I have a John Deere Riding mower that stalls and found a simple fix. This fix applies to many John Deere riding mowers; my mower is a L120 and I have very steep hills and my mower recently started stalling on me after running it for a short time (5 to 15 minutes, sometimes more).
FYI: If your mower is having problems losing power when climbing hills but doesn’t stall, then check out my John Deere Hydrostatic Transmission Fix.
In fact, when my mower stalled on me while riding up my hill, I panicked and tried to turn the mower before a complete stall and ended up flipping it! Yup, it did a double flip and landed right side up! To make matters more confusing, my John Deere started right up (after I stuck the front cover back on).
What I should have done, was not turn, but instead, let the mower just glide back down (it goes very slow without power). Needless to say, it won’t happen again. I was also very impressed that after that tumble, the mower started right up – Go John Deere!
I was ready to bring my tough John Deere Riding mower to the shop and have them look at the stalling issue. I was planning on spending about $200 in repairs, but I decided to check some forums for information about the problem.
What I found was that many of the John Deere mowers come with a self ventilating gas cap as mine shown above. This cap has a little hole in the middle which allows it to breath and when that hole gets clogged, it stops the supply of gas and the riding mower stalls!
So, to test this theory, I loosened the gas cap, ran the mower and was happy to find the mower no longer stalling. So, the next time you think your riding mower stalls, John Deere or other, loosen the gas cap and give it another go, you could end up saving yourself $200 or more!
I have a JD LA120 mower starts to choke out after about 15-20 min of mowing. Can move the choke up to start choke and it runs smooth for about 2 min then quits. Will start right back up and will Mow for 3-5 and the same thing. Change air and fuel filter. Have put fresh gas in. Will also run fine siting still when trying to run out the gas.
I have a 2016 Z525E Zero Turn with about 75 hours on it and I hit a rope in the lawn and it got wrapped around the blades and stalled the mower. Started back up fine, cut grass for maybe a half hour and motor started running funny. It would cycle, run for a second or two, then die for a second or two, then run for a second or two, then die for a second or two, and keeep doing this for a few minutes until finally it would just die. You can start it right back up no problem, with the blades not engaged and it will cycle like before it died, and backfire, until it finally runs continuously and you can cut grass again for maybe 2 minutes until the whole thing happens again. I replaced the fuel filter, but I noticed the old fuel filter was full of gas, while the new one just has a little bit in it. I actually checked the oil and it was really low, even though I’d just changed the oil in March and put the right amount of oil in it. So, after I put more than a quart of oil in it it ran great for maybe 45 minutes until it started doing the same thing again. I don’t see any oil leaks on the cement where the mower is stored. I don’t know what to try next. I didn’t even see a hole in my gas cap. Maybe that’s an old style system. Oh, yeah, I also had left the cap off after filling the gas recently and had run the mower for an hour with the gas cap off and hanging to the side, and even saw some pine needles floating in the gas that I plucked out. Would hitting a rope and having it stall cause problems like this? Or was that just a coindidence? When I looked at the old fuel filter there were a couple 1/4″ pieces of leaf or something in there. Is it crap in the fuel lines? Any ideas?
I have a John Deere LA105 mower, was set up for a couple years, took it for servicing and made a point of telling repair man that it has set for a couple of years. That being said the mower would crank but immediately die at higher revs, like for moving or mowing. I tried the hole in the gas cap thing and that didn’t work. I eventually took the two screws that mount the carburetor to the engine out and took the two screws out securing the float bowl. My Carburetor was clean and float not overly stained; however, their is also another switch mounted to the bottom outside of the float bowl and that switch was stuck in the down position. I got some carb cleaner and sprayed it on the stuck switch and after a few seconds it popped up. with a little more cleaning the stuck switch now functions freely and once reassemble i am able to mow again.
JD L125 with BS V-Twin. Has been running great. Parked it last week and covered it with JD bag. Went to start it up, ran for about 45 seconds, then died. Cranked great(new battery), but only caught for a second, then died and will not start since. I replaced new fuel filter(just service 10 hours ago), but no start. Removed gas cap, no start. Gas is from completely sealed gas can; gas less than 3 weeks old and runs great in our Honda lawn mower. Any ideas? No problems until now, not even a hint. Your help, please!
My Deere X300R was stalling after the engine was hot, cleaning the gas cap vent hole worked like magic! – Great Tip!
Ok guys, I am having the same issue with my d140……read this, checked gas cap….I do not have a pinhole in my cap??? What am I missing? Can anyone please try to explain this too me..
Having the same shut down issue as most of you have been having. Tried cleaning out the hole but in the inside of my cap , it has a white thing coming out that seems to be on a spring mechanism . Should I try to take that out? It ‘s sounding like it’s starved for gas after running about an hour unless the gas tank is full. If the tank is full I can cut for two hours and get my yard cut without it stalling.
Count me as another until recently frustrated John Deere mower (2011 X300, 42″ deck, 125 hours) owner. After winter storage the mower started fine but only ran for about 25 minutes. It petered out like it was out of gas. Sometimes it would restart but run only very roughly. I took it to the local Cincinnati dealer where they replaced the ignition module. After that the mower started fine but only ran for another 25 minutes or so!! I had tried everything else (including a spring tune-up) so I resorted to an internet search and found a couple of places, including this one, which suggested clearing the vent hole in the gas tank cap. And sure enough, with a big belch of black smoke, the mower started up and has run fine for the last few mowings. Hope this saves others the time and expense of a futile trip to the dealer’s shop. Thanks!
Thank you James for posting this very helpful tip. The clogged gas tank cap baffled us all but the collapsed gas tank pointed to a clogged vent somewhere.
I have a John Deere X475 and until this week I have never had a problem with this mower for 18 years. It normally stars without a problem, but this week (4 days ago) after mowing for 2.5 hours it died. I let it set for 1.5 hours and it started right up and I was able to finish my mowing in another 1.5 hours.
Today I did the routine service on the tractor, oil and filter change I checked the fuel cap, put in new spark plugs, checked the water level, etc. It ran immediately.
I started mowing again for another 2.5 hours and it stalled again. Today it was much hotter than a few days ago 86 degrees), so it took about 2 hours of rest and started immediately.
