8 John Deere Z355E Problems: In-Depth Troubleshooting Tips

The John Deere Z355E is a popular and reliable mower model known for its efficiency and performance in maintaining lawns and gardens. With its powerful engine and advanced features, it has become a go-to choice for homeowners and professionals alike. However, like any complex machinery, the Z355E is not immune to occasional issues that may arise during its lifespan.

As a responsible owner, understanding the common problems that may occur with the John Deere Z355E is essential for ensuring its optimal performance and longevity. In this blog post, we will delve into nine of the most frequent problems faced by Z355E owners and provide comprehensive troubleshooting steps to resolve them effectively.

8 Common John Deere Z355E Problems Include Solutions

Problem 1: Engine Won’t Start

When you’re all set to mow your lawn, and your John Deere Z355E’s engine refuses to start, it can be quite frustrating. Before panicking or calling for professional help, it’s essential to perform some basic troubleshooting steps to identify and potentially fix the issue. Here are the potential causes of an engine that won’t start:

A. Potential Causes:

  1. Dead Battery: One of the most common reasons for a non-starting engine is a dead battery. If the battery has insufficient charge or has been drained over time, it won’t have the power to crank the engine.
  2. Faulty Starter: A faulty starter can prevent the engine from cranking even if the battery is in good condition. The starter motor may have worn-out components or electrical issues that hinder its proper functioning.
  3. Fuel System Issues: Problems within the fuel system, such as clogged fuel filters or a lack of fuel reaching the engine, can result in the engine’s failure to start.

B. Step-by-step Troubleshooting Guide:

  1. Check the Battery: Begin by checking the battery’s charge level. Use a multimeter or battery tester to ensure it has enough voltage. If the battery is low on charge, try jump-starting it or charging it using an appropriate battery charger.
  2. Inspect Battery Connections: Ensure the battery terminals are clean, tight, and free from corrosion. Poor connections can prevent the battery from delivering power to the starter.
  3. Listen for Clicking Sounds: When attempting to start the engine, listen for clicking sounds. If you hear repeated clicks, it could indicate a weak battery or a faulty starter.
  4. Inspect the Starter Motor: If the battery is in good condition, but the engine still won’t start, the starter motor might be the culprit. Tap the starter lightly with a hammer or a similar object to see if it helps. However, this is a temporary solution, and the starter may need replacement or repair.
  5. Check Fuel Supply: Ensure there is enough fuel in the tank. If the fuel level is low, fill it up with fresh, clean gasoline.
  6. Inspect the Fuel Filter: A clogged fuel filter can restrict the flow of fuel to the engine. Check and replace the fuel filter if it appears dirty or clogged.
  7. Look for Fuel Leaks: Check for any visible fuel leaks in the fuel lines or connections that could be causing a loss of fuel pressure.

C. Precautions and Safety Tips:

  1. Safety First: Before starting any troubleshooting, ensure the mower is on a level surface and engage the parking brake for added safety.
  2. Disconnect the Spark Plug: To avoid accidental engine starts, disconnect the spark plug wire and keep it away from the spark plug during troubleshooting.
  3. Use Safety Gear: Wear appropriate safety gear, including gloves and safety glasses, to protect yourself during maintenance and troubleshooting tasks.
  4. Avoid Open Flames: Perform any checks related to fuel system issues away from open flames or potential ignition sources.

If the troubleshooting steps mentioned above do not resolve the issue, or if you are unsure about performing any of the tasks, it’s best to seek assistance from a qualified technician or contact the nearest John Deere service center. Remember, regular maintenance and care can help prevent starting issues in the future and keep your John Deere Z355E running smoothly for many mowing seasons to come.

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Problem 2: Uneven Cutting

Achieving a well-manicured lawn is the primary goal of mowing, but when you notice uneven cutting patterns on your lawn, it can be disappointing. Uneven cutting is a common problem with the John Deere Z355E mower and can be caused by several factors. Let’s explore the potential causes and provide detailed troubleshooting steps to resolve this issue effectively.

A. Causes of Uneven Cutting:

  1. Blade Wear: Over time, mower blades can become dull or damaged, leading to uneven cutting. Worn-out blades tear the grass instead of cutting it cleanly, resulting in an uneven appearance.
  2. Deck Misalignment: If the mower deck is not properly aligned, it can lead to uneven cutting heights across the cutting path. This misalignment causes the mower blades to cut at different levels, resulting in an irregular cut.
  3. Tire Pressure Imbalance: Uneven tire pressure can affect the mower’s stability and levelness while mowing. Inconsistent tire pressure can lead to uneven weight distribution, causing the mower deck to tilt and cut unevenly.

