John Deere Z540m – Reviews, Manuals, Prices, Specs

The John Deere Z540m is a z500 series zero turn mower, first manufactured in 2016, until approx 2020. It has proved highly popular, and still has a significant user base today.


It has a 2 cylinder, 24 hp, 725 cc Kawasaki engine, with a fuel capacity of 4.5 gallons. It comes with three mid-mounted mower deck optional attachments, one with a cutting width of 48 inches, one with a cutting width of 54 inches and one with a cutting width of 62 inches.

The dimensions include a wheelbase of 49 inches, a length of 77 inches, a height of 42 inches, a weight of 640/655/690 lbs (depending on deck size) and hydrostatic transmission.

All specifications are approximate and should be checked  with the manufacturer or a dealer before purchase

The John Deere Z540m is designed both for homeowners and commercial use. It has exclusive easy to use features and combines comfort, convenience and style with a highly effecient mower that has both a powerful engine, and a rugged transmission. It is both easy to operate and fun to drive, and has precision mowing capabilities designed for the most demanding of jobs.

John Deere Z540m Reviews

Reviews can be a crucial part of helping someone decide whether or not to buy a Z540m, but fraught with difficulties.  Many people do not know whether or not to trust review sites. Some reviews can be overly enthusiastic, others can be quite depressingly bad. People think some reviews maybe written by the company themselves, other reviews by competitors.

The trick is to decide what you want from a review. Reviews on sites such as YouTube are likely to be done by dealerships, and hopefully will portray the zero turn in its best light. This can be encouraging and often well worth watching.

Other sites, such as tractor by net are not specifically review sites, but they will be full of really useful, practical information by people who either own or have previously owned the mower and can flag up the pros and cons without bias.

Other sites, such as HomeDepot and Amazon will cover practical issues that customers have had, and can act as a pointer to things to look out for when considering buying the zero turn mower. Some of the most common issues flagged up on zero turn mowers generally include :

  • Battery – people have problems with batteries either not working or being needed to be replaced too soon
  • Fuel gauge light – from there either isn’t one, or it only seems to come on when the mower is almost out of fuel
  • Poor customer service – this is normally done either to the dealership or the store where the mower was bought. Whilst irritating, problems can normally be resolved with a bit of time and effort. The white glove service is often criticised as not being very good.
  • Landscape to be used on – it is important to know what type of land the zero turn mower is to be used on, as this can have a significant impact on its handling and manoeuvrability. There is always a real safety issue about using any type of zero turn mover on land that is steep or hilly as it is a serious risk of overturning. Some zero turn mowers are better equipped for this type of landscape and others.
  • Recall notice – some review site, like consumer reports, will flag up if there was ever a recall notice on a particular model at any point in its history. This can be useful when buying a second-hand zero turn mower, or as a pointer to make sure the relevant issue was dealt with properly.
  • Dischage, mulching and evenness – these are often considered the three most important things that people want to find out about when buying a mower, and will often be flagged up in consumer reviews
  • Residential or commercial – zero turn mowers can be used either for residential or commercial purposes, and different concerns will relate to its usage, which will be reflected in the reviews accordingly

John Deere Z540m Drive Belt Replacement and Diagram

The drive belt is one of the most crucial elements of the zero turned mower, and will add different times need replacing. This can either be because of a faulty part or simply through wear and tear over time.

It is important when replacing the drive belt to make sure that the correct parts are ordered, and that they are fitted properly. If being done by the customer themselves, it is a good idea what the parts direct from John Deere, and to use the appropriate drive belt diagram that can be found either online or in the user manual to fit it properly.

Below are some of the main parts used in a standard John Deere zero turn drive belt along with the part numbers, but it is important to check the right ones for your particular model.

  • Pin Fastener –  JD45M7084
  • Bolt – JD03M7184
  • Lock  nut – JD14M7465
  • Cap screw – JD19M7493
  • Screw – JD19M7806
  • Chute – JDTCA16388
  • Housing – JDAM144608
  • Anti Scalp Wheel – JDGX10168
  • Port Plate – JDGX22426
  • Extension Spring -JDGX25959
  • V-Belt -JDGX26422
  • Idler – JDAUC10172
  • Arm – JDUC10003
  • Mower Blade – JDUC22010
  • Washer – JDM147138
  • Hinge – JDM159491
  • Pulley – JDUC20697
  • Bushing – JDM172956
  • Spacer – JDGX26383
  • Roller – JDM113955
  • Quick Coupler – JDGX22425
  • Shield – JDUC18012
  • Torson Spring – JDM177421
  • Mower Blade – JDM152726

John Deere Z540m Manual

The operator and service manual for the John Deere Z540m is most easily accessed as a PDF document, and can be downloaded either from the main John Deere website, or from a number of other websites online, either as a free download or normally at a minimal cost

The manual is a crucial document in terms of advising both how to operate the Z540m zero turn mower in a safe and efficient way, and at the same time keeping its operating parts running smoothly and effectively as possible

The John Deere parts diagrams that are part of the manual are important in helping anyone to fit or repair a replacement part, either as part of a routine service, or because the part has become defective.

