John Deere Z970R Problems: Comprehensive Guide On How To Fix Them!

Apart from its heavy-duty frame, the John Deere Z970R boasts cast-iron blade spindle housings for maximum durability. So, with proper maintenance, this mower could last up to 15 years. However, like its competitors, the mower is prone to various problems.

So then, what are the common John Deere Z970R problems? The blade disengaging every now and then is one of the common issues. Other problems include the hydraulic lift failing to raise or lower the deck and poor fuel consumption. In addition, you may encounter engine problems while the mower is still relatively new.

But how do you fix these problems? In this guide, we will discuss these common issues and how to fix them in detail. 

Common Problems With The John Deere Z970R & Solutions Table

Below is a quick overview of the problems associated with the John Deere Z970R and how to fix them.

1Blade disengagingReplace the seat safety switch.
2Faulty hydraulic deck liftReplace the solenoid coil on the hydraulic lift or the entire hydraulic valve assembly.
Adjust the pressure relief valve.
Replace the hydraulic filter and fluids.
3Poor fuel mileageClean the fuel line and replace the air filter.
Replace the engine oil and fuel line if it is cracked.
Change the spark plugs.
4Motor issuesReplace the engine.

What Are The Common John Deere Z970R Problems? Solutions Discussed

The John Deere Z970R is one of the top-rated commercial mowers thanks to its increased durability and dependability. But like other machines, it is prone to various problems, such as:

1. Blade Disengaging

One issue you may encounter with your John Deere Z970R is the blades occasionally disengaging while mowing. Sometimes, the entire mower may shut off once the blades are disengaged.

Also, the mower may flash a code saying the PTO switch is engaged. In most cases, the cause of this problem is usually a faulty seat switch, also called a safety interlock switch. However, replacing the PTO switch on the side of the mower and handlebar does not fix the problem. 

How To Fix

You will have to replace the switch and here is how to replace it:

  • Step 1: Turn the engine off and tilt the seat forward to locate the seat switch at the bottom seat pan.
  • Step 2: Then, unfasten the connector on the switch from the wiring harness.
  • Step 3: Rotate the switch assembly anticlockwise until loose, then pull it out of the seat pan.
  • Step 4: Press the tabs on the switch to remove the round button. Then, press the tabs on the side of the seat switch again and pull it out.
  • Step 5: Install the safety switch in the reverse order of disassembly. 

Tip: Always test the seat switch before each use to confirm it works correctly. 

2. Faulty Hydraulic Deck Lift

The hydraulic lift is a device built to raise or lower the mower deck and attachments of your John Deere Z970R. However, sometimes the deck lift may not go up or down.

This problem is familiar with the 2018 Z970R model at only 850 hours. Sometimes, the hydraulic deck will stop working once it gets hot and with only 400 hours on it.  

The common cause of this issue is usually a bad solenoid, dirty hydraulic fluid, and filter. 

How To Fix

Here are some of the possible solutions to this problem:

  • Step 1: Check the voltage of the deck lifts solenoid at the plug connecting to the hydraulic lift solenoid using an Ohm meter. If the solenoid works, you should hear the relay click when you press the switch.
  • Step 2: If you don’t hear any clicking sound, replace the coil on the deck lift solenoid. And if this does not fix the issue, replace the hydraulic solenoid or valve assembly.
  • Step 3: Alternatively, you could have the dealer adjust the pressure relief valve if the above solutions don’t work. This will ensure the proper fluid flow, providing power to the hydraulic lift.
  • Step 4: If all the above solutions don’t fix the problem, you should change the hydraulic fluid and filters. 

Tip: You should change the hydraulic fluid and filter after every 1,200 hours of use for optimal hydraulic lift performance.

3. Poor Fuel Mileage

The John Deere Z970R has a fuel tank capacity of 11.5 gallons or simply 43.5 liters. However, this mower consumes between 1.1 and 1.9 gallons per hour under stable conditions, operation, and load. This is equivalent to 4.2 and 7.2 liters per hour.

Unfortunately, the mower may sometimes consume about half a gasoline tank when mowing a flat ground for 2.5 hours. This is equivalent to around 2.3 gallons per hour which is relatively high.

This problem occurs when the air filter is dirty, limiting the amount of air getting into the engine. As such, it has to work harder, consuming more fuel. Also, when the fuel line is clogged, the engine ends up getting inadequate fuel. Dirty oil or worn-out spark plugs may also cause increased fuel consumption. 

How To Fix

If your John Deere Z970R fuel consumption rate has increased, you can fix the problem in various ways, including:

  • Step 1: Check if the air filter and fuel line are dirty or clogged. If dirty, clean the fuel line and replace the filter. But if the fuel line is cracked, replace it immediately.
  • Step 2: Inspect the engine oil and replace it with a fresh one if it is dirty.
  • Step 3: If the problem persists, swap the old spark plugs with new ones.

Tip: Reduce mowing speed and only mow as needed to minimize fuel consumption.

4. Motor Issues

Although not common, while your Z970R is still relatively new, your mower may experience motor issues at only 119 hours. This may occur due to an oil leak causing the engine to overheat and blow up. 

However, sometimes the engine may blow up even after having completed routine maintenance. In this case, you may not get any warning signs.

How to Fix

  • The only solution here is to replace the Kawasaki engine. This is best done by a professional mechanic or dealer. 

Tip: Practicing regular maintenance can help minimize or prevent engine failure as your mower gets old.

Final Words

The John Deere Z970R is a reliable mower with a long lifespan. This ensures the few problems it has compared to its competitors. Because apart from the blade disengaging and the hydraulic deck lift malfunctioning, other issues are with the motor and fuel consumption.

Nothing to worry about, though, because most of these problems are easy to fix by yourself. The only help you may need is replacing the motor if it blows up. Even better, with regular maintenance, you can minimize or prevent the occurrence of these problems. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top