B. Detailed Troubleshooting Steps:

  1. Inspect and Sharpen the Blades: Start by turning off the mower, removing the spark plug wire, and securing it away from the spark plug. Carefully inspect the mower blades for signs of wear, damage, or dullness. If the blades are worn or damaged, replace them. If they are dull, sharpen them following the manufacturer’s guidelines.
  2. Level the Mower Deck: Park the mower on a flat, level surface and measure the cutting height on each side of the deck. If there are variations in height, adjust the deck height to ensure it is level. Consult your mower’s manual for specific instructions on how to level the deck properly.
  3. Check Tire Pressure: Verify that all the tires have the recommended pressure as per the manufacturer’s guidelines. Adjust the tire pressure as necessary to achieve consistent and even cutting heights.
  4. Inspect the Deck for Damage: Carefully examine the mower deck for any signs of damage, dents, or bends. Damaged mower decks may not provide an even cutting surface and may need to be repaired or replaced.
  5. Test the Mower: After performing the troubleshooting steps mentioned above, start the mower and mow a small section of your lawn. Inspect the cutting pattern to see if the issue has been resolved. If not, recheck the blade sharpness, deck alignment, and tire pressure for any overlooked issues.

C. Tips for Maintaining a Level Cut:

  1. Regular Blade Maintenance: Regularly inspect and sharpen the mower blades, following the manufacturer’s recommendations. Sharp blades ensure clean cuts and a neater appearance of the lawn.
  2. Frequent Deck Inspection: Check the mower deck regularly for any signs of damage or misalignment. Promptly address any issues to maintain a level cutting surface.
  3. Consistent Mowing Pattern: Change your mowing pattern with each mow. Alternate between horizontal, vertical, and diagonal patterns to prevent soil compaction and promote even grass growth.
  4. Proper Grass Height: Avoid cutting more than one-third of the grass height in a single mow. Mowing too low can stress the grass and lead to an uneven cut.

By following these troubleshooting steps and maintenance tips, you can resolve the issue of uneven cutting with your John Deere Z355E mower and achieve a well-groomed and evenly trimmed lawn that will make your neighbors envious. Remember, regular maintenance is key to keeping your mower in top-notch condition and ensuring a professional-looking cut every time you mow.

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Problem 3: Excessive Vibration

Experiencing excessive vibration while operating your John Deere Z355E mower can be both uncomfortable and concerning. Not only does it affect the overall mowing experience, but it can also indicate underlying issues that need attention. In this section, we will explore the potential sources of vibration, provide a step-by-step guide to diagnose and fix vibration-related problems, and offer preventive measures to minimize vibration in the future.

A. Identifying Sources of Vibration:

  1. Blades: One of the primary sources of vibration can be unbalanced or damaged mower blades. If the blades are not in proper alignment or have chips or dents, they can create significant vibrations during operation.
  2. Engine: Engine-related issues, such as misfires, worn-out components, or improper tuning, can lead to excessive vibration throughout the mower.
  3. Worn Parts: Over time, various parts of the mower, including belts, bearings, and pulleys, can wear out or become misaligned, resulting in increased vibration.

B. How to Diagnose and Fix Vibration-Related Issues:

  1. Inspect Blades: Start by turning off the mower, removing the spark plug wire, and securing it away from the spark plug. Carefully inspect the mower blades for any signs of damage, bends, or unevenness. If you notice any issues, replace the blades with new ones. Additionally, make sure the blades are correctly installed and securely fastened.
  2. Balance the Blades: Unbalanced blades can cause significant vibration. Use a balancer or take the blades to a professional shop to ensure they are properly balanced. Balanced blades reduce vibration and improve cutting performance.
  3. Engine Inspection: Check the engine for signs of wear or damage. Inspect spark plugs, air filters, and fuel filters for any issues. If you notice any engine-related problems, such as misfires or irregular running, consult a qualified technician for further diagnosis and repair.
  4. Examine Belts and Pulleys: Inspect the belts and pulleys for signs of wear, fraying, or misalignment. Replace any worn-out belts and realign misaligned pulleys to reduce vibration caused by these components.
  5. Check Bearings: Examine the bearings in the mower deck and wheels for any wear or damage. Worn-out bearings can lead to increased vibration. Replace damaged bearings to restore smooth operation.
  6. Engine Tuning: Ensure the engine is properly tuned and running at the recommended RPM. A well-tuned engine operates smoothly, minimizing excessive vibration.

