7 Common John Deere 318 Problems(With Solutions)

If you’re facing issues with your trusty John Deere 318, don’t fret! This comprehensive guide will delve into common John Deere 318 problems and provide troubleshooting tips to get your green machine back in top shape. Let’s dive.

John Deere 318 Problems

1. Common Engine Problems

Engine Won’t Start

A common issue with the John Deere 318 is difficulty starting the engine. This problem can stem from several causes:

  • Faulty spark plug: Check for fouling or damage and replace if necessary.
  • Fuel issues: Ensure there’s adequate fuel and the fuel is not contaminated. Clean or replace the fuel filter.
  • Battery problems: Check the battery’s charge and connections. Clean up any corrosion on the terminals.

Engine Overheating

Overheating can lead to severe engine damage. Common causes include:

  • Clogged cooling fins: Regularly clean the cooling fins to ensure proper airflow.
  • Low coolant levels: Check and maintain appropriate coolant levels.
  • Faulty thermostat: Replace the thermostat if it’s not functioning correctly.

2. Electrical System Issues

Battery Not Charging

If the battery isn’t charging, the tractor won’t start or may die during operation. Possible causes include:

  • Alternator failure: Test the alternator and replace it if necessary.
  • Loose or corroded connections: Clean and secure all electrical connections.
  • Defective voltage regulator: Test and replace the voltage regulator if it’s faulty.

Read Will a Lawn Mower run with a Dead Battery(What To do)

Ignition Problems

Ignition issues can prevent the tractor from starting. Troubleshoot by:

  • Checking the ignition switch: Ensure it’s working correctly and replace it if needed.
  • Inspecting the wiring: Look for damaged or loose wires.
  • Testing the ignition coil: Replace the coil if it’s not delivering adequate spark.

Read Symptoms of Bad Ignition Coil on Lawn Mower(6 Commons)

3. Transmission and Hydraulic Problems

Transmission Slipping

Transmission slipping can affect the tractor’s performance. Causes include:

  • Worn belts: Inspect and replace worn drive belts.
  • Low transmission fluid: Check fluid levels and top up as needed.
  • Worn pulleys: Inspect pulleys for wear and replace them if necessary.

Hydraulic System Failures

Hydraulic problems can hinder the operation of attachments. Common issues include:

  • Low hydraulic fluid: Maintain proper fluid levels.
  • Leaking hoses or fittings: Inspect for leaks and replace damaged components.
  • Faulty hydraulic pump: Test and replace the pump if it’s not generating sufficient pressure.

4. Steering and Suspension Issues

Hard Steering

Hard steering can make the tractor difficult to maneuver. Troubleshoot by:

  • Checking the power steering fluid: Top up if levels are low.
  • Inspecting the steering linkage: Look for worn or damaged parts and replace them as needed.
  • Testing the power steering pump: Replace the pump if it’s not working properly.

Uneven Tire Wear

Uneven tire wear can indicate alignment issues or suspension problems. Address this by:

  • Checking tire pressure: Maintain recommended tire pressure.
  • Inspecting the alignment: Adjust the alignment as necessary.
  • Replacing worn suspension components: Replace any worn-out parts.

5. Cutting Deck and Blades Problems

Uneven Cutting

Uneven cutting can result from various issues:

  • Dull blades: Sharpen or replace mower blades.
  • Improper deck leveling: Adjust the cutting deck to ensure it’s level.
  • Clogged deck: Clean grass and debris from the cutting deck regularly.

Read What is Correct Position for Lawn Mower Blade (Find Out Here)

Blades Not Engaging

If the blades don’t engage, check:

  • PTO (Power Take-Off) clutch: Ensure it’s functioning correctly and replace it if needed.
  • Drive belt: Inspect for wear and replace if necessary.
  • Electrical connections: Check and secure any loose connections.

