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Home / Lawn and Garden Tractors / John Deere Lawn Tractors / John Deere 345

John Deere 345 Troubleshooting

The John Deere 345 garden tractor was manufactured between 1995 and 2001. The John Deere 345 driveline includes a 35.7 cubic inches Kawasaki FD590V 2-cylinder vertical shaft OHV liquid cooled gasoline engine with a max power of 18 hp (13.4 kW) or Kawasaki FD611V 2-cylinder vertical shaft OHV liquid cooled gasoline engine with a max power of 20 hp (14.9 kW), and Tuff Torq K70 belt-driven hydrostatic transmission or Tuff Torq K71 hydrostatic transmission.

The engines have a float type carburetor with fixed main jet, diaphragm type mechanical pump, and full pressure lubrication system.

Max. forward speed - 7 mph (11.3 kph), maximum reverse speed - 6 mph (11.3 kph). The John Deere 345 tractor is fitted with 16x6.50-8 front tires and 23x10.50-12 rear tires. The wheelbase is 47.9 in (1215 mm). The tractor can be equipped with the following attachments: 38", 44", 48", and 54" mid-mount mower decks with a hydraulic lift system, 42" single-stage front-mount snow blower, and 48" front blade with a manual lifting.

Engine Troubleshooting
Engine will not start or difficult to start
Empty gas tank - Add fuel
Wrong grade of gasoline - Use correct fuel grade
Fuel system clogged - Repair or replace
Spark plug wiring connection is defective - Check the spark plug wire connection, repair or replace
Damaged spark plug - Change spark plug
Plugged fuel filter - Fuel filter needs to be replaced
Faulty safety switch - Change damaged switch
Problems with carburetor adjustment - Adjust as required
Engine has low compression - Check cylinder block and replace defective parts
Unadjusted or worn throttle cable - Adjust properly or replace the cable
Engine runs roughly
Cooling fins are clogged - Need to wash or clean
Ignition system failure - Inspect ignition system and change failed components
Stuck or defective throttle cable - Service or change the cable
Air filter element is plugged - Clean or replace air filter
Fuel pump is defective or dirty - Clean or change fuel pump
Engine starts and stops suddenly
Damaged spark plug - Change spark plug as required
Carburetor is faulty or dirty - Service or replace carburetor
Faulty ignition coil - Install a new ignition coil
Loose or broken valve springs - Change valve springs
Stuck valves - Valves need to be cleaned
Engine is overheated
Engine oil level low - Check oil level and add oil as required
Engine overload - Reduce load
Clogged cooling fins - Wash or clean as required
Carburetor fuel mixture is too lean - Set the carburetor correctly
Incorrect ignition timing - Adjust ignition timing as required
Wrong valve setting - Set the valves properly
Engine noises or knocks
Stale fuel - Change gasoline
Excessive engine load - Reduce load
Lack of engine oil - Check and refill engine oil
Wrong adjustment of low idle speed - Adjust the low idle speed
Fuel pump is clogged or faulty - Service or change fuel pump
Worn main bearings or crankshaft - Replace crankshaft or bearings
Excessive valve clearance - Need to adjust valve clearance
Piston rings or cylinder bore are worn - Change defective parts
Lack of engine power
Carburetor is dirty or improperly adjusted - Service or properly adjust carburetor
Dirty air filter element - Replace or clean air filter
Fuel pump is damaged or dirty - Clean or change fuel pump
Ignition system malfunction - Inspect ignition system and change failed components
Defective cylinder head gasket - Replace cylinder head gasket
Stuck or burned valves - Service or replace valves
Damaged or worn push rod - Push rod needs to be changed
Cylinder block parts are faulty - Change defective parts
Engine uses too much fuel
Choke is not fully open - Check choke cable and adjust it
Improper carburetor main jet adjustment - Adjust the carburetor main jet correctly
Spark plug is loose or faulty - Change or re-tighten spark plug
Stuck, worn, or burned valves - Service or replace valves
Rings, sleeve, or piston are damaged - Replace defective components as required
Valve clearance is incorrect - Adjustment procedure required
Engine oil consumption is too high
Gaskets or seals can be faulty - Worn parts need to be replaced
Damaged valve stems or valve guides - Valves must be replaced
Piston rings are stuck or worn - Install new piston rings
Cylinder liner or piston is scuffed - Check liner and piston, change as required
Clogged breather hose or pipe - Service or replace