Now I am scratching my head as to what is causing the tractor to stall.
Any guidance is much appreciated.
My John Deere kept stalling late last season after about 20 minute of riding. Replaced the plugs oil and filters and fuel line hoses. After I started cutting grass this year the problem persisted. Disgusted I did a web search and found your easy fix. The hole on the gas cap was plugged and I cleaned it out with a needle and put it back on. It started right up and cut the hole lawn without a hitch….
John Deere 2002. Runs fine but with clutch engaged and cutter on highest setting 4, the moment I lower cutter blade, she stalls. Starts up no problem, and actually could lower cutter blade and mowed front lawns.
Took it round to the back lawn but same problem. Runs, clutch in, move lever to lower blades, engine stalls. Engine runs, but clutch, lower cutter blade engine cuts. Tank’s half full.
I found this site and followed advice prior to second attempt – quite a few back fires first time, but everything settled down. Cleaned out the 3 little holes inside gas cap (no central external hole
Cleaning the gas cap also worked for my John Deere.
I parked the John Deere last fall, and when I started it up, it started backfiring constantly.
I found this website and cleaned the gas cap and it is purring like a kitten.
I saw one post where a person asked if doing this would help him with his backfire, and I didn’t see that he got an answer, but it worked for my backfiring tractor.
Gotta love the internet.
I have a 737 zero turn john deere mower. that was running fine on the first yard i cut today. I loaded it up on the trailor to go to the next yard and when i was unloading it sounded like it was not getting a enough fuel . I started cutting this yard and when I engaged the blades it would stall the enegine. A week before I just done a complete tune up on the mower. ( plugs. oil , gas filter- check cap- lines, and replace the air filter ) What do I need to check to correct my problem. Thanks
Here is the manual for your John Deere 757:
You can also get Plumber’s Siphon Pro – Universal Gas, Oil, Potable Water – 1 Gl. Per Min. – W/ 8′ of Hose & Fits Any Hose, Any Length – Brass Weight & Hose Extender to Sink Hose.
allowing you to use any hose you have from 3/8 ID 3/4 ID – comes with heavy brass hose coupler to sink hose. Just insert on Hose to Start a Siphon then pull it away for full flow
Transfer Gas or Water – Pump can handle both and comes with 8′ of hi quality PVC line with 1/16 th wall.
It will run you about $18.95 and can be reused.
Hope that helps!
James, Where is the gas drain plug on a J. Deere 757 60 inch deck Think I have water in tank. It runs a hour & then starts missing & trying to die. I use choke to keep it running to get back to house. Thanks, Dave P.S. can’t find on google.
The gas cap was the trick, it was clogged, used a paperclip to clear the clog and now its (tractor) is purring like a kitten. Thanks for the assist, great site.
I have a JD 737 that doesn’t appear to be getting enough fuel when the blades are engaged. I’ve done some research and it is not a dirty gas cap….fuel filter…or fuel pump. The fuel filter is never full and I can see gas dripping into the filter…but its not enough to keep the mowing running when the blades are engaged.
seen many posts on john deere engine stalls. have a 4 yr old x500. runs fine for 10-20 minutes then stalls. starts right up and stalls. did all the usual stuff then after ripping it apart again, saw debris in new fuel filter. small rubber pieces. changes hose from filter to gas tank and filter again – ran fine.
Got a JD x500 54″ cut that has really been bad at cutting out engine wise. Talking to others at work, and I swore it had to be the carb float because it would bog down more often after I made a turn and start back up hill. Sounds like moisture in the bowl, right? I was told it could be even by the JD dealer but why would it start and run good after leaving it set for 1/2 hour. than get another 45 min run time before it bogged down again. Anyhow I ran Heet through it in about 15 gal. of gas to no luck. A coworker said to pull off one s/p wire at a time whenever it does it again because he has had this problem before. First plug wire off and it kept running sluggish but not the miss so I put the wire back one and tried the other side, immediate death of the engine. As much as I heard it was probably the coil, I couldn’t relate the cutout as an uphill problem with the coil. Heading to JD to pick up a coil tomorrow.
I have a 2009 X300 and was having similar issues. It would run great for about 30 minutes then start stalling. I checked the gas cap, fuel flow, air, plug gaps, everything was OK. Turns out that one of the spark plug coils would overheat and stop firing. I would let it cool down and it would run fine. Very hard problem to find but worth the effort as not to pay a dealer to fix it. The part was 53.00 and well worth it.
My John Deere LX172 lugs down and dies when it turns left. Anyone had this problem? Mike
Had a problem my with my John Deere stalling out after using it about 15-20 mins. Would wait a short time and it would crank back up. Googled, and found your blog. Checked my gas cap, and sure enough like you said hole was clogged!!! Thank you for the info!
I have a john deere x300 lawn tractor engine that stops while cutting.
I find the fuel filter bowl is “empty’ with a drop of gas laying at the bottom of the filter bowl.
My john deere mechanic implies that this is a normal occurrence. i have drilled new holes in th gas cap after trying to enlarge the exisiting hole thinking it might resolve my problem as it has for others . . to no avail
I have had the fuel pump replacedas well as all the hoses from the gas tank and also installed a new fuel filter bowl.
I still have the problem . it appears as tho the ignition key is switched off.
I can then restart it after a belch of dark smoke. it will run again. sometimes for a few seconds or will remain running for an hour after the stall. I was wondering if the new fuel pump may yet be a problem
H E L P
Thank you, was the problem With the gas cap.. Right on brother.
Just made my day. Spent last two days replacing air filter, gas line filter and then removing tank and changing the whole gas line. Read this and bingo, problem solved.
My John Dere Sabre was staling out and not starting again. I tested for gas flow. Tested fine. Checked vent in gas cap. Cap fine. Turned out the safety sensor in the seat was not locked in on all three prongs which prevented it from disengaging the of mode. Pulled the prong through the slot to the correct position and bingo, started right up and ran like a charm.
Unbelievable! Worked like a charm! I spent money at the dealer and they never fixed it. I was at my wits end with this and it was the final straw until I saw your post. I somehow did not see this post last summer or else I would have saved myself a ton of misery. You have restored my faith in JD!