The John Deere Z540m PDF manual has a number of sections, which would normally cover the following areas of operation and servicing

  • Safety operations
  • Servicing
  • Specifications of the mower
  • Instrument panel
  • Operating engine
  • Mount and dismount machine safely
  • Starting the engine
  • Throttle lever
  • Key switch
  • Check during operation
  • Fuel gauge
  • Hour meter
  • Cold weather starting
  • Warming up
  • Jump starting
  • Stopping the engine
  • Mower mounting
  • Mounting the mower deck
  • Adjusting the mower
  • Dismounting the mower deck
  • Operating the mower
  • Starting
  • Operators seat
  • Seatbelt
  • Light switch
  • Mower lift pedal
  • Throttle lever
  • Parking brake lever
  • Motion control lever
  • Stopping
  • Parking
  • Transporting
  • Hydrostatic transaxle bypass rods
  • Operating mower
  • Adjusting cutting height
  • Operating mower – PTO switch
  • Operating mower – starting
  • Tires and wheels
  • Tires – inflation pressure
  • Wheels – remove and install front caster wheels
  • Maintenance – service intervals
  • Maintenance – lubricants and fuel
  • Periodic service – daily checks, 25 hour checks
  • 50 hour checks, 100 hour checks
  • 200 hour checks
  • 400 hour checks
  • 500 hour checks
  • One year checks
  • Two year checks
  • Adjustment – motion control lever
  • Adjustment – zero turn mower deck level
  • General torque specification
  • Storage
  • Troubleshooting

John Deere Z540m Prices / Where to buy

Current prices, 2022, for John Deere zero turn mowers range from US$3000 to US$ 9000 as list prices . Mowers may be bought online direct from John Deere, or through a dealership. They may also report a number of stores such as HomeDepot and Amazon

Prices should be able to be negotiated, and should take into account any access routes that may be needed as well as below. When buying a new zero turn mower it is worth getting advice from a qualified dealership as to the right one in terms of its cutting width and suitability for certain types of terrain.

Used zero turn mowers can also be purchased from John Deere dealerships as well as a number of sites online. A checklist is listed below of what to look for


Many problems arise with a John Deere Z540m when it is brought second-hand. Below is a checklist of things to look out for when buying a used second-hand machine which if followed, may help to alleviate some of the more common problems.

  • Check vehicle documents and service book, warranty documents, year of manufacture, any chassis number and any outstanding finance.
  • Check tires and wheels for wear and tear. Make sure the tires are the same type on any one axle, check for rim damage and check we’ll attachment for weights
  • Check gearbox, especially if any grinding noises during steering. Check differential lock engages and disengages, functional rear and front power takeoff, PTO shaft condition and any unusual noises.
  • Check lifting mechanism, the hydraulic pump system, any hoses and cylinders
  • Check all electrical systems, make sure it is a functional lighting system and test all electrical elements
  • Engine and battery – check for leaks in the unusual noises when starting or idling, any abnormal exhaust colouration. Check battery maintenance and emission control
  • Oils and liquids – check for any oil leaks and liquid levels, check engine oil, coolant, hydraulic oil, servo oils and gearbox
  • Cabin and visibility – condition of drivers seat, heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems, display indicators working, front and rear windows free of damage and check windscreen wipers and mirrors are working properly.
  • Overall condition – check the signs of repairs, proof that spare parts and accessories are original, check for any corrosion or rust and any unusual alterations to paintwork.

John Deere Z540m Mower Deck Size

Mower deck sizes tend to be between 42 and 60 inches, is important to check both the size and the nature of the mowing area, and also the construction of the deck before deciding on what size is most appropriate.

John Deere Z540m Bagger / Bagger Installation

Bagging is an essential part lawn care, and is by far the easiest way to deal with leaves and other parts of the lawn that are collected when mowing. There are a number of different sizes and styles of bagger available, and it is important to check compatibility with the appropriate zero turned mower before buying one.

