John Deere L108 - Dead after 2 years


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John Deere L108 - Dead after 2 years

Chris Rettino The following letter describes my horrible experience with a John Deere L108 "excuse" for a Lawn Tractor, which I recently wrote to John Deere:

I recently had a very dissatisfying ownership experience with an L108 Lawn Tractor and felt compelled to tell you about it. I purchased my L108 with the bagging system from the Home Depot about two years ago. I paid approximately $1,900 for the whole setup sometime in May of 2005. I was happy with the mower until recently when I was cutting the grass and the mower completely died on me. In checking the mower I found the oil level to be very low which seemed strange to me since I am very religious about doing all the maintenance, especially the oil and filter changes every Spring. I know the manual says to check the oil every time you mow, which for me would be once a week since I’m a residential user. Personally I think having to check the oil on a new mower every time you mow is a bit excessive and I can’t honestly say that I checked it every time, but I do check the oil on all of my gas powered equipment periodically. I would understand if the machine was 15 to 20 years old, having to monitor the oil level so frequently, but not on a new mower.

Anyway, I contacted John Deere Corporate and asked if they could do anything to assist me since the mower was out of warranty by only a few months. They advised that I would have to take it to a John Deere dealer to be evaluated before they could make a decision. This seemed reasonable to me, so I got a friend to trailer it 40 miles across the Hudson River to the closest John Deere Dealership which is ET Equipment in Croton on the Hudson, NY. ET Equipment advised that their feeling was that the connecting rod for the piston was most likely broken due to the engine getting too hot from a lack of lubrication. When I asked if the connecting rod could be repaired, they said considering the labor involved, it would be cheaper to install a new engine for $1,400. Installing a new motor didn’t make sense to me because the price of the mower new was $1,600 without the bagging system. I contacted John Deere Corporate again to see if they could help and they advised that in order for them to evaluate, they would have to do a tear-down on the motor which would cost in the $250 to $300 range. They said that if the problem was determined to be a defect they would cover the cost of the diagnostic, but if not, I would be responsible for paying for the diagnostic fee. I wasn’t happy with this arrangement, but I decided to go along with it.

Unfortunately, from the first moment that I called ET Equipment back to ask them to perform the diagnostic, they started giving me attitude and treating me very poorly. Their service manager John and their general manager Tom both told me that I would have to pay the diagnostic fee and that “John Deere wasn’t going to do anything for me because the mower was out of warranty”. I guess they had been through this before with other customers. This was in conflict with what the John Deere Corporate Customer Service Supervisor (Hope at extension 2740) was telling me. In a conversation with Tom, ET Equipment’s general manager the following day, he became very nasty with me and said things like, “You didn’t buy the mower from us” and “I don’t have nothing to do with John Deere and I don’t want nothing to do with you” and “Get your machine out of here; it’s in our way” and “Starting Friday I’m going to start charging you a $20/day storage fee” – This he told me on Wednesday afternoon before Thanksgiving. I told him on the phone that he and his people were in desperate need of some serious customer service classes to teach them how to treat customers in the proper manner. I raced to ET Equipment that Friday morning only to have them forklift drop the mower outside the garage door and close the door without speaking to me. When I got the machine home I realized that they had removed the spark plug and neglected to reinstall it and more importantly, the ignition key was missing. I called Tom the “manager” and asked him to send me the key. Trust me folks, you definitely don’t need people like those at ET Equipment representing your company. They are doing you a great disservice.

