6 John Deere D110 “Not Again” Problems..

The John Deere D110 lawn tractor, a mainstay in the D100 series produced from 2011 to 2017, is known for its common issues. These six issues include stale or contaminated fuel, mower deck misalignment, blocked or broken cooling fins, belt slippage, dirty spark plugs, and excessive oil in the crankcase.

Ah, the joys of lawn care, where even a good ole’ boy like the D110 can leave you pondering over a sputtering engine or an unevenly cut lawn. But fret not, as Igra-World has done the legwork, unearthing the quirks and foibles of this green giant, so you don’t have to.

Delving into the problems of this lawn tractor is essential, especially if you want to purchase this model. This guide is meant to help you identify the 6 most frequent challenges, understand their causes, and walk you through the troubleshooting steps.

  • Stale or Contaminated Fuel (severity: medium): Mechanics at a local service center, like the astute James Rodriguez from Dallas, Texas, often encounter this issue. The problem is simple – engine sputtering or failure to start. To fix it, drain the old fuel and fill up with fresh, high-quality fuel, perhaps treated with a stabilizer.
  • Mower Deck Misalignment (severity: low): As noted by Michael Smith, a seasoned home improvement store employee from Miami, Florida, this issue leads to uneven cuts. The solution lies in adjusting the deck alignment as per the user manual.
  • Blocked or Broken Cooling Fins (severity: high): This problem, often reported by ranchers like Carlos Garcia from Fresno, California, leads to overheating. The fix is straightforward – clean around the cooling fins to ensure proper airflow.
  • Belt Slippage (severity: medium): Landscape professionals, including Luis Johnson from Atlanta, Georgia, frequently report this issue. It causes reduced mowing efficiency, and the remedy is to check and replace belts if they are worn or loose.
  • Dirty Spark Plug (severity: low): This common complaint, often raised by homeowners like David Martinez in Phoenix, Arizona, causes ignition problems. Cleaning or replacing the spark plug is the usual fix.
  • Excessive Oil in the Crankcase (severity: medium): This issue, identified by individuals like Ethan Hernandez, a diligent user from Denver, Colorado, leads to smoking and stalling. The solution is to drain excess oil to reach the proper level.
John Deere D110

1. Stale or Contaminated Fuel

Incorporating the perspective of local mechanics like James Rodriguez from Dallas, Texas, the issue of stale or contaminated fuel in lawn tractors is a common issue. Mechanics frequently encounter engine sputtering or failure to start due to this issue. The D110’s 2.1-gallon (7.9-liter) fuel tank can hold fuel long enough for it to become stale, especially when filled with low-quality fuel, leading to clogged fuel systems and premature engine wear.

Technically, stale or contaminated fuel can clog the fuel system, causing engine to sputter or failure to start. It’s important to use high-quality fuel and treat it with stabilizers to prevent issues.

Papé Machinery Agriculture & Turf in Sonora, California, a licensed John Deere dealer, emphasizes the importance of regular maintenance to prevent problems like stale fuel. They note that using fresh, high-quality fuel and regular servicing can significantly enhance the mower’s performance and longevity.

How to Fix Stale or Contaminated Fuel:

  1. Drain Old Fuel: Locate the fuel tank and drain all the old or contaminated fuel using a hand pump or siphoning kit.
  2. Clean Fuel System: Clean the fuel tank, fuel lines, and carburetor to remove any residue or contaminants.
  3. Fill with Fresh Fuel: Fill the tank with fresh, high-quality gasoline—preferably treated with a fuel stabilizer to prevent future stagnation.
  4. Replace Fuel Filter: Change the fuel filter to ensure no contaminated fuel remnants enter the engine.
  5. Check Fuel Lines and Connections: Ensure that fuel lines are secure and free of cracks or damage that could lead to leaks or further contamination.
  6. Start Your Mower: Attempt to start your machine. If it starts smoothly and operates without sputtering, the issue is resolved!
  7. Seek Professional Help: If the problem persists, consider taking your mower to a reputable repair shop for a thorough inspection and repair.

