Common John Deere F680 Problems and Effective Solutions!

Both property owners and landscaping experts love John Deere machines alike. John Deere F680 is a rugged zero-turn mower used to handle various landscaping tasks. Despite its durable build and efficient performance, the machine can face some issues. 

So, what are the common John Deere F680 problems? 

  • Misfiring or starting problems
  • Overheating issues
  • Weak or dead batteries
  • Hydraulic system failure 
  • Shifting problems and gear slippage are the most common problems in John Deere F680.

In this guide, we will discuss the causes behind the problems, their symptoms, and solutions to fix the problems. Keep reading.

Common Problems of John Deere F680 and Their Solutions

Here is a precise list of problems you might face with F680 and their respective solutions. Check it out. And always refer to the service manual to find detailed instructions.

Misfiring or starting problemsCheck the spark plugs and air filter. Replace them if necessary.
Engine overheatingCheck the radiator and the water pump. Repair or replace as required.
Loss of powerCheck the battery. Recharge or replace it. Also, check the electrical connections
Hydraulic system failureCheck hydraulic filters, pumps, and hoses. Replace if necessary
Shifting problemsCheck transmission fluid level and refill it
Gear slippageCheck and replace the transmission filter

John Deere F680 Problems and Their Solutions

In-depth discussion on John Deere F680 problems and their solutions. 

1. Misfiring or Starting Problems

Engine misfiring or starting problems can be caused by several reasons. The most common of them is a faulty spark plug. Deposits on the spark plug can prevent it from igniting the air-fuel mixture. 

Worn or damaged spark plugs can also be responsible. As a result, the engine will misfire or have a hard time starting.

Clogged air filters can also cause the same problem. If the air filter is too dirty or clogged, it prevents enough air from mixing with the fuel. 


  • You need to examine the spark plugs first. Look for carbon deposits and any signs of wear, or damage. 
  • If the residue is light, try scrubbing them off. Otherwise, you need to replace the spark plug.
  • Check the air filter next. If it isn’t clogged, you might clean it with compressed air. But if it is blocked and too old, you need to replace it.

Quick Tip

  • Use high-quality spark plugs to avoid replacing them frequently.

2. Engine Overheating

Overheating issues are common in John Deere F680, especially when the machine gets a bit older. The main culprit can be the radiator. When the radiator is clogged, it can’t dissipate heat produced by the engine properly. As a result, other components are also affected.

The problem can also happen if the water pump fails. It is responsible for pumping water through the cooling system. And if the coolant level is lower than required, the cooling efficiency of the system can drop. 


  1. You should first check the radiator. If the radiator is clogged, try flushing the system.
  2. But if the radiator is okay, check the water pump. Replace the water pump if necessary.
  3. Then, check the coolant level. If it is lower than normal, top it off.

Quick Tip

  • Cooling system components should be checked regularly to avoid overheating issues.

3. Loss of Power

The electrical system of the F680 requires enough power from the battery to run everything perfectly. But as the machine gets older, the electrical connections can be loose, worn, or damaged. As a result, the system won’t get enough power.

You will notice symptoms like flickering lights, slow starting, or power loss. A weak battery can also be responsible for the problem. When the battery is dead, the system won’t run at all.


  1. After you see the above signs, you should check the electrical connections first. 
  2. Make sure all the connections are clean and tight.
  3. Then, check the battery. 
  4. Take a multimeter and set it to volt. Touch its probes with the positive and negative terminals of the battery. A perfectly working battery should have a voltage between 11.8 and 13.5. 
  5. If the voltage is lower than 11.8, you should recharge the battery. 
  6. And if the battery has no voltage, it is time to replace the battery.

Quick Tip

  • Don’t continue using the machine when you see the above symptoms.

4. Hydraulic System Failure

The hydraulic system is responsible for turning and lifting the mower deck. It has multiple hoses to transport hydraulic fluid. There can be leaks in the hydraulic system that reduce the pressure inside the system. As a result, you won’t be able to turn or lift the deck.

A clogged hydraulic filter can also cause the same problem. If the filter is clogged, pressure can’t rise inside the system. Another reason behind the problem is a bad hydraulic pump. In that case, the pump can’t push enough hydraulic fluid through the system to build up the pressure.


  • Check for leaks in the system. If the hoses are damaged, you should replace those hoses.
  • Check if the hydraulic filter is clogged. Replace the filter with a new one.
  • Finally, check the hydraulic pump and replace it if necessary.

Quick Tip

  • If the problem isn’t serious, hydraulic pumps can be repaired by expert mechanics.

5. Shifting Problems

John Deere F680 uses a hydrostatic belt-drive transmission system. Over time, the belts can be worn or cracked and cause trouble while shifting gears. The same problem can happen if the transmission fluid level is low. It makes the shifter too tight to maneuver.

The opposite will happen if the shifter is worn. It will unnecessarily move back and forth to make shifting difficult.


  1. If the shifter is too tight, you should check the transmission fluid level. 
  2. Top it off and allow it some time to recirculate. The problem should be gone.
  3. Check for signs of wear or cracks on the belt. 
  4. If it is damaged, replace the belt.
  5. When the shifter is worn, you should replace it.

Quick Tip

  • If the drive belt isn’t cracked but brittle, you should still replace it to avoid problems in the future.

6. Gear Slippage

It happens when the transmission fluid filter is clogged or damaged. Even though the engine performs flawlessly, the transmission system can’t deliver power to the mower’s wheels. The problem will be highly visible if you are working on uneven or sloped terrain.


  • Checking the transmission filter is crucial. If the filter is clogged, it means the required amount of fluid can’t pass through the filter.
  • Replace the transmission filter as soon as possible.

Quick Tip

  • Using high-quality fluids can make the filter last longer.

You can watch this video to learn more about John Deere F680 problems.

Final Words

John Deere F680 is a very reliable zero-turn mower that is often used commercially. But that doesn’t hide that the machine shows off some common problems. Among John Deere F680 problems, engine misfiring or starting problems, power loss, engine overheating, etc. are the most common. 

We addressed these problems and provided their solutions so that you could fix the issues right away. Besides, we gave some useful tips to keep your F680 in top condition and avoid these issues in the first place.

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