I guess it goes without saying that I can’t remember the last time I was treated so badly by a company that I thought valued me as a customer. Needless to say, I am very disappointed in your company and your product. I’d like to say I’ll never buy another John Deere product again, but judging by the way your company’s representatives have handled this situation; my guess is that you don’t care anyway. Let me leave you with some food for thought though; 1) I am a consumer that works very hard for his money and I feel that if I spend $1,900 on a lawn mower, I deserve to get more than two years out of it before I have to scrap it. 2) I don’t buy the “you ran the mower low on oil” defense because believe me, I have many pieces of equipment and machinery and I maintain all of them very well including oil/filter changes at least once a year (I have friends with other brands that tell me they change the oil every three years and have no problems). I’m not condoning that, but considering I do all the maintenance on the mower every spring (I have all the receipts to prove it) and I do check the oil periodically and I take very good care of the mower in general, I am at a loss as to how this could happen. As far as I’m concerned, it had to be a defect. 3) How can a mower that is only two years old and still looks new, burn up all the oil in the crank case at such a rapid rate. Something’s not right. I could see that happening on a mower that’s fifteen or twenty years old, but not a new mower. I have had many pieces of equipment and machinery in my lifetime and have never had an experience like this. 5) Even if I was totally at fault, I would think that John Deere as a corporation would want to do the right thing and do something to help their customer and preserve their reputation. Especially, since I did everything that customer service asked me to do including taking the mower to a John Deere dealership where I ended up getting verbally abused. Have a little pride in your product and workmanship for God’s sake; stand behind your product. Unfortunately, it seems I might be wasting my breath here. Sad, very sad.

Just a little advice; I know you are a gigantic company now and one customer here and there probably doesn’t matter to you, but if you keep treating your customer’s this way, it’s bound to come back to haunt you eventually…

bontai Joe I'm curious as to how large your lawn is, so I can get an idea as to how many hours of run time it took to cut your lawn each week. I personally won't even start any small engine without checking the oil level EVERY time. It really IS THAT IMPORTANT. These engines typically hold only around one quart of oil, and allowing it to get low is, as you found out, usually fatal for an air cooled motor. I would never buy equipment from a "box" store. The dealers sell these at the same price and you build good will with them from the start.
ross I agree with bonatai joe, running any engine low on oil will make it fly apart or have major damage. The warranty applies to any defects that the machine might have, but does not cover neglegence on the owners part. Yes two years is not very long for the life of a mower. But you ran it low on oil, if you had checked the oil every time you used it maybe you could have seen the oil level become lower each time before using it. Then by seeing the oil level become lower, you could have asked around about was could be causing this problem, it is a big sign that either the engine is using it or it is leaking externally. I am positive that John Deere did not build the engine that is in you mower, probably Briggs and Stratton. Have you contacted this company to see what they might be able to do for you?
Jason Guidi Chris,

I had the same issue with my L108. John Deere would not help at all. I also own an X728 and they still won't help me. I spoke with a tech at my local John Deere Retailer he states they replace 5 of these type engines a week during the spring and summer. He also states that the L series mowers tend to only be good for around 100 hours!!! I'm looking to start a class action suit against John Deere, this is not Right.

Jason

Jason Guidi Chris,
I bought my replacement engine from this website.
It was very easy to install and only cost 449.00 plus shipping.

www.smallenginewarehouse.com

Jason

Jason Chris,

Here is my letter to John Deere.

I have a John Deere L108 that after 2 years and 6 months has engine failure.
the mower is at 146 supply in Milbury, MA The reatiler states its due to lack of lubrication. I spoke with Joanne in your customer care dept. and she was unwilling to help. I've worked in the automotive industry for 19 years. I've done thousands of oil changes. for the retailer to tell me its due to lack of lubrication is obsurd. I also own an X728 that i spent well over $ 15,000 for. I've changed the oil on that many times and its still running great.

After I spoke with Joanne in customer service I started to do some research. I've now found two other people with the same issue with their L108. It does not take much to start a class action suit. Much less then the amount the retailer quoted me to fix the engine $1600.

I have all my oil change records, I even purchase and installed a John Deere hour meter on this machine so that I know exactly when i should be changing my oil. I was a bit take back when Joanne said we would be having this conversation if a John Deere retailer had changed the oil.

I have spent well over $17,000 dollars with John Deere in the last 3 years. I'm appealing to you one last time to reconsider helping me.
I love John Deere products and I'm loyal to the brand. You can ask Brian the owner of 146 supply, I've sent him many customers.
Please make me a happy John Deere customer.

