6 Most Common John Deere X350 Problems and How To Fix Them

The John Deere X350 is a popular lawn tractor thanks to its durable construction, easy-to-use controls, versatile attachments, and comfortable seats.

However, even with these attributes, these tractors aren’t flawless. So, what are the common John Deere X350 issues? The most common John Deere X350 problems are engine issues, transmission problems, belt complications, problematic steering, deck drawbacks, and electrical inconveniences.

Read on as we describe these problems in detail and how to fix them.

John Deere X350 Engine Problems

John Deere X350 tractors are susceptible to the following engine problems.

  • Hard starts
  • Overheating
  • Knocking noises
  • Backfiring

Hard Starts

Dirty carburetors, clogged fuel filters, stale fuel, and faulty spark plugs are the leading causes of difficult starts.

Clogged or dirty carburetors hinder smooth air and fuel flow to the engine, resulting in hard starts. Clean your tractor’s carburetor regularly to avoid hard starts.

Fuel filters block after prolonged use due to residue buildup. Dirt restricts fuel from reaching the motor, causing it to strain. To fix this issue, clean the fuel filters thoroughly to eliminate all the residue. If removing all the dirt is impossible, consider switching the fuel filter with a new one for effective results.

Fuel absorbs water from the atmosphere over time and gets less effective. The more volatile, lighter gasoline components evaporate, leaving the fuel less valuable. Flush the fuel tank and refill it with new fuel every three to six months to avoid these inconveniences.

Spark plugs are responsible for igniting the air and fuel combination in the engine. However, these plugs are susceptible to heat damage. Replace damaged spark plugs with new ones to curb problematic starts.


John Deere X350 tractors might overheat due to the following reasons.

  • Plugged air intake screen
  • Clogged cooling fins
  • Low engine oil

Air intake screens introduce cool air to the engine bay, reducing the temperatures considerably. Over time, these screens clog and malfunction thanks to dirt buildup. Clean them regularly to prevent overheating.

Cooling fins are responsible for cooling your tractor’s engine. These fins fail to eliminate the heat when faulty, raising the tractor’s temperatures. Fixing this complication involves switching damaged cooling fins with new ones.

Inadequate oil levels strain the engine, leading to the production of excess heat. Monitor the engine oil levels and refill the oil pan to the right level if depleted.

Knocking Noise

Engine knocks are consequences of low-octane fuel or low engine oil. Low-octane fuels ignite on their own during compression instead of waiting on the electric bolt from the spark plug.

This immature combustion produces a ‘pinging’ sound. Stick to the recommended high-octane fuels to avoid these John Deere X350 problems.

Oils lubricate engine parts, promoting optimal performance. When poorly lubricated, the engine bearings fail, create excess clearance between engine parts, and produce a knocking noise. Check the engine oil levels and refill the oil pan if depleted before setting off.


Your John Deere X359 engine might backfire due to unburned fuel igniting outside the combustion chamber. Faulty spark plugs are notorious for causing this issue. Replace damaged spark plugs immediately to avoid backfiring.

John Deere X350 Transmission Problems

The primary sources of John Deere X350 transmission problems are:

  • Broken gears
  • Worn-out transaxles
  • Loose pulleys
  • Damaged splines

Gears transmit engine power to the tractor’s wheels. When faulty, the transmission system fails to operate entirely. Gears wear out and malfunction with age. Replace them when they show aging signs.

Transaxles are responsible for changing the transmission gears. When faulty, there’ll be no power transmission in the tractor. Switching the damaged tractor elements with new ones solves these X350 John Deere transaxl problems.

Pulleys transmit energy and support the tractor’s movement. These components are susceptible to getting damaged after prolonged use. Replace them with new ones to fix this problem.

Splines transfer torque to the drive shaft. Fatigue is the leading cause of spline damage. Monitor these tractor parts closely and replace them when they show aging signs.