C. Preventive Measures to Minimize Vibration:

  1. Regular Maintenance: Stick to a regular maintenance schedule, including blade sharpening, belt inspection, and lubrication of moving parts. Proper maintenance reduces the chances of wear-related vibration.
  2. Balanced Blades: Whenever you install new blades or after sharpening, make sure they are correctly balanced. Balanced blades reduce vibration and improve cutting efficiency.
  3. Avoid Hitting Objects: Be cautious while mowing to avoid hitting hard objects like rocks or tree stumps, as they can damage blades and other mower components, leading to increased vibration.
  4. Check Tire Pressure: Keep the tire pressure at the recommended levels. Proper tire pressure ensures better stability and reduced vibration during mowing.

By following these troubleshooting steps and preventive measures, you can diagnose and resolve excessive vibration issues with your John Deere Z355E mower. Regular maintenance and proactive care will not only minimize vibration but also extend the life of your mower, providing you with a smoother and more enjoyable mowing experience.

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Problem 4: Loss of Power

Experiencing a loss of power with your John Deere Z355E mower can significantly impact its mowing performance and efficiency. Several factors can contribute to this issue, ranging from simple maintenance oversights to more complex engine problems. In this section, we will explore the common reasons for power loss, provide a comprehensive troubleshooting process to regain power, and offer regular maintenance practices to prevent power loss in the future.

A. Reasons for Power Loss:

  1. Clogged Air Filter: An obstructed air filter can restrict the airflow to the engine, causing a rich fuel mixture and reduced power output.
  2. Fuel Quality: The use of old or contaminated fuel can lead to poor combustion and a decrease in engine power.
  3. Engine Problems: Various engine-related issues, such as spark plug fouling, ignition problems, or low compression, can result in reduced power output.

B. Comprehensive Troubleshooting Process to Regain Power:

  1. Inspect and Clean the Air Filter: Start by turning off the engine and removing the spark plug wire for safety. Locate the air filter housing, and inspect the air filter for dirt, debris, or excessive buildup. If the air filter is clogged, clean it with compressed air or replace it with a new one if it’s excessively dirty or damaged.
  2. Check the Fuel Quality: Drain any old or stale fuel from the fuel tank and replace it with fresh, high-quality gasoline. Avoid using fuel that has been sitting for an extended period or contains water or contaminants.
  3. Inspect the Spark Plug: Remove the spark plug and check its condition. Fouled or worn spark plugs can lead to inefficient combustion and reduced power. Clean or replace the spark plug as needed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  4. Verify Ignition System: Ensure the ignition system is functioning correctly. Check the ignition coil, spark plug wire, and other ignition components for any faults. Replace any faulty parts to restore proper ignition.
  5. Compression Test: Perform a compression test to check the engine’s cylinder compression. Low compression can indicate internal engine wear or damage and may require professional diagnosis and repair.
  6. Fuel System Inspection: Inspect the fuel lines, fuel pump, and fuel injectors (if applicable) for any leaks, clogs, or other issues. Address any problems found during the inspection.

C. Regular Maintenance Practices to Prevent Power Loss:

  1. Air Filter Maintenance: Regularly clean or replace the air filter according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. A clean air filter ensures proper airflow to the engine and maintains optimal power output.
  2. Fuel Maintenance: Use fresh, high-quality gasoline and add a fuel stabilizer if the mower will be stored for an extended period. Avoid using fuel with ethanol content higher than the manufacturer’s recommended limit.
  3. Spark Plug Replacement: Replace the spark plug at the recommended intervals or if it shows signs of wear or fouling. A healthy spark plug promotes efficient combustion and engine performance.
  4. Oil Change: Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for regular oil changes. Fresh engine oil keeps the engine running smoothly and can prevent power loss due to increased friction.
  5. Keep the Mower Clean: Regularly clean the mower, especially the engine and cooling fins, to prevent debris buildup that may hinder proper engine cooling and performance.

By following this comprehensive troubleshooting process and adhering to regular maintenance practices, you can identify and resolve power loss issues with your John Deere Z355E mower. Additionally, proper maintenance will keep your mower running at its peak performance, ensuring a powerful and efficient mowing experience for years to come.

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Problem 5: Abnormal Noise

Abnormal noise coming from your John Deere Z355E mower can be both annoying and concerning. Unusual sounds are often indicative of underlying issues that need attention. In this section, we will explore the common sources of noise in the mower, provide a step-by-step guide to identifying and resolving noise-related issues, and offer lubrication and inspection tips to reduce noise and maintain a quieter mowing experience.