I want to resolve this with out getting anyone else involved. $1600 dollars is alot of money for me so I wont give up easily.



Rhonda Goodroe Just last week I took my mower in for new blades and a drive belt cause they looked like they needed replaced. It was still cutting grass real good. All I asked for was those 2 things. When they called me to tell me it was ready, they said the cost was $265.00. I said WOW, just for new blades and a belt. They saw it upon themselves to put 2 new spindles on too, said they looked warn. I asked why didn't you call me first and get my ok. No response. I never been so mad in my life. I couldn't pick the mover up untill I paid for it. I had no choice but to pay it. That's Dirty Dealing if you ask me. The Company was Lasseter Impliment Co. in Unadilla, GA a JD Dealership. I won't buy anything else from JD again.
Duane John Deere can kiss my ass! I did everything by the book and my L108 turned into a money pit. I used Finch services in MD and they lie and steal right out of your pocket. The stories you can read about both John Deere and their "John Deere Service" providers screwing customers are true. Don't buy John Deere.
Tim Robertson Folks,

Are these Briggs Intek Engines?
I have a 19hp Intek in my Troy Built and this has me worried because I know they put them in this JD Model and need confirmation that it is indeed the same engine.

Thanks

Jason Tim,

Yes! My Mower had the Briggs Intek Engine. I replaced it myself for around $450.00. Very easy to do. Don't let JD screw you on the cost.

Deere owner Rhonda,

In most states it is illegal to perform a service that hasn't been requested. This is called an "overcharge", but may require you to have a written quote. ALWAYS get a written quote PRIOR to any service being performed. Even then, dishonest shops will say that they called you and confirmed the additional service. Always file a factually correct and non-emotional complaint letter with the business, the Better Business Bureau, and the State Attorney General.

The state of Georgia has some good consumer information and a sample complaint letter on it's website at http://consumer.georgia.gov/00/channel_modifieddate/0,2096,5426814_5684688,00.html

Write a letter to the local Better Business Bureau and State Attorney General and a copy to the repair company, send it registered mail. Mention that you will pursue civil action if necessary. Be sure to attach a copy of the original service quote and final bill. Hopefully, the final bill is itemized. ALWAYS request an itemized final bill.

Oh, remember to leave the emotion out of this process. Write down everything that you can remember about the service and communication, including dates, times, persons involved, what was said, and the time and money that you spent resolving this complaint. All of this information is extremely important if you decide to go to small claims court.

Good luck. And even if you lost your money, tell at least 10 other local persons of your experience. A dishonest business will not last long if everyone told their (honest) story.

kenneth enge WOW at least I'm not crazy-My L108 just 2yrs old hardly used got late in summer of 06.Did a complete oil and filter change ran 2 weeks engine seized. Second guessing myself like crazy what I could have done wrong.Well guys like you I will endeaver to contact John Deere or Joan Deere if they are [with all these stories]not goung to help. I personaly will take the loss on mower if as stated in these blogs the cost is to great to fix [and no I can't realy afford it].But that mower will stay on my front lawn with all the letters on the blog blown up and weather protected for all my neighbors and any one else to see for as long as my family lives and as a salesman who meets 100 customers a week I will pass these comments along.Thanks for the letters.
JasonB Jason, I also purchased an L108 from a dealer in Rogers MN. Now 3 years later, the rod just went through the side of the motor. I talked to them about why this happened and they just blame it back on me. I change the oil and check it each time before use. If I wanted a piece of equipment to last only 3 years I should have bought one from KMART which probably would have lasted longer. Could you tell me which motor you bought from that website? I am wondering if a honda motor would be a better way to go? I don't really want to buy a briggs and straton if it is only going to last 3 years.

Thanks,
Jason Boiteau

Jason G Hello All,

I bought my engine here.
www.smallenginewarehouse.com.

You can also find this engine on Ebay.

