John Deere LX178 Problems RESOLVED + Replacement Costs

The John Deere LX178 is a widely acclaimed lawn mower model manufactured by JD between 1991 to 1998 that has been well-trusted by its users for years. Even so, this mower has some limitations like everything else. 

If you own this LX 100 series lawn mower, then you obviously know about its excellence, but what about its drawbacks? John Deere LX178 problems include engines failing to start up, engine at idle or full throttle, fuel exhaustion, breakable hinge points on plastic hoods, and a few more. 

Curious about how to troubleshoot all these LX178 John Deere lawn mower complexities? Don’t worry; I’m here to provide you with all the tips you need to get through this.

Specifications of the John Deere LX178

Below are a few key specs of the John Deere LX178 lawn mower that you need to know in order to avoid any issues with the troubleshooting part.  

  • Engine: Kawasaki, 4-Stroke OHV V-Twin gasoline engine
  • Engine Power: 11.2 kW
  • Weight: 244 kg
  • Overall dimensions: Length- 66 in (1670 mm), Height- 40.2 in (1020 mm), Width- 49.7 in (1260 mm) 
  • Battery volts: 12 V 
  • Power Source: Petrol
  • Fuel System: Carburetor
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 2.5 gal/ 9.5 L
  • Cutting width: 965 mm
  • Additional attachments: 38 inches mid-mount mower deck, 44 inches mid-mount mower deck, blade, snowblower
  • Front Power Takeoff (PTO): Independent 
  • Clutch: Electric 

Difficulties with the John Deere LX178 Lawn Mower

John Deere LX178 Problems

I have jotted down the most popular complaints from the customer about LX 100 series John Deere LX178 lawn tractor. Read through and check which problem fits your model and try to solve it on your own by following a few necessary and easy steps, after all a small effort can fix anything! 

  • Engine starting problem
  • Engine either at idle or full throttle 
  • Fragile plastic hood hinge
  • Transmission issues
  • Engine overheating

How to Troubleshoot John Deere LX178 Problems?

Why not learn how to fix this now that you are well aware of what is preventing your LX178 JD lawn mower from functioning properly? Go through this guide and you will definitely find all the answers to your problems. 

1. Engine Fails to Start: Replace the Fuel Pump or Associated Parts

The biggest trouble anyone with a John Deere LX178 tractor could face is the never-ending repeated cycle of the engine-starting-running-dying-waiting-starting-running-dying! This undoubtedly gets monotonous and you are bound to get frustrated. But do you know why this happens? 

The causes could be many such as when the engine is starving for fuel. Curious to know how to mend this? Keep an eye on the process below:

Step 1: Check the gasket and unbolt the carburetor. Take it out and properly clean through all the debris. 

Step 2: Check the diaphragm of the carburetor. The majority of the carbs feature a little rubber diaphragm which serves as a pump for the mower. If you notice any pinholes or damages, replace them. When the diaphragm ruptures, it will cause the float of the carb to stick open.

Step 3: Check the valve adjustment, take off the plastic filter, and shut off the valve, replace it if necessary. 

If the problem is solved by changing the carburetor, then you are good to go, but if the problem still exists then there is fuel exhaustion. To solve this, follow the next steps: 

Step 4: Tap the side of the carburetor to allow gas to flow through it.

Step 5: Check and clean the fuel tank on the gasket. 

Step 6: Tighten the gas caps of the fuel tank and make sure it is clean and well-vented.

Step 7: Check the fuel line between the fuel filter and carburetor, and make sure it is an airlock, if there are any air bubbles, then it will cause a leak.

Step 8: Use a screwdriver and loosen the bolts to take out the fuel pump, located in the fuel tank.

Step 9: Check for any holes or wears on the fuel pump, if required replace it.

Step 10: Take the new fuel pump. The OEM part comes with a fuel pump and two screw bolts.

Step 11: Put the new fuel pump into the gasket in place of the old one and use a screwdriver to screw both bolts accordingly and tightly. 

Step 12: Use pliers to get the clamps back on, this will help you to avoid any gas leaks.

Pro Tips: Try keeping the mower in a choke position, it will run a bit longer. 

The following table shows the average replacement costs of different parts to fix JD LX178 lawn tractor engine issues.

Serial NoJohn Deere LX178 PartCost
1Fuel pump assembly$165
2Carburetor with gasket$27
3OEM part (fuel pump with 2 bolts)$83
4Fuel shutoff valve$8

The below video explains John Deere LX178 fuel pump problems-

2. Engine at Idle or Full Throttle: Replace the Governor

When you notice your mower is at idle or full throttle, consider checking and fixing the governor. A governor is a device that helps the engine of the lawn mower to maintain its speed at all times. It functions similarly to cruise control by regulating the speed when the mower is operating too quickly or too forcefully. 

Follow the simple steps to troubleshoot LX178 John Deere broken governor issue.  

Step 1: Disconnect the exhaust system.

Step 2: Remove the clutch and the drive located under the bolts, this will cause the motor to lift and reveal the cover.

Step 3: Take the cover off the engine, and you will see the governor. 

Step 4: Check if the governor is alright.

Step 5: Test the oil pickup filter near the governor and inspect for any bits of the governor there.

Step 6: Clean the governor and the region around it.

Step 7: Replace the governor if fully broken. It costs around 80 to 100 bucks.

A broken governor can cause an imbalance in the mower. However, a defective ignition coil can also cause this problem. If the governor is sound and well, the problem lies within the carburetor.

To fix this, simply open the carburetor and you will see a wire connected to the spark plug; the wire is connected to the ignition coil at the end. Just follow the wire and you will find the ignition coil and replace the coil. You can get an ignition coil at a price of $50 to $100. 

Also, you can try expelling the fuel from the tank. Simply unplug the gas line or you can add rubbing alcohol into the fuel.

Pro Tips: If you notice your lawn mower is running smoothly at all RPMs, then it is a governor-related issue

3. Breakable Plastic Hood Hinges: Replace with a Steel Hood Hinge 

The hood hinge of the John Deere LX178 mower is made of polycarbonate plastic and plastic is very susceptible to breakage. Especially when it becomes cold, it becomes brittle and ruptures readily. 

All the vibrations of the engine and bumps make it more prone to cracks. This is why a wiser option for getting a long-lasting hood hinge would be to have a plastic hood. However, replacing the plastic hood hinge with steel costs an arm and leg. 

Here is a total cost breakdown of the hood hinge replacement for the JD LX178 machine-

Serial NoJD LX178 PartsCost (USD)
1The bottom part of the hoodAbove 400
2Bumper Above 100
3Hinges 40

I can suggest an alternative by which you can save this amount, and get yourself a steel hood hinge. Check these steps: 

Step 1: Take a cardboard, place it on the hood hinge, and mark the area you want to replace on the cardboard

Step 2: Use this cardboard and mark the exact area on the steel to get the steel of the same shape 

Step 3: Cut the steel that is of a similar shape as the hinge

Step 4: Drill holes on both the hood hinge and steel  

Step 5: Apply latex on the steel plate at the front side

Step 6: Apply to caulk all throughout the back

Step 7: Use screw bolts and tighten both the steel and hood hinge together as firmly as possible

The hood hinge repair kit will cost you around 54 bucks. 

Pro Tips: You can use stainless screw bolts to avoid rusting and you can also paint the newly handcrafted and custom-built steel hood hinge to give your old tractor a new outlook.  

4. Minor Issues of John Deere LX178 Machine 

There are other minor problems as well, like overheating of the engine, dysfunctional carburetor, or transmission/rear-end issues, which are common to other lawnmowers as well. 

  • To solve the engine overheating problem, simply clean the air vents or change the engine oil. 
  • A dysfunctional carburetor or ignition oil is also an issue sometimes but is easily solvable. Change the carburetor or ignition coil whichever is necessary. Carburetor replacement costs 15 to 20 bucks, whereas ignition coil replacement is a bit costly which is 50 to 100 bucks. 
  • As for the transmission or rear-end problem, get a replacement drive belt and drain out any air. The replacement belt will be around 15 USD. 

The video below illustrates JD LX178 servicing-

Frequently Asked Questions

Maybe, you have more queries regarding the JD LX178 lawn tractor? Here are a few common ones with answers.

Q. What is the price of a John Deere LX178 lawn mower?

A. Originally, the price of the John Deere LX178 tractor was $4,394 USD back in 1995 when it was first released into the marketplace. Now the price dropped to almost around $1,400 USD to $1,800 USD. 

Q. How much oil does the engine of the John Deere LX178 require?

A. The Kawasaki FD440V John Deere LX178 engine has an oil capacity of 1.6 quarts or 1.5 L and requires 12 V starter volts. 

Q. How much is the horsepower of a John Deere LX178 engine? 

A. The engine with its V-twin cylinders can generate up to 15 horsepower (hp) or 11.5 kW at a rated rpm of 3350. 

Q. Is the John Deere LX178 manual available?

A. Yes, you can download the JD LX178 lawn mower manual for free.

Final Thoughts 

Obviously, there are some setbacks in using the John Deere LX178, however, you can find your way out of the challenges, given that you are using your mower correctly and properly. 

I hope by the end of this article you would figure out what is the major problem that lies within your tractor and how to resolve it. 

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Hi! I’m Wesley Thomas, a mechanical engineer with over 5 years experience in the garden and heavy machinery. I'll guide you to fix lawn tractors and mowers issues as well as other machineries used in lawn projects. Read my blogs and make your mowing and lawn projects easier.

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