I have a John Deere Lx178 while cutting grass it started cutting off I turned the key off went back to crank it and no lights came on, on the dash tried to crank it no power to the starter. Let it set and cool down then turned the key the lights came on the dash and it cranked right up ran few minutes started cutting out again turned the key off turned the key back on no lights on the dash and would not turn over. Let it set all night next morning turned the key on dash lights came on and started. I unplugged everything on the wiring harness with the key on and the clutch motor switch in the off positions I have two resistors on the key circuit board getting really hot I pulle the clutch switch out like the clutch was engaged and the two resistors on the key circuit board cool down and the clutch is unplugged from the wiring harness. Any thoughts on the problem
I’ll be a monkey’s uncle!!!
Internet is so awesome. I bought my john deer l100 for $100 last year at a living estate sale. Worked all summer. This year ran it for a day then started stalling out. Changed the oil and spark plug still stalling. CLEARED THE GAS CAP PINHOLE and the thing works fine!!!
Back to work for me, thanks guys-
I have a diesel John Deere compact utility tractor 4100 that has been starting to stall while pushing snow but it only seems to happen on days that are below freezing. It has not been a problem any other time so far, like warmer days or in the summer mowing. Any ideas? Could it be some fuel line freezing or something? What can be done to prevent it? It hasn’t been a problem in the past until the last 2 winters.
>>the mower will only stay running if I run it at half speed with the blades going. I can run it all around the yard at full speed as long as the blades are not engaged. Anyone have any ideas??
Just a guess, but have you greased the mower deck spindles recently? My GT235 used to stall out when I engaged the blades (PTO) but after a good greasing the mower seems to load down the engine much less…
I’m having the same “stalling” problem with my John Deere X300 .
I’ve had it to my J.D. dealer 3 times and they weren’t able to find or fix the problem .
I finally had them replace the fuel pump at my request and frustration .
This was to no avail because it happened again soon after .
I since checked the fuel cap and it appears to be venting ok .
I think that I’ll check It again .
Thanks to all for your suggestions .
Well I’ll be a blue bonet!!!!!!!!! Worked like a charm!! Cancelled pick up from the “lawn guy” who just charged me $450 to replace belts, oil change etc..
Thank you!!!!!! Your post made me a superstar! Walked in after a quick google search and solved my husband’s afternoon frustration!
This site just saved me hundreds of dollars, thank you so much!
I have the same problem barb has (July 15 2014) this been going on for a while you can take the gas line loose from the filter to the tank and no gas is running out.
Therefore could it be that something is clogged from there back? sometimes blowing the line out helps. emptied gas tank and a little trash was removed but didn’t seam to be enough to matter. Still does the same thing. Blowing through the filter side help once or twice but may have been just coincident, just decided to start. I don’t know. Had the mower deck checked replace a guider or whatever that is called still loses power when the mower is turned on does not run full throttle.
BARBARA AND I NEED HELP PLEASE!
I have a JD LA115 and am so happy and grateful to this site for the tip on the gas cap vent! I just loosened my cap and it started right away! The mower would start, run fine for awhile and then die and not restart for a couple of hours. Loosening the gas cap solved the problem and saved me from spending a lot more $ – I’ve already replaced the spark plug, air filter, fuel filter and oil filter trying to solve the problem.
Happy, Happy Happy!!!
Got lucky and searched the web before making the service call. Found this post and loosened the gas cap. Started after about 10 seconds of trying (restore fuel flow). Checked the cap and vent hole was completely blocked with dust. This should really be in the manual! Thanks for the $$$ saving tip!!!
I have a 2005 john deere 717a rider . im haveing a issue that when i first start it. It will start right up and run great . but when i shut it off and try to restart it i will try for 15-20 minutes till it starts . i have gome threw 3 batterys and 2 startes . because no one can future out the problem . some times it will blow out smoke when i finally get it to start .then it runs great and no loss of power or anything . please help.
Clean the pin hole on the top of the gas cap! I didn’t believe it and ended up replacing the carburetor, the gas pump, the spark plug, the gas, changed additives, etc. Lots of money spent. The pin hole did it! I will now check mine every time before I start the mower. I’m still in shock. Thank you!
my jd 265 with a 46in mowing deck keeps throwing the top deck belt every time you enguage the pto
TERRY DIY FIX IT replace the coil when it gets hot , cuts off , cols down restarts then repeats its the coil
Terry and DIY for Mowers that stall and cut off after a few minutes: If your mower runs fine when you start it up then after a few mins it gets hot and cuts off, stalls etc, and then if you wait a few mins and it starts up again and runs fine for a few mins and happens all over again, it is most likely it the coil. Replace the coil then your problem is fixed. You can test the voltage test on the coil with a meter if you have one, if not just replace it.
It could also also be dirt in the carburetor bowl; it sucks up the dirt to the screen then stalls, then the dirt falls in the bottom of the bowl again and restarts. To fix, just remove the carb bowl, clean the dirt out from the bowl and reinstall. BTW, look in the bottom of your gas can and if u see dirt try to screen it to resolve the problem.
OMG….I just fixed my L110 by cleaning out the little itty bitty vent hole on the gas cap! I went through a period of replacing the fuel filter, spark plug, replacing the gas, etc. and for about 6 mows it would stop. What I didn’t realize is when I took the cap off to make sure it has fuel I was temporarily fixing the problem! Thank you!!
I have a John Deer 245 GT. I just spent over $400 on repairs. The problem was it kept cutting off. After replacing many parts, changing gas, getting a new gas cap, etc the mower will only stay running if I run it at half speed with the blades going. I can run it all around the yard at full speed as long as the blades are not engaged. Anyone have any ideas??
We have a John Deere GT 245. My son mowed the yard and then parked the tractor which I tried to start later that day. I sat on the seat and tried to start it and it sounded normal for about 1/2 second then I turned the key to off and tried again and got a “click” noise. When I turn the key to on position the headlights some on so I am thinking the battery is okay. I asked my son to try. When he first jumped on the seat it sounded again like it was gong to start (another 1/2 second) normal starting sound but then we got the “click” again. Could it be the seat sensor?
I nave a l115 John deere, when I start it it runs great. then I engage the blade it makes a terrible noise and dies. Can someone help?
OMG…you guys just saved us some MORE money! Thank you!