Very easy to install if your a little handy.
Never looked at any other engine. Just went for the direct fit and change the oil like crazy.

Jason G

Jason G Hello All,

Wanted to share my oil change history and my interaction with John Deere regarding my L108.

GOOD LUCH to all with an L series mower. Keep fighting, don't let John Deere win!

Post! Post! Post! Post! Post! Post! Post!



I purchased one of your L108 tractors at Home Depot serial number: GXL108A016404 with a 18.5 hp Briggs & Stratton , about two weeks ago it stopped running after I finished snow blowing the drive way. The tractor would not crank. I checked the oil, it was black but full. I had it brought to 146 supply center in Millbury, MA. The service Dept. stated that the engine was seized due to lack of lubrication and it needed a new engine at a cost of $1600. I was stunned! I say stunned because I've worked in the automotive business for 20 years. I was a Volvo master technician for 13 years and I'm currently a Volvo Factory Field Engineer and Aftersales Market Manager. As you can see, I consider myself qualified to change oil.

Just a quick FYI, I also own a 2006 X728 that I spent around $15,000 for. I've changed the oil on this machine three times and it only has 30 hours on it. So I've spent roughly $17,000 dollars with John Deere in three years.

Back to the L108 dilemma. I spoke to Joanne in John Deere customer service looking for some assistance with this repair. Joanne was polite, but just kept repeating what the retailer said to me. That the machine seized due to lack of lubrication. I explained to her that I could not accept this explanation. I told her that in its very short life I had changed the oil in this machine more times than what John Deere recommends with only John Deere oil purchased at 146 supply. I stated that I could look her in the eye and honestly say that I check the oil in all my machines prior to starting. I realize this is very important due to the small amount of oil in small engines.
Oil change summary:
6/3/05
10/3/05
7/15/06
11/21/06
4/14/07
7/28/07
11/3/07

As you can see I've changed the oil 7 times in 2 1/2 years. I'm sorry I don't have the hours listed because my owner manual is currently at the retailer. Yes, I do have the hours listed because I purchase a John Deere hour meter so that I would know exactly when I needed to change the oil. I take pride in my tractors and I'm very loyal to the John Deere brand.

Just a quick note, after I spoke with Joanne, I started to do some research on the internet. I happen to find another L108 customer with the same complaint. This customer was told the same thing by his retailer and John Deere. Maybe this is an issue for the L108 model and its just coming to light now? I see this type of thing all the time in my line of work. Just because it made it through the warranty period doesn't mean the manufacture is off the hook. If there is an issue with the L108 model, John Deere has an obligation to at least look into it.
I'm not looking for a free ride. I'm just looking for some brand loyalty consideration. I would even consider buying the engine at dealer cost? $1600.00 is a lot of money to spend fixing a machine that I paid $1600.00 for. $1600 paid includes bagger. If you're not going to help me, I expect you to at least send a rep to inspect the engine so that you can determine the root cause analysis.

On Saturday January 26th I picked up my John Deere L108 so that I could replace the engine myself. Before I left the retailer I had an interesting conversation with a John Deere retailer employee. I will not mention his name. He informed me that
during the spring and summer months they replace about five (5) L series engines a week. He stated there is a problem with the Briggs & Stratton engines in the L series and that they only last about 100 hours. He also stated, if you use a snow blower attachment the engines life is much less, which is funny because John Deere recommends and sells a snow blower attachment, which I own on this L108. It sounds like you have a big problem with the L series!!

John Deere L series owners!! Don't let John Deere get away with charging you big money to replace your engine. Make your voice heard! Call John Deere to complain 1-800-537-8233 ext. 2216. or ask for Jo Ann.



Craig P My L108 failed just 3 hours after I got it home. I too purchased it at Home Depot. I was cutting grass when the engine made a loud 'BANG' and then died. The oil filter had unscrewed and came off and all the oil drained out. Home Depot would not help me but our local John Deere Dealer installed a new engine for free and I've had no problems since.
LESSON..don't buy a John Deere product from Home Depot. The price was the same at John Deere. Live and learn!