A. Common Sources of Noise:

  1. Belts: Worn, loose, or misaligned belts can produce squealing or screeching noises during operation.
  2. Bearings: Faulty or worn-out bearings in various mower components, such as the wheels or pulleys, can lead to grinding or rattling noises.
  3. Loose Components: Loose or inadequately fastened components, like bolts, nuts, or covers, can create rattling or clanking sounds.

B. Step-by-Step Guide to Identifying and Resolving Noise Issues:

  1. Inspect the Belts: Start by turning off the mower and removing the spark plug wire for safety. Inspect the drive belts and mower deck belts for signs of wear, fraying, or cracks. Adjust or replace any damaged or worn belts as necessary. Also, ensure that the belts are correctly aligned and tensioned according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
  2. Check the Bearings: Carefully examine the mower’s wheels, pulleys, and blade spindle bearings for any play, roughness, or noise while spinning. If you detect any issues, replace the faulty bearings to eliminate the noise.
  3. Tighten Loose Components: Thoroughly inspect all parts of the mower, including engine covers, deck components, and handles. Tighten any loose bolts, nuts, or screws to prevent rattling noises during operation.
  4. Inspect the Mower Deck: Carefully examine the mower deck for any debris, grass clippings, or foreign objects that might be causing noise. Clean the deck thoroughly to eliminate any potential sources of noise.
  5. Inspect the Muffler: Check the muffler for any damage or loose fittings. A damaged or improperly attached muffler can create a loud exhaust noise. Repair or replace the muffler as needed.
  6. Check the Engine: Perform a general inspection of the engine while it’s off. Look for any visible signs of damage or loose components. If you notice anything unusual, consult a qualified technician for a more in-depth diagnosis.

C. Lubrication and Inspection Tips to Reduce Noise:

  1. Lubricate Moving Parts: Regularly lubricate moving parts of the mower, such as wheel bearings and pulleys, with appropriate lubricants. Lubrication reduces friction and noise caused by metal-to-metal contact.
  2. Inspect and Replace Worn Parts: Routinely inspect all mower components and replace any worn-out parts before they cause excessive noise or lead to more significant problems.
  3. Keep the Mower Clean: Regularly clean the mower and remove debris and grass clippings that might get trapped in various components, contributing to noise during operation.
  4. Follow Maintenance Schedule: Adhere to the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule. Regular maintenance ensures that all components are in proper working condition, minimizing noise-related issues.

By following this step-by-step guide and incorporating lubrication and inspection tips into your mower maintenance routine, you can identify, resolve, and prevent abnormal noise issues with your John Deere Z355E mower. Keeping your mower well-maintained will not only reduce noise but also extend its overall lifespan, providing you with a quieter and more enjoyable mowing experience.

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Problem 6: Poor Steering Response

Experiencing poor steering response with your John Deere Z355E mower can make maneuvering the machine a challenging and frustrating task. The steering system is crucial for controlling the mower’s direction effectively. Several factors can contribute to steering problems. In this section, we will explore the common causes of poor steering response, provide a troubleshooting guide to improve steering responsiveness, and emphasize the importance of proper alignment and maintenance for optimal steering performance.

A. Causes of Steering Problems:

  1. Worn Tires: Tires with uneven wear or insufficient tread depth can lead to poor traction and compromised steering control.
  2. Steering Linkage Issues: Problems within the steering linkage, such as worn-out joints or loose connections, can result in delayed or imprecise steering response.
  3. Hydraulic Issues: If your mower has a hydraulic steering system, low fluid levels, leaks, or air in the system can adversely affect steering performance.

B. Troubleshooting the Steering System for Improved Responsiveness:

  1. Inspect the Tires: Begin by checking the condition of the tires. Look for signs of wear, bulges, or punctures. If the tires are worn unevenly, consider rotating or replacing them to ensure better traction and improved steering response.
  2. Check Tire Pressure: Verify that all tires have the recommended tire pressure as specified in the operator’s manual. Uneven tire pressure can cause steering imbalances and affect the overall stability of the mower.
  3. Examine Steering Linkage: Inspect the steering linkage for any signs of wear, damage, or loose connections. If you notice any issues, tighten loose components or replace worn-out parts to restore precise steering control.
  4. Check Hydraulic Steering System (if applicable): If your mower has a hydraulic steering system, check the fluid level and look for any visible leaks. Address any leaks promptly and ensure that the hydraulic system is filled to the correct level with the manufacturer-recommended fluid.
  5. Lubricate Steering Components: Regularly lubricate the steering components, such as tie rods and ball joints, with appropriate lubricants to minimize friction and ensure smooth operation.
  6. Test Steering Responsiveness: After performing the above checks and adjustments, take your mower for a test run. Evaluate the steering responsiveness in different directions to ensure that the issue has been resolved.

