7 Most Common John Deere D170 Problems & Solutions

The John Deere D170 is a game changer for residential and commercial mower owners. It offers versatility, comfort, great turning, and ultimate control. The mower is equipped with an air-cooled, 4-cylinder engine.

This John Deere model can travel nearly 8.8 kilometers per hour at its fastest speed. The John Deere D170 came into being between 2011 and 2017.

Then it was no longer in production. At this moment, this model is being used and resold. This is due to its efficacy and top performance. However, there are different John Deere D170 problems reported by users.

Generally, the most common issues are related to fuel and hydraulic systems. They are also associated with unclean parts like spark plugs or filters.

In this article, we will dive deeper into the details of the John Deere D170 issues and provide reliable fixes. So, keep reading for better insight.

The Most Common Problems with John Deere D170 

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The John Deere D170 is a top-performing lawn tractor that gives you comfort and efficiency at the same time. The presence of some manageable issues won’t make your experience any less perfect.

The good news is that with basic maintenance and regular checks on the tractor’s components, you can keep its top performance for years and even decades.

1. The engine keeps shutting off

This problem is one of the most common complaints among John Deere D170 owners. This issue can be very annoying, as several factors can cause it—for instance, clogged fuel pipes, unclean carburetors, or an improper choke setting.

Sticky debris, such as grass, can cause the engine to stall or shut down unexpectedly.

The position of the choke lever is worth checking, especially when using the machine during the winter. Typically, you will engage the lever when the machine runs during the cold season.

This adjustment prevents larger amounts of cold air from reaching the engine. However, the lever should not be left in this position; you must disengage it after the engine warms up. Otherwise, the engine will shut off, needing proper airflow.

2. The engine runs slowly

For your John Deere D170 to run efficiently, it needs a powerful spark plug and a flawless carburetor. When either of these components malfunctions, the engine runs unusually slowly.

Pulling the starter coil should immediately fire the plug, which induces gas combustion. If the plug is not in its best condition, it will misfire. In this case, the lawn tractor will run at the lowest power. This usually occurs when the plug is dirty or the gap needs to be more precise.

You can take it off the mower when it is not running to check it. Cleaning the plug and readjusting the gap is easy for any DIY enthusiast. To avoid damaging the plug, avoid hitting it against a wall or table. It is better to use a ground strap.

3. Knocking sounds from the engine

This John Deere D170 is not a loud lawn tractor. However, many users complain about this as one of the most prevalent John Deere D170 problems. You should suspect the fuel quality when its engine makes unusual noises.

This is not a sign of using a highly viscous fluid but a stale one. Stale gas is a type of fuel stored in open containers for a long time. This distinguishes the fuel you have degraded from a properly contained one. In this case, you must drain your tank and fill it with well-preserved fuel.

Sometimes it is a sign of decreased oil levels, so it should be your alarm to check and refill the fluid. Another problem that could make the engine knock nonstop is a plugged air filter.

In this case, you should get a replacement, as cleaning won’t be effective. You should not install the new filter before wiping its housing. Debris can easily enter the engine if the filter housing is dirty.

4. Increased fuel consumption

After using your John Deere D 170 for quite some time, you will know its regular gas consumption. When you notice unusual changes in consumption rates, it could be due to misuse or poor maintenance. Sometimes, it is a mix of both. For instance, trying to cut freshly watered grass makes the mower consume more gas.

Also, ignoring the blades’ need for sharpening causes more consumption. It could also be a matter of poor quality fuels. So, you should thoroughly inspect all these components to detect the real cause and properly address it.

5. Clogged chute

The discharge chute is vital for the correct function and the safety of you and your John Deere D170. It prevents the cut grass and debris from entering the mower’s body. However, if the chute itself gets clogged, it can be hazardous.

As a result, you must inspect the catcher bag regularly to ensure it is always clean. Too much grass can clog it, and it will typically plug the chute. A blower is the best and most effective method of cleaning the bag.

Sometimes the way you use the mower is the real reason for plugging the chute. On a low-cutting level, you could be cutting very long grass. This won’t only make the cutting less efficient, but it will also easily clog the chute with tall grass.

The only action you can take to address this matter is to adjust the height of the deck properly. Also, avoid cutting tall grass all at once. You can do it gradually.

6. Transmission noises

There are various contributors to this problem when the transmission makes strange noises. For instance, transmission oil consumption decreased. This makes whining noises come out of the hydrostatic components. Readjusting the hydraulic oil levels makes the problem go away if this fluid is the main culprit.

Sometimes, this oil can cause a grinding or whining noise even when it is almost full. This is due to contaminated hydraulic oil. This can happen if the fluid is exposed to moisture. It usually looks like milk in terms of color.

Ignoring this problem will not end with hearing the noises. Contaminated fluid will gradually destroy the system’s pumps and cylinders.

The damage is not reversible. Additionally, it will be expensive to replace the damaged parts. So it is better to address the problem once it is uncovered. You must empty the tank to the last drop and fill the tank with fresh, clean fluid.

7. Drive belt issues

The drive belt on your JD D170 is necessary for distributing the energy from the engine to the blades. If this belt shows signs of slipping, you should suspect poor tension. You can check the manual for recommendations on the correct tension level.

Sometimes it’s just stuck debris that needs to be cleaned thoroughly. However, if the belt is torn, you should immediately change it and install a new one.

John Deere D170 Problems: Are they a deal breaker?

No, none of these issues are deal breakers. This is simply because the pros of this big and versatile mower outweigh the downsides. The John Deere D170 is the most prominent member of the John Deere family, specifically the 100 series.

It comes with a versatile Briggs and Stratton 2-cylinder engine. This engine is designed to produce 24 horsepower. Also, it has easy control options that fit the needs of non-professionals.

The key to enjoying the John Deere d170 for extended periods is careful listening and constant servicing. Keeping its components clean and free of oil and gas deposits is a primary maintenance step. It is a preventative measure that spares you the trouble of getting new spare parts, such as filters or tank caps.

Additionally, keeping the blades well-sharpened and non-bent improves the cutting quality and decreases the chances of increased fuel consumption. 

Another essential part of caring for your John Deere D170 is being attentive to unusual noises. If the strange noise is persistent, you must address it. First, detect the source, determine the cause, and finally, look for treatment.

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( Farming Equipment Expert )

Marvin is an expert in farming equipment with a strong background in agricultural engineering. He graduated from Kansas State College of Agriculture, where he received a degree in Agricultural Engineering and specialized in farm equipment design and maintenance.