6. Fuel System Problems

Fuel Leaks

Fuel leaks can be hazardous and should be addressed promptly. Common causes include:

  • Damaged fuel lines: Inspect and replace damaged lines.
  • Leaking fuel tank: Repair or replace the fuel tank if it’s leaking.
  • Faulty fuel pump: Replace the fuel pump if it’s not working properly.

Poor Fuel Efficiency

Poor fuel efficiency can be due to several factors:

  • Clogged fuel filter: Replace the fuel filter regularly.
  • Dirty carburetor: Clean or rebuild the carburetor.
  • Incorrect carburetor settings: Adjust settings for optimal performance.

Read John Deere 345 Fuel Pump Problems(3 Quick Ways To Fix)

7.  Hydrostatic Transmission Issues

Loss of Movement

If your 318 loses its ability to move forward or backward, there could be a problem with the hydrostatic transmission. Check the fluid level and condition; low or dirty fluid can cause transmission problems.

Always refer to a qualified technician for any repairs or adjustments to the hydrostatic transmission.

Jerky Movement

Jerky movements during operation can indicate air in the hydraulic system. Consult your manual for the proper procedure to bleed air from the system. This might require specific tools and expertise, so don’t hesitate to seek professional help.

Maintenance Tips for Preventing Problems

Regular maintenance can prevent many common John Deere 318 problems. Key maintenance tasks include:

  • Regular oil changes: Change the engine oil and filter according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Genuine Parts Matter: While aftermarket parts might seem tempting, using genuine John Deere parts whenever possible can help maintain the reliability and longevity of your machine.
  • Air filter replacement: Replace the air filter regularly to ensure clean airflow.
  • Spark plug inspection: Check and replace spark plugs as needed.
  • Hydraulic fluid maintenance: regularly check and top up hydraulic fluid.
  • Belt and pulley inspection: Inspect and replace worn belts and pulleys.
  • Tire maintenance: Check tire pressure and condition regularly.

Final Words

Maintaining your John Deere 318 involves understanding common problems and their solutions. Regular maintenance and timely repairs can keep your tractor running smoothly for years.

Whether dealing with engine issues, electrical problems, or transmission woes, following the troubleshooting tips in this guide will help you address and resolve common John Deere 318 problems effectively.


What should I do if my John Deere 318 engine won’t start?

Check the spark plug, fuel levels, and battery charge. Ensure all connections are clean and secure.

How can I prevent my John Deere 318 from overheating?

Regularly clean the cooling fins, maintain coolant levels, and ensure the thermostat is working correctly.

Why is my John Deere 318 battery not charging?

Possible causes include a faulty alternator, loose or corroded connections, or a defective voltage regulator.

What causes transmission slipping in a John Deere 318?

Transmission slipping can be caused by worn belts, low transmission fluid, or worn pulleys.

How do I fix the hard steering on my John Deere 318?

Check the power steering fluid, inspect the steering linkage, and test the power steering pump.

Why are my John Deere 318 blades not engaging?

Check the PTO clutch, drive belt, and electrical connections to ensure everything is functioning correctly.

How can I improve the fuel efficiency of my John Deere 318?

Replace the fuel filter, clean the carburetor, and adjust the carburetor settings for optimal performance.

What regular maintenance does a John Deere 318 require?

Regular maintenance tasks include oil changes, air filter replacement, spark plug inspection, hydraulic fluid maintenance, and belt and pulley inspection.

How can I fix uneven cutting on my John Deere 318?

Sharpen or replace mower blades, level the cutting deck, and clean the deck regularly.

What should I do if my John Deere 318 has a fuel leak?

Inspect and replace damaged fuel lines, repair or replace the fuel tank, and check the fuel pump for issues.

George Bill
George Bill

George Bill is a Mechanical Engineer by Profession and an avid gardener and has been mowing his lawn for over 20 years. He has used a variety of different mowers during this time.
George is an expert at maintaining his mowers and over the years, he has learned many tricks and techniques for getting the best results from his mowers and is always happy to share his knowledge on this site.