C. Importance of Proper Alignment and Maintenance:

  1. Alignment: Proper alignment of the front wheels is essential for balanced steering response. Misaligned wheels can cause uneven tire wear and impact steering control. Regularly check and adjust the wheel alignment as per the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  2. Maintenance: Adhere to the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule for your mower. Regular maintenance ensures that steering components are in good working condition, and any emerging issues are addressed promptly.
  3. Safety Considerations: A properly functioning steering system is vital for safe mowing operations. Poor steering response can compromise control, potentially leading to accidents or damage to the mower.
  4. Longevity of Steering Components: Proper alignment and maintenance help extend the lifespan of steering components, reducing the likelihood of premature wear and the need for costly repairs.

By following the troubleshooting steps and prioritizing proper alignment and maintenance, you can improve the steering responsiveness of your John Deere Z355E mower. Efficient steering not only enhances your mowing experience but also ensures safe and precise control, allowing you to achieve a professional-looking lawn with ease.

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Problem 7: Uneven Braking

Uneven braking on your John Deere Z355E mower can compromise both safety and performance during mowing operations. Brakes that do not engage uniformly can lead to instability and make maneuvering the mower more challenging. In this section, we will explore the potential reasons for uneven braking, provide a troubleshooting guide to address braking issues, and emphasize the importance of regular brake maintenance and safety considerations.

A. Potential Reasons for Uneven Braking:

  1. Worn Brake Pads: Over time, brake pads can wear down, leading to uneven braking performance and reduced stopping power.
  2. Hydraulic Problems: Issues within the hydraulic brake system, such as air in the lines or fluid leaks, can result in uneven pressure distribution and affect braking efficiency.

B. How to Troubleshoot and Fix Braking Issues:

  1. Check Brake Pads: Inspect the brake pads for wear. Worn brake pads will have reduced thickness compared to new ones. If the pads are worn, replace them with new, manufacturer-recommended brake pads.
  2. Inspect Brake Rotors/Discs: Examine the brake rotors or discs for signs of wear, scoring, or warping. Worn or damaged brake rotors may require resurfacing or replacement to restore even braking.
  3. Bleed the Brake System (if hydraulic): If your mower has a hydraulic brake system, check for air in the brake lines. Bleed the brake system to remove any air bubbles, ensuring proper hydraulic pressure distribution.
  4. Check Brake Fluid Level (if hydraulic): Verify that the brake fluid reservoir is filled to the recommended level. Low brake fluid can result in spongy or uneven braking.
  5. Inspect Brake Components: Thoroughly inspect all brake components, including calipers, master cylinder, and brake lines, for leaks, damage, or loose connections. Address any issues found during the inspection.
  6. Adjust Brake Cable: If your mower has a cable-operated braking system, ensure that the brake cable is correctly adjusted. A loose or improperly tensioned cable can lead to uneven braking.

C. Regular Brake Maintenance and Safety Considerations:

  1. Brake Pad Inspection: Regularly inspect the brake pads for wear and replace them before they become too thin. Worn-out brake pads can compromise braking efficiency and safety.
  2. Check Brake Fluid Regularly (if hydraulic): Monitor the brake fluid level regularly and top it up as needed. Use the manufacturer-recommended brake fluid type.
  3. Brake System Flushing (if hydraulic): Consider flushing the hydraulic brake system and replacing the brake fluid as per the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule.
  4. Avoid Overloading the Mower: Avoid overloading the mower beyond its recommended capacity, as it can put additional strain on the braking system.
  5. Mow on Level Ground: Whenever possible, mow on level ground to reduce the stress on the brakes and ensure more consistent braking.
  6. Perform Regular Maintenance: Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule for your mower’s braking system. Regular maintenance ensures optimal performance and safety.

By following this troubleshooting guide and adhering to regular brake maintenance practices, you can address uneven braking issues with your John Deere Z355E mower effectively. Properly functioning brakes not only enhance safety but also improve your control and confidence while mowing, providing you with a more enjoyable and secure mowing experience.

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Problem 8: Electrical Malfunctions

Electrical malfunctions in your John Deere Z355E mower can lead to a range of issues, from the engine not starting to the lights and accessories failing to work correctly. Identifying and resolving common electrical problems is essential for ensuring proper mower functionality and preventing potential safety hazards. In this section, we will explore the common electrical issues, provide a step-by-step troubleshooting process, and offer tips for maintaining the electrical system.

