7 Common John Deere L130 Problems [Explained]

john deere l130 problems

If you’re lucky enough to own a John Deere L130 lawnmower, you may be interested in knowing the most common problems.

I’ll explain some of the frequent issues and offer potential solutions.

The most common John Deere L130 problems are the mower not moving, due to transaxle and pulley issues. The occasional overheating problems and the mower not getting fuel, due to a faulty fuel line.

Keep in mind that these problems may vary depending on the specific model of L130 that you own. With that said, let’s look at some of the most common John Deere L130 problems!

John Deere L130 Won’t Move

One of the most common problems with the John Deere L130 is that it won’t move. A few different things can cause this.

First, check to ensure the transmission is in the correct position. The L130 has a hydrostatic transmission, meaning there are only two positions: forward and reverse.

If the transmission is in the correct position and the lawnmower still won’t move, then the problem may be with the hydrostatic pump. This is a common issue and usually requires a trip to the John Deere dealership for service.

Another potential problem could be with the pulleys. There are two pulleys you should focus your attention on; you can find both of them on the right of the mower, just under the pivot plate. You’ll have a flat idler pulley and V idler pulley, inspect both of them and if one looks damaged, replace it.

Mower Not Getting Fuel

If your John Deere L130 lawnmower is having trouble getting fuel, there are a few check you’ll need to do to diagnose the root of the problem.

First, check the level of the oil. If the oil level is too low, your engine will run terribly due to the lack of lubrication.

Next, clean the fuel filter. A clogged fuel filter can also cause problems with the engine.

If neither of those options does the trick, check all the hose connections and the fuel line. Blow the fuel line to the carburetor with pressurized air; you wouldn’t believe the rubbish that accumulates.

Check the small vent hole in the middle of the gas cap. Ensure the small hole isn’t clogged in any way, a clog in the hole causes a vacuum effect from the tank to the fuel pump, which will stop your mower from getting fuel.

Lastly, check the carburetor for any signs of damage or if it’s clogged up and ensure the float valve isn’t stuck.

Transaxle Issues

If your John Deere L130 is having issues with the transaxle, there are a few potential causes. The transaxle is located at the rear of the John Deere L130, so if you’re hearing any loud noises or grinding from the back, you’ve likely got a transaxle problem.

First, check the oil level in the transaxle. If your oil is running low, it can cause damage to the internal components, which is the loud grinding noise you’ll hear.

Next, check all of the hose connections and ensure there are no leaks; this is often an easy fix.

If those solutions don’t work, the problem may be with the internal gears. This will require a trip to the John Deere dealership for service.

Finally, if you’re still having problems, it’s possible that the entire transaxle needs to be replaced. This is a more serious issue and will require professional help.

John Deere L130 Running Rough

From time to time, your lawnmower will probably run a little rough. This is normal, and a problem you should get used to fixing!

First, check the air filter and spark plug. A dirty air filter or spark plug can cause the engine to run rough.

Check the oil filters; like the air filters, these can get clogged up with debris that needs to be removed.

There’s also the potential that you’re suffering from electrical problems, these electrical problems will usually stop the mower from working entirely, but they can sometimes cause a rough mow. Check all the electrical connections, replacing any wires that look faulty. Rodents have been known to get into your mower and chew through these, so it’s a good idea to check them regularly.

Mower Overheating Regularly

If your John Deere L130 lawnmower is overheating regularly, it’s likely because the cooling system isn’t working correctly.

The first thing you need to be aware of is the strain you’re putting the lawnmower under. The L series from John Deere are ideally designed for light work, mowing a couple of acres, or pulling a light load; putting it under too much stress can cause overheating.

The problem may be with the air filters, water pump, or thermostat. These parts can fail and collect a lot of debris without significant air running through the mower and the water pump cooling it; if you’re mowing for hours on a hot day, you’re asking for an overheated engine!

Finally, if you’re still having problems, it’s possible that the entire cooling system needs to be flushed out and replaced. This is a tricky job, one you should only deal with if you’re confident in your repair abilities.

Transmission Fluid Problems

If you’re having problems with your John Deere L130, usually the mower struggles up and down slopes and hills, you likely have transmission problems in your John Deere L130, and it’s likely because the wrong type of fluid was used when the mower was filled.

The John Deere L130 requires a particular type of transmission fluid, and if you use the wrong type, it can cause all sorts of problems. The most common problem is that the mower will start to slip out of gear; this can be extremely dangerous if you’re not careful.

If you think you may have used the wrong type of fluid, empty the entire contents and start again with the correct type. The fluid you’ll need is the Low-Viscosity Hy-Gard fluid.

As always, remove any debris stuck in the transaxle and as I mentioned earlier, check the two pulley belts under the right side of the mower.

Uneven Cuts

If you find that your John Deere L130 is leaving your lawn looking patchy and uneven, it’s likely because the blades are dull.

Over time, the blades on your mower will naturally become dull and will need to be replaced. Depending on how often you use your mower, you may need to replace them every few months.

If you notice that your mower isn’t cutting the grass as quickly as it used to, or if it’s leaving your lawn looking patchy, it’s time to replace the blades.

You’ll also need to check your mower deck is level. A lot of factors go into the mower deck:

  • Is everything secure?
  • Is the grass bagger overflowing and, therefore, too heavy?
  • Are the tire pressures all equal?

These are the questions you need to be asking if you’re not getting the perfect lawn stripes you’re expecting!

Frequently Asked Questions:

How many hours will a John Deere L130 last?

The average John Deere L130 lawnmower will last around 1,500 hours. However, this number may be lower or higher depending on how well the mower is taken care of.

What’s the recommended John Deere L130 transmission fluid?

The recommended transmission fluid for a John Deere L130 lawnmower is the exclusive John Deere low viscosity hy-gard transmission fluid.

How much horsepower is a John Deere l130?

The John Deere L130 lawnmower has a horsepower of 20.5.


When it comes down to it, the John Deere L series, and in particular the L130, are excellent ride-on lawnmowers for a relatively small area. They’re the budget line of lawnmowers for John Deere, and you shouldn’t set your expectations too high.

That being said, they’re still very good lawnmowers, and if you keep up with regular maintenance, you should have no problem getting years of use out of one. Just remember to use the correct type of fluids, keep an eye on the blades and the mower deck, and don’t put too much strain on it, and you’ll be fine!