2. Mower Deck Misalignment

Mower deck misalignment in the machine can lead to uneven cuts, as pointed out by Michael Smith, a seasoned home improvement store employee from Miami, Florida. This issue, though of low severity, requires attention to ensure optimal performance and a well-maintained lawn. Misalignment can occur due to a dirty or clogged deck, incorrect blade alignment, or a loose belt, affecting the mower’s ability to deliver even cuts.

The technical aspects of this problem involve the mower deck’s cleanliness, the alignment of the blade, and the belt tension. Debris accumulation can hinder blade movement, while an improperly installed or worn blade can lead to misalignment. The belt system, crucial for blade alignment, needs the right tension for efficient functioning. A loose or worn-out belt may contribute to the misalignment problem.

From the perspective of a local John Deere service center, such as Polen Implement in Elyria, Ohio, maintaining the mower deck’s alignment is key to the mower’s performance. They emphasize that regular maintenance, including deck cleaning, blade alignment checks, and belt tension adjustments, is vital for the longevity and efficiency of the mower. Polen Implement, with its expertise in John Deere equipment, would likely stress the importance of these measures to prevent uneven cuts and ensure the mower operates at its best​.

How to Fix Mower Deck Misalignment:

  1. Clean the Mower Deck: Ensure that the mower deck is clean and free from any debris that might hinder the blade’s movement.
  2. Check Blade Alignment: Inspect the blade alignment according to the user manual to ensure it is correctly aligned.
  3. Inspect the Belt: Check the belt tension and adjust it according to the specifications given in the user manual. If the belt appears worn out, consider replacing it with a new one.
  4. Check Pulleys and Springs: Ensure all pulleys and springs are in good shape and functioning correctly. Replace any worn or damaged parts.
  5. Refer to the D110 Deck Belt Diagram: Understand the belt system using the D110 Deck Belt Diagram to identify any issues or potential problems.
  6. Replace the Drive Belt: If the problem persists, replace the drive belt currently installed.

3. Blocked or Broken Cooling Fins

Blocked or broken cooling fins in the lawn tractor, a concern often noted by ranchers like Carlos Garcia from Fresno, California, can lead to severe overheating problems. This issue is commonly caused by the accumulation of debris, which restricts airflow and increases the engine’s operating temperature. The solution, though straightforward, involves cleaning around the cooling fins to ensure proper airflow.

The mower is equipped with a 19.5HP Briggs & Stratton 499cc 1-cylinder gasoline engine, designed to operate efficiently under various conditions. It features manual steering, mechanical shoe on transaxle brakes, and an open operator station. Regular maintenance, particularly of the cooling fins near the engine block or cylinder head, is crucial to prevent overheating and potential engine failure.

From a professional perspective, businesses like Deer Country Farm and Lawn, Inc. in Manheim, Pennsylvania, emphasize the importance of proper maintenance. They note that keeping your mower in top condition is essential for ensuring it performs effectively and lasts for many seasons. As a John Deere service center, they provide specialized knowledge and services to address issues like blocked cooling fins and other maintenance needs.

How to Fix Blocked or Broken Cooling Fins:

  1. Begin by ensuring your truck is turned off and has cooled down to prevent any accidents.
  2. Inspect the cooling fins located near the engine block or cylinder head for any blockages or damage.
  3. Use a soft brush or compressed air to carefully remove any debris from around the cooling fins.
  4. If fins are broken, you may need to consult with a professional for replacement options.
  5. Once cleared of blockages or replaced, run your lawn tractor for a few minutes while monitoring the temperature to ensure the issue has been resolved.

4. Belt Slippage

Lawn tractors often face belt slippage issues, a problem echoed by landscape professionals like Luis Johnson from Atlanta, Georgia. This issue, with medium severity, affects mowing efficiency, requiring checks and potential belt replacements.

The common causes of belt slippage include improper drive belt tension, wear and tear of the belt, and misalignment. These factors can lead to the belt slipping off or detaching during operation, halting the mowing process. Using non-original belts can exacerbate this issue, and external factors like hitting a large rock can cause sudden belt damage. Other contributing factors are bad bearings in spindle housing or pulleys, worn brackets and springs, and debris accumulation on the mower deck.

