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Jon K.
Jon K., Small Engine Diagnostic Expert
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 5818
Experience:  Gold certified Stihl tech, Service Manager for a rental/repair shop.Certified in most small engines
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I OWN A JOHN DEERE LAWN TRACTOR THAT CONTINUALLY STALLS AND

Customer Question

I OWN A JOHN DEERE LAWN TRACTOR THAT CONTINUALLY STALLS AND COMES BACK AFTER IS RUNS FOR ABOUT 15 MINUTES. IT IS GETTING WORSE.   IT HAS DONE THIS SINCE I OWNED IT. THE DEALER FOUND NOTHING WRONG! THE TRACTOR IS ALMOST 5 YEARS OLD.

IS THERE SOME ELECTRICAL PART THAT IS BECOMING HOT AFTER RUNNING WHICH CAUSES THIS INTERMITTENT PROBLEM? IT DOES THIS BOTH IN THE WINTER AND SUMMER.

THE MODEL IS AN LT-180
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  Jon K. replied 6 years ago.

There sure is, and it is fairly easy to check. The ignition coil in these engines are very susceptible to heat. They can heat up and loose their ability to produce spark, cool off and begin to work again. Sometimes they start off working for an hour and eventually the run time will lessen until the engine just will not start anymore.

The easiest way to check this is with an in-line spark tester or an extra spark plug. If you purchase an in line spark tester, you can run it in line with your spark plug and coil and watch the spark through the window of the tester. If you don't want to invest in one, keep an extra spark plug handy. When your tractor dies remove the spark plug wire and hook it to the extra plug. Ground the threaded portion of the plug to a bare metal spot on the engine. Do not hold it!

Watch the spark plug, you should be getting a nice bright blue spark. If you don't then you most likely need a new coil. You can run this test when the engine is cold so that you have something to compare to when the engine is hot.