John Deere L130 loses charge while mowing, tested voltage while running (seems OK)
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Thread: John Deere L130 loses charge while mowing, tested voltage while running (seems OK)

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    John Deere L130 loses charge while mowing, tested voltage while running (seems OK)

    If anyone can help me it would be greatly appreciated...

    As the title says I own a John Deere L130 tractor (bought used), I have had many problems out of this tractor, the latest being the battery loses charge while mowing.

    What I have tried:

    Fully charged the battery and tested 12V with multimeter.
    Started the mower and got ~14.14V (thinking this rules out the voltage regulator being bad)
    Switch on the PTO and got ~14.37V (thinking this rules out any PTO switch or wiring problems)

    I feel like as I'm mowing the mower gets slower as I go and doesn't seem to have the power it once had, but that could be me looking for a problem trying to explain my initial problem of the battery drain while mowing. Does anybody have any ideas of anything additional to try? This is the first mower I purchased myself and have already had to do a lot of upkeep on it and I'm not in position to go buy anything else.

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    When you say you are losing battery charge, are you saying the battery is going dead? As in slow cranking or not cranking at all? I thought the alt was just for charging the battery and when the mower is running, spark is being produced by the magneto incorporated into the flywheel. So I would think the battery should not affect power. Unless I'm way off base here. So if the engine sounds like it's running fine, maybe the problem is with the transmission if it is a hydrostatic.
    Last edited by jimmylh; 08-05-2018 at 03:45 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdhipps View Post
    If anyone can help me it would be greatly appreciated...

    As the title says I own a John Deere L130 tractor (bought used), I have had many problems out of this tractor, the latest being the battery loses charge while mowing.

    What I have tried:

    Fully charged the battery and tested 12V with multimeter.
    Started the mower and got ~14.14V (thinking this rules out the voltage regulator being bad)
    Switch on the PTO and got ~14.37V (thinking this rules out any PTO switch or wiring problems)

    I feel like as I'm mowing the mower gets slower as I go and doesn't seem to have the power it once had, but that could be me looking for a problem trying to explain my initial problem of the battery drain while mowing. Does anybody have any ideas of anything additional to try? This is the first mower I purchased myself and have already had to do a lot of upkeep on it and I'm not in position to go buy anything else.
    Fully charged automotive batteries should measure at 12.6 volts or above. When the engine is running, this measurement should be 13.7 to 14.7 volts. If your reading after mowing is 12 volts or less (engine off)I would guess you have a dead cell causing it to not take a proper charge. They act charged at first then goes down fast after that. As far as slower and slower you may be getting hotter and hotter and the engine is telling you I need to cool down some to run great again???

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    Questions:

    Is the battery going dead when the tractor sets for a period of time?

    You say it loses charge while mowing. Does this mean when you shut the tractor off, it will not start again?

    When you say "fully charged battery", does this mean you charged the battery with a battery charger?

    It is very possible that the alternator (stator winding) in the engine is charging, and you could read a charging voltage at the battery when the engine is running, and the regulator have a bad diode in it. If the regulator has a bad diode in it, this will cause a drain on the battery which will discharge the battery over a pretty short period of time.

    To check:
    1. Charge the battery with a battery charger and assure it is fully charged.
    2. Start the engine and check the charging voltage at the battery (record this voltage)
    3. Shut off engine and remove the negative battery terminal connection. Assure the key is off.
    4. Set you multi-meter on the 10 amp scale to start and connect the meter leads in the appropriate connection points to check amperage.
    5. Connect the positive lead of your multi-meter to the negative battery cable terminal end.
    6. Connect the negative lead of your multi-meter to the negative battery terminal.
    7. Check the amperage draw indicated on your multi-meter. If you see an amp draw on the 10 amp scale, you have a problem. You should see no more than about 50 ma draw with the key off.
    8. Unplug the voltage regulator while watching the amp draw, if it goes away when you unplug the regulator, the regulator has a bad diode.
    9. If the amp draw does not go away when you unplug the regulator, go to the fuse box and one by one, remove a fuse, one at a time, until you find the circuit that has the draw. Once you find the circuit with the draw, then you have to determine why.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimmylh View Post
    When you say you are losing battery charge, are you saying the battery is going dead? As in slow cranking or not cranking at all? I thought the alt was just for charging the battery and when the mower is running, spark is being produced by the magneto incorporated into the flywheel. So I would think the battery should not affect power. Unless I'm way off base here. So if the engine sounds like it's running fine, maybe the problem is with the transmission if it is a hydrostatic.
    I can go mow and as long as I don't stop then I'm fine, but if I were to turn off the mower after mowing say an hour and go to crank it again, it will not even turn over. If I leave it sitting for a day or so I can go back and it has cranked the past two times. I have just been living with it for the time being, but it's not optimal for me since it takes me at least a refill of fuel to mow everything I need to mow. The engine sounds great. I don't know

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray_PA View Post
    Questions:

    Is the battery going dead when the tractor sets for a period of time?

    You say it loses charge while mowing. Does this mean when you shut the tractor off, it will not start again?

    When you say "fully charged battery", does this mean you charged the battery with a battery charger?

    It is very possible that the alternator (stator winding) in the engine is charging, and you could read a charging voltage at the battery when the engine is running, and the regulator have a bad diode in it. If the regulator has a bad diode in it, this will cause a drain on the battery which will discharge the battery over a pretty short period of time.

    To check:
    1. Charge the battery with a battery charger and assure it is fully charged.
    2. Start the engine and check the charging voltage at the battery (record this voltage)
    3. Shut off engine and remove the negative battery terminal connection. Assure the key is off.
    4. Set you multi-meter on the 10 amp scale to start and connect the meter leads in the appropriate connection points to check amperage.
    5. Connect the positive lead of your multi-meter to the negative battery cable terminal end.
    6. Connect the negative lead of your multi-meter to the negative battery terminal.
    7. Check the amperage draw indicated on your multi-meter. If you see an amp draw on the 10 amp scale, you have a problem. You should see no more than about 50 ma draw with the key off.
    8. Unplug the voltage regulator while watching the amp draw, if it goes away when you unplug the regulator, the regulator has a bad diode.
    9. If the amp draw does not go away when you unplug the regulator, go to the fuse box and one by one, remove a fuse, one at a time, until you find the circuit that has the draw. Once you find the circuit with the draw, then you have to determine why.
    Thank you, I will give this a try.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdhipps View Post
    I can go mow and as long as I don't stop then I'm fine, but if I were to turn off the mower after mowing say an hour and go to crank it again, it will not even turn over. If I leave it sitting for a day or so I can go back and it has cranked the past two times. I have just been living with it for the time being, but it's not optimal for me since it takes me at least a refill of fuel to mow everything I need to mow. The engine sounds great. I don't know

    Could be that the charging problem and losing power might be two separate issues. If you are having more trouble going up hills than before as an example, then that may be a hydrostatic trans getting hot, a worn pump, a loss of fluid, air in the system or getting worn out from age.
    JD4044M likes this.
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