My mower on my GX 345 John Deere keeps dying. I have replaced the potted time delay, the voltage regulator, and just this winter the electric clutch. It seems like it gets hot and quits. If you let it cool down it will work again. The longer it cools the longer it will last before it shuts down again. The clutch was a $200 + item. Why is this still happening?
Have a John Deere D140 with 75 hours on it. Runs fine for 20 minutes. then stalls as if out of gas. Changed air and gas filters, ran without gas cap and still have same problem. Help!
Gas cap was the solution for me as well. Thank for this tip.
Incredible work thank you! Saved me time and money-I loosened the cap and made sure the hole was clear and it ran like a champ. Thanks for the postings!
My John Deere 190C has been making a hissing sound when the blades are not engaged. Any thoughts on what may be the problem?
Had the same issue but I was low on fuel, so I went got the can and when I took the cap off I heard the tank vent. I just assumed it was a 1 time deal. Kept mowing for a good hour and it stalled again. Looked down at the fuel and it was nearly full. I knew then it must not be venting. I spun off the cap and wammo, the fuel level dropped under half.
My fix was slightly different, I didn’t want it to happen again. I bought a little 1/8th inch plastic threaded elbow, drilled and tapped a hole in the cap. Threaded it into the cap, attached about 8 inches of vent line with a small micron scree/filter on the end. I clean it 1 time a year for the heck of it. Hasn’t missed a beat. Best part is I installed a little mount for the filter to make it look better, now I cant loose my gas cap if I forget to put it back on cause its attached by the vent line.
I have a John Deere lt 155 , which is 14 yrs old . Never had a problem, till today . I was mowing up hill and the machine stopped ,billowed out white smoke . I stopped checked the oil, gas everything fine. I raised the hood and detected 2 wires burned to a crisp.I spliced in a replacement wire and ran fine for a while, then cut off. Now the mower will start after several cranking attempts , but when I start to mow it chugs down and will cut off again. Are wire harnesses available and if so how much do they cost? Also I feel I am capable of installing the harness by carefully removing 1 wire at a time.
Check the fuel lines, especially the one that transfers pulses to the fuel pump. If it is punctured, hardened, cracked, etc, the engine will not get sufficient fuel and it will require full choke to pull fuel in. For only a few dollars you may fix your problem.
Hey Jay~ From back in May with the 240…..Had all the same problems you described replaced everything-Coil ,Fuel pump , plug , igniter fuel filter , Same Same then I was reading in one of these forums about a filter in the tank . When I pulled the feed tube it had no filter (I guess this model doesn’t have one) but I disconnected the fuel line heading to the fuel pump and with the shutoff valve wide open tried blowing through it……After I picked my eyeballs up off the ground I picked about a half teaspoon of debris out of the tube!!! Runs like a champ once again!!! I figured that when the fuel pump was drawing fuel it pulled debris up the tube to get caught on debris that started the clog but when the engine shut down for a while the excess debris fell back to the tank , so in 45 mins or so she’d run for 45 mins or so!!! Hope this helps others , was a three month head scratcher for me :)
Having the same troubles as everyone else described. Read your tip & nearly ran out to try it. Grabbed my trusty toothpick, and as soon as I heard the pressure escape, I knew we had a winner! I’ve got mixed feelings, though. When my wife realized I was having trouble with the L120, she said “do you want to trade it?” Of course, my answer was an emphatic “YES!”, but I as much as I want a new Z-turn, the cheapskate in me is thrilled your solution worked so well. Oh, well, I guess the Z-turn will have to wait………..
Ok, I feel like a hero…husband and son SO frustrated with the John Deere mower after trouble shooting for 3 hours! I came and googled the problem and found this blog. Took a toothpick outside and raised the seat to reveal the gas cap. They thought I was crazy until they heard the air pressure in the tank normalizing. Started right up! Thank you SO much!!!
I have a 2010 JD Z 225 Zero turn with 18.5 HP Briggs/Stratton engine. Just trailered it to ourvacation house. Filled it with non ethanol gas on the way. It started fine and backed off the trailer last night. this morning the starer won’t turn, even with a jum from the car and the gas tank is only half full. When the starter will make a 1/4 turn gas spurts out of what looks like a muffler. So…why won’t the starter turn and how is gas getting to mufler ?
Thank you! This worked and just saved me a ton of trouble and money!
I have a 111 john deere lawn mower, I just replaced the battery.. When I engage the electric clutch, the battery is drained in about 3 minutes, is there a short in the clutch?
THANKS! The gas cap hole was plugged, stuck a nail into, runs perfect now!!! Saved me tons of $$$$ You guys ROCK!
My John Deere GT275 runs fine and never died, always started fine, but I just went out and tried to mow before the storm came and it runs till I let up off the break then it DIES. starts up, runs till I let up off the break, then dies. It’s a hydrostat. if I just barely hold the break down it will go but I don’t have 3 legs so that’s not going to work for me. ANY HELP, PLEASE!?
Wow! Two fuel solenoids, new fuel lines, fuel pump, and battery later. It was a clogged fuel cap, I feel real stupid. Thank you, I love to finally figure out the problem. As my dad use to say “you have to be smarter than the machine”. Machine one me zero
Great tip – unplugged the small hole in the cap and the problem was solved! Much thanks!!!
Another note of thanks! My grandson and I were trying to get my LX172 to stop stalling. Replaced the fuel filter, cleaned the carb, and then felt pretty frustrated as lawn teactor would still only run when fully choked. I found your gas cap tip onlinr, tried it, and the old JD now works like a charm again. When my grandson (22) started it up after cleaning that little breathing hole, the tractor backfired so vigorously it about blew me out of my chair. Grandson couldn’t stop laughing. We both appreciate the excellent tip.
Tip worked perfectly. My mower stalled going uphill. I replaced spark plugs, fuel filter, and belts… Still stalled… I took s very small Phillips head screwdriver and made the hole slightly bigger, cleaned it with a rag, and blew/vacuumed with shot-vac and my JD L100 is running perfect. I wish I would have found this earlier and saved myself the aggravation, time, and money. Thanks!
i have a 1987 212 12hp kholer john deere riding lawn mower it runs good till i engage the blades and then it stalls out ive been working on it for a while i took the deck off to paint the mower and deck and before i did it worked fine i cant figure out the problem please help give me some tips
I have been having the same problem during my last 3 mows. I can’t wait to try this tomorrow morning. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge! Forget the MacArthur Genius Award; I’m nominating you for a Nobel Prize!