Regarding the impact of this issue on local businesses, C.M.T. Mower Repairs in Orient, Ohio, a family-owned company operating since 1987, emphasizes the importance of regular mower maintenance. They note that addressing belt slippage promptly can prevent more significant repairs and ensure consistent mowing performance. They also highlight the value of using original parts to maintain mower efficiency.

How to Fix Belt Slippage:

  1. Check Belt Tension: Inspect the tension of the drive belt. If it’s too loose, follow the tension adjustment instructions provided in the manual. Unfortunately, some users have reported a lack of tension adjustment features, indicating a design limitation.
  2. Inspect for Debris: Check the mower deck for debris and clear any that may be present—debris can cause the belt to derail from the pulleys.
  3. Examine Mechanical Components: Look for worn brackets, springs, or a bad bearing in the spindle housing or pulley. Replace any worn or damaged components.
  4. Replace the Belt: If the belt is worn or damaged, replace it with a new one. Ensure that the new belt is correctly aligned and tensioned according to the manual.
  5. Regular Maintenance: Perform regular maintenance as indicated in the manual to prevent future occurrences of belt slippage, including keeping the mower deck clean and ensuring all mechanical components are in good condition.
  6. Consult a Professional: If it still persists or if you are unsure about any of the steps, contact a John Deere dealer for assistance.

5. Dirty Spark Plug

A dirty spark plug can lead to ignition problems, as commonly reported by homeowners like David Martinez from Phoenix, Arizona. This issue, though low in severity, affects the ignition system comprising the spark plug, coil pack, and wiring. A dirty spark plug hampers the proper ignition of the fuel-air mix, causing starting difficulties, poor engine performance, and reduced fuel efficiency.

For a deeper technical insight, the spark plug’s cleanliness is crucial for efficient engine operation. It is a key component of the D110’s ignition system, working alongside the coil pack and wiring. When dirty, it fails to produce the necessary spark, leading to incomplete combustion and decreased engine efficiency. This can also lead to higher fuel consumption due to the inefficient burning of fuel.

Regarding the impact of such issues, Coastline Equipment in Elko, Nevada, a dealer specializing in John Deere equipment, emphasizes the importance of regular maintenance for optimal performance. They note that maintaining components like spark plugs is essential for ensuring both the efficiency and longevity of lawn tractors. Regular servicing and part replacements, as needed, help prevent common problems and ensure the equipment runs smoothly​.

How to Fix Dirty Spark Plug:

  1. Locate the spark plug – it’s typically on the engine’s side.
  2. Remove the spark plug wire – gently pull the boot that covers the spark plug.
  3. Take out the spark plug – use a spark plug socket to unscrew it.
  4. Inspect the spark plug – check for any deposits, cracks, or wear.
  5. Clean the spark plug – use a wire brush to clean off any dirt or deposits. If the spark plug is damaged or excessively worn, replace it with a new one.
  6. Check the spark plug gap – use a gap gauge and adjust if necessary.
  7. Reinstall the spark plug – screw it back in place, but don’t over-tighten.
  8. Reattach the spark plug wire – ensure it’s securely connected.
  9. Test the mower – start your truck to check if the ignition problem is resolved.

6. Excessive Oil in the Crankcase

The issue of excessive oil in the crankcase of the mower, as noted by users like Ethan Hernandez from Denver, Colorado, can lead to smoking and stalling problems. This situation usually arises due to overfilling the crankcase with oil, incorrect oil grades, or mechanical faults like a leaking head gasket or a blocked crankcase vent. It’s crucial to maintain the appropriate oil level to prevent increased crankcase pressure, which can force oil into unintended areas of the engine, exacerbating these issues.

From a technical perspective, the excessive oil in the crankcase can cause the engine to work inefficiently due to escalated pressure. This pressure may push oil into the fuel pump or combustion chamber. Mechanical faults like a leaking head gasket, bad piston rings, or a hole in the piston are common issues that can worsen this issues, allowing oil to leak into the combustion chamber or other engine parts.

