How To Change Oil, Air & Fuel Filters On John Deere X300
John Deere X300 Yearly Maintenance
Every spring I perform the recommended yearly maintenance on my John Deere X300 mower. I bought this mower just over three years ago so this is the third spring season after three full summers of mowing with it. I purchased a home maintenance kit which contained the oil, oil filter, fuel filter, air filters and spark plugs all in one convenient kit.
Replace The Air Filter
The first thing I did was to remove the air filters. This mower uses two filters, a foam pre-filter and a paper air filter. The foam pre-filter was very dirty and definitely needed to be at least cleaned if not replaced. The air filter didn’t look too bad but honestly, the cost of filters is so minimal compared to the hefty $2,800 price tag of this mower that I just replaced everything.
The air filter on an X300 is located on the front of the engine in the same location a radiator would be on a car. You push down on two tabs to release the filter housing and it just pops out. I cleaned out the housing, installed the foam pre-filter first followed by the new paper air filter. Then I just snapped the housing back in place as you can see in the photo.
Changing The Oil and Oil Filter
The next thing I did was to change the oil. Changing the oil is really easy on this John Deere. They make these engines very accessible for draining the oil and changing the filter is also really easy. The oil drain plug is actually on the end of a drain tube so when you let the oil drain it’s out away from the engine and frame. I like to slide a piece of used cardboard under the mower to catch any drips. Make sure you dispose of the old oil and filter properly (most towns have disposal locations to bring used oil in to be recycled).
Once you get the oil drained make sure you put the drain plug back in and then remove the old oil filter. Next I installed the new oil filter. Before installing the oil filter make sure you take your finger and apply a thin layer of new oil on the gasket, it will help it seal properly. Install the new oil filter and tighten it with a half turn past after the gasket meets the mounting surface. Next add 1.8 L of new oil (follow the operator’s manual for proper oil type).
Changing The Fuel Filter
The next step was changing the fuel filter. This task was a little harder but not impossible. My only gripe here is the filter is attached to the fuel line rather far inside the housing and I had a hard time removing the lower hose clamp. Other than that replacing the fuel filter is fairly straight forward. The only thing is to be careful with the gasoline that will definitely spill out as you do this.
Changing Spark Plugs
The John Deere X300 has two spark plugs located on the front right and left sides of the engine. You’ll need a 3/4 inch spark plug socket or wrench to remove them. Take the old ones out and replace with the new ones that were supplied with the home maintenance kit.
The only other maintenance task I need to perform is greasing the fittings. The whole process only took me about 45 minutes from start to finish and the kit only costs about $42 which I thought was reasonable.
John Deere Mowers are easy to service when you follow the step-by-step directions in your Owner’s Manual.
Maintenance is so important! We “downgraded” to a rotary push mower this year… but we still need to maintain it.
Great info for those that have this mower.
I tried my mower recently and it wouldn’t start. I’ve replaced the spark plug. And next is the filter. I hope that does the trick. After that I’m not sure what else to try. Any suggestions?
Could be a number of issues. Do you have some type of kill switch on it? Is it stuck in the off position? Do you have clean fuel? The best thing to do is to check for spark first, it you have spark then it’s probably a fuel issue, either bad fuel or bad carburetor.
Thanks for the information – I just recently bought the exact same mower and am about to do the “break-in” oil change. I love maintenance and have kept my cars and equipment going for years beyond expectations…thanks for the helpful post.
The thin film of oil on the gasket not only helping with sealing but it makes removing the oil filter easier. A good habit to get into with any filter etc that has a seal that seals is to make sure the gasket came off with the filter etc. If you install a new filter with a new gasket on top of the old gasket, it will leak like a sieve.
All three of our mowers (1971 Simplicity & 1971 Case plus newer self propelled 1992) do not start right up in the spring. A shot of ether in the carb and they start right up. If the mower starts up and then stops check for bad gas, slug in carb, or plug fuel filter or air cleaner (gotta breathe).
