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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    2
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Mower
    John Deere

    Unhappy John Deere Tractor Won't Start

    I realize that the title of this post could mean anything, so here are the specifics:

    I bought a John Deere D140 Lawn Tractor from Home Depot (mistake number 1). I bought an "extended warranty" (waste of money, so far). Last weekend, I pulled a wood chipper out into the field (quite a distance) to chip some wood. (I've done this many times before.) After my job was done, I attempted to start the tractor to pull the wood chipper back to the garage. Surprise! The tractor wouldn't start. I mean, there was absolute silence when I turned the key.

    Now, I realize that there are a number of "safety features" on the John Deere. First, you have to have the parking break on. Check. Next, the blade may not be engaged. Check. Finally, you have to be sitting on the seat. Check. Still, nothing. Not even the sound of a weak battery trying to turn the engine over.

    I really didn't think it was the battery, as the lights came on bright as ever when I turned the key. But, I put a charger on it any way. Still, not a peep when the key was turned. I won't go into the details about the non-service which I've gotten from Home Depot and their warranty company. Suffice it to say that one week later the tractor is still in my garage (yes, I pushed it all the way back, along with my 250-pound wood chipper). Every day, I go out and turn the key, hoping that some magic has occurred (the same magic that might actually get Home Depot to make good on their warranty agreement). But, alas, it remains quiet (not even a click) when I turn the key.

    If anyone could give me some ideas about what might be wrong, I would greatly appreciate it.

  2.  

  3. #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    548
    Location
    Texas
    Mower
    Troy-Bilt Super Bronco

    Re: John Deere Tractor Won't Start

    This was put together by a few forum members and might help. Let us know how you are doing.


    Electrical* problems can be very easy or very difficult, depending on four things.
    1. * How well you understand basic electricity.
    2. *What tools you have and know how to use.
    3. *How well you follow directions.
    4. *You don't overlook or assume anything and verify everything.

    Remember we cannot see what you are doing. *You are our eyes, ears and fingers in solving this problem. *You must be as accurate as you can when you report back. *The two basic tools we will ask you to use are a test light and a multi-meter. *If you have an assistant when going through these tests it would be very helpful. *These steps work the best when done in order, so please don't jump around. *Now let's solve this problem.

    First, check the fuse(s), check battery connections for corrosion (clean if necessary) and *voltage - above 12.5 volts should be good.*

    Second, check for power from the battery to one of the large terminals on the solenoid. *One of the wires is connected directly to the battery and has power all the time so one of the large terminals should light a test light or show 12 volts on a meter at all times.*

    Third, *check for power at the small terminal of the solenoid while depressing the clutch/brake pedal and holding the key in the start position (you may need an assistant to sit in the seat to override the safety switch). If your solenoid is a four wire solenoid, check both small wire terminals as one is ground and the other is power from the ignition switch. *If your solenoid is a three wire solenoid, make sure the solenoid body is not corroded where it bolts to the chassis of the mower as this is your ground path back to the battery. *If in doubt, remove the solenoid and clean the mounting area down to bare metal. *If there is no power to the small terminal then your problem is most likely a safety switch, ignition switch or in the wiring.*

    Fourth, check for power on the other large terminal of the solenoid while holding the key in the start position (you may need an assistant to sit in the seat to override the safety switch).*

    Fifth, check for power at the starter while holding the key in the start position (assistant again).*

    Sixth, check your ground circuit back to the battery.

    After you have gone through each of the above steps, let us know what happened when you did each step. *At that point we will have great info to tell you how to proceed. *Remember you are our eyes, ears, and fingers, so please be as accurate as possible.

    Be as specific as possible with voltage readings as this will help diagnose your problem quicker. *If you do not know how to perform the above checks, just ask and I will try to guide you through it. *Youtube also has some videos and as you know a picture is worth a thousand words.

  4. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    2
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Mower
    John Deere

    Re: John Deere Tractor Won't Start

    Thank you very much for your detailed response. I do not have a test light nor a voltage meter, but I have discovered that I can get both very quickly from Amazon.com. However, there are many choices. Could you suggest which ones I should get? Admittedly, even though I believe that I understand how electricity works, I have never worked with either of those tools.

  5. #4

    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    5,317
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Mower
    Toro

    Re: John Deere Tractor Won't Start

    I would get the best test light I could afford (I would make sure it used a red bulb not white) and a medium priced multi meter. Test light is easy to use and good meters will come with a good manual. You can buy a cheap meter if you only intend to use it a couple of times.

  6. #5

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    874
    Location
    150 west of tulsa
    Mower
    Murray

    Re: John Deere Tractor Won't Start

    Learn how to directly jump start your D140 directly at the starter if you don't know how. That knowledge may have saved you from pushing all that equipment. If you need that information we can help you do it safely.

    That won't solve the real problem but it often keeps us from walking / pushing until the real culprit can be located.

    This jump starting procedure also tells us the battery is probably good and the starter works just fine which would save lawn tractor owners MY OH MY no telling how many thousands of dollars annually.

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