5 Most Common John Deere 345 Problems and Effective Fixes

John Deere has been a mainstay in the landscaping and farming scene for a long time, with practicable utilities like the 345. The John Deere 345 is a garden tractor suitable for light yard maintenance.

If you are considering this model, you should know about its mechanical problems to determine whether it is a worthy acquisition. The most common John Deere 345 problems are electrical issues, engine running rough, bad camshaft, fuel system issues, and engine problems.

Read on as we detail JD 345 issues and how to address them.

Running Rough

Rough running is a recurrent issue with garden tractors, mostly the older models. You may encounter this trouble with the 345, sometimes accompanied by signs of misfiring, like a rough idle and sluggish acceleration.

Reasons for rough running include:

  • Old or contaminated gas
  • Faulty spark plugs
  • A dirty air filter
  • A bad fuel filter
  • Rough mowing conditions
  • A dirty carburetor

The problem might also be due to the ignition system. John Deere 345 ignition module problems cause secondary issues, like a rough ride. 


Old and contaminated gas are the primary roots of a rough and misfiring engine. You deal with this situation by cleaning and refilling the fuel line with high-quality fuel. Inspect the fuel filter and replace it if it is faulty. Replace the filter annually for your tractor to run efficiently.

The spark plugs may be the offender behind this tractor problem, especially if you have had them for a long time. You should get new plugs every season or after 25 hours of service.

Clean a dirty carb using a cleaner and restore damaged parts. Finally, adjust your driving conditions to match the state of your yard to prevent rough running.

If you suspect an ignition module malfunction, you can test it to see if it works. Replace it if it is not functional. 

John Deere 345 Electrical Problems

The electrical unit is a source of several John Deere 345 problems, mostly starting difficulties. Most of the time, the troubles originate from the battery, probably due to low charge or dirty connections. They may also be due to faulty components like the starter, wires, and circuit board.


Start by checking the state of the battery. If it is dead, jumpstart it to give it the starting power. Replacement is a viable solution for old batteries used for more than ten years. Clear the sulfate buildup on the terminal to allow for optimum current flow.

You can tell you have a bad starter when the engine doesn’t turn over after starting. Get a new starter assembly to prevent the issue from recurring. Inspect the connection and fix them where necessary.

A blown-up circuit board can lead to a failed start. Get a new John Deere 345 circuit board to restore the electrical system and bid goodbye to the starting hitches.

Bad Camshaft

The camshaft consists of a shaft with cams that push on valves, causing them to open in sync. The opening and closing of the valves control fuel intake and the expulsion of exhaust gasses.

John Deere 345 camshaft problems mainly come from the plastic cam gear, which is prone to breaking. Broken teeth on the gear may lead to timing problems, which is bad for the engine. Worn lobes and a bent or broken shaft are other complications associated with the camshaft. 

Telltale signs of a bad camshaft on your JD 345 include:

  • Misfiring 
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Rattling engine sounds 
  • Metal debris in engine oil
  • Loss of power
  • Check engine light is on


While you can rebuild worn cam lobe wear, it is logical to get a new camshaft. You can avert issues with plastic cam gear by switching to the metal type, which is sturdier.

Fuel System Issues

The fuel system is the source of some John Deere 345 problems, like stalling and a hard start. The snag may be due to the fuel’s quality or gas flow issues.

Insufficient, poor-quality or contaminated gas may result in the tractor failing to start. Other hiccups you may encounter with the fuel system are clogging, a bad fuel filter, leakages, and a bad fuel pump. The clogging may be due to frozen gas or the presence of debris. 

How To Fix

You prevent starting issues by ensuring that the fuel tank is full, with the right fuel, as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Cleaning the tank is the answer to contamination or using low-quality gas. Use a vacuum pump to unclog a blocked fuel line: pack the tractor in a warm spot to thaw frozen gas. Get a new fuel filter if the one you have is badly damaged or old.

For John Deere 345 fuel pump problems, you should test the fuel pump to see if it is in good shape. If not, you must get an OEM standard replacement. 

Engine Problems

The most recurrent John Deere 345 engine problems are overheating and stalling. We have already looked at the causes and fixes of stalling, so we focus on overheating. The rise in engine temperatures may lead to a rough ride, and the tractor may suddenly stop. 

The leading cause of this complication is a malfunctioning radiator. It may be damaged, dirty or lack coolant. Low or old engine oil and overloading may also cause this hitch.


You deal with overheating by first inspecting the radiator. Straighten bent fins, clean the radiator to unclog the fins, and refill the coolant. Additionally, change the engine oil regularly.

Overloading may be due to an incorrectly positioned deck or stubborn mowing conditions. Adjust the deck and your mowing style to prevent overheating.

Final Thoughts

Most of the John Deere 345 problems are minor and easy to solve. Nevertheless, some troubles, especially the ones calling for replacements, can be costly. Avoid the expenses and inconveniences caused by these troubles by regularly inspecting and servicing your JD 345 with a reliable mechanic.