A. Common Electrical Problems:

  1. Faulty Wiring: Damaged or frayed wiring can cause intermittent electrical connections or complete failures in various parts of the mower.
  2. Blown Fuses: Electrical overloads or short circuits can cause fuses to blow, cutting off power to specific circuits or components.
  3. Battery Issues: A dead or low-charged battery can prevent the engine from starting or lead to erratic electrical behavior.

B. Step-by-Step Electrical Troubleshooting Process:

  1. Inspect the Battery: Check the battery’s charge level using a multimeter. If the battery voltage is low, charge the battery with a suitable battery charger or jump-start the mower.
  2. Examine the Battery Terminals: Ensure the battery terminals are clean, tight, and free from corrosion. Corroded terminals can inhibit proper electrical connections.
  3. Check the Fuses: Locate the fuse box and inspect the fuses for any signs of damage. Replace any blown fuses with new ones of the correct rating.
  4. Inspect the Wiring: Carefully examine the wiring harness for any visible damage or wear. Repair or replace any damaged wires or connectors.
  5. Test Electrical Components: Turn on the mower and test various electrical components, such as lights, gauges, and switches. Identify any components that are not functioning correctly.
  6. Use a Multimeter: If a specific electrical component is not working, use a multimeter to test for continuity and voltage at various points along the circuit.
  7. Trace the Circuit: Trace the electrical circuit related to the malfunctioning component to identify the point of failure. Look for loose connections, damaged wires, or faulty switches.
  8. Inspect Safety Switches: Check the safety switches, such as the seat switch and blade engagement switch, to ensure they are functioning correctly. Malfunctioning safety switches can prevent the engine from starting.

C. Tips for Maintaining the Electrical System:

  1. Regularly Inspect Wiring: Routinely inspect the wiring harness for signs of wear, especially in areas where wires may come into contact with moving parts or sharp edges.
  2. Clean Battery Terminals: Keep the battery terminals clean and free from corrosion. Apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly to the terminals to prevent corrosion.
  3. Protect Electrical Components: Shield electrical components from water and debris to prevent damage and ensure proper functionality.
  4. Avoid Overloading Circuits: Be mindful of the electrical load on the mower and avoid using accessories or components that draw excessive current beyond the mower’s capacity.
  5. Keep the Battery Charged: Regularly charge the battery during periods of non-use, especially during the off-season, to maintain its performance and prolong its life.
  6. Store the Mower Indoors: Whenever possible, store the mower in a dry and sheltered area to protect the electrical system from adverse weather conditions.

By following this step-by-step troubleshooting process and implementing regular maintenance practices, you can effectively identify and resolve common electrical malfunctions in your John Deere Z355E mower. Proper electrical system maintenance ensures reliable operation and extends the lifespan of electrical components, providing you with a more efficient and trouble-free mowing experience.

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Problem 9: Transmission Troubles

The transmission is a crucial component of your John Deere Z355E mower that enables smooth and efficient power delivery to the wheels. Transmission problems can significantly impact the mower’s performance and maneuverability. In this section, we will explore the indications of transmission problems, provide in-depth troubleshooting steps, and offer best practices to extend the transmission’s life.

A. Indications of Transmission Problems:

  1. Gear Slipping: If the mower experiences gear slipping, you may notice that it struggles to maintain consistent speed or unexpectedly changes gears while mowing.
  2. Noisy Operation: Unusual noises, such as grinding or whining sounds during operation, can indicate potential transmission issues.

B. In-Depth Troubleshooting Steps for the Transmission:

  1. Check Transmission Fluid: Start by checking the transmission fluid level and condition. Low fluid levels or contaminated fluid can cause transmission problems. If needed, refill or replace the fluid with the manufacturer-recommended type.
  2. Inspect for Leaks: Look for any visible leaks around the transmission housing or seals. Transmission fluid leaks can lead to low fluid levels and affect the transmission’s performance.
  3. Check Drive Belt: Examine the drive belt for signs of wear, damage, or misalignment. A worn or loose drive belt can result in slipping or jerky operation of the transmission.
  4. Adjust Drive Belt Tension: If the drive belt is loose, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to adjust the tension properly. A properly tensioned drive belt ensures smooth power transmission.
  5. Inspect Shift Linkage: Carefully examine the shift linkage for any signs of damage, misalignment, or loose connections. A faulty shift linkage can cause difficulties in gear engagement.
  6. Test the Transmission: Operate the mower and test the transmission in various gears and speeds. Pay close attention to any unusual noises, vibrations, or slipping during operation.
  7. Perform a Transmission Test (Hydrostatic): If your mower has a hydrostatic transmission, perform a hydrostatic transmission test as per the manufacturer’s instructions. This test helps identify potential issues with the hydrostatic drive system.
  8. Lubricate Moving Parts: Regularly lubricate moving parts in the transmission, such as pivot points and linkages, with appropriate lubricants. Proper lubrication reduces friction and ensures smooth operation.