Hydrostatic Transmission Troubleshooting
HST transmission noise
Worn or out of adjustment speed control linkage - Repair or adjust linkage
Transmission is under excessive load - Reduce transmission load
Transmission oil is contaminated or oil level is insufficient - Fill to required level or change the transmission oil
Transmission parts are worm or defective - Change or repair defective parts
Hard shifting
Shift linkage is corroded or worn - Lubricate or replace linkage
Faulty or blocked hydrostatic pump - Replace or repair pump
Transmission shift control parts are damaged or misadjusted - Replace or adjust as required
Lack of power
Insufficient transmission oil - Add oil to the transmission housing
Drive sheave is worn or faulty - Replace sheave
Shifter linkage is not adjusted or faulty - Adjust properly or change linkage
Speed control pedal linkage is damaged or out of adjustment - Adjust or change linkage
Transmission leakage
Broken transmission gaskets or seals - Change gaskets or seals
Final drive shaft leaks - Shaft seals need to be changed
Cracked transmission case - Change broken case

Mower Deck Troubleshooting
Mower vibrates excessively
Drive pulley of mower deck is damaged or dirty - Clean or change pulley
Loose or defective drive belt - Install a new belt or adjust belt tension
Not balanced or bent mower blades - Balance or change as needed
Loose blade bolts tightening - Tighten it fast
Constant clogging of discharge chute
Fast mowing speed - Select a lower speed
Grass is too high - Use a lower cutting height
Low engine speeds - Adjust throttle to full opening
Cutting level is too low - Use correct cutting height
Improper drive belt installation - Check drive belt for correct installation
Grass patches are not cut
Cutting deck clogging - Clean mower deck as required
Blades are not sharp - Need a blade sharpening
Worn or defective blades - Blades need to be replaced
High mowing speed - Select a lower speed
Cutting level is too low - Change cutting height adjustment
Filled grass bag - Remove grass from bag
Blade scalped grass
Bumpy or not smooth lawn - Lawn needs to be leveled
Cutting level is too low - Need to set high cutting height
High mowing speed - Select a lower speed
Improper mower deck level - Deck should be adjusted correctly
Blades are worn or bent - Blades need to be replaced
Tires are not correctly inflated - Check and inflate the tires
Uneven cut
Tires are not correctly inflated - Check and inflate the tires
Improper mower deck level - Level the deck correctly
Blades are excessively dull - Sharpen the blades
Blades are worn or damaged - Install new blades
Mower deck is clogged - Clean out the mower deck
Deck housing is broken - Replace or repair the deck
Mower spindle is faulty or loose - Replace or repair the spindle

Electrical Troubleshooting
Battery cannot be charged
Electrical cable connections are loose or corroded - Tighten or clean connections
Faulty electrical terminal connectors - Install new terminal connectors
Faulty cell in battery - Use a new battery
Starter turning slow
Battery capacity is low - Recharge the battery
Battery is not holding charge - Service or replace the battery
Battery cables are disconnected or terminals are faulty - Connect wiring properly or install new terminals
Starter is not cranking
Battery is drained or defective - Replace or charge as required
Battery cables are disconnected or improperly connected - Inspect cables and connect properly
Low battery output - Recharge the battery
Incorrectly gapped or worn spark plug - Clean, gap or change spark plug
Solenoid or starter motor failure - Repair starter or install a new solenoid

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