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John Deere LX188 Troubleshooting

The John Deere LX188 lawn tractor was manufactured between 1992 and 1998. The John Deere LX188 driveline includes a 26.7 cu.in (437 cc) Kawasaki FD501V 4-Cycle vertical shaft two cylinder gasoline engine with a rated power of 16 hp (11.5 kW), and Tuff Torq K61 belt-driven hydrostatic transmission with infinite forward and reverse gears.

The engine has a float type carburetor with fixed main jet, diaphragm type mechanical fuel pump, and full pressure lubrication with spin-on type oil filter. Max. forward speed - 5.5 mph (8.8 kph), max. reverse speed - 2.5 mph (4 kph). The John Deere LX188 was equipped with a manual steering system, mechanical band brakes, 15x6.00-6 front tires, and 20x10.00-8 rear tires. The wheel base is 46" (1160 mm).

The tractor is compatible with a 38" mid-mount 2-blade right-discharge mower deck with cutting height of 1.5-4.0" (38-102 mm) and manual lift system, 44", 48" mid-mount 3-blade mower deck with cutting height of 1.0-4.0" (25-102 mm), 13 cut positions, and mechanical lift system, 38", 42" front-mount 1-stage snowblower, or 42" front-mount blade with lift height of 5" (125 mm).

Engine Troubleshooting
Engine won't start or starts hard
Fuel tank is empty - Fill fuel up
Improper fuel grade - Change fuel
Air in fuel tank - Bleed fuel tank
Damaged spark plug wiring connection - Check spark plug wiring connection, repair or change
Defective spark plug - Change spark plug
Dirty fuel filter - Install new filter
Safety contact for brake pedal defective - Install new part
Carburetor not adjusted - Adjust according to instructions
Poor compression - Inspect and replace wear parts
Worn or unadjusted choke cable - Adjust correctly or change the cable
Irregular engine running
Cooling fins are plugged - Clean and wash as required
Ignition failure - Inspect ignition system and change failed components
Choke cable is stuck or faulty - Change or service the cable
Clogged air filter - Service or replace air filter
Fuel pump is faulty or clogged - Clean or replace fuel pump
Engine starts and immediately shuts off
Spark plug is faulty - Install new spark plug
Carburetor is defective or dirty - Clean or replace carburetor
Faulty ignition coil - Ignition coil must be replaced
Valve springs are loose or broken - Valve springs need to be changed
Stuck valves - Valves must be cleaned
Engine overheats
Lack of engine oil - Add oil to the engine crankcase
Engine is under excessive load - Reduce engine load
Air intake screen is plugged - Need to clean or wash
Carburetor is running lean - Set the carburetor properly
Ignition timing is incorrect - Ignition timing needs to be adjusted correctly
Wrong valve setting - Set the valves properly
Engine knocking sound or abnormal noise
Stale gasoline - Use proper fuel
Engine is under excessive load - Reduce load
Engine oil level is low - Need to add engine oil
Low idle speed adjustment is incorrect - Need to adjust idle speed
Dirty or damaged fuel pump - Inspect fuel pump and change as required
Worn main bearings or crankshaft - Install new parts as as required
Valve clearance is wrong - Need to adjust valve clearance
Damaged cylinder bore or piston rings - Change faulty parts
Lack of engine power
Incorrectly adjusted or dirty carburetor - Carburetor needs to be adjusted correctly or cleaned
Air filter element is clogged - Replace or clean air filter
Fuel pump is faulty or clogged - Clean or change fuel pump
Defective ignition - Inspect ignition system and change failed components
Defective cylinder head gasket - Replace the gasket as required
Valves are burned or stuck - Clean or replace valves
Damaged or worn push rod - Install a new push rod
Worn cylinder block components - Replace defective components
Engine uses too much fuel
Choke did not open fully - Change or adjust choke cable
Incorrect carburetor main jet adjustment - Adjust the carburetor main jet correctly
Loose or defective spark plug - Tighten or replace spark plug
Burned, worn, or stuck valves - Clean or replace valves
Rings, sleeve, or piston are damaged - Change defective components
Improper valve clearance - Check and adjust
High engine oil consumption
Damaged gaskets or seals - Change worn parts according to specifications
Worn valve stems and valve guides - Change the valves
Worn or broken piston rings - Piston rings replacement required
Scuffed piston or cylinder liner - Check liner and piston, install new components as required
Breather hose or pipe is clogged - Change or clean