Bill W I couldn't say it any beeter myself. Chris you are right on target. I will NEVER buy another John Deere. Their Customer Service is terrible. I also bought my l108 at Home Depot. Every time I talk to someone about me problems, I get the run-a-round. I hope JD starts to take care of their customers or they will be another American Company that closes.
Shawn S I think you all are nuts! If you do proper maintenance on your mower you wont have any problems. Did you listen to salesman when you bought the mower? did you drain the break-in oil after a few hous of use? install the propr oil and filter. I have had my L108 for 5 years now and not a bit trouble, still runs like the day iI got it, because I take care of my stuff. Hey guys maby you should get your wife to check it for you, i´m sure she can do a better job than you. I wont buy anything but a John Deere.
Jason G Shawn S,

You obviously didn't read all the posts. I suggest you go back and read my posts where I changed my oil more than recommended. I know how to change oil and I use all John Deere parts.
There is something wrong with the Briggs and Stratton Engines in the L108.

Ron I can relate to you and this situation. I had a murry and the same thing happened, It also had a briggs and stration and I just went out and bought this john deere 3 years ago. You just can't find any good service anymore. I feel for you, just wanted you to know you are not the only one in the boat. There are thousand of others this happened to but don't know where to turn
Rob I to have an L108 purchased from Home Depot on May 2005. Was just driving across the lawn and "bang". Oil level ok. Looking to take it in.
Dave Thanks for the Warning, I was just looking at a second hand L108. I will steer clear of it now. Think will buy a Husqvarna.
Chas Martin You got what you deserve by buying the cheapest model mower you could find from a discount retailer, NOT A JOHN DEERE DEALER.

Accept it. You didn't check the oil. One can only assume if you're that irresponsible, you didn't check the spark plug or air filter, and didn't sharpen the blade either. These are all very basic maintenance items that MUST BE DONE REGULARLY on every rotary mower with a 4-stroke engine ever made.

If you're this irresponsible and lazy, perhaps you also didn't pick up all the rocks, sticks and trash in your yard and just ran it over again and again, right? Maybe you were also a little rough on it using it in too steep of hills too, right? Maybe you ran the cheapest quality gasoline you could buy, right? Maybe you bought a discounted, Non original parts to save a few bucks, right?

Come on, take some responsibility for your own actions and stop acting like a child throwing a fit, blaming others for your poor decision-making.

Do yourself a favor and go buy another John Deere, but from an AUTHORIZED DEALER. Make sure you get their MAINTENANCE PACKAGE. Not the cheapest, once a year one either. Splurge, get the upgraded service plan. Then, after being a good boy and doing these things, they will get you a brand new John Deere cap to wear -- wear it with pride soldier! Finally, write a letter to John Deere apologizing for your ignorance and rudeness, begging for their forgiveness. We all know you don't deserve it, but maybe, if they look deeply into their hearts, they might be able to someday forgive you for your horrible ignorance and stupidity.

Nothing Runs Like a Deere.

Jason G Chas Martin,

You obviously did not read all the blogs! There is clearly a problem here. It should not matter if the mower came from a Box store or a John Deere retailer. If John Deere puts their name on the mower they should stand behind their product and not hind behind you.

Oh by the way why are you looking at this blog any ways?? Having troubles with your John Deere Tractor??

