John Deere L130 Lawn Tractor

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Aug 9, 2005
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Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Easy steering, automatic transmission, smooth cut, comfortable chair

Cons:Better warranty with quality parts

The Bottom Line: Buy from a John Deere dealership instead of Home Depot, but if your pocket book is hard pressed, this machine will fit your needs.

We bought our first John Deere lawn tractor from our local dealership and used it for many, many years with only the odd repair needed. It was an excellent machine but even the best of them will, at some point, begin to age, have serious problems, and need replacing. An article appeared in our local paper where Home Depot was selling the John Deere mower at a much cheaper price so without doing my homework, my husband and I looked, we saw, and we bought. It was John Deere and the name alone has a reputation for being the best, and once you had the best, settling for less is hard.

On May 4, 2003, we bought the John Deere L130 including the bumper, (at a cost of $40) which seemed like a good idea in protecting the front end of the mower should I get too close to a building or object. I do all the mowing at our house while my husband does the weed eating with it taking between 3 to 4 hours of continual mowing (depending on if I take a break). My old John Deere had a bagger on it so when I bagged, it would take longer but my son had a penchant for taking the bagger off, not putting it back on, and eventually bagging was eliminated. In the hottest part of our Tennessee summers, I did not miss the extra work at all.

Home Depot delivered our John Deere lawn mower on May 5, 2003 with the bumper attached giving us a demonstration on how to use it, where certain items were located and generally made sure we were familiar with all operating instructions.

All went well with young John for about a month until it was time to mow again and then the blades refused to work. The motor ran fine but the blades were not turning to cut the grass. I contacted Home Depot and was told they do not service the mowers and we would need to take it to our local dealership for an inspection and repaired, if necessary. Our new mower needed to be repaired, and we certainly were not happy about it, but we carried it to the dealership where we were told the PTO switch needed replacing.

Since it was still under warranty, there were no difficulties in getting the repair done.

No other problems have occurred with my John Deere since then and this is my third summer of usage. My son did replace a belt in June of this year on the mower deck, but other than ordinary maintenance, it has given satisfactory results. Over time, though, I could tell this Deere did not feel like my old Deere so I get the impression it will not last as long as old John did.


John Deere L130 Model engines are manufactured by Kohler.
Horsepower: 23 with a 48” inch cutting width
Cutting height 1 to 4 inches
2 cylinders
Dual Stage air cleaner
3 rotary blades
12 volt battery


The brochure lists a number of things under warranty but each item seems to have many exclusions. The brochure, which seemed to emphasize limited warranty, left us with the impression any repairs needed, may or may not be met.


According to the manual's illustrations and verbal content, you move your throttle level to the half-speed position and move your choke lever to the choke position if your engine is cold. The throttle and choke have to be wide open before my mower will start, otherwise, the motor whines and will not start. I am not sure if this is just my mower or with all the L130 models. Once the motor is running, I can gradually move the choke lever to the off position, keeping the throttle wide open, lower the deck, pull the PTO knob out to activate the blades and begin mowing.

The accelerator and reverse pedals’ are both on the right side in close contact with each other. The accelerator pedal is above the reverse pedal. I have noticed it takes a lot of pressure on the reverse pedal when you need to back up which can tire your leg out if you use reverse a lot (I try not to).


My contribution in the maintenance department is to periodically check the oil level but other than that, my son does the maintenance. He keeps the oil changed in the engine, the filter clean, and the blades sharp or changed if needed, checks the wiring and performs other needed general upkeep.

Your manual advises you about service intervals. If you keep your maintenance up, the better your machine will perform, but even with the best of maintenance, you can still have problems.

Before storing your mower for the winter, do a thorough service job in preparation for spring when you start using it again. When you bring your mower out of storage, it is just a matter of checking your battery and tire pressure with a quick check on any loose hardware before you begin mowing.


Take the time to read your manual and become familiar with the features of your mower. Slopes can be a major factor related to loss-of-control and tip-over accidents, which can result in injury or death so extra caution is advisable. My yard is flat with the exception of one sloping area by the road which I graciously and generously allow my husband to weed eat. Riding lawn mowers are not toys so be alert if young children are around and remember, Drinking and driving can lead to serious accidents.

By reading your owner's manual, you get detailed information as to safety and proper operation of your mower and equipment. You also get troubleshooting procedures, ordering information for parts catalog's, service and technical manuals.


The smell of fresh cut grass in the spring is heavenly.

I find it relaxing to mow the yard and at some point over the years, many conversations between myself and old/young John developed. I talk and he listens. Between old John, and young John, there have been many experiences shared during the hours spent mowing the yard. For instance, there was the snake that fell out of a tree on top of me, and the odd snakes in my path over the years, which have added a few gray hairs to my head. We would both shriek in terror and run in the opposite direction. So far, none has charged me. There have been a few unfortunate instances of being at the wrong spot, or right spot, depending on how you look at it, when a flock of birds would be flying overhead and decide to leave their calling card on my arms or head.

Bouncing can be painful, especially if you're unaware of a bee hovering, and it winds up under your sitting area.


My John Deere L130 has not entirely lived up to what I was expecting in a Deere and yet, it has done a good job of performing. It is inferior to the ones purchased at a John Deere dealership but overall, it is a machine that’s done the best it could with the parts it was given. In my opinion you should buy from a dealership if possible, but if not, this machine should give you a few years of good service

We paid $2,540.00 with this price including the bumper.

For further information or questions, call 1(800)537-8233

Recommend this product? Yes

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