Check the safety switch on the seat and and make sure no loose wire!
With engine off, check the wire that goes to the electric clutch.
Perhaps bad bearing in clutch, with engine off, remove belt and turn the clutch pulley. Replace bearings if you hears load noise when turning and feels rough or hard to turn. Check all pulleys to verify easy movement.
Of course, always check that plug is not fowled. Too much oil?
Carb jet clogged junk which inhibits fuel flow under load conditions. Clean with brake cleaner which is a lot more safe than carb cleaner.
My John Deere riding mower works fine until I engage the blades. Then it seems to idle rough and stall. This might happen a minute after I engage the blades at first and then it is almost immediate from then after. I can start it up and as long as the blades are not engaged it runs okay. Any advise?
I have a john deer lx188, the fuel pump is spitting out gas through what looks like a small hole about halfway down….The hole seems to be threaded like a screw went their, any suggestions?
i have a john deere 318 that runs four about 30 to 45 minutes then quites, and will not start until it cools off then again it will run for about 30 minutes and quite again. i change the spark plugs, the coil, and cleaned the vent in the cap. it still will not run for more than 45 minutes. any suggestions would be appreciated
I have discovered that my motor oil appears milky white on my lx188. any suggestions?
John Deer 9HP Kowasaki. Ran perfect when put in storage last fall now it backfires through the carburator, any help?
My JD 110 was stalling on hills, I checked everything to no avail. Was told by “experts” the transmission had to be replaced. Finally found the problem: The carburator had sucked the air filter foam cover into the intake manifold! 10 minute, no cost fix.
Have a John Deere 240 lawn mower that my pops handed me down.Tractor is in good shape.This has a 14hp kawasaki.Just had it at the dealer and they what they call serviced it.Water in gas,drained gas,changed fuel filter,oil etc.I would mow for about 20 to 30 minutes and the tractor would bog down and lose power to the blades.Shut the pto off and tractor runs fine.Engage the pto and same thing would happen after a few passes.Look at the fuel filter and there is some gas in there.Air filter good.Almost like it gets hot and starts breaking down.John deere had put a new gas cap on also.They want me to bring it in again for more $.Any thoughts?
I was about to tear into my Scott’s riding lawn mower. I’ve fighting the stall problem for weeks. Thought I would check the internet real quick before spending the time and money.
Man what a find! Sure enough the air hole was plugged, 10 second fix and my problem is solved.
Thanks so much!
I have John Deere X300 same thing, acts like its not getting fuels, stalls after it warms up. I tried the gas cap but no change. Already spent $300 at dealer to have it cleaned, fuel tank drained, carburter cleaned, etc complete tune up. But still stalls, checked hoses appear ok. Any suggestions.
Bought and put on a new fuel pump yesterday ran fine for 10 minutes or so then cut back while riding up a hill. Read this and loosened gas cap a little and running like a champ now! Thanks!
My L120 was stalling as described above. I had changed the fuel filter (needed it anyway), cleaned the carb, etc, etc. After reading this, I cleared the plugged pinhole in the gas cap – worked like a charm. Thank you.
thanks for the internet, my john Deere would run for about 45 minutes and act like it was not getting gas and die. I was getting ready to by a fuel pump and figured I would check the internet first to see if any other people were having this problem. I took the cap off and pulled the rubber out and poked the little hole put the rubber in and lawn mower started up and have not had any stalling problems. thanks
I am not getting any gas thru the fuel line, Help!!! any suggestion would be appreciated
I put on a new coil on my stx38 black deck and still the problems running etc. Then i read this cleaned the cap and OMG runs like a champ. $52.00 spent in haste , lesson learned keep reading the blogs first.
Mower ran out of gas and now won’t restart, checked fuel filter and cleaned lines and still won’t start. cleaned the gas cap hole. I did remove the top engine cover and I unhooked all three lines a fuel pump, could I have the lines on wrong. And how do you test fuel pump to see if it’s working or not.
125 Auto, 100 Series lawn tractor Fixed! I struggled at the end of last season to figure out why the mower would start cold and run fine for awhile, and then, almost always on a hill, suddenly struggle and die. I pushed that damn thing back into the garage several times.
I pulled and blew out the fuel lines, replaced the fuel filter, checked the fuel pump was pumping, and eventually concluded that the (rollover fuel cutoff) solenoid on the bottom of the carburetor bowl was getting hot and losing it’s strength. Gave the mower the sunshine treatment over the winter (went to the local JD dealer and discussed with the service desk (they seem to blame everything on bad gas)).
The problem reappeared the second time I mowed this year, so I went and sprung for the $60 solenoid. Played hell trying to install (the directions incorrectly said to pull the bowl whereupon I stripped one of the small phillips head screws) the darn thing. Mowed for 20 mins and the problem reappeared.
Came inside to have a beer and research the problem. Found this forum and fixed the problem before the beer was half finished. GREAT!!
No problem David, that’s what life’s all about! Glad it running good again :)
I love the internet. I called to have them pick up my Deere. (Wouldn’t run, and didn’t want to push it up the ramps onto the truck.), but the service manager wasn’t going to be in until after lunch. Read your post and fixed it myself. So instead of $200 to fix the mower, and probably $50 to pick it up, I’m on the hook for exactly the cost of one unbent paperclip. $.0001 maybe. Thank you so much.
Can’t wait to try this I own a John Deer LT150 its been driving me crazy !
Thanks! Was able to get my John Deere X304 through the end of the job (I had about 10000sqft left).
But I think I’ll replace the fuel filter now, get a new gas cap or at least clean it better!
I have a John Deere riding mower that runs fine until I lower the blade. The engine then dies out. Mechanic can’t find any problems. Any suggestions?
Same issue applies to Craftsman Rider. 24 HP Briggs. It and the John Deere are clones I think. Anyway after stalling when the engine was hot I changer Fuel filter. plugs, air cleaner and sprayed carb cleaner into choke. All to no avail. After reading this thread I took off the gas cap. Runs like a champ. This should definitely be added to troubleshooting guide to save a lot of time and expense. Also- I had a previous mower that started this way and later blew the motor- I wonder if running lean for too long due to gas cap may have caused this? Any thoughts?