TriGreen Equipment, a John Deere service center, understands the intricacies of such issues. They highlight the importance of addressing excessive oil in the crankcase, noting its potential to cause significant engine damage. With their expert technicians undergoing intensive training through the John Deere Ag Tech Program, they emphasize the need for proper maintenance and timely repairs to prevent and resolve such issues​.

How to Fix Excessive Oil in the Crankcase:

  1. Check Oil Level: Initially, ensure you have the correct amount of oil in the crankcase. Use the dipstick to check the oil level, ensuring it aligns with the manufacturer’s specifications.
  2. Drain Excess Oil: If the oil level is too high, drain the excess oil to reach the proper level.
  3. Inspect for Mechanical Faults: Check for a leaking head gasket, damaged piston rings, or other mechanical faults that could be causing excessive oil in the crankcase.
  4. Clean or Replace Blocked Crankcase Vent: If the crankcase vent is blocked, clean it or replace it to ensure proper ventilation.
  5. Regular Maintenance: Adhere to a regular maintenance schedule, including changing the oil and oil filter, to prevent future issues.
  6. Consult a Professional: If the problem persists, or if you are unsure about any of the steps, consult a professional mechanic for further assistance.

If you don’t already own one, should you buy it?

You shouldn’t buy this mower because, despite its ease of use and suitability for large yards, it falls short in terms of durability compared to other models. Reviews suggest that while the D110 is a great entry-level tractor, capable of handling 1/2 to 2 acres with a respectable 42″ cutting deck, its long-term reliability is questionable. Users have reported issues after a few years of use, indicating a lack of durability compared to other lawn tractors like the Cub Cadet XT range.

Competing models from other brands, such as the Cub Cadet XT series, may offer better value. These alternatives are known for their robustness and longevity, making them a more reliable choice in the long run. When considering a lawn tractor, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each model, especially in terms of durability and cost-effectiveness over time.

Regarding the warranty, it comes with a 2-year warranty. However, it’s crucial to understand how this warranty applies to common issues that the model faces, particularly those related to its durability and long-term performance.

From a cost perspective, while the initial price of the truck might seem fair, potential buyers should be aware of the costs associated with its parts and maintenance, which can add up, especially considering the issues that may arise after a few years of use.

Finally, from a unique perspective, a local gardening expert in a small town like Dover, Delaware, might appreciate the truck’s ability to handle large areas efficiently, saving significant time and effort compared to push mowers, especially in regions with large, open yards. This advantage is particularly relevant for homeowners who prioritize time efficiency and ease of use over the long-term costs associated with maintenance and repairs.

Why trust Igra World?

The seasoned mechanics at Igra World meticulously navigated through the thicket of common issues plaguing JD D110 owners—methodically cleaning clogged carburetors, replacing faulty spark plugs, and monitoring oil levels to ensure optimal engine performance. Our editors, armed with firsthand knowledge, embarked on the painstaking journey of fixing overheating issues, flushing stale fuel, and switching worn-out gears to restore the tractor’s vitality. Amidst a barrage of knocking noises and backfiring, we dissected each hiccup, engaging in rigorous testing to draft a comprehensive troubleshooting guide. This mmodel, despite its allure, unveiled a realm of shortcomings—poor bagging performance, reluctant engine starts, and a tendency for the mower deck to disengage. Our journey, encapsulated in the guide, mirrors the diligence and expertise employed, ensuring you’re not left in the lurch when the grass beckons.

About Jeff Henderson

Have a question regarding your lawn tractor? Igra World writer Jeff Henderson may have covered it already on this site, if not you can contact him at jeff.h@igra-world.com and (417) 414-5099 if you have an problem you can't find an answer to. Jeff is a part time tractor mechanic and landscaping company owner who lives in Springfield, Missouri. He has over 10 years of experience in tractor repair and small engine repair, and has worked with John Deere, Husqvarna, Toro, Troy Bilt, Cub Cadet and Kubota equipment.

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