frank I'm one of those guys who buys this type of broken equipment and fixes them. I just bought a used Craftsman tractor(dark green in color) with a 17hp ohv engine. It fit exactly from pully, wiring connection, exhaust, mounting. The only problem was that I had to modify the oil fill tube so I could run the fuel pump. Really wasn't to long of a job, you just have to look for the right used motor! The old Craftsman cost me $100.00. The L108 is running great now.
Bob Meyerholz On May 17,2005 I bought my John Deere L-118 from my local John Deere dealer. It's the best lawn tractor I have ever owned. It has a 42" mulching deck and turns leaves into powder in the fall. Home Depot had the same tractor for the same price but did not offer free delivery and said to me if I had any problems to call a John Deere dealer. I change the oil regulary and check the oil level everytime I use the tractor. I also grease the tractor and keep it clean. It's common sense to take care of the tractor. This tractor is built by John Deere at the Horizon plant in WI and not my MTD as was rumored.
allan It seems to me you have another issue with Briggs & Stratton since they made the crappy engine.....Class action time!!!!
Lance Cherry I have never felt compelled to respond to a posting with my personal/business comments until now. Please understand that I am responding as a business owner and do not imply that my feelings are necessarily the same as those of the lines of product we carry as a franchised dealer for Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Polaris and Arctic Cat. However, our dealership originated in 1965 and has contined in business with the lights on ever since. I took over ownership in 1999.

To my point. I was googling my interest in a John Deere L108 that I found used to purchase from a friend of mine and appreciated the informational viewpoints on the model I was looking for. I have overall sensed that this particular model mower will suit my needs. However, this is not the point I am writing about.

My intended point here is to address the comments made in regards to the "dead" artical concerning the engine problems and warranty. Even though I agree that there was an apparrent engine issue that should/could have been looked at more closely by the dealer or John Deere, I do not agree with the sentiments of the owner of the machine taking it out on the local dealer.

When a customer purchases a "machine" that will ultimately need routine service or potentially warranty work, they really need to understand the workings behind what a general warranty is all about with most all brands. In this case, the gentleman purchased the unit from Home Depot. The purchase could have been from Lowes, Northern Tools, etc.(considered box stores) which all have a tendency to refer their franchised brand service to the working brand dealerships (service stores). The factories will support whichever of the establishments choose to do the warranty service. However, the box stores generally (not all the time) will push "their" customers to the compeitive "service" stores because the true service stores are much more equipped in most cases to handle customer service. This scenario is very popular for customer product purchases such as lawn mowers and generators. This is where the problem begins.

Most franchised dealers such as the John Deere dealer mentioned here are accustomed to servicing "their customer's needs" first. This is just plain good business. In otherwords, if a owner purchased his mower from a box store and then goes to a service store for warranty service; it is possible that the customer may feel that he is simply being put off when he is probably just being put at the back of the line. This is not always the case but probably more so than not. Certainly a service dealer wants to help out any and all customers but more than likely the dealer is dedicated to helping out "their" customers first. Sometimes what a customer would call warranty work is really a dealer's "goodwill" work. Goodwill work is normally provided to current on-going customers who have dealt with the dealer in the past. Goodwill is not normally associated with non-purchasing customers even though there are always exceptions. These exceptions are entirely left up to the decision of the dealer and not the factory. Unfortunately, it all does not stop with this natural human behavior toward handling a customer's problem.

The real truth is this. All dealers honor a franchise agreement that states they will warranty the brand product they sell. What the general customer does not know is that warranty work for a dealer is generally a losing proposition based on factory reimbursement. At best, a service dealer breaks even on the warranty service. However, we do it because we support the products we sell for our customers. It is a shame that a box dealer pushes this kind of service work to a service dealer. It is hard for most service dealers to be compelled or have the desire to do the so-called "losing" warranty work for a customer who did not purchase from the service dealer in the first place. Even though I do not share this feeling at our own dealership, it is a very real sentiment shared by many dealerships that I do not fault them for having.

Now the final comment. Most any dealership can work with most any customer to accomodate a need for that customer. However, when a factory plays one dealer against another dealer, then the customer will probably be caught in between. Good answer to a frustrating problem is to develop a relationship with the servicing dealer whoever that may be. The service dealer may charge just a little bit more than the box dealer but the customer will most likely get a much better long-term deal.

In this case even though I feel the entire situation described was wrongly handled, I can see where the frustrations on both sides came from. But don't ever forget that warranty comes from "both" the "dealer" and the "factory" based on customer relationships. And generally speaking, the dealer will most likely be the one who makes the warranty experience either a good or bad.