Installation can sometimes seem a bit of a problem, especially if someone hasn’t used one before. The aegis way to understand a bag installation is to look at one of many videos on YouTube which clearly demonstrate how to install and remove a packer from any John Deere zero turn mower

John Deere Z540m Oil capacity

John Deere will recommend the precise type of oil for the mower in the manual. This will depend on whether the engine is gas or diesel, the make of the engine, and its capacity. Most John Deere mowers hold approximately 2 quarts of oil, and recommend it be changed approximately every 50 hours, but this does depend on the type and age of the zero turn mower, please check manual for specific details

John Deere Z540m Tire Pressure

Having the correct tyre pressure when using the zero turn mower is really important, as it affects the handling and moving of the machine. When navigating uneven terrain, slopes orhilly land, the tire pressure can determine how effectively the mower can cut the grass, and the tire pressure should be checked regularly to make sure it is appropriate for the mower and the type of land it is being used upon.

The correct tire pressure can vary, and it is worth checking with the manufacturer as towhat they recommend. As a general rule of thumb, most people recommend a pressure of 14 psi for front tires and a psi of 10 for rear tires. This can be affected by the load being carried and also by the physical weight of the operative.

John Deere Z540m Parts and Parts Diagram

The most common parts are needed are for the mowing deck, which are listed above. Other parts that are used are most commonly replaced during a routine service. The other parts needed are in effect accessories, or attachments such as a bagger listed above, and a wide range of other accessories that are listed below, including things such as a mulching kit.

John Deere Z540m Mulching Kit

A mulching kit can be fitted to most John Deere zero turn mowers, and is a very useful and environmentally friendly way to mow a lawn. When a mulching kit is being used, it continually re-cuts the grass inside the mower until it is so small that it can easily be discharged back onto the lawn and salt into the lower level of grass that has been cut. It effectively is reabsorbed into the soil, which is beneficial for the upkeep of the lawn and any surrounding grass area.

John Deere Z540m Accessories

John Deere offer a wide range of accessories, most of which the majority of zero turn mowers. This may vary a bit, according to model, and when it was built. Most dealerships should be able to advise as to whether or not the access who will fit the relevant mower.

  • 15 gallon sprayer.
  • Dual headlight kit.
  • Deck front roller kit.
  • Bushell Hopper and chutethis assembly
  • Mower deck leveling gauge.
  • Magnetic hitch pin.
  • Foot pegs.
  • Rear hitch
  • Spark arrestor Kit
  • Yard Toolkit
  • Arm rest kit.
  • Traction mat kit
  • Home maintenance kit
  • Tool box.
  • String trimmer mount.
  • Power flow chute.
  • Boarding step.
  • Grass groomer – lawn striking kit
  • Attachment bar – rear bumper.
  • Sun canopy.
  • Trash receptacle hit.
  • Mulch control attachment.
  • Beacon light kit.
  • Mulch kit
  • Utility cart
  • Two bag bushel with attachment bar and ballast
  • Power flow blower assembly kit
  • Blower attachment

John Deere Z540m Problems

Problems can occur with any zero turn mower, either new or secondhand. Sometimes these problems are to do with defects in the machine, or with parts and sometimes they are to do with poor maintenance or simple checks and remedies.

Below are listed some of the most common problems with the John Deere zero turn mowers, and some general ideas as to how these problems can normally be dealt with. Also listed are some common tractor problems, when used in conjunction with a zero turn mower.

Z540m Zero Turn Mower won’t start

Check the following

  • Check the transmission gear shift lever. It may not be in the right position. Place the range shift lever into neutral and check the engine throttle lever is not put forward. Move the throttle half or full impulse.
  • Check and see if the battery connection is loose or corroded. Check connections and retighten it necessary
  • Check and see if the fuel shutoff valve is closed.
  • Check and see if the fuel is either stale, or at an improper fuel level. Drain the tank if necessary of all fuel and refill.
  • Check if the engine oil viscosity is correct or not, and if not completely change the oil in the tractor.there
  • Check and see if the fuel filter is plugged, and if necessary place.
  • Check if the air intake filter is plugged, and if it is clean or if necessary replace the air filter elements.
  • Check to see if any of the fuses have blown and if necessary replace one or all of them.
  • the engine will not start if no one is sitting in the operators seat
  • check that the parking brake lever is in the proper position
  • check the PTO switches in the proper position
  • check the motion control levers are in the proper position
  • check the key switch is in the proper position

Zero Turn Mower Troubleshooting

Blade does not rotate

Check the following

  • check PTO system is normal, replace broken mower belt
  • check if PTO system is malfunctioning

Mower belt slipping

Check the following

  • replace tension spring
  • replace warm mower belt
  • unplugs and clean mower deck
  • clean debris out of any pulley

