Re: Lawn Tractor Questions

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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 do.
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 store it.
Just my 2-cents worth, Ed Welch Luverne, Alabama A very dissatisfied John Deere owner

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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.
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