Just my $.02 worth!




Jerry I have owned a Snapper mower for over 20 years. Only minor problems which I overcame myself. I asked the local lawnmower shop (Cold Spring Lawnmower) where I had bought it about John Deere. This was his reply. "John Deere makes very good mowers that dealers sell. Home Depot went to them and asked for a bargain line. John Deere went to Kohler and asked for a bargain engine. This bargain engine and their bargain mower are sold at a bargain price to Home Depot, and other discount stores!" You get what you pay for. Now personally I trust Kohler engines (the ones sold by dealers because I have no experience with the Home Depot bargains) but I detest Briggs and Stinky engines. All the John Deeres I see at my local Home Depot have bargain Kohler engines. It now looks like Club Cadet and a few other manufaturers have sold their soul to the devil like John Deere.
Tom Westerhof I bought my LA-108 at the local dealer in hudsonville Mi. Same thing happened to mine. It died after 2 years of light lawn work.Oil and filter had just been changed.I went back to the dealer and got not a word of encouragement, just a hard sell to buy a new one.I went home and tore into the engine (briggs 18.5) and found the rod sheared off at the crank.I'm no expert but I certainly expected better from a dealer.I am looking for a replacement engine but not the same briggs as I think it is junk.
R. Williams I ALSO HAVE THE J.D L-108 PIECE OF JUNK THAT USED OIL FROM DAY ONE. IT WOULD FOUL THE PLUG ABOUT EVERY 2 MONTHS. I NEVER SEIZED THE MOTOR AND IT STILL RUNS, BUT I HAVE TO ADD OIL EVERY TIME I USE IT AND KEEP SPARK PLUG ON THE MOWER TO CHANGE WHEN IT DIES IN THE MIDDLE OF A CUT. I JUST TOOK IT TO MY J-D DEALER AND HE WANTS 450.00 TO REPAIR IT. I TOLD HIM BRING IT BACK AFTER READING THIS BLOG. IT COST ME $121.90 FOR P/U & DEL. & ONE HOUR LABOR.
NEVER AGAIN, ONE AND DONE FOR JOHN DEERE.
BOB...

R. Williams I ALSO HAVE THE J.D L-108 PIECE OF JUNK THAT USED OIL FROM DAY ONE. IT WOULD FOUL THE PLUG ABOUT EVERY 2 MONTHS. I NEVER SEIZED THE MOTOR AND IT STILL RUNS, BUT I HAVE TO ADD OIL EVERY TIME I USE IT AND KEEP A SPARK PLUG ON THE MOWER TO CHANGE WHEN IT DIES IN THE MIDDLE OF A CUT. I JUST TOOK IT TO MY J-D DEALER AND HE WANTS 450.00 TO REPAIR IT. I TOLD HIM BRING IT BACK AFTER READING THIS BLOG. IT COST ME $121.90 FOR P/U & DEL. & ONE HOUR LABOR.
NEVER AGAIN, ONE AND DONE FOR JOHN DEERE.
BOB...

Gary I have a john Deere L108 . I bought it in 05 new from Home Depot and a few months after i got it the bearings went out in the Idler which was replaced under warranty.
I always noticed it used alot of oil for what I used it for. I only mow my yard and it's 100'X 150' of actual grass sq area.

As of last summer 2010 I been noticing oil blow by in the exhaust and leakage over the back of the motor now and then. Now oil is dripping out of the PCV all over the back of the engine and on top of the deck. and the blow by is worse.

