John Deere Z445 Mower Problems (The 360 Guideline)

Mowers are small machines. But different components all working together keep them running. A problem in one part may render the mower obsolete. 

Hissing sound and leakage are common hydraulic problems in the John Deere Z445. The engine can sometimes not start or misfire. The turn steering can become unresponsive as well. Transmission slipping or difficulty in engaging the clutch are common problems with the transmission of this mower. 

The problems have only been stated in this part. All of these problems and their solutions are discussed at length in this article.

John Deere Z445 Hydraulic Problems

Problem Cause Solution
Hissing noise from the hydraulic system  Damaged or dirty filter  Clean or replace the filter.
Fluids leaking in the hydraulic system  Leak in the system  Seal the leak or replace the damaged component.

Problem 1: Hissing Noise From the Hydraulic System 

A hissing noise can be heard while the mower is running. 


Working on the filter will solve the issue. 

Tools Needed:

  • User’s Manual
  • Clean Container (Bucket)
  • Filter Wrench
  • Brush/ Compressed Air (If Needed)
Step 1: Locate the Filter

The John Deere Z445 has its hydraulic system located in the front of the machine where it can be accessed easily. It can be found on the right-hand side. The hydraulic pump is located relatively near the machine’s leading edge.

The filter is usually situated near the hydraulic pump or reservoir. Please refer to the owner’s manual for information on the precise placement.

Step 2: Remove the Filter

It is necessary to empty the hydraulic oil from the reservoir before removing the filter. Drain it into a clean container that may be used for its disposal.

You may get rid of the filter by either unscrewing it or making use of a filter wrench. Take special care not to scratch or dent the filter housing.

Step 3: Clean the Filter

Examine the filter to see if it has any symptoms of being damaged. Check for any evidence of tears or holes in the filter. In the event that the damage is serious, you should replace the filter.

If there isn’t any major damage, you may start cleaning the filter carefully. To do this, tap it on a hard surface in order to remove any particles.

It is possible to clean the filter with either a brush or compressed air if it is especially dusty.

Step 4: Reinstall the FIlter 

When the filter is finished being cleaned, it should be reinstalled into the filter housing. Check to see that it is correctly fastened.

Step 5: Refill the Hydraulic Fluid 

After the filter has been fitted, the hydraulic system should have fresh oil refilled into it. Always use the product of the kind and in the quantity that is specified in the owner’s manual.

Start the machine and let it run for a few minutes while looking for any leaks or problems.

Problem 2: Leaks in the Hydraulic System 

Leaks in the hydraulic system have to be dealt with as soon as possible. Or else the leaking fluids can damage other components. 


Seal the leak or replace the damaged component. 

Tools Needed:

  • Hydraulic line repair kit.
  • User’s Manual.
Step 1: Locate the Hydraulic System And the Components 

On a John Deere Z445, the hydraulic system can be found in the front of the machine. It is on the right side. 

The hydraulic pump is situated quite close to the machine’s leading edge. Typically, the control valve and the reservoir will be found in close proximity to the pump.

It is essential to check the owner’s manual to pinpoint the precise location of the hydraulic system.

Clean the area around the leak to remove any dirt or debris that could interfere with the repair.

Step 2: Locate the Leak 

Now you will have to find the leak’s origin. To do so, you’ll need to undertake a visual inspection.

Checking the hydraulic system’s hoses, couplings, and other parts is essential. This is done to check for blatant indicators of damage or leakage.

Step 3: Seal the Leak

The following thing that you need to do is figure out what kind of fixing needs to be done.

It is likely that you may need to repair a hydraulic line, fitting, or component that has been damaged. This will be determined by the location of the leak as well as its degree of severity.

The leak might be coming from a hydraulic line. In that case, the line needs to be detached from the fitting in order to fix the problem. After that, cut a new length of the line to use as a replacement for it.

The leak may be coming from a fitting, A hydraulic line repair kit is going to be required for the completion of this sealing task. The repair kit comes with all of the tools and fittings necessary to finish making the repair.

In the event that the leak is caused by a fitting, the damaged fitting will need to be removed. After that, a new one will be put in its place.

It is essential to make use of the appropriate kind of fitting that has been prescribed for your mower. This must be done in order to achieve the best possible results from sealing. 

Step 4: Refill the Hydraulic Reservoir

It is crucial that the hydraulic fluid be brought back up to the appropriate level after the repairs. And that any air that could have entered during the repair is removed by bleeping the system.

Run the machine for a few minutes and check for any leaks again.

John Deere Z445 Engine Problems

Problem Cause Solution
Engine not starting  Damaged alternator  Replace the alternator or change the damaged diode. 
Engine stalling Damaged fuel filter Replace the fuel filter. 
Engine misfiring  Damaged ignition switch  Replace the ignition switch.

Problem 1: Engine Not Starting

The engine may not start due to a few different reasons. A damaged ignition key is one of them and the process of replacing the key is discussed later. Another common reason is a damaged alternator.


Replace the alternator or fix the damaged diodes of the alternator. 

