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LA115 not enough fuel

William I have a LA115 with ~ 40hrs. The other day the RPM started dropping periodically (almost stall every 10-15 seconds) after a hard mow (very tall field grass 2-3') and today the engine died after 20 minutes. Looking at the fuel filter, it was empty (plenty of gas in the tank). I pulled the filter off and blew through to the tank and it was clear. I blew through the filter and it was fine (looks very clean). There are a few other lines coming out of the fuel pump. I pulled one off and started the engine and a light amount of air pressure would go into the tube, presumably to push the fuel pump. I pulled another out that goes to the carb, started the engine and gas started pouring out. I put it all back together and the engine ran fine for the rest of the day (90min). I believe the engine died because it wasn't getting gas. The fuel filter is never more than 1/4 to 1/3 full. I'm just not sure if its the fuel pump or if there is not enough air pressure from the one hose to push the fuel pump.

Is it normal for the fuel filter to never be more than 1/3 full? Is it normal for the air pressure from the engine to be very light? If these are true, I guess it could be the fuel pump going?


Dale G. Basgall William : I have observed many fuel filters that are the clear plastic type that appear to have 1/3 the fuel in them. Anyway I have only seen a few that appear full. The hose is going back into the engine block and produces impulses of air on the diaphram of the fuel pump. Try to blow back into the tank from the fuel filter inlet side until you hear bubbles in the tank. The problem may be in the outlet of the fuel tank to the fuel filter. Try that and see if it works.

Dale G. Basgall

William Dale,

Thanks for the follow-up. I did exactly what you said the other day and that is what got me running again for the remainder of the day (another 60 min or so). After it blew it out (heard bubbles in the tank) gas started pouring out from the hose due to the pressure. I haven't run it since then, so I'll guess I'll find out next week if it was just something dirty in the tank blocking the hole a little.

The impulses of air coming out of the engine into the hose were pretty weak. Should they be very soft or something more concentrated like the muffler exhaust? I don't even think a large leaf would have blown off my hand if it put it up to the engine port where the air pulses out.


bontai Joe Having the fuel filter approx 1/3 full is pretty much normal. The pulses of air you feel should be light, so that's also normal. I suspect you have some crud in the bottom of your fuel tank that's intermittently stopping the flow of fuel
James I have a 2008 LA115 which I have not used for a couple of years, & will not start. I also noticed the fuel filter is only 1/4 full. The gas tank is almost full of new fuel, but even with a jump lead start there are no signs of life. If I pour a small amount of gas into the air intake it will fire, but only for a few revs. Any suggestions?
James Platt I have solved the problem on my own John Deere LA115. Based on the information from previous correspondents, first I disconnected the pipes from the fuel pump to the crankcase & carburettor. Then I sucked & blew into the crankcase pipe to check if fuel was being pumped to the carburettor. It was, so I removed the carburettor but did not dismantle it. I removed the solenoid fuel valve at the bottom of the carb bowl, and connected it back to the electrics. Turning the ignition on & off did not appear to affect this valve, but with a little working on the stem, it began to function correctly. I re-assembled every thing & sprayed a little carburettor cleaner into the intake. I waited about 30 mins & started the engine without any difficulty. I notice that with a cold engine the choke alwways seems to be needed.

Stephen Norris I recently bought a 5 yr old LA115. It stopped after a few hours, but would fire with a little poured in the carb inlet. The fuel filter looked old so I changed it. When I removed the lower filter connection, the fuel sucked back into the tank and pulled a lot of air with it. The tank bubbled a lot. The fuel tank cap vent hole was blocked. Tank was under vacuum. I cleaned it out and blew air through. Runs fine again.

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