I realize the mower is on it;s 7 season but I do believe Brigs and Stratton made bad engines for the John Deere 100 series mowers.
I always did end of year service (oilchange and such). and check the oil before every use.

mike hartney After 18mos of owning this L108 model I was told the head gasket had blown. I had it repaired only to have it go again 18mos later. Ita was repaired again,now just this past week my son was mowing and came in and told me a sound from the engine sounding like chains rattling around then a puff of smoke and the engine shut down. I assume I thru a rod. I'm done w/JD. I specifically purchased from JD so I wouldn't have these problems. I only mow 11/2acres of flat ground.This mower is serviced from the JD shop. I should not be having such problems
John Jenkins Obviously if the tractor is new this may not be of much help, but in talking to our local service dealer in Manassas Va. They told me that many L108s have a problem with the venting in the gas cap. Mine had just died after about 7 years of great service and had no idea where the problem was. I cleaned out the vent holes and the inlet air holes in the cap and the tractor immediately fired up like new. It doesn't take much at all to make this simple check. Hope it works for some, it sure saved me.
Chris Wow, I haven't checked back on this blog in a while. All I can tell by reading all your responses is the following:
1. There are a lot of people put there with problems with their John Deere equipment.
2. Shawn S. is a complete moron.
3. Chas Martin is a complete moron.
I did do all the regularly scheduled maintenance and I did check the oil frequently, you IDIOTS!

Chris Shawn S. and Chas Martin:
Just so you understand and just to set the record straight, after both John Deere Co and Home depot both screwed me and I realized neither one of them had any intention of doing the right thing, I took the L108 to our local Mower shop. Their mower mechanics tore the engine down to nothing, and do you know what they found? They found that the mower was well maintained, but that a critical gasket or seal had failed allowing all the oil to leak out of the mower and therefore the engine to seize. Not sure why I'm wasting my time and words telling you this, but just thought I should set the record straight. John Deere should not be allowing their name to be put on those pieces of crap that get sold through Home depot, and worse yet, they should stand behind their equipment; even if they know it is cheap crap that they knowingly sold through the big box stores.

Willb I also had all of the same problems and some additional. Once in the shop all of the excuses were made none of which made sense. My L108 was purchased from a JD dealer, who eventually replaced the engine with a 19.5 hp Briggs for under $400. However, it was not a pleasant experience and I'm still angry over the lame excuses and them not wanting take any responsability for a faulty product.
harry schultz i eliminater the fuel pump and replaced it with a small electric one. put the oil line into a small recovery tank that returns to crankcase. starts and runs way better and no oil loss.
pump was $50. mower is 12 years old

Jeff Sivak Bought my J.Deere L108 residential riding mower in 04/2005 at Dealership in Morris, IL. I had the oil changed by the dealership EVERY spring. In 2008 we moved to N. Central Indiana and Ruim Deere sales was our new maintenance dealership. I've never had one single problem with my L108 aside from changing the belts. My only complaint is the $100 round trip transportation fee they charge to service the tractor. It has started up FIRST time every time! in the 10 years I've relied on it to cut my grass. I had about .61 of an acre in Morris and 1/2 an acre here in Indiana. I cut the lawn every 5-7 days. In addition, I have always mulched, I've never had a grass clipping bagging system. Well this past week, my John Deere L108 finally died out. RIP girl & thank you for TEN solid years.
Mark Willerick Hi all. I also own a John Deere L108 with tbe inteck 18.5 briggs and strattion engine. It started to blow engine oil out of the fuel pump. Found out it had a bad head gasket. Changed gasket and it rus great. The problem is with tbe engine design not so much John Deere. Yes Deere should stand behind their products but the problem is with Brigs. I've owned John Deere mowers for a long time and will continue to do so.
ByronMill Bob Meyerholz, you are full of it. No L series tractor production EVER came out of the Horicon plant.They were not made by MTD, but the production was in TN, not in Horicon.
Mark G Its not about the John Deere tractor, its about the Briggs intek engine . The 15-18hp Intek engines regardless of what brand it was used in had known connecting rod issues. I have changed the 15-18hp intek on many tractors, all having the same issues. Some of the better models used Kohler engines. Better choice as most seem to still be running.
george I've had my L108 since 2005 and the only things i've had to do are rebuild the starter and replace the battery twice. It's been a damn good mower for 12 years


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