How to Move a John Deere Zero Turn Mower That Won't Start: Your Ultimate Guide
Picture this: it's a beautiful Saturday morning, and you're ready to tackle your overgrown lawn with your trusty John Deere zero turn mower. You've got your gloves on, your sun hat secured, and a cold drink waiting for you when you're done. But alas, your mower just won't start, and now you're stuck with a motionless beast on your lawn. Don't worry, fellow lawn care enthusiast, I've got your back! In this article, we'll go over how to move a John Deere zero turn mower that won't start. Let's dive in.
Step 1: Check for Obvious Issues
Before we move the mower, let's see if there's an easy fix for the problem. Sometimes, the solution is as simple as a loose wire or an empty gas tank. Check for these common issues:
- Is the battery connected, and are the terminals clean and tight?
- Is there fuel in the tank, and is the fuel fresh?
- Are the spark plug wires connected correctly?
- Are the safety switches (seat, brake, and mower deck) engaged?
If you've checked all these and still can't get your mower to start, it's time to move on to the next step.
Step 2: Release the Hydraulic Bypass
The hydraulic bypass is a nifty little feature that allows you to move your zero turn mower without starting the engine. In order to move your mower, you'll need to release the hydraulic pressure in the system. Here's how you can do it:
- Locate the two hydraulic bypass valves on the rear of your mower. They're typically found near the rear wheels.
- Turn both valves counterclockwise until they stop (usually a quarter turn).
- Push down on the release levers, located near the bypass valves, to disengage the drive system.
And just like that, you've released the hydraulic pressure, and your mower is now in a "freewheel" mode, allowing you to push it around.
Step 3: Enlist Some Help (If Needed)
Now that your John Deere zero turn mower is in freewheel mode, you might find it easier to move. However, depending on the size and weight of your mower, you may still need some help. Don't be afraid to call in reinforcements!
Grab a friend, neighbor, or family member to help you push the mower. Remember, teamwork makes the dream work, and moving a heavy mower is no exception.
Step 4: Push and Steer Your Mower
With your mower in freewheel mode and your helper by your side, you're ready to push your John Deere zero turn mower to its desired location. As you push, keep these tips in mind:
- Push from the rear of the mower, using the handlebars for leverage.
- Steer the mower by turning the steering levers. Note that the mower will turn more sharply when one lever is pushed forward while the other is pulled back.
- Be mindful of any obstacles or uneven terrain in your path, and adjust your pushing and steering accordingly.
Step 5: Re-engage the Hydraulic System
Once you've moved your mower to its new location, it's essential to re-engage the hydraulic system. To do this, simply reverse the steps you took in Step 2:
- Push the release levers back into their original position.
- Turn the hydraulic bypass valves clockwise until they stop.
Now that you've successfully moved your John Deere zero turn mower, you can focus on diagnosing and fixing the issue that prevented it from starting. Whether it's a DIY fix or a job for a professional, at least your mower is now in a more convenient location for repairs.
Bonus Tips: Troubleshooting Common Issues
While we're here, let's cover some common issues that might cause your John Deere zero turn mower not to start. Keep these in mind as you diagnose the problem:
- Starter Motor: If you hear a clicking sound when trying to start the mower, the starter motor could be at fault. You can try tapping the starter motor gently with a hammer to see if it engages. If not, it may need to be replaced.
- Carburetor: A clogged carburetor can cause starting issues. Try cleaning the carburetor or adding a fuel treatment to your gas to help dissolve any build-up.
- Air Filter: A dirty air filter can also cause starting problems. Check the filter and replace it if it's dirty or clogged.
- Spark Plug: A worn or fouled spark plug can prevent the engine from starting. Inspect the spark plug, and replace it if necessary.
With these troubleshooting tips in mind, you'll hopefully be able to identify the issue with your John Deere zero turn mower and get it back up and running in no time.
Can I damage my mower by moving it manually?
No, as long as you follow the proper steps to release the hydraulic bypass and re-engage it once you're done moving the mower, you won't cause any damage.
How do I know if my mower is in freewheel mode?
When your mower is in freewheel mode, you should be able to push it with relative ease. If you've released the hydraulic bypass valves and it's still difficult to push, double-check that you've completed all the necessary steps.
Can I move my John Deere zero turn mower uphill or downhill?
Yes, but it's essential to use extra caution when moving the mower on an incline. If possible, enlist help to ensure better control over the mower's movement.
Can I tow my John Deere zero turn mower with a vehicle?
It's not recommended to tow your zero turn mower with a vehicle, as it could cause damage to the mower's transmission or frame. Stick to pushing the mower manually, following the steps outlined in this article.
How can I prevent my mower from having starting issues in the future?
Regular maintenance, such as changing the oil, cleaning the air filter, and inspecting the spark plug, can help prevent starting issues. Additionally, always use fresh fuel and consider adding a fuel stabilizer to prevent fuel degradation.
Learning how to move a John Deere zero turn mower that won't start is an essential skill for any lawn care enthusiast. By releasing the hydraulic bypass, enlisting help if needed, and following proper pushing and steering techniques, you can safely and easily move your mower to a more convenient location for repairs. And with a little luck and some troubleshooting know-how, you'll soon be back to mowing your lawn like a pro!