Tools Needed: 

  • User’s Manual
  • Soldering Iron
  • Screwdriver
Step 1: Locate the Alternator 

On a John Deere Z445 lawn mower, the alternator may be found on the right side of the engine. It is usually installed close to the top. 

Step 2: Remove the Alternator 

Before beginning the process of removal, make sure the mower is parked on a level surface. And that the parking brake is engaged. After that, detach the negative connection from the battery.

Taking off the belt that drives the alternator is the first step. In order to do this, remove the adjustment nuts located on the idler pulley and the alternator.

Take off any covers or shrouds that could be obscuring the alternator before continuing.

Find the bolts that are used to install the alternator. They are responsible for securing the alternator to the engine block. These bolts will be situated on the rear of the alternator.

To remove the alternator from the engine, first, remove the bolts that are holding the alternator in place. Then gently wriggle it back and forth.

Disconnect the electrical connections to the alternator in a careful and methodical manner. Make a note of where each link may be found. During the process of replacing the alternator, this will prove to be quite helpful.

Take out the alternator that’s attached to the mower.

Step 3: Replace the Malfunctioning Diode 

Find the diode trio after the alternator has been removed from the circuit. In most cases, it is situated on the reverse side of the alternator.

The alternator’s alternating current (AC) output may be changed to direct current (DC) with the use of a component known as the diode triple.

Check out each individual diode in the diode trio with the use of a multimeter. If it is discovered that a diode is defective, then that diode will need to be changed.

De-soldering the defective diode will allow you to carefully remove it from the circuit board of the alternator.

Simply solder the new diode in place of the old one to complete the installation. It is essential that the polarity of the new diode be identical to that of the previous diode.

Step 4: Reinstall the Alternator 

Put the alternator back into the mower, and make sure that all of the electrical connections are reconnected.

Reconnect the cable that goes to the battery’s negative terminal. Conduct several tests on the alternator to confirm that it is operating as it should.

Problem 2: Engine Misfiring 

The most common reason for engine misfiring is a damaged ignition key. 


Replacing the ignition switch should solve the misfiring issue. 

Tools Needed:

  • Flat blade screwdriver
Step 1: Remove the Ignition Switch 

Before starting the removal process, turn off the engine and park the mower in a flat place. After that, disconnect the battery for your own safety.

On the dashboard, look for the switch that switches the engine on and off. It is usually situated near the steering wheel.

At this point, you should remove the key from the ignition switch. Remove any screws or clips using the little screwdriver with the flat blade. Remove all of the screws that are holding the switch in place.

After that, carefully remove the ignition switch from the dashboard. Take great care not to lose any of the smaller components or cables that may be linked to it.

Pull the wires away from the rear of the ignition switch so that they may be unplugged. You may accomplish this by removing the clips or unscrewing the nuts. Simply remove the ignition switch.

Step 2: Install the New Ignition Switch 

Grab the new ignition switch and connect the wires to it. Do this in the same manner as you accomplished the prior swap.

Replace the ignition switch in the dashboard with caution and attention. Then, replace any screws or clips that were removed earlier in the procedure.

Put the switch through its paces after reconnecting the battery. Check that everything is working properly. You may now start your mower and give it a spin to ensure that everything is in working order.

John Deere Z445 Steering Problems

Problem Cause Solution
Turn Steering Not Working Not enough fluid in the steering gearbox Add more fluid. 
Leak in the steering gearbox Fix the leak.
Loosen steering linkage Visit a mechanic to have the linkage fixed.

Problem 1: Turn Steering Not Working 

A malfunctioning turn steering can make the whole mower useless. Or worse it may even cause an accident. 


Adjusting the fluid level or fixing leaks in the steering gearbox should resolve the issue. 

Tools Needed:

  • Wrench
  • Drain Pan
  • Socket Set
Step 1: Adjusting the Fluid Level in the Steering Gearbox 

Place the lawn mower on a flat area, and then engage the parking brake.

Find the location of the steering gearbox. In most cases, it may be found on the right side of the mower, next to the front axle.

After that, you need to find the fill plug on the steering gearbox. On the top of the gearbox, it resembles the shape of a little spherical plug.

Now, using the wrench, you need to remove the fill cap from the tank.

Check that there is sufficient fluid within the steering gearbox. It is important that the fluid level is at the same level as the bottom of the fill plug hole.

If the level of the fluid is too low, add additional fluid until it reaches the appropriate level.

Replace the fill plug, being sure to secure it as you do so. It is essential that you make use of the kind of fluid that is specified by the manufacturer.

Step 2: Sealing Leaks in the Steering Gearbox

If refilling the fluid does not work, there might be a leak in the system. 

Find the source of the leak. It is most probable that a seal or gasket is the source of the leak. Examine the area surrounding the steering gearbox for any indications of fluid leakage.

The fluid in the steering gearbox has to be drained. Make sure to dispose of the liquid in an appropriate manner after catching it in a drain pan.

