it will help you in some way.
1. What Type Of Engine Does The John Deere X354 Come With?
The John Deere X354 lawnmower features a 21.5HP Kawasaki, two-cylinder gasoline engine with a displacement capacity of 726 ccs. It comes with the hydrostatic Tuff Torq K46 transmission system and a 42-inch-wide cutting deck to help you mow through your lawn smoothly.
2. Is The John Deere X354 A Reliable Lawnmower?
Yes, the John Deere X354 is a pretty reliable lawnmower and will serve you fine as long as you take care of it. To ensure top performance, you should try not to put extra stress on the engine, such as by mowing uphill or using dull blades.
If you clean up the internal components from time to time, it should give you lasting performance.
As I said, issues popping up in your John Deere X354 will be a frequent ordeal if you don’t take care of your lawnmower. So, the easiest way to ensure an error-free performance is to simply service it regularly. Changing the oil from time to time and resharpening the blades can extend the lifespan of your mower drastically.
I hope my in-depth look into the different John Deere X354 problems could help you get the most out of your lawnmower. Good luck!