Thank You so much for the post about the John Deere gas cap having a Clogged hole. Saved me a trip to the repair shop and who knows what else. Took the cap off and it cranked after one small turn.
I’ve been having this EXACT problem with my 928E snowblower. I can’t wait to try this tomorrow! The crazy thing is that I can’t see a breather hole anywhere on the gas cap. However, I’m willing to try anything. The thing runs like a champ for 15 minutes before it “suffocates” and dies out. If it wasn’t so late, I’d fire it up right now and try it out. LOL I’ll post the results tomorrow.
All I can say is thank you. If you were in front of me right now I would give you the biggest hug ever!! We bought a John Deere L120 from someone who I think was having this problem and didn’t want to spend any money to try to fix it. We have replaced many many things on this mower to no avail. I get on the internet.. find this site..and 5 minutes later, it’s almost as if we have a brand new lawn mower! We have now passed this information on to our friends & family. Thank you so very much for sharing this awesome discovery!!!!!
Same problem with a 24 HP twin Craftsman 42” 4 yr old mower.
Just by luck I took off the fuel filter and blew it out with the gas cap off.
2 days later it stalled again so I loosened the cap and it started right up.
I’ll clean it tomorrow. Whodathunkit.
This also happened to me and the dirty gas cap was the culprit. They don’t show that as a trouble shooter in their manuals for the John Deere. It surely would help lots of people if they did. Maybe they want to keep us in the dark so we will bring the mowers in for repair and have to pay hundreds of dollars when all it is is the little hole in the gas cap being plugged up.
Gas cap fix did the trick after I was talked into buying a new battery.
My L118 Mower has the same problem as described except last nite I mowed until it stalled and it started smoking like it was hot. I can’t wait to get home tonight and check out the gas cap; but, now one else has mentioned smoke. Have you ever heard what might cause that?
I also had an issue with my L118 stalling. I simply took off the gas cap and cleaned the air hole and the seal inside the cap. My mower started right away and did not stall. Saved me a trip to the mechanic as well as cash.
Dude, you saved me a trip to the shop! The instant I read you said you noticed it happening on hills, I knew you had the answer.
Well, at least this episode got me to replace all my filters, oil, etc for the first time in 5 years. lol
I have a newer John Deere 100 series. It would start strong then die. Over and over. I instructed my wife to pray and “googled”. I found your site. I cleaned the cap and followed my hose from tank to engine squeezing it and making sure it was not kinked, both ideas from your site and comments. It hard started one more time and then it was off and running!
You’d really have to see my finances to really know how much I appreciate the help. THANK YOU, EVERYONE!!!!
I have a John Deere STX 38 tractor with a black deck. I have a problem with stalling after about 20 min. It back fires occasionly. After it stalls it won’t start until it cools off.After it cools it runs fine until it heats up. I have a new air filter, fuel pump, spark plug,oil & filter changed.some one mentioned “starting circuit fuseable link or the ignition coil”. Any ideas?
L100 same problem stalled and wouldn’t restart. No gas to carb. Thought it was the fuel pump. But checked all the lines going to the pump and the short hose from the filter to the pump was pretty rotted and wasn’t leaking gas but was letting air in and losing the prime. Changed the hose and it runs perfect again. Thanks for the tips everyone!
Your tip worked perfectly, John Deere should add this to the owners manual. Thanks
ok. so what if isn’t the cap? more info on problem… 3 yr. old J.D. 115 running fine till 4 days ago.changed mower belt and after engine ran about 10 min. and engaged mower engine started revving up and down and died.would start again but die. engine would run at lowest speed for couple of min. but died and would not start. if let it set awhile, would start but go through same cycle again. changed plug air filter fuel filter ,drained and refilled with fresh gas with no difference.
hello everyone. i have a 2005 john deer riding mower it is a 26 hp and 54in cut. i was mowing and then i herd a pop sound. now my mower will not move and it has no breaks. i checked the belts and they all are ok. if someone could tell me what is wrong and how to fix it that would be great. thank all of you very much
It was the CAP. Air whole was clogged with dirt.
clean the whole at the top of the cap with a pin for air. Mower runs new again….
Problem was not getting air in the gas tank / gas lines; this was the reason why the mower kept stalling (starting and stopping after brief usage) Thanks for saving me a visit to the shop.
This solved my problem also . Thank You
I have John Deere 115 that would not run. Cleaned the fuel cap but still had the same problem.
Checked the fuel line where it goes into the fuel tank and found the fuel line was wedged behind the fuel tank and metal frame. Move the fuel line over by pushing forward on fuel tank. The fuel line goes into the grove on fuel tank.
Now it runs fine.
I have taken twice to a John Deere dealer they worked on it and cleaned out the fuel tank andlines? They said the running problem was caused by bad fuel.
I think the viabrations of running the mower and going up and down hill let the fuel line move out of place and put pressure on the fuel line and caused
the engine not to run.
I have an x300r that was stalling out – cleaned the gas cap and good as new. You are a genius.
I have an L100 that started leaking oil from the bronze screen on fuel pump and stalls. Any thoughts? It’s a BS 17hp.
Paid 60 bucks to have lawn mower man tune up my mower because it kept stalling. Still kept stalling so I called him out again. He kept insisting I had bad gas in the mower even though I always get it fresh from the station right before I mow. I could`nt keep it running more than 10 minutes, Then 5 minutes. Saw your gas cap info,filled up my mower, And not only did she start great, She ran till she was out of gas! How come someone who makes a living repairing lawn mowers does`nt know this simple fix? Or was he just trying to milk me for lawn mower repairs?
BINGO! I can’t believe it was the gas cap!!!
After reading the Blogs I decided to loosen the gas cap, I ran my JD mower up hills on a tilt and no oil leak from the fuel pump, did not smoke or stall. I have a sealed gas cap, drilled two holes in the cap an the mower, problem fixed. Still confused why it all started right after I changed the oil. The JD mechanics still had no clue how to fix the problem.
