John Deere X520 Problems

When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

The John Deere X520 comes with innovative features such as a 54-inch cutting deck, cargo mount system, automatic transmission, 26HP V-twin engine, and ergonomic seat for optimum mowing performance.

Your John Deere X520 may encounter problems such as starter issues, engine problems, or power loss which can be frustrating.

In this article, I talk about 6 common John Deere X520 problems, their causes, and proffer solutions to each of the problems.

John Deere X520 Problems, Causes, and Possible Solutions

Before I go into details, let’s look at some common John Deere X520 problems and their possible solutions.

Problems

Possible Solutions

1. John Deere X520 Engine Problems

  • Fill with new gas if the tank is empty.
  • Clean and wash the cooling fins.
  • Replace the old spark plug with a new one.
  • Check the starter and change defective components.
  • Reduce loads.
  • Change engine oil
  • Replace dirty air cleaner.
  • Replace defective choke cable.
  • Add engine oil to fix the problem of low oil level.
  • Replace defective flywheel key.

2. Power Loss

  • Replace the clogged air filter with a new one.
  • Replace any clogged or dirty spark plugs.
  • Sharpen dull blades or replace them if they are crooked, missing, or worn out.
  • Change gas after draining out the old gas.
  • Check the amount of oil and add if necessary.
  • Clean the deck.
  • Replace the dirty carburetor.
  • Take off any debris that blocks the air vent and clean it regularly.
  • Remove excess oil.
  • Give your mowing machine a break after every 40 or 50 minutes of operation. 

3. Vibration Problems

  • Replace the cracked or worn drive belt 
  • Replace unbalanced, damaged, or crooked mower blades.
  • Fasten loose blades.
  • Replace the worn sheaves
  • Clean the deck and pulley to keep them free from debris.

4. Starter Problem

  • Inspect and change the blown fuse.
  • Clean terminals 
  • Recharge the battery

5. Uneven Cut

  • Sharpen or replace the blade if it is in a bad condition.
  • Adjust the front or back wheel height.
  • Check and adjust the deck height
  • Check the tire pressures and bring them to the correct level.

6. Plugged Discharge Chute

  • Fix the belt correctly or replace it if it is in a bad condition.
  • Open the choke fully to troubleshoot the issue of reduced engine rpm
  • Avoid mowing wet grass
  • Adjust cutting height if you want to mow long grass
  • Operate the mower at a low speed.

1. John Deere X520 Engine Problems

This is one of the common problems associated with the John Deere X520 model. This problem can be caused by an empty fuel tank or an obstruction of the cooling fins. 

An indication of an engine problem can also result in backfiring. Other signs of engine problems can be linked to hard starting, failure to start, engine overheating, rough running engine, engine knocks, and an inability to idle speed.

Causes

  • Empty fuel tank.
  • Obstructed cooling fins
  • Faulty spark plug
  • Defective starter
  • Engine runs under excessive load
  • Low-quality engine oil
  • Dirty air cleaner
  • Stuck choke cable
  • Low oil level
  • Defective flywheel key

Fix

  • If your engine fails to start, check the fuel tank to see if it is empty and fill it with premium gas if it is empty.
  • Clean and wash the cooling fins to fix the issue of obstructed cooling fins.
  • Inspect the spark plugs. Replace the old spark plug with a new one if they are plugged.
  • Check and adjust the air gap that is located in the ignition coil.
  • Check the starter and change defective components.
  • Reduce loads.
  • Change engine oil to troubleshoot the presence of low-quality engine oil.
  • Replace dirty air cleaner.
  • Check the choke cable for defects and replace it if it is bad.
  • Add engine oil to troubleshoot the issue of low oil level.
  • Replace defective flywheel key.

2. Power Loss

Power loss is common with this lawn tractor and it can happen as a result of diverse reasons. Restriction of gas, air, spark, and engine stuttering and other signs may indicate power loss. 

If this occurs, it will hinder the performance of your John Deere lawn mower. 

