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Common John Deere 345 Problems and Troubleshooting Guide

I don’t think I would get into much of an argument if I said that John Deere is one of the best mower brands out there. Their huge catalog of reliable and efficient lawnmowers makes them hard to ignore if you are in the market for a new mower.

And the best part is they have something for every price range. Now the John Deere 345 lawnmower is one of their most popular models, and I have had one for many years now.

It’s reliable, lasts a good while if you take good care of it, and also does not cost much. Sure, it’s not exactly cheap either, but if you have a decent budget, you should be able to pick one up without too much trouble.

Don’t get me wrong, like any good mower out there; it has its fair share of issues. But most of the problems come up due to poor maintenance. If you take care of it, you shouldn’t have to worry about lackluster performance from the mower’s end.

Then again, I know how tough it can be to find the time to service your mower regularly. But this can eventually lead to poor performance and several mechanical and electrical issues.

Thankfully, most of the common issues are fixable if you know what to do. In this article, I will talk about some of the common problems that people face with their John Deere 345 lawnmowers and help you figure out how to fix these issues. So, let’s get started.

Common John Deere 345 Problems

Common Problems of John Deere 345 and How to Fix Them

John Deere 345 is known to be a pretty reliable machine. But over time, some issues may crop up that require immediate attention.

If you don’t address these issues right away, they can become bigger and eventually turn into a very expensive repair bill. So here are a couple of common issues with John Deere 345 mower along with a complete troubleshooting guide.

1. Engine Does Not Start

Engine Does Not Start

While the John Deere 345 is a pretty reliable piece of machinery, it can sometimes show a very worrying sign. You might notice suddenly that your machine will not run, and the engine does not fire up. This issue is more common with units that have not been in use for a while.

Now, there are a couple of different things that can cause this particular problem. The easiest one to diagnose and fix is to check the fuel. Ideally, you only want to use high-quality gasoline with your engine, as low-quality gas can turn stale pretty fast if you don’t use it. They are also not that efficient.

Check if the fuel in your engine has gone stale. If that is the case, then you need to replace it with new gasoline. The fuel system may also get dirty because of old fuel as it leaves deposits on the tank. This can cause blockage in the system causing the engine failure. So, you also need to clean out the tank to remove the blockages.

If that does not fix your issue, then you need to move on to the spark plug. Spark plugs can fail randomly, and it’s pretty easy to replace. If your fuel system is fine, then replace the spark plugs, and that should allow your engine to start.

2. Battery Does not Hold Charge

Battery Does not Hold Charge

If the battery in your mower fails to hold a charge or does not charge at all, that can be a pretty annoying issue to deal with. However, this is quite common with mowers that have been in storage for some time, and it’s no cause for alarm. This usually indicates a problem with the electrical connections.

The first thing you need to do is check the wiring in your system. Sometimes loose connections can cause the battery to not charge properly. If you find any loose connections or the wiring is damaged, replace it.

However, if you still see that the battery won’t charge properly, there’s a chance that you have a dead battery in your hands. In that case, you need to replace the battery, charge it up to full, and you should be good to go.

3. Black Smoke Coming Out of the Engine

Sometimes your engine will work as intended in your John Deere 345 mower, but you will notice black smoke coming from the smoke. I know how alarming that can be, but frankly, this is not a huge concern. It usually comes up when the fuel-to-air ratio is off.

If the amount of fuel in the mixture gets too high, then black smoke comes out of the exhaust. Some people call this phenomenon ‘running rich.’ Since the issue is related to the air-to-fuel ratio, the main component to blame here is the air filter. More specifically, a clogged air filter is the main culprit behind this issue.

So, all you need to do to fix this problem is take out the air filter and clean it properly. If it is damaged in any way, then you might need to replace it. You might also want to check the float level in the carburetor and adjust it as needed since it can also cause this issue.

4. Uneven or Poor Cut

Uneven or Poor Cut

The main reason people get a lawnmower is to make sure their lawn grass looks good. And if your mower is making poor or uneven cuts, that can be a pretty frustrating issue to deal with.

If you notice uneven cuts with your lawnmower, the first thing to check is the condition of the mower’s blades. The blades can get dull over time, and it is usually recommended that you resharpen the blades every 25 hours of operation. If the blades are dull, then resharpening them should fix it.

Sometimes, the blades can also be chipped or dented. It’s best to replace the blades at this point. If the blades are not causing this issue, then you need to check the mower’s deck. Make sure it is adjusted properly, and you should be able to restore the cutting performance of your John Deere 345 lawnmower.

5. Ignition Starter Issues

Ignition Starter Issues

Sometimes, the mower’s starter can fail. The job of the starter is to generate a small current that will help ignite the fuel to fire up the engine. But like any other component in a lawnmower, the starter can fail because of poor maintenance. The easiest solution is to just replace the starter.

A faulty starter, even if you repair it, will fail again eventually. But if your new starter also fails after replacing it, you should check the main fuse. There’s a small chance that the fuel has blown, and you need to replace it.

You also want to check all the wiring and connections and clean the terminals. Finally, inspect the ignition lock and replace it if it is damaged.

6. Drive Belt Issues

Drive Belt Issues

The drive belt in your John Deere 345 mower is typically quite durable. But as the mower gets old, the belt can fail. If you have a worn or cracked drive belt, you need to replace it right away.

However, if you can catch the problem before your belt is too far gone, you can probably make it last a while longer. All you need to do is clean it up, wipe off any gunk, and put it back in position. You can also increase the tension in the belt to make sure it does not slip in the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

Now that we are done with the issues let me talk a bit about some of the questions that people often ask me about the John Deere 345 lawnmower.

1. What sort of engine does the John Deere 345 have?

The John Deere 345 mower features an 18 HP Kawasaki dual-cylinder gasoline engine with a Tuff Torq K70 transmission system.

2. Is the John Deere 345 a reliable lawnmower?

Yes, the John Deere 345 is a pretty reliable mower. It is extremely popular, and while it is prone to problems due to poor maintenance, if you take care of it, it will give you its peak performance for a long time.

Final Thoughts

The logic is simple – if you maintain your mower, it will give you the best performance. But without proper maintenance, you really cannot expect the best output from it. If you want to make sure your John Deere 345 keeps working as it did when you first bought it, you need to take care of it.

Taking the time to clean out the gunk every month and taking it to the auto repair shop once every six months is the easiest way to ensure optimal performance from your mower.

I hope my complete guideline on John Deere 345 problems and troubleshooting tips can help you restore the performance of your trusty lawnmower. Good luck!

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