Most Common John Deere Z445 Problems

While the John Deere Z445 is a great turn mower, owners occasionally find themselves having some problems like all owners of any mower eventually do.

Luckily, John Deere provides reliable, quality equipment so any problems that you may encounter are usually easily fixable.

If you’ve been having performance issues or some other problem with your John Deere, here’s a list of the most common problems and hopefully some fixes that will work for you.

1. John Deere Z445 Transmission Problems

If you’re having problems with your transmission system, there are a few things you can do to troubleshoot it or prevent problems in the future.

Purge The Transmission Lines

If your John Deere mower has sat for the winter or for an extended period of time, air can occasionally plug the hydraulic pumps and you may have to purge it.

There are thorough instructions in the owner’s manual for how to purge the air from the system.

Check The Transmission Fluid And Connections

You should also always check your John Deere transmission fluid levels and ensure they’re at the recommended amounts.

If you’ve noticed that you are constantly adding new fluid, check the connections and pipes on your transmission system for leaks.

2. Problems With The Z445’s Steering System

If you’re having trouble steering your John Deere zero-turn riding lawn mower or there’s no response at all, there are two possible causes.

Tracking Screws

The first thing you should check is the tracking screws under the base of each steering bar.

Adjust this bolt and then operate the mower to check your changes.

Keep adjusting the screws until you drive in a straight line when both handles are pushed forward.

Steering Arm Connections

If a steering arm is just generally unresponsive, check the connections between the motor and the arms of your zero-turn mower.

Ensure they’re properly connected and that there are no problems from the motor to the steering arms.

3. Z445 Lawn Mower Not Cutting Right

If your John Deere riding lawn mower isn’t cutting right, there are a few things you can do to fix it and it’s easy enough to do at home by yourself.

Inspect The Deck And Blades

With the turn mower off, begin inspecting the deck and blades. The deck should be free of debris and the blades should be sharp and unbent.

Avoid rough ground in your yard with the mower. Level ground is typically free of debris that can bend or dull your blades.

An easy way to see if your blades are sharp is to examine the grass after you have cut it. Grass should be cleanly cut. Grass that looks as if it was torn is a sign that you need to sharpen your blade or get a new one.

4. John Deere Exhaust Problems

You may have noticed that your grass is darkened or even burnt if the John Deere Z445 is in one spot for too long.

This is because of the exhaust and its proximity to the ground. Operators in dryer areas may notice this more than others.

Unfortunately, John Deere is aware of this problem but has not put forth any fixes yet.

The only thing you can really do is avoid standing still in one spot on your lawn for extended periods of time. We suggest idling the lawn mower on parts of your property without grass such as a driveway or dirt/gravel pad.

5. John Deere Z445 Engine Problems

Unfortunately, the John Deere Z445 has a fairly complex air-cooled engine with a lot of moving parts that make it hard for someone to repair at home.

It’s best to call a professional if you’re experiencing engine problems, but there are a few things you can do before calling to ensure it isn’t something you can do at home.

Common Engine Problems

One of the first things you should check if the engine isn’t starting is the spark plugs. Spark plugs should be clean and not burnt.

John Deere Z445 Spark Plugs

If yours appear dirty, try replacing the spark plugs and then starting the zero-turn mower.

If you’re having performance issues with your John Deere, a common fix is to replace or unclog the gas cap vent on your mower or replace the oil filter. A plugged gas cap or oil filter can easily hinder your engine’s performance.

If you’ve replaced these things and are still encountering problems, you should call a professional or the dealership you purchased the zero-turn mower from.

John Deere Dealer Warranty

John Deere Dealer Warranty

Almost all John Deere machines come with a warranty. While the warranties do eventually expire, yours may still be active and can cover a number of costly repairs.

John Deere warranties cover almost everything except for normal wear, improper maintenance, and a few other categories.

Before taking your mower apart, check your warranty to see if it’s still valid. If you’re unsure, call up the John Deere dealer or store you purchased your zero-turn mower from and ask.

Maintenance Tips To Keep Your John Deere Z445 Running Smoothly

Maintenance Tips

Every machine needs maintenance and the John Deere Z445 zero-turn mower is no different.

Keeping up on yearly maintenance and inspecting your mower before and after you use it can save you hundreds of dollars in repairs and extend the life of your mower for years to come.

You should always check the hydraulic oil, oil level, oil filter, air filter, deck, and blade before operating the mower. We suggest checking things like the fuel hose, spark plugs, and the engine at the beginning and end of the mowing season.

Stay on top of your mower and you won’t find yourself scratching your head when a problem eventually comes up.

Final Thoughts

John Deere Z445 problems are thankfully fairly uncommon, but if you are unlucky enough to have one hopefully you’ve found the answer on this list and can continue using your zero-turn mower.

When in doubt, check your warranty to see if you are still eligible for repairs or call a John Deere professional to come to inspect your mower and diagnose the problem.

While most turn mower problems can be diagnosed at home, sometimes it helps to get a professional opinion.


I am very passionate about lawns and mowers and offer my unbiased review towards everything that goes on this site. I research several pages, specs, videos, forums and other reviews of each mower before I post about it so you don't have to.