C. Best Practices for Extending Transmission Life:

  1. Regular Maintenance: Adhere to the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule for the transmission. Regular maintenance helps detect and address potential issues early on, extending the transmission’s lifespan.
  2. Avoid Heavy Loads: Avoid overloading the mower with heavy attachments or carrying excessive weight, as it can strain the transmission and lead to premature wear.
  3. Mow on Level Ground: Whenever possible, mow on level ground to reduce the strain on the transmission and ensure consistent performance.
  4. Proper Operation: Operate the mower smoothly, avoiding sudden starts, stops, or direction changes. Gentle and controlled operation reduces stress on the transmission.
  5. Parking on Level Surface: Always park the mower on a level surface with the parking brake engaged. Parking on inclines can cause undue stress on the transmission.
  6. Avoid Transmission Overheating: Prevent the transmission from overheating by ensuring proper ventilation and avoiding extended periods of high-speed operation.

By following these in-depth troubleshooting steps and best practices, you can identify and address transmission problems with your John Deere Z355E mower effectively. Regular maintenance and proper operation will not only resolve current issues but also extend the transmission’s life, ensuring smooth and reliable performance for many mowing seasons to come.

Some Common Questions: FAQs

Q: What are some common engine problems with the John Deere Z355E mower?

A: Some common engine problems with the John Deere Z355E mower include difficulty starting, stalling, and overheating.

Q: How can lack of maintenance cause problems with the John Deere Z355E?

A: Lack of maintenance, such as failing to change the oil and filter or replace the air filter, can cause engine problems and even lead to transmission or cutting deck issues.

Q: How can I troubleshoot engine problems with my John Deere Z355E?

A: To troubleshoot engine problems, check the fuel and oil levels, inspect spark plugs and wires, and clean or replace the air filter if needed.

Q: What should I check if I’m experiencing transmission problems with my John Deere Z355E?

A: If you’re experiencing transmission problems with your John Deere Z355E, check the drive belt for wear or damage and inspect the transmission fluid level and condition.

Q: How can I troubleshoot cutting deck problems with my John Deere Z355E?

A: To troubleshoot cutting deck problems, check the blade and spindle assembly for wear or damage and inspect the cutting deck for cracks, dents, or other signs of damage.

Q: What is the importance of regular maintenance for the John Deere Z355E?

A: Regular maintenance is important to prevent problems and keep the mower running smoothly. Tasks such as oil and filter changes, air filter replacements, and other maintenance can help avoid costly repairs.

Q: What should I do if I experience problems with my John Deere Z355E mower?

A: If you experience problems with your John Deere Z355E mower, check your warranty and consider professional repair options. Many issues may be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.


In this blog post, we’ve discussed some of the common problems that owners of John Deere Z355E mowers may encounter. These include engine problems, transmission issues, and cutting deck troubles.

We also explored the importance of regular maintenance in preventing these problems. Regular oil and filter changes, air filter replacements, and other maintenance tasks can help keep your mower running smoothly and avoid costly repairs.

If you do experience problems with your John Deere Z355E, it’s important to consider your warranty and repair options. Many issues may be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, while others may require professional repairs or replacement parts.

In conclusion, by understanding the common problems, possible causes, and troubleshooting steps for your John Deere Z355E, you can keep your mower running smoothly and enjoy a well-manicured lawn all season long.

6 thoughts on “8 John Deere Z355E Problems: In-Depth Troubleshooting Tips”

    • Hello Dave,

      Thank you for reaching out and bringing up this issue with the John Deere Z355E. A locked-up left wheel can be frustrating, but there are a few potential causes that we can explore to help you diagnose and fix the problem. Here are some common reasons for a locked-up wheel and their corresponding solutions:

      Obstruction in the Wheel: Check for any debris, rocks, or other objects that might be lodged in the left wheel’s mechanism. Sometimes, foreign objects can get caught, preventing the wheel from turning freely. If you find any obstructions, carefully remove them, and that may resolve the issue.

      Damaged Wheel Bearing: A worn-out or damaged wheel bearing can also lead to wheel locking. To check this, elevate the front end of the mower, grab the left wheel, and attempt to wiggle it. If you notice excessive play or a grinding sensation, it could indicate a faulty wheel bearing. In such a case, you’ll need to replace the bearing to restore proper functionality.

