After over 175 years of existence, John Deere has become extremely good at creating top-quality mowers that have been consistently refined to an exceptional level.
While they are known for the highest quality machines meant for large-scale commercial use, it’s actually in their budget offering that we see the most significant benefits of this innovative approach.
The x324 is one of their best entry-level models, coming just shy of $5000 USD. It can be considered for homeowners and small businesses needing a feature-complete mower that doesn’t break the bank.
However, if you are interested in purchasing this machine, you should be aware of some problems it runs into.
The most common problems with the John Deere x324
Table of Contents
Although this is undoubtedly a budget-orientated machine, it’s still one of the more premium models within the x3 range.
It boasts all the same features as the lower x3 models, but it simply does all of them better. This comes in the form of a higher horsepower engine, a bigger transmission, a larger mowing deck – you name it!
So for that little bit of extra money, you can expect a tangible improvement in its usability and performance.
That said, users have reported running into some problems with the machine that we will walk through and offer suggestions on how to fix.
1. The engine doesn’t start
The most common issue people seem to run into is that the Kawasaki engine won’t start. Not only does this hamper the work you had planned, but it can also be quite stressful if you don’t know how to handle it. But don’t worry, the machine’s not dead! We just need to check a few things to get it back up and running.
The first thing to check is that there is enough gasoline in the tank. If you find that it’s low or empty, fill it back up.
Another common cause of the engine not starting is that the fuel has become old. Because fuel degrades over time, if the machine has been idle for a prolonged period (for example, over the winter), it’s a good idea to empty the tank, discard the oil fuel and use new, high-quality gasoline.
You should also check that the fuel filter is not clogged. This is responsible for filtering out any debris from the fuel before it can make its way into the engine. But over time, this filter can become so blocked that it restricts fuel flow to the engine, preventing it from starting.
Here you can simply clean the filter, or if it’s already quite old, you can just replace it.
Finally, you should check that the spark plug is working. The spark plug is there to generate a tiny electrical spark that will ignite the fuel and begin the combustion process. So when this component breaks, it will not ignite the fuel. This usually results in the engine becoming flooded with fuel.
So before you do anything, allow the engine to sit for 30 minutes to an hour for the gasoline to evaporate before you use the engine. Then you can replace the spark plug with a new one.
2. The engine runs rough
Hopefully, the engine is now running. But now you’re finding that it’s not running well. It might start to stammer and not hold a consistent speed which is very frustrating.
The first thing to check is that the cooling fins are not blocked. When these fins become blocked, the lawn mower cannot dissipate heat from the engine correctly, which can lead to overheating and poor engine performance.
You should also inspect the electrical system as often wire contacts can become damaged. Replace any as needed.
If those did not fix the issue yet, you can also check the ignition system and make adjustments to ensure it’s running smoothly.
Finally, you should check the air filter over time. This can become blocked, reducing the clean air brought into the engine and drastically reducing performance.
3. The mower is overheating
An overheating lawn mower results in frustrating performance problems, and it can also accelerate the wear on specific components, meaning you will need to replace them sooner than expected. This is not ideal as it costs you more money in the long run.
To reduce overheating on the engine and return it to normal functionality, you should first look at reducing the load on the engine. This can come in the form of running it at a slower speed and being aware of slopes and uneven terrain that might put more strain on the engine.
In addition, you should check the air intake screen, which allows new cool air to be taken into the engine and help keep it cool. When this becomes blocked, the machine will not get enough cool air and will overheat.
Finally, you should check the oil. Too much or too little oil will prevent the engine from operating smoothly. Additionally, low-quality oil may also affect the engine’s ability to stay cool, so if the oil is already quite old consider replacing it with new, fresh oil.
4. Battery problems
If you find that your battery is either completely depleted, or seems to run out of charge unusually fast. It might be that it just needs charging, when batteries are left for prolonged periods they will naturally drain by themselves, so before troubleshooting it further ensure you’ve given it a good amount of time to recharge.
If you find that after charging it still doesn’t work or drains too fast it may indicate that either the contact points between the battery poles or the cables are not working – in which case you should check the connection point for faults or corrosion and fix as necessary.
Or it may be that the cells inside the battery are dying, and it can no longer hold a charge. The only solution is to replace the battery with a new working one.
5. Excessive vibration
While a certain amount of vibration is expected with any tractor, when this becomes excessive, it will make the user experience far more complex and potentially harm the machine itself.
Here are the main things to check to reduce the amount of vibration the tractor is causing:
- Check the drive belt is not damaged. Inspect it for noticeable wear, such as cracks or fraying, and replace it if it looks old. If the belt seems to be in good physical order, it may be that the belt is too loose, in which case it can be tightened.
- Check the drive pulley, as it may have malfunctioned. Replace as necessary.
- Finally, you should check the mower blades and ensure they are in good working order. It’s pretty standard for these to become bent which will cause massive vibration when the tractor is in operation.
You can either replace these blades or, if possible, rebend them back into shape (although we don’t recommend doing this yourself).
6. Problems with the cutting quality
As you use the tractor over many weeks and months, you may find that the cut quality starts to decrease, and it starts to scalp the grass instead of giving you that nice clean cut.
If the blades have suffered significant damage or wear, replacing them is often easier.
Another thing to check is the tire pressure. If one tire is uneven, it will cause the mower’s chassis to lean down on one side, causing a rough cut.
Finally, you may want to consider lowering the blade speed. Even though running it at high speed seems like a good idea, you can often achieve a cleaner, more professional-looking cut by lowering it slightly.
John Deere x324 Problems: are they a deal-breaker?
When deciding whether the John Deere x324 is worth its purchase price, we have to consider the kind of buyer it’s intended for, which is someone who is a homeowner with a large plot of land or a small-scale commercial operation.
In both scenarios, you do not want to be dealing with significant maintenance due to component failures as you won’t have the resources to keep constantly repairing it.
However, after looking at the problems the John Deere x324 faces, we can see that these problems can be solved easily with a good general maintenance routine without needing special skills or tools.
For that reason, we think this is an excellent purchase with just some good general upkeep that will serve you well for a long time. Of course, if you’re looking for something a little more high-end, the X370 might be for you.