John Deere SST18 Problems + Tips to Fix These

Spin Steer Technology incorporated SST18 is one the finest creations by John Deere. The differential steering makes it a perfect zero-turn mower lawn tractor. However, it might occasionally show a few unforeseen problems. 

Then what are the issues? Some of the known John Deere SST18 problems are steering issue, no forward drive, charging light issues, etc. If you’re experiencing any of the trouble, diagnose and fix it soon, otherwise the problem will worsen and cost you more.

Today, I’m going to talk about the troubles of JD SST18, how to fix these issues, and more. Besides, I’ll give you cost ideas for rebuilding the faulty parts. Hold on, then!

What are Common John Deere SST18 Problems?

John Deere SST18 lawn tractor performs exceptionally well! Still, you may face some issues with this machine occasionally. 

Let’s check out the most common problems of SST18 John Deere and solutions in the following table. 

S/NJohn Deere SST18 ProblemsSolutions
1Battery charge light issueBattery Replacement
2Steering problemPull off the fender deck and get the tank off and fix the leak. Then work on the actuators. 
3No forward driveRemove the outer shell, then discover the problem; a slipped drive belt. Maintain the machine including engine oil, change filters, grease the chassis and adjust the belts so they don’t slip off again.
4.Hard to startCheck the seat switch, connections and 

Troubleshooting John Deere SST18 Problems

John Deere SST18 Problems

After talking about the difficulties you may face, let’s have a discussion about John Deere SST18 troubleshooting.

1. Hard to Start Issue

Due to a switch or connection fault, your JD SST18 might face this challenge. Let’s now examine the diagnosis and troubleshooting this issue.

Step 1: The starter can be stopped working due to the seat switch, the brake switch, and the PTO switch problems. Replace the faulty one if required.

Step 2: Inspect the connection of the wires under the seat; they can be damaged or loosened.

Step 3: If the circuits don’t run, replace the switch on the brake pedal. And the new switch will cost you about 15 bucks. 

2. No Forward Drive

While running your John Deere SST18 tractor, you may seem to have lost all forward drive. And it might be caused by the belt problem. 

Thinking of what to do? Here are the tips to get rid of it- 

Step 1: Remove the outer shell and discover the problem. 

Step 2: If it is the slipped drive belt, adjusts the belts so they don’t slip off again. Additionally, maintain the machine including changing the engine oil, the filters, and the chassis grease.

The following video shows how to troubleshoot JD SST18 no forward drive issue.

3. Battery Charge Light Trouble

Another SST18 John Deere trouble is its battery charge light issue. When the machine is functioning, the light intermittently illuminates. Besides, the machine starts without any notice that the battery is low and the battery looks to be fully charged.

Now, let’s have a look at how to fix this problem. 

Step 1: The first thing is, to check the voltage of the battery. If the issue is about the OLD original battery not accepting the charge, then you’ll need to replace the battery. 

Step 2: Check if there is any short, corroded, or loose wire. Remove corrosion from the wire and if necessary replace them.

Step 3: You might adjust or replace the regular/rectifier if required.

To change the battery of the JD SST18 you may spend around 90 bucks, whereas 100 bucks for the regulator.

4. Steering Problem

You may face steering issues sometimes, when you turn right on forward. It clunks a little bit and seems to hesitate before turning, but it does it finally. The faulty vacuum actuators and switches may be the reasons behind this.

 Now, let’s find out the solution.

Step 1: Getting the technical manual can be great in terms of diagnostics and such. 

Step 2: Take the tank off, remove the fender deck, and remedy the leak

Step 3: Remove all the vacuum lines, checking for obstructions by blowing air through them. After that, remove and vacuum the actuators. 

If you don’t find any leaks in the diaphragm, but the rod that comes out of the diaphragm seemed like it was out farther than the other side, then adjust inward a couple of turns. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What are the key specs of John Deere SST18?

A. The SST18 John Deere is equipped with top-performing parts. Here are some key specifications of this lawn tractor. 

Engine ModelBriggs and Stratton 350777
Engine TypeFour-stroke, Air-cooled, V-twin
Battery12V, CCA 160A
Horsepower18.2 PS (13.4 kW; 18.0 HP)
Fuel TypeGasoline
Steering TypeHydrostatic Power
GearsInfinite Forward & Reverse

Q. How much will John Deere SST18 cost?

A. In 2001 the original price of John Deere SST18 was $4,999. But you might find it at a lower price at the sale. Or you can buy a second-hand tractor to save money. 

Q. How much oil does a John Deere SST18 tractor take?

A. The oil capacity of John Deere SST18 is 1.6 qts 1.5 L.

Q. What is the size of the deck on a John Deere SST18?

A. The size of the deck on a John Deere SST18 is 48″. 


It’s recommended to repair or replace the faulty parts as quickly as possible if you experience any John Deere SST18 problems. If you follow the manufacturer’s instructions and maintain the SST18 John Deere lawn mower properly, you’ll be able to run this machine for a longer period. 

And the most important thing is to inspect this machine frequently. This will make it simpler to identify issues before they become serious. And, you’ll be able to resolve these problems without spending a lot of money.

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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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