      Brake Caliper Malfunction: The brake caliper might be stuck, causing the wheel to lock up. Inspect the caliper for any signs of damage or corrosion. You may try gently tapping it with a rubber mallet to see if it releases. If that doesn’t work, the caliper might need adjustment or replacement.

      Transmission Issues: Problems within the transmission can also lead to a locked-up wheel. Check the transmission fluid level and condition. Low or contaminated fluid could be a contributing factor. If the fluid appears dirty or smells burnt, consider having it changed and check for any potential transmission problems.

      If you’re not comfortable performing these checks or unsure about the exact cause, it’s best to reach out to an authorized John Deere service center or a professional mechanic. They have the expertise and tools to diagnose the issue accurately and provide the appropriate fix.

      Remember, safety is of utmost importance, so before attempting any repairs, make sure to turn off the mower, engage the parking brake, and disconnect the spark plug to prevent accidental starting.

      I hope this helps you pinpoint the cause of the issue with your left wheel. If you have any more questions or need further assistance, feel free to ask. Good luck with the troubleshooting and getting your John Deere Z355E back to optimal performance!

      Best regards,

  1. I purchased a Jd Z355r mower in July 2022. It works great no problems Except I cannot get the grease fittings on the deck to take grease I’ve tried various grease gun fittings.

    • Dear Jim,

      Thank you for sharing your experience with the John Deere Z355R mower! We’re delighted to hear that you’ve had an overall positive experience with your purchase.

      Regarding the issue you mentioned about the grease fittings on the deck, we understand how frustrating it can be when you encounter difficulties with maintenance. Here are a few troubleshooting steps you can try to resolve the problem:

      Clean the Grease Fittings: Sometimes, debris or dirt can block the grease fittings, making it difficult to establish a connection with the grease gun. Use a clean cloth or compressed air to ensure the fittings are free from any obstructions before attempting to grease them again.

      Use the Right Grease Gun: Ensure you are using the correct grease gun for your mower. Some John Deere mowers may require a specific type of grease gun or adapter to fit the fittings properly. Double-check your mower’s user manual or consult with a local John Deere dealership to find the appropriate grease gun and fittings.

      Check for Damaged Fittings: Inspect the grease fittings for any signs of damage or wear. If you notice any issues, such as bent or broken fittings, they may need to be replaced to establish a proper connection.

      Apply Penetrating Oil: If the fittings are seized due to rust or corrosion, applying a penetrating oil can help loosen them up. Allow the oil to sit for a few hours, and then attempt to grease the fittings again.

      Seek Professional Assistance: If you’ve tried the above steps and are still unable to grease the fittings, it’s best to reach out to an authorized John Deere service center or a qualified technician. They can inspect the mower and provide a more thorough diagnosis and resolution.

      Remember that proper maintenance, including regular greasing, is essential for ensuring the longevity and optimal performance of your mower. We hope these suggestions help you resolve the issue with the grease fittings so that you can continue enjoying a hassle-free mowing experience with your John Deere Z355R.

      If you have any further questions or need more assistance, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re here to help!

      Happy mowing!

  2. John Deer model z355r. Fuel light is on, but when I tried to add gas, it was up to the level of the neck. This occured a few days after I did run out of gas, and refueled it.

    any ideas?

    • Hi Mike,

      Thank you for reaching out with your question about your John Deere Z355R. It sounds like you’re experiencing an issue with the fuel system, specifically the fuel light remaining on despite having refueled your mower.

      Here are a few troubleshooting steps you can try to address this problem:

      Check the Fuel Cap: Sometimes, the fuel cap may not be sealing properly, causing the fuel level sensor to register incorrectly. Make sure the fuel cap is securely fastened and that the gasket is in good condition.

      Inspect the Fuel Line: Examine the fuel line for any visible damage or kinks that may be obstructing the flow of fuel. Ensure there are no leaks in the fuel line.

      Clean the Fuel Filter: If you recently ran out of gas, there’s a possibility that some debris may have been sucked into the fuel system. Cleaning or replacing the fuel filter might help resolve this issue.

      Reset the Fuel Gauge: Try disconnecting the battery for a few minutes and then reconnect it. This can sometimes reset the fuel gauge, and it may start reading the correct fuel level.

      Visit a John Deere Service Center: If the issue persists after trying these steps, it’s advisable to have your mower inspected by a certified John Deere technician. They can diagnose and resolve more complex fuel system issues.

      Remember to always follow safety precautions when working on your equipment and refer to your owner’s manual for specific instructions related to your John Deere Z355R.

      I hope these suggestions help you get to the bottom of the fuel light issue. If you have any more questions or if the problem persists, please don’t hesitate to ask. Good luck with your mower!

      Best regards,


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