JD LA125 changed oil, filter started mowing plume of smoke filled the area. Oil leaking from fuel pump vent, changed carburator float/seat, fuel filter, fuel pump, air filter, The JD mechanic suggested I change the parts, I’m at wits end, never had a problem till I changed the oil, did not overfill with oil. help
OMG thought I was going to have to put out big money and it was the hole in the gas cap. I am soooooo glad I found this site before I spent he money that I didn’t have. thank you thank you thank you
We have a LX 178 and went through blowing out the fuel lines, new fuel filter, cleaning on off fuel valve, etc….over and over. Finally called John Deere dealer here in Washington, was told “it probably needs new carburator, or fuel pump, labor is 80.00 per hour, bring it up and we will take a look. We asked if there was anything else to be checked…..nope, just bring it in. I came across this forum, and thought could it really be something that simple? Guess what? it was. cleaned the hole in the fuel cap, runs like a top. Called them back and told them they should be ashamed of themselves thank you so much for this forum!!!!
That’s was my problem too – thanks for sharing the tip.
my sabre lawn tractors’ engine fills up with gas,after pulling the spark plug and watching gas spew out i let it dry out and replaced the plug but now i don’t even get a click when i try to start it, any help with this dilemma will make me a happy man,thanks
STX38- Total gravity feed fuel system. Was doing the same thing going up hill, starting last fall. I’ve been fighting all spring to figure this out, with similar attempts as others (air filter, tune-up, etc) with no luck.
I read this, went out to mine and could see no vent hole at all, but with a bit of poking, there was one! Completely laquered over to be invisible. I’ve cleaned out the hole and cap (removed inner liner and cleaned, too), and now it’s been running in a nearly 45 degree position for 1/2 hour!
Thanks for saving countless more hours and $’s at my JD dealer. Life saver!
I believe that the clogged fuel cap was my problem too. Would stall out after 15 minutes or so. It was due for an air filter and fuel filter change anyway, so I changed them both. When I changed the fuel filter, I noticed the remaining gas in the tank bubbled like a vacuum was broken. It still stalled out again after the filter changes, so I once again removed the fuel filter, releasing the vacuum. Got done, put the mower up and read this. Went back out and checked the cap and sure enough, clogged with dirt and dust.
Worked like a charm. John Deere tried to tell us it was electrical. Thank U Thank U THank U
I need information on both cables for transmission, John Deere tractor series T773R * 02245th On which website could I find the necessary data for the above tractor. thank you very much.
Fuel Tank on John Deere X540: What if it is NOT the gas cap air hole?
Fuel does not flow from gas tank with the gas cap off, and with the fuel line and filter removed from the fuel line – and it is NOT the gas cap air hole or anything associated with air flow into the fuel tank.
I checked my fuel pump and was getting very little fuel, replaced it and still had the stalling problem. Found this sight, checked the cap and sure enough it was plugged. Unplugged it from the inside of the cap with compressed air.
Thanks for the info!
Should have read this first. Worked like a charm.
Wow, best tip!
It really does work. John Deer stalling no more. I checked the cap was on really tight, just loosened it up and had no more stalling.
My 2005 John Deere riding mower will run for a few minutes until it gets hot. Then is stops. Any suggestions on what is worng ?
i had a problem with stalling and like you said, it was the cap! I ran my finger over the cap and it let air out and now it runs great! I thank my living god for giving you that wisdom to share with all of us.
OK, I’d like to think I’m a pretty good shade tree mechanic, but this one was baffling me. My 1 yr. old John Deere with the V twin 22 hp engine had been running super for 18 mo. and 60 hrs. This summer has been very dry, and when I do mow, the dust that gets kicked up is almost like smoke! I maintain that most of the 22 ponies go for the blades which feel like they could almost put you air borne. Last week right before shut off it started to sputter like a fuel issue. I cleaned the very filthy air filter, even vacuumed it, and added a little gas. I think I may have heard a bit of a hiss when I took off the cap, but not sure of that.
This late afternoon, I was 60% done with a 90 minute mow, and she died again. Choking it would kind of get her going for a few seconds, but as soon as you put it in high speed position she’d sputter and stop, or if you put a load on it like the hydro drive or blade she’d quickly die.
Found this sight, read how the symptoms matched, and checked the gas cap. It looked totally like just a pin head size round molding mark at the top of the cap. I gave it a few brisk scrubs with an old toothbrush, (a very handy tool BTW!) and found there was hole there, and then blew on it and found air did pass through. Eureka! Then I found air holes inside the cap. I put the wet or dry vac on it next and really went to town of sucking out any residual chafe dust.
After starting the mower up, it was immediately better, but it did take a 10-15 second time frame to really get down to a smooth idle. Pressure must have to equalize in the fuel system; carb float, bowl etc. This fix totally worked!
Thank you for saving me taking apart the whole carb, fuel system line, spark plugs etc. THANK YOU BIG TIME!!!
Don’t you love this site, and don’t we love the internet?
I have a Cub Cadet machine and after filling up with petrol this afternoon starting cutting the grass. Started losing power uphill then stall. Tried to start her up but wouldn’t start, just like I had run out of fuel.
Left the machine for 20 minutes, started then stalled after 5 mins and wouldn’t restart.
Pushed the machine in the garage. Tried Google, found your site and followed the advice. Unscrewed the petrol cap and a gush of air was pulled in. Screwed the cap back on but not fully and tried starting the machine……………started on the second turn. Really, really appreciate this posting!!
Well, I’ll be…..
My L118 kept stalling out after about 15 min of mowing. Checked EVERYTHING….fuel pump, air filters, new plugs, water in gas, gas filter. I do recall a slight hiss (vacuum) when I removed gas cap. Never thought anything of it. After reading this blog, I put my cap under a magnifying glass and found a small hole on top which was definitely plugged. Looked like a combination of skin oil and dead skin…..sort of white and waxy. Makes sense, because sometimes I loosen the cap by pushing down and twisting with my palm. It cleaned out easily with a pin.
Hopefully the problem will be gone. Time will tell! Thank you all!
Thank you, my LA115 stalled and then would crank but not start. Clearing the ventalation hole fixed the problem. Glad I checked here while the mower was cooling down. You saved me a lot of time.
