How To Start a John Deere Riding Mower

Written by dave baker nyc
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To start a John Deere riding mower, there are several safety guidelines you must first follow. Before you begin, push the mower onto clear, level ground outside. Never start the mower indoors or in an enclosed area; exhaust fumes can kill you. Wear safety goggles and earplugs for your protection, and operate the mower only during adequate daylight. The riding mower discussed here is the X300 Select Series lawn tractor, but the process to start the mower is similar for other John Deere models.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Take a seat on your John Deere riding mower.

  2. 2

    Press the mower engagement switch down to the "O" position to disengage the mower.

  3. 3

    Use your foot to press and hold down the brake pedal.

  4. 4

    Insert the key into the ignition and turn it to "Start" for no more than five seconds. Release the key to the "Run/On" position.

Tips and warnings

  • If the engine won't crank after following these steps, wait two minutes and then try again. If it still won't start, wait another two minutes, then push up and hold the choke lever while you turn the key again for no more than five seconds. Repeat as necessary. When the mower starts, release the choke lever and let the key return to the "Run" position.
  • Follow all safety procedures indicated in your owner's manual before attempting to operate the lawnmower.

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