Causes

  • Blocked air filter
  • Clogged spark plugs
  • Dull/crooked/worn out/missing mower blades.
  • Poor quality gas
  • Low oil level
  • Dirt that is piling up under the cutting deck.
  • Dirty carburetor
  • Blockage in the gas and airflow
  • Excess engine oil

Fix

  • Replace the clogged air filter with a new one.
  • Replace any dirty or clogged spark plugs.
  • Sharpen dull blades or replace them if they are crooked, missing or worn out.
  • Change the gas with a new one after draining out the old gas.
  • Check the amount of oil and add more if necessary.
  • Clean the deck.
  • Replace the dirty carburetor with a new one.
  • Ensure that you take off any debris that blocks the air vent and clean it regularly.
  • Remove excess oil.
  • Make sure that you give your mowing machine a break after every 40 or 50 minutes of operation.

3. Vibration Problems

Vibration problems are one of the most common of this lawn tractor. In this case, the mower may generate strange noises while you use it.

Causes

  • Worn-out or defective drive belts
  • Unbalanced, damaged or crooked blades
  • Presence of debris on the drive pulleys.
  • Loose mower blades
  • Worn sheaves
  • Debris in the mower deck or pulleys

Fix

  • Replace the drive belt when you notice signs of crack or excessive wear.
  • Replace unbalanced, damaged, or crooked mower blades.
  • Fasten the blades if they are loose
  • Replace the worn sheaves.
  • Clean the deck and pulley to keep them free from debris.

4. Starter Problem

Several users have also complained about the mower’s inability of the starter to function well.

Possible reasons for this problem can be traced to a blown primary fuse or a bad terminal connection

This further affects the performance and functionality of the John Deere X520 model.

Causes

  • The primary fuse is blown.
  • Bad terminal connection.
  • The battery is not fully charged.

Fix

  • Inspect and change the blown fuse.
  • Clean terminals to solve the issue of poor terminal connection
  • Recharge the battery.

5. Uneven Cut

Your John Deere X520 model may cut unevenly because of dysfunctional components such as worn blades, low tire pressure, and wrong wheel position. 

In this case, your lawn tractor may leave behind strips of uncut grass between the blades.

Causes

  • Worn blades
  • Wrong wheel position
  • Deck too low
  • Low tire pressure

Fix

  • Sharpen or replace the blade if it is in a bad condition.
  • Adjust the front or back wheel height.
  • Check and adjust the deck height
  • Check the tire pressures and bring them to the correct level.

6. Plugged Discharge Chute

Under certain conditions, grass clippings can clump up while mowing and can clog the discharge system of your lawn tractor.

The discharge chute of your John Deere X520 model can get plugged due to a loose belt, reduced engine rpm, and wet grass and this can disrupt your mowing process.

Causes

  • Loose belt
  • Reduced engine rpm
  • Wet grass
  • Grass has grown too long
  • Speed is too high

Fix

  • Fix the belt correctly or replace it if it is in a bad condition.
  • Open the choke fully to troubleshoot the issue of reduced engine rpm
  • Avoid mowing wet grass
  • Adjust cutting height if you want to mow long grass
  • Operate the mower at a low speed.

Frequently Asked Questions

How often should I change the oil in my John Deere X520 mower?

It is advisable to inspect the mower’s fuel level before you use your mower.

Furthermore, refill the oil at least once every season. This can be around once per fifty hours that you use your mowing machine.

How much oil does a John Deere X520 take?

The John Deere X520 model has an oil capacity of 1.9 L.

Why does my John Deere mower keep shutting off?

Your John Deere mowing machine can shut off as a result of a defective ignition coil, bad carburetor, and worn spark plug.

Conclusion

Some of the problems that your John Deere X520 lawn tractor model may encounter include starter problems, engine problems, vibration problems, uneven cuts, and power loss.

I have outlined the causes of these issues and practical fixes to identify and troubleshoot each of them. 

It is advisable to seek the help of a professional if the problem persists after implementing the tips shared here.