Discharge chute plugged

Check the following

  • grass is too wet
  • grass is too long
  • cutting height is too low
  • engine RPM is too low
  • ground speed too fast

Streaking of grass uncut

Check the following

  • ground speed too fast
  • engine rpm too low
  • blades dull or damaged
  • grass too long
  • debris in mower deck

Uneven cut

Check the following

  • mower does not level
  • grand speed too fast
  • Blades dull
  • Blades worn or damaged
  • low tire inflation
  • anti-scalp rollers not adjusted correctly
  • wheels pressure not adjusted correctly

Blades scalping grass

Check the following

  • cutting height to low
  • turning speed too fast
  • ridges in terrain
  • rough or and even terrain
  • anti-scalp rollers not adjusted correctly
  • Bent blades

Excessive vibration

Check the following

  • debris on mower deck or in pulleys
  • damaged mower belt
  • damaged pulleys
  • pulleys out of alignment
  • blades out of balance

Mower loads down machine

Check the following

  • engine rpm to low
  • ground speed too fast
  • debris wrapped around mower spindles
  • front deck to low

Z540m Zero Turn Mower won’t start, just clicks

Check the following

  • Could be potential battery issues. Check that all the motor and battery connections are clean and tight.
  • Check the battery voltage and its holding power and replace it necessary.

Z540m Zero Turn Mower cranks but will not start

  • The fuel may not be getting to the cylinder. check the fuel level, the shutoff valve and the fuel filter.
  • Check the air filter. It may be too cold for the cylinder to combust mixture of air and fuel.
  • Move the throttle back to idle and then half throttle and attempt to restart

Starting engines in cold weather

  • Use proper seasonal diesel blends. Winter blends have certain additives to ensure that they remain liquid when it is cold.
  • Watch and check for bio diesel percentages
  • idle the engines for a time before using, this increases its efficiency and range.
  • Maintain the cooling system properly. Check the overall level and quality of coolant.
  • Use various engine starting aids if necessary. Some of the most common are glow plugs, intake preheaters and block heaters.
  • if the engine fails to start, this could be due to the cold start system malfunctioning, the fuel injectors may be dirty or there may be a faulty switch.

Z540m Engine problems.

Either the engine went start, or it is hard to start or start and then stalls. Check the following :

  • There may be no fuel flow. check the tank, hoses, feel shutoff valve and fuel filter. Make sure they are all functioning properly and that there are no leaks from any of them.
  • The exhaust smoke may be black. This may be due to too much oil, a clogged air filter or dirty fuel.
  • The exhaust smoke may be blue or white. This may be due to fuel inside the muffler, a clogged fuel injection nozzle, poor quality fuel, a defective thermostat or that may be sediment in the fuel which may also be stale.

Z540m Engine may be overheating.

Check the following

  • The engine may be overloaded, in human terms too much may be asked of it. Lighten the load or shift to a lower gear
  • The coolant level may be low check and see if it needs refilling and also check the hoses and radiator to make sure there are no links or loose connections.
  • There may be a blockage in the coolant system that is affecting its flow. Best thing to do is to completely flush the whole coolant system and replace as necessary.
  • The fan belt may be loose or damaged. It should be easy to check for wear and tear and any tension and replace as necessary.
  • The radiator core or screens and dirty and simply cleaning them maybe enough to solve the problem.

Z540m Steering issues

Normally the steering either feels a bit loose or maple to one side.

  • Check the steering fluid. Check the hydraulic oil level, and check for any leaks.
  • Tires may be a bit low or flat. Check for low tire pressure and reinflate all replaced if needed.
  • The steering linkage may be in need of lubrication.
  • If there is too much play in the steering wheel, and none of the above again difference them advice and assistance should be sought from the nearest Kubota dealership, as this could be a real safety concern.

Z540m Troubleshooting

The manual for the John Deere zero turn is likely to have a section entitled troubleshooting or something similar. This information is also often found on a number of major websites either entitled troubleshooting, resources or FAQ.

It’s mainly contains questions and answers on common problems and questions relating to John Deere machines generally can be a really useful source of advice.

Below are some of the main areas that are covered :

  • How to obtain replacement owners manual or parts catalogue
  • Free start-up checks. This can include removing debris from surrounding areas, checking oil levels and using fresh fuel.
  • Follow all safety recommendations
  • A recommended maintenance schedule
  • How to change oil
  • How to clean machine
  • How to find the right spark plug
  • How to lubricate gears
  • How to maintain pistons and cylinders
  • How to maintain air filters
  • How to store when not in use
  • Tire maintenance
  • Which attachments are available
  • How to obtain a wiring diagram
  • Tracking adjustment if machine is putting to one side
  • Type of fuel
  • