How to Fix John Deere Mower Deck Stuck In Up Position

Occasionally, your John Deere mower deck might get stuck in the up position in the middle of the job.

But do you know why the mower deck gets stuck and how to fix it?

The most common reasons are:

  • Internally jammed mower deck.
  • Damaged, broken, or worn-out Lift Cable.
  • Corrosion or wear on Deck.
  • Faulty deck Lift or released Pedal.

Besides that, there are various other potential causes behind John Deere’s mower deck getting stuck up position. Continue reading to find out more about the many reasons for this problem and how to solve them_

John Deere Mower Deck Stuck In Up Position

Why Is My John Deere Mower Deck Stuck In Up Position?

Check out the 6 other common causes that will likely stick your John Deere mower deck in the up position_

  • Seized-up Lifting Pistons.
  • The latch is not engaged.
  • Damaged or dull mower Blades.
  • Worn-out Hydraulic system.
  • Faulty deck Height Adjustment Lever.
  • External objects tend to block the deck’s internal movement.

Fix Your John Deere Mower Deck Stuck In Up Position with 9 Steps:

The best approach is to inspect each potential area first and perform the required service_

1. Internally Jammed Mower Deck

This problem commonly occurs when the deck gets internally jammed up.

But to confirm it, inspect the underneath of your mower and the above area of the mower deck first.

If you find no internal component is damaged, loose, or bent, your John Deere mower deck is jammed.

What to Do:

The only way out is to clear the deck, which can be done in two ways:

  1. You can apply additional weight by putting one foot on your mower deck and see if it drops. Repeat the process several times when moving from one half of the deck to another.
    Make sure to put pressure downward repeatedly to force the deck to drop down.
  2. Locate the exact area where the deck internally got jammed. Use a pry tool to untangle the pinch until the jam is clear.

Related Post: Exmark vs Scag vs John Deere Lawn Mowers: 5 Key Differences

2. Damaged, broken, or worn-out Lift Cable

The lift cable on a John Deere mower deck connects the deck to the mower engine.

But a broken or damaged cable drives the deck stuck in an up position and prevents it from going down.

What to Do:

Remove your mower’s seat and under seat bolts first.

Take off the shackle to check the current state of the lift cable to verify whether the cable is damaged or in good shape.

If the lift cable looks bad, replace the lift cable with a new one.

Then, put everything back together securely.

3. Corrosion or wear on the Deck

Corrosion or wear issues on any mower deck can prevent proper alignment and movement.

The deck may someday get stuck while operating because it’s rusted or worn out. 

What to Do

The easiest solution is to check the state of your mower deck and if it has really worn out, replace the deck.

If you do not wish to replace the deck, this detailed step-by-step repairing tutorial might be resourceful for you:

4. Faulty deck Lift or released Pedal

Just like damaged lift cables, rusted or bent lift/released pedals can also cause the mower deck to be stuck in the up position.

What to Do:

  • Locate the rusted area on the lift pedal and spray a decent amount of rust penetrant. Then wait for at least 5 to 10 minutes.
  • After that, try to move the joint or adjust the deck. If it does not still work, respray once more and try again.
  • Or pry the joint apart with a screwdriver and a hammer by lightly tapping between the joints.
  • Straighten the bend area with the help of an adjustable wrench.

 5. Seized-up Lifting Pistons

Pistons tend to seize when exposed to rust or caked-on dirt for an extended period of time. When this happens, your mower deck can also get stuck up.

What to Do:

Tools you will need:

A pair of Pliers
Lubricant or Rust penetrant
  • Find the piston and detach one end from the mower deck.
  • Check to see if the piston expands or shrinks when you remove it from its mount. If it does not, the piston is faulty.
  • Completely remove the piston and place it in a vice to fully clean it with lubrication.
  • Reinstall the piston and see whether it works or not. If it does not, replace it.

6. The Latch is not Engaged

If the latch on your John Deere mower deck is not engaging correctly, it will fail to hold the deck in place and cause the deck to get stuck in an up position.

What to Do:

There are two solutions to get rid of this problem:


  • Locate the latch on the mower deck (commonly located near the top of the mower deck).
  • Spray a decent amount of lubricant on both sides of the latch.


  • Turn either or both screws located near the latch in a clockwise direction until it feels secure. Do not adjust the screw/s too tight when closed.
  • Test the adjustments by closing and opening the latch several times.

7. Damaged or dull Mower Blades

If you have damaged, broken, or bent blade/s on your mower deck, they will likely catch the grass during mowing and make the deck stuck.

What to Do:

First, you need to inspect the current condition of your mower blade/s before taking any action.

  • If the blades are just dirty, clean them.
  • If they are dull, sharpen the blades.
  • If they look slightly bent, straighten them.
  • Or, if necessary, replace the blades.

8. Worn-out Hydraulic System

Over time, the hydraulic system on your John Deere can also wear out just like other major parts. When that happens, it will prevent your mower deck from going down.

What to Do:

Performing a thorough diagnosis on the entire hydraulic system is the best way to confirm what went wrong, whether it’s the fluid that needs to be changed or the pump, motor, or any other components.

The following tutorial will guide you to troubleshoot your mower’s hydraulic system in the easiest way:

Related Post: John Deere Hydrostatic Transmission Problems and Their Fixes

9. Faulty Deck Height Adjustment Lever

If the deck height adjuster or lever is not set correctly, you will encounter a similar issue with your mower deck.

What to Do:

Adjust the deck height adjuster to the lowest position possible and test the deck condition once again.

  1. External objects blocking the internal movement:

If none of the above-discussed reasons caused your mower deck to get stuck, it might be some external objects such as rocks, small branches, or a pile of leaves.

These objects might be blocking the mower deck’s free movement. Consequently, the deck got stuck in the up position and could not come down.

What to Do

Check and clean the mower deck accordingly. Make sure there’s nothing left to block your deck’s movement.

Warning: Some of the earlier fixing techniques require one to have basic technical expertise. So, if you are not confident enough, contact a professional mechanic or your nearest workshop for assistance.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How often should a John Deere mower deck be leveled?

John Deere suggests leveling the mower decks once a year or after any major repairs or replacements.

Should the deck of a John Deere zero-turn mower be level from front to back?

Yes. It will ensure that the mower cuts evenly and that your grass receives a better-quality cut.

Should the front or back of a John Deere mower deck be higher?

The front of the John Deere mower deck should be somewhat higher than the back.

How long does it take a John Deere mower deck to wear out?

John Deere claims that a well-maintained John Deere mower deck can last for up to 10 years or more.

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