Belt Problems

Worn-out sheaves and wrong belt tensions are the primary causes of John Deere X350 belt problems. Faulty sheaves cause one end of the belt to slack while the other tightens abruptly, leading to malfunctions. Replace damaged sheaves for smooth belt functions.

Incorrect tension is the leading cause of premature belt malfunctioning. Under-tensioning increases the chances of slipping, overheating and rolling over. Always ensure the belt tension is correct to avoid these inconveniences.

Steering Issues

John Deere X350 steering problems result from worn-out bushings and loose bolts. Bushings cushion tractor parts and regulate joint movements.

Defective or worn-out bushings allow excess free movement, resulting in difficult steering and handling. Replace old bushings with new ones for easy steering.

With loose bolts, the wheel won’t be appropriately held onto the tractor’s hub, resulting in difficult steering. Tighten the bolts to fix these John Deere X350 problems.

Deck Problems

John Deere X350 deck issues include uneven cuts, excessive vibrations, and leaving uncut grass.

Uneven Cuts

Rough cuts are consequences of dull blades or low deck level. Dull blades rip or tear the grass instead of cutting it, resulting in an ugly, uneven cut. Sharpen and clean your tractor blades regularly to get even, smooth cuts.

Decks cut grass at the tractor’s rear when the rear end is lower than the front. The cut grass gets thrown to the rear wheels, resulting in an irregular, rough cut. Always check if the deck is perfectly leveled before setting off. Adjust it if not.

Excessive Vibrations

Excessive vibrations result from unbalanced blades or faulty belts. Tractor blades spin at around 4,000 RPMs. When unbalanced, these tractor parts will cause extreme vibrations. Always keep the blades balanced to avoid these inconveniences.

Drive belt tensioners on worn-out belts have damaged coil springs, which result in rattling and excess vibrations during operations. Belts get damaged with time. Replace them with new sets immediately after they show aging signs.

Leaving Uncut Grass

Your JD X350 tractor may leave uncut grass due to damaged blades or an overfilled grass bag. Faulty blades rip and tear grass, leaving most of it uncut. Replace defective blades for clean, beautiful cuts.

A filled grass bag reduces the blades’ effectiveness. Clean the bag regularly to keep it free of debris and dirt.

Electrical Problems

John Deere X350 electrical problems arise due to the following reasons:

  • Dead battery – If the battery is dead or not charged, the tractor won’t start.
  • Bad alternator – If the alternator is not working, the battery won’t charge, eventually causing the tractor to shut down.
  • Blown fuses – If a fuse is blown, it can cause the tractor to stop working.
  • Malfunctioning ignition switch – If the ignition switch is not functioning correctly, it can prevent the tractor from starting.
  • Wiring issues – Loose or damaged wiring can cause electrical problems and prevent the tractor from starting or operating correctly.

Most of the John Deere X350 electrical problems are fixable. Some issues, such as a dead battery, can be easily resolved by replacing or charging it.

Other issues, such as a blown fuse or malfunctioning ignition switch, can also be fixed with replacement parts. Wiring issues may require more extensive repairs but can typically be resolved by a qualified technician.

Have a professional diagnose and repair any electrical issues with your John Deere X350 tractor. Attempting to repair complex electrical systems without proper training and tools can be dangerous and can lead to further damage.

Is the John Deere X350 Worth the Money?

The John Deere X350 is worth the money. Despite being susceptible to various problems, these tractors feature several outstanding features.

Smooth-running Kawasaki engines equipped with flywheel alternators that deliver 15 amps and keep the battery charged allow you to work for long periods without taking breaks.

With a Turf Torq hydrostatic transaxle that encloses the motor rotator and hydrostatic pump in one housing, John Deere X350 tractors have few sealing surfaces. This reduces their chances of leaking.

Are John Deere X350 Problems a Deal Breaker?

JD X350 problems aren’t a deal breaker. Just like all mechanical equipment, these tractors are prone to malfunction occasionally. This article does a great job breaking down all the problems you may face when using these tractors and their fixes.