Take the steering gearbox off the mower and set it aside. To do this, you will need to use the socket set.

When you take out any bolts or fasteners, be certain to note their position and how they were installed. This will help you in the re-installation process. 

Examine the steering gearbox for any components that seem to be broken or worn. Check the seals and gaskets to see if there are any indications of damage or wear on them.

If required, replace any components that are worn out or damaged. Make sure you use the correct size and kind of replacement components that the manufacturer recommends.

Place the steering gearbox back into its original position on the mower. Make sure that any bolts or fasteners you use are aligned correctly.

Make sure the correct kind of fluid is refilled into the steering gearbox. After that, look for any signs of leakage.

John Deere Z445 Transmission Problems

Problem Cause Solution
Transmission slipping Damaged drive belt  Replace the drive belt.
Difficulty in engaging clutch pedals  Damaged clutch disc Replace the clutch disc.
Difficulty in shifting gears Dirty transmission filter Clean or replace the transmission filter.

Problem 1: Transmission Slipping 

Transmission slipping is one of the more common problems.


Replacing the john deere z445 transmission drive belt will solve the issue.

Tools Needed:

  • Wrench
Step 1: Disconnect the Spark Plug

Place the lawnmower on a flat surface and engage the parking brake.

Locate the spark plug wire and disconnect it. This will prevent the engine from starting while you are working on the mower.

Step 2: Locate the Belt

Now you have to locate the drive belt. The drive belt is located on the top of the engine and runs between the pulleys. This pulley powers the mower deck and other attachments.

Step 3: Remove the Belt

At this point, remove the cover from the belt. Clips or other types of fasteners are often used in order to attach the belt cover. Use the wrench to remove them.

There are two different ways that the tension may be released from the driving belt. You may release the belt adjustment arm’s tension. Providing, of course, that your mower has one.

But not all models of the Z445 mower have a belt adjustment arm. For such models, you may alter the tension of the belt by removing it from the idler pulley.

Take off the old drive belt that’s on the mower. To separate the pulleys from the belt, gently pull it away from them. Take extra precautions to avoid damaging the pulleys.

Step 4: Install the new Belt

Finally, you will need to put the new drive belt in place. Check that the pulleys and the belt are correctly aligned before continuing. Also, ensure that it is properly positioned inside the grooves.

Make the necessary adjustments to the tension on the drive belt. This is accomplished by adjusting the belt adjustment arm. Alternatively, the position of the idler pulley may be adjusted. 

Now simply replace the belt cover. And then use the clips or other fasteners to keep it in place.

After the belt has been changed, the spark plug wire has to be reconnected. Start the mower now. Pay attention to whether or not there is any noise coming from the belt as it rotates.

After you have used the mower for a time, check the drive belt to see if there are any indications of damage or wear on it.

Problem 2: Difficulty In Engaging Clutch Pedals 

Using the clutch pedal becomes rather difficult with this problem. 


Replacing the damaged clutch disc will solve the issue. 

Tools Needed:

  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers
Step 1: Remove the Mower Deck

The very first thing you need to do is turn off the engine and park the mower in a flat place. After that, disconnect the battery for your safety.

Remove the mower deck and any other components that were mounted to the mower.

The next step is to locate clutch housing. It is often located on the mower’s transmission side.

Remove the screws or clips that hold the clutch housing to the machine. The housing must then be carefully removed from the mower.

The clutch discs may be seen when the housing has been removed.

Step 2: Remove the Clutch Disc

Remove the worn clutch discs with caution. Take thorough notes throughout the whole procedure. This will come in handy later while installing the fresh discs.

Clean the clutch casing and flywheel if they are unclean or contaminated in any manner.

Step 3: Install the New Clutch Disc

When you replace the worn-out clutch discs with new ones. Be sure to leave them in the same position they were in before.

Replace the clutch housing and secure it firmly. Make sure that any bolts or clips that were previously removed are re-attached in their proper places.

Test the lawn mower once you have reconnected the battery. To do this, carefully shift through all of the gears. While doing so, keep an eye on how the clutch engages and disengages. 


What engine is in a John Deere Z445?

A powerful V-twin engine producing 24 horsepower (17.9 kilowatts) powers the John Deere Z445. Its engine has a displacement of 44.3 cubic inches (726 cubic centimeters). The engine is equipped with a foam pre-filter to catch the larger dirt particles before they can reach the main filter.

What size deck is a John Deere Z445?

The John Deere Z445 comes with a 48-inch Edge cutting deck as a standard feature. This cutting deck is designed to provide a smooth, even cut. The 48 inches Edge cutting deck is designed for residential and light commercial use.

What kind of oil does a John Deere Z445 take?

The John Deere Z445 lawn mower requires the use of high-quality, multi-grade oil that meets the specifications for API service classification SF, SG, SH, SJ, SL, or SM. It is recommended to use SAE 10W-30 oil for the engine.


And with that, we know so much more about john deere z445 mower problems and their solutions.

If you face any difficulty while repairing, be sure to take professional help. 

Good luck!

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