Hydrostatic Transmission Troubleshooting
Hydrostatic transmission is excessively noisy
Bent or unadjusted speed control pedal linkage - Adjust or change linkage
Excessive transmission load - The load should be reduced
Contaminated transmission fluid or low fluid level - Pour fresh fluid or add transmission fluid to proper level
Transmission components are damaged or worn - After disassembling and inspection, change faulty components
Difficult to shift
Shift linkage is worn or rusty - Replace or lubricate the linkage
Hydrostatic pump is stuck or worn - Replace or repair pump
Worn or misadjusted transmission shift control parts - Adjust properly or change
Loss of power
Transmission oil level is low - Add oil to the transmission housing
Drive pulley is damaged or worn - Change pulley
Not adjusted or damaged shifter linkage - Adjust properly or change linkage
Speed control linkage is defective or unadjusted - Change or adjust linkage
Transmission leakage
Worn transmission seals or gaskets - Install new gaskets or seals
Final drive shaft is leaking - Shaft seals need to be changed
Transmission case is cracked - Change broken case

Mower Deck Troubleshooting
Mower vibrates excessively
Drive sheave of mower deck is dirty or worn - Service or replace sheave
Drive belt is loose or defective - Adjust belt tension or change the belt
Bent or unbalanced mower blades - Balance or change as needed
Loose blade mounting bolts - Tighten bolts as required
Discharge chute is constantly plugged
Fast ground speed - Need to slow down
Long grass - Adjust mower to lower cutting height
Engine rpm is too low - Choke is not fully opening
Mower cuts too low - Use a higher cutting height
Improper drive belt installation - Install drive belt correctly
Uncut grass when mowing
Deck is plugged with grass - Clean mower deck as required
Blades are not sharp - Blades need to be sharpened
Worn or damaged blades - Blades need to be replaced
High mowing speed - Use a slower speed
Cutting level is too low - Need to set high cutting height
Filled grass bag - Remove grass from bag
Blades scalp the grass
Uneven or bumpy lawn - Lawn leveling required
Mower cuts too low - Adjust mower to higher cutting height
High ground speed - Use a lower speed
Incorrect level of mower deck - Deck should be adjusted correctly
Worn or bent blades - Change the blades
Tires are not correctly inflated - Check and inflate the tires
Uneven cutting
Tires are not properly inflated - Check and inflate the tires
Incorrectly leveled mower deck - Deck should be adjusted correctly
Blades are excessively dull - Blades need to be sharpened
Blades are worn or damaged - Blades need to be replaced
Clogged mower deck - Clean out the mower deck
Damaged mower deck housing - Repair or change the deck
Loose or defective mower spindle - Repair or change the spindle

Electrical Troubleshooting
Battery is not charging
Loose or corroded wire connections - Tighten or clean connections
Faulty battery terminal clamps - Install new terminal clamps
Battery is defective - Replace the battery
Starter turns slowly
Battery voltage is low - Recharge the battery
Battery runs out quickly - Service battery or change it
Corroded battery terminals or disconnected wires - Connect cables properly or replace terminals
Starter doesn't crank
Battery is discharged or defective - Need to charge or replace the battery
Battery cables are disconnected or improperly connected - Inspect cables and connect properly
Low battery output voltage - Battery is drained, recharge it
Spark plug gapped improperly or faulty - Clean, gap or change spark plug
Damaged starter motor or solenoid - Starter/solenoid needs to be replaced




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