Common John Deere L111 Problems: Find the Easy Solutions

Having basic repair knowledge about your L111 mower gives you two benefits. First, it saves you a lot of money that would have otherwise gone to the technician. Second, even if it fails in the middle of work, you can keep working by fixing the problem.

Usually, the problems that you may have with your John Deere L111 are pretty common to any other mowers too. Knowing them and performing a few basic checks, you can fix the issue or at least know what to do.

We’ve collected a list of potential problems that you might encounter, as well as checkup advice for resolving them. Let’s go ahead.

Quick Table for John Deere L111 Problems, and Solutions

Before going into details, let’s have a look at the table.

ProblemsPossible Solution  
1. The Loss of Engine Power? Change the Filter
? Cutting Height Setting
? Apply Seafoam  
2. The Fuel Problem? Replace the necessary parts
? Check the pulse line
? Cleaned the Cap
3. The Battery Problems? Change solenoid
? Tight the Cables
? Check and Solve Parasitic Draw
4. Smoke Comes out? Check the oil level
? Older engine
? Dry Off the air filter
5. Engine Won’t Start? Fill the tank with fresh gasoline
? Remove the old one and add the fresh one
? Change the old spark plug

5 Common Problems with John Deere L11 and Their Solutions:

L111 that won’t start, lose power, produce smoke, or damage battery is frustrating and quite unpleasant if it happens in the middle of work. Fortunately, you can solve most problems either by replacing parts or using repair tools. Let’s dive deeper and explain in detail-

1. John Deere Loss of Engine Power Problems

It happens frequently, not only with Deere L111 but with nearly all mowing machines. Even something as simple as a cutting blade failing to cut the long grass could be the reason for engine power failure. 


Since the sudden loss of engine power is a big problem, there could be multiple reasons. Here we have identified a few of them.

  • Overheating 
  • Dirty Filter 
  • Faulty Spark plug 


You can not stay long with this problem. We have found the potential solutions that are listed below.

Change the Filter– Remove the filter, and after the necessary cleaning, get it back to its place. You might have to replace the filter if the filter gets too dirty.

Change the Cutting Height Setting – A mismatch between the size of the grass with the L111 cutting height may lead to power loss.

Apply Seafoam – Put the Seafoam in the gas tank. Start with 2 oz. per gal initially and then 1 oz. After that, 

Clean the Blade – Another way to fix L111 power issues is to clean the blade.

2. John Deere Fuel Problem

This problem should be a major concern for you. By solving this issue properly, you might have several benefits including fuel efficiency.

Symptoms: Most of the time, it behaves as follows. After you start the machine, it works fine for 15 to 30 minutes until the engine shuts down completely. No matter how hard you try, the machine fails to start again for at least 5 minutes. 


There could be many reasons including the fuel filter getting damaged or maybe some issue with the carburetor. Let’s find out-

  • Tank is empty.
  • The harmful particles may clog the fuel filters.
  • Clogged carburetor.
  • Clogged vent on the gas cap.


Fuel problems are a huge issue. It is best if you find the reasons and solve them as soon as possible.

Replace the necessary parts– You can replace the gasoline pump, vacuum line, and fuel filter. If the symptoms persist, you can purchase a new fuel cap.

Check the pulse line– Make sure the crankcase’s pulse line isn’t leaking.

Cleaned the Cap– Simply cleaning the cap could save you from the hassle and keep you from spending extra money.

3. John Deere L111 Battery Problems

Irrespective of anything, battery issues like battery drain could be a major concern for you.

Check the following to identify the battery issue.

  • Turn the key. If the engine makes a clicking noise, your battery is fine. 
  • Check the battery cable to make sure they are tight.
  • You can check the battery voltage. The voltage typically remains more than 12 DC. Anything less than 12 DC indicates the battery is dead.

Symptoms: The engine fails to start for several reasons. If the battery is terrible, you may have a tough time starting the engine. 


Out of many reasons battery drain is likely the major culprit. However,  We have identified more possible reasons.

  • Drain of battery energy
  • Loose cable
  • Old Battery


Best possible solutions for battery issues is given below.

Change solenoid – Maybe purchasing a new solenoid could save you from the hassle. Before taking these steps, we suggest you talk to your dealer.

Tight the Cables – Make sure the ground cables are clean and tight. Also, check whether the mounting bolts are tight.

Check and Solve Parasitic Draw – Insert a small test lamp in series with the cable and battery. If it lights, then the battery is draining its energy. By unplugging the voltage regulator on the engine, you can stop the draw. 

4. Smoke Coming From John Deere L111

You should not be worried about this problem. It is considered normal. We have identified possible reasons, symptoms, and solutions for this problem.

Symptoms: Generally, in this case, smoke comes out just after the start of the engine. Most of the time, white smoke is produced.


Reasons for the smoking problem are given below.

  • The oil leaked into the air filter region.
  • Oil sits in the cylinder bore and is burned off when the engine is started.
  • Oil reaches more than a maximum limit


We just mentioned possible reasons for the smoking issue. Here we will talk about possible solutions.

Check the oil level – Using an oil dipstick, Check the maximum oil level. If the oil level exceeds the maximum limit, the oil may leak into the exhaust, resulting in white smoke. It could be solved by draining the extra oil from the engine.

Older engine – If the machine is old, hot thin oil might creep into the valve guides and produces smoke.

Dry Off the air filter – Open up the air filter area. Remove the air filter and thoroughly dry it using a towel. After that, put it back in place. Now start the lawnmower and keep it for a minute or two, and your problem should be gone.

5. John Deere L111 Won’t Start. 

It is as disturbing as anything else if the L111 does not start. Let’s find out the possible reasons, symptoms, and solutions.

Symptoms: The Engine won’t start. Even if it starts, it will work for 2-3 minutes then stop again.


A bad fuel tank, bad spark plug or air filter could lead to this problem. We have identified a few of them.

  • No Gas in Fuel Tank 
  • Bad or Old Fuel 
  • Bad Spark Plug
  • Loose Connection 
  • Clogged Air Filter 


We have found out the solutions for L111 won’t start. All the possible solutions are given below.

Fill the Tank with a fresh gasoline-Filling tank withfresh fuel rejuvenates the engine.

Remove the old fuel: Fuel usually has a 30-day shelf life. Remove the old one and add the fresh one.

Replace the Spark plug: If the spark plug fails to produce the spark, the engine won’t start. By replacing it you might solve the issue.


Here, you will know three frequently asked questions and answers about L111. 

How long does a John Deere engine last?

John Deere Company has an agreement with Yanmar to build the engine for John Deere. They make a sturdy engine. If the engine is small, it lasts up to 1000 hours. On the other hand, the larger engine lasts up to 2000 hours.

Why is my L111 mower not starting after winter?

During the long winter, jam builds up inside the carburetor because of the gasoline. The fuel and air filter blockage could also be why your L111 is not starting after the winter. 

What horsepower is a John Deere L111?

John L111 comes with 20 hp Briggs & Stratton. It has a replaceable foam Air cleaner and electric Starter. 


We’ve reached the conclusion of the article. Here’s a pivotal truth to remember about the John Deere L111: while mowing, there could be many other issues you could face, but if you have any of the five issues listed above, we guarantee that you can implement our recommendations.

The solutions are based on the opinions of experts and clients who have dealt with and resolved similar problems. If you can’t still resolve them, please get in touch with your dealer, a local mechanic, or a workshop.

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