Personally I'd stay away from John Deere. I'm in the middle of
situation with my 345 54" water-cooled JD. I bought this mower in
1997 figuring it'd be good to go for the next 15-20 years down the
road and also to keep my aging father from cutting his own grass with
his well-worn Snapper. I cut 2.5 acres.
Shortly after purchasing it suddenly developed a hydraulic leak.
Dealer gave me a gallon of fluid and I refilled and it didn't leak
anymore. The dealer has serviced this mower each year for me and
inspected it for the leak the first service job I had done on it.
The first of this summer I had a major service job done on it...drive
belts, trans filter, etc., etc.,...close to $700 worth of work. Well,
when I got it home it leaked hydraulic fluid...not just a little, but
would completely empty the transmission between 2-week lawn mowings.
I carried it back to the dealer and a couple of days later received a
phone call telling me that it would cost $2500 to repair it...the
transmission shaft and seal was worn out and it would take a new
transmission! This mower only has 200 hours on it and the way I
figure it cost me $100 each time I mowed the grass (not including
servicing). I would have been better off buying a Murray for $900...
The dealer contacted John Deere about the situation and JD responded
that since it has 7 years on it that they won't do anything about the
problem, though there was an evident problem from the beginning.
As for my father's Snapper, he passed away back in 1999, but the
Snapper is still cutting grass at a friends house while this piece of
junk JD sits in a dealer's shop waiting for me to tell them what to
Thus, I strongly suggest you look at your options. As for as worrying
about the cheaper lawn-mower's carburator gumming up over the
winter...add some Stabil to the gas tank, run the engine long enough
to get it in the fuel-system and top the tank back up...before you
Just my 2-cents worth,
A very dissatisfied John Deere owner
Sounds like your dealer could share some of the blame. Why didn't he
find the original leak while under warranty. He gave *you* a gallon of
oil and had *you* fill it? He should have taken it in and went through
it right then and there. Could be that the original leak led to your
current situation. But then it could be unrelated. Good luck friend.
Yard and Garden Handyman Services
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