Glad I could bring the two of you together again – one should never lose his love of ones mower :)
You have restored my love for my LX172 riding mower. After reading how you
loosen the gas cap live is good……THANK_YOU
ALL HAIL JIM MAURER!!!….You are a life saver :)….thanks for the help.
Can’t believe it! Was thinking after I used your tip, and was back on my mower, “this guy is a genius”. thanks for saving me time and money
i ran a 3 ft gas line from fuel pump in to gas tank for a test so there is a blockage in line cap vented ok drilled a tight fit hole for line works great drill cap in shop not on tractor reroute new line good luck
Normally keep my JD324 in a storage building Left it out under some oaks trees last night. It worked fine while hauling some stone from one spot to another, but starting losing RPM’s. Started mowing and after 10 minutes the RPM;s started dropping off and going back up. Shut it down for a few minutes and came back to it again, same thing, and when engaging the mower deck, it would stop. It kept starting right back up, but would lose RPM’s until it stopped. Called local JD and got the “carb” routinue or “plug” suggestions, all good, but I still could not get it done today. And MIL comes over Saturday morning.
The internet is a wonderful thing. Put in my question and here I am. A bird had “dropped” something and it had landed on the fuel cap. Right in the middle and when the “dropping” had hardened, no air.
Three minutes on the “net” and a toothpick, problem solved. Thanks for the tip, it saved time, money and aggravation.
Thanks for the great tip.
My mower would start and then stall as soon as I took my foot off the break.
I was pretty stumpped.
Came inside, found this site and the gas cap stories,
was happily mowing a few minutes later!
I was mowing my grass and my JD was running like a top. Suddenly it died like it ran out of gas. It would not restart. After several failed attempts to restart it I went online this evening to see if there might be a straightforward fix to the problem before calling someone to service it and found this. I went out to the garage, loosened the fuel cap and heard the air being sucked into the tank as I did so. I replaced the cap, turned the key and it started right up. I’ll clean the breather hole in the AM. Thanks, you saved me money for sure. Doug in NH.
Spent two weeks considering what was up with my JD and I had figured out that the tank was not breathing but didn’t know there was a hole in my cap. Sure enough my cap was plugged tight! My plan was to take it to a repair shop but I thought I should check the web first. Thanks for the tip!!
WOW! I have been dealing with my John Deere L140 stalling first after 45 min, then 30, then 20 then 1 min. over the last month or so. I replaced spark plugs, fuel filter twice, was about to drain gas tank (thought I had bad gas…my wife says that to me sometimes) :-) Anyway, was thinking about taking the mower into the JD dealer and then read some blogs. Yepper, sure enough, I loosened the gas cap, heard a big air release, screwed cap back on, not snug and mowed my whole yard (acre and a half) without out incident!!! Thanks, you saved me more time, frustration and probably about $200 bucks! Happy camper in Texas, Dave…….
Own a 3 year old 115 lawn tractor. Died on me today for no reason, I diagnosed the best I could and tried everything I could find on the internet and couldn’t figure it out, was prepared to go the the deere dealer tomorrow. Finally found this link and gave it a shot and it freaking worked! I heard the vacuum release as soon as I unscrewed the cap. I saw that the fuel window was a little distored, but it never occured that the tank was being mishaped due to the vacuum. Saw some dirt in the center hole of the fuel cap and cleaned it out. Thanks so much, just saved me a hundred bucks or so by avoiding a trip to the dealer.
I have mowed about half a dozen times this Spring and each time my JD mower dies on me. Just happened again about an hour ago and I decided to go on-line to see if I could find a solution. Am heading out to the pasture to check out the gas cap!
A minute after my post, I realized I wouldn’t sleep without checking the gas cap. It is 3:15 in the AM, and I went to the basement to check. The hole was indeed plugged. I pulled out rubber piece and cleaned out the pinhole. Funny that I could not blow out the dirt via lung power alone. It is no surprise why the vaccuum couldn’t keep the hole clear. I still have to wait until tomorrow to try mowing again (it is after 3AM after all). Thanks for the tips, Jim!
I have been having this issue of my L120 dying after 20-30 minutes, as if it is out of gas. Then I wait awhile and it starts again. I can’t wait to try losening the cap to see what happens. Like others, I have changed plugs, air, and fuel filter, late last season. To no avail. It is even worse this spring. I found this blog (well actually first the one about the K66 transaxle) while looking for an engine parts diagram to determine whether what I was assuming was the fuel pump is actually the fuel pump. Checking the gas cap may very well save me 30 bucks, and further grief. Like I said, I cannot wait to try the cap tomorrow.
The hole got plugged in my mom’s John Deere gas cap and her tank collapsed! She had to have the entire tank replaced – at her cost. John Deere didn’t do anything for her. Very upsetting especially since it was only a few years old.
THANKS!!!! It worked! I’ve been going a little nuts trying to figure this out! Your information helped..Thanks!
My husband didn’t have any stalling problems until our mower sat under our deck in a monsoon of a rain yesterday. Today it mowed fine for about 15 minutes then stalled out every 5 minutes or so. Could it be water in the gas from that little pin hole? I checked the pin hole in the gas cap and it is okay- not plugged.
After replacing the fuel filter and the fuel pump, my John Deere kept stalling…right in the middle of cutting the lawn, I tried your tip and it worked like a charm. By the way my cap was not self ventilating and it still worked.
I wanted you to know that I have put your name into nomination for the annual MacArthur Genius Award.
Thank you for all the aggravation you just saved me.
OMG.. just spent two weeks with a stalling rider.. changed the air filter, the spark plug.. was at the end of my rope… just saw this and sure enough.. my gas tank was a bit collapsed and the cap pinhole was plugged.
Thanks for the tip, my husband has been working on our mower for 2 nights and has cleaned and changed so many things, again tonight he was out there and on his way to buy spark plugs when I found your tip and went out to the garage to tell him.
Half believing this would work he put the spark plugs back in and loosened the cap and she started right up. Just to really check this theory he started and stopped it several times and drove it down the street. It ran like a charm the whole time. Thanks so much for the tip, you saved us tons of aggravation a lot of money I am sure.
I don’t have a John Deere, but I do have a Cub Cadet that had problems stalling. I tried your trick on cleaning the hole in the gas cap and it worked! Thanks for the tip!