Our winters are so cold that when we first attempt to start our mowers (both riders and push) we always place them in the sun for an hour or two to warm up. Cold oil doesn’t flow as easy to bearings etc that are not as lubricated as normal because the mower has set for 5 months.
If your rider has a fuel filter that is not easily accessed or is expensive, consider putting in a cheaper inline fuel filter before the expensive filter. Inline filters are cheap and can be R & R (removed and replaced) quickly.
We are supposed to get 6 inches of snow tonight so I don’t think we will be mowing anytime soon.
Thank you for the instructions wrt changing the oil. I will try them out this weekend on my X300. I have two questions, the oil filter appears to be more that hand tight, where do I purchase an oil filter wrench for this tiny oil filter. Can you be so kind as to do a How to do a lube?
Thanks very mych,
@ Henry – The first time I changed my oil filter it was definitely hard to remove. If you really try hard it will come off by hand. However, you can buy this:
I’ve been planning on doing a lube segment also. Stay tuned….I just need to dig out my grease gun and show the world.
I’ve had my JD X300 for less than a year. I tried to start it and the battery was too weak. I used jumper cables-now it cranks but won’t turn over. I changed the gas filter and nothing-just cranks. Not even a sign of trying to start. Could one or both of the spark plugs have gone bad. I don’t know at this point.
Sounds like an ignition problem….electrical possibly?
So you think a fouled spark plug is not the problem?
You certainly could try replacing the plug…..did you remove the plug cap and see if there is a spark when you turn it over?
I just removed the plugs and they had gasoline all over them. I cleaned them-put them back in and the same thing-cranks but won’t turn over. I didn’t check to see if there was a spark yet.
I haven’t checked for a spark but I found a site where a couple of people seem to be having the same problem. They wrote that it could be a module under the dash. http://www.lawn-mowers-review.com/john-deere-x300-tractor-42inch-edge-xtra-deck.html
Let me know what you think. The mower is less than a year old and is still under warrantee. The only problem I have right now is the Dealer is about 20 miles away. The Dealership offered to pick up the mower for $25 each way or I could load it on a trailer myself. Either way, I will let you know how I made out.
William – Sounds like a possible cause. I’d change the plugs…if that doesn’t work then you’ll need to take it in. Maybe they will split the deliver charge with you.
I brought it into the dealer and it was the module. It took them about 10 minutes to install it, but I have to say they knew what it was and in no way was I compensated. It took me about an hour to load it on the trailer and about one hour round trip. I recently bought a Polaris Ranger. Glad I didn’t put all my eggs in one basket. I also asked for a receipt incase anything else goes wrong. I’m sure there is a “Lemon Law” in the state. Live and learn.
Thanks again Todd,
Will – Thanks for sharing your experience.
I wish the pictures were larger and the explanation was a bit more clear.
Let me know what I can clarify for you. I can probably get you some larger photos as well. We just try to keep the image size down on the site for performance.
Todd, excellent blog. I have one burning question after that has been lingering in the back of my mind. After servicing my x300 and going through the usual oil, filter, battery charge, air filter, etc… I came to the fuel filter and it dawned on me it does not mention in the operators manual needing to bleed the fuel line to get air out of the line after replacing the fuel filter. Is bleeding only necessary for diesel engines? Am I safe to start? If not, where is the Schraeder valve located? Thanks!
James – I’ve never done that to mine….i’ve changed the fuel filter 6 times now….no problems.
I’m having a problem with my JD LA110 riding mower. I serviced it last year changing the oil, oil filter, gas filter, air filter. I also replaced the plugs with new ones and lubed all joints, serviced the blades and mowing deck. I had no problems with the mower before servicing it. I now have to use starting fluid to start it. What is causing this? I used JD products. Could it be a incorrectly sized gas filter? Did I screw up the air/gas mixture when changing to new filters? I’m only having starting problems. I’m stumped?
Interesting….does it run fine once it’s going? Maybe one bad plug?
Do the John Deere spark plugs come with the appropriate gap or do I need to use a gauge gap to set. I see it says they are gapped at
Normal spark plug gap = 0.030
I just install them….runs great every year