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  1. #1

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    Apr 2013
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    John Deere '99 GT275

    John Deere GT275 won't turn over

    I purchased a 1999 GT275 a month ago, and it ran fine the 4 times I've mowed since I had it. I changed the oil today (which to admit, is the first time I have changed the oil in a mower). The oil change went as well as possible for a rookie. Drained the oil and replaced the filter. Added the required amount of oil and replaced the dipstick. Cranked it up to get the oil circulating before making sure I had the appropriate amount. Turned the engine off. Pulled the dipstick out and first thing I noticed was white smoke coming out when I removed the dipstick. I let the engine cool and replaced the dipstick. Went to crank it up again and nothing. It makes an initial click like it's trying to start, but nothing. I'm not very mechanically inclined and my first assumption was the battery (not sure the last time it was replaced), but other than that I have no idea.

    Thanks in advance for any help!!!

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  3. #2

    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Kansas, Butler county, Just east of DooDah
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    Re: John Deere GT275 won't turn over

    WELCOME to these Forums...

    A little smoke coming from inside the crankcase when you remove the dipstick is Normal... oil will giveoff a bit of vapor & smoke when heated...
    If you use a good synthetic engine oil you could change oil Once a year...

    As to your will not turn the engine over... there are a few things that can be happening, Low battery is one of them. But Not necessarily my first choice... Dirty or corroded battery cable ends will cause your symptoms, Must be Clean & tight... (Both ends of both cables).
    Check the PTO switch if it is On, mower blades turned on, the starter circuit will be disabled...
    There are other interlocks, like neutral position and break safety switches that will also prevent the start, check those things First... Post back with what you find... KennyV

  4. #3
    TheCaffeinatedOne's Avatar
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    Bob-Cat

    Re: John Deere GT275 won't turn over

    Yep... long list of safety features to check...

    1. Must be in neutral - if the shifter is off a little jiggle to make sure you're actually there. The linkage triggers a kill switch, so what is critical is the adjustment affecting that switch rather than the actual neutral position.

    2. Must be sitting in the seat (I think) as a similar kill switch shuts the unit off when you get out of the seat, which can be handy if you're upside down at the time.

    3. PTO must be off, battery terminals clean, battery ground securely connected, hot line to starter must be tight.

    4. If these all check out, shine a flashlight to the area behind the ignition switch. There will be a circuit board affixed to the back of it with a couple of automotive 15A fuses. Check to see of anything is blown.

    Is the click coming from the starter / solenoid when you turn the switch to "start" or is it coming from the carburetor when you turn the switch to "on"? The click when you turn to "on" should be the carburetor solenoid releasing. If you then get a distinct click or series of clicks when you turn to "start", then the circuit to the starter solenoid isn't hot enough. In that event, I'd suspect corroded battery terminals or a dead /weak battery.

    By the way - when checking the oil on the Kawasaki 14 hp or 17 hp motors, make sure you pull the dipstick, clean it, and replace it without screwing it in. That is the position you should have it to read the oil level. If you screw it in the dipstick will give you a false reading and you can be low on oil without realizing it.

  5. #4

    Join Date
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    John Deere '99 GT275

    Re: John Deere GT275 won't turn over

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCaffeinatedOne View Post
    Yep... long list of safety features to check...


    All of the safety switches are where they should be to start, PTO switch is off, parking brake is on, mower is in neutral, I think the battery was part of the problem because it wouldn't even turn the lights on, so I replaced it. One click and then nothing. I have little knowledge on engines, but could it be an issue with the spark plug? It just seems weird that it started right up after I changed the oil, but wouldn't start up 2 min later. knowing my luck i probably hit something I shouldn't have...

  6. #5
    TheCaffeinatedOne's Avatar
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    Bob-Cat

    Re: John Deere GT275 won't turn over

    I'd do some continuity checks with a ten dollar meter - it's beginning to sound as if you have a broken cable or solenoid - something that is shorting to ground or interrupting current. Can you tell if the starter pinion gear has retracted? Will the motor turn over by hand?

  7. #6

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    BKBrown's Avatar
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    Re: John Deere GT275 won't turn over

    Again -- like others have said -- Sit on it like normal, move all controls on and off (to make sure they are in the right position), If you have checked all the connections on both ends it may just be in one of he switches or connections. On some engines there are wiring connectors near the dip stick or oil filter that could have been moved or pulled. If mice have chewed wires, just moving them slightly could have caused a broken connection. Check everything and let us know. It is 99.9% sure that is not the spark plug.

  8. #7

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    John Deere '99 GT275

    Re: John Deere GT275 won't turn over

    Everyone,

    Sorry I'm a little behind, but I fixed the mower last week. Come to find out, the engine was locked up...I had some help from a very trusted family member who is a mechanic, and he has no idea why it locked up, since I had followed every step he would recommend. I guess that's just my luck...

    Anyway, thank y'all for all of the suggestions, even though it wasn't the problem it did help make me feel more comfortable when any further issues may come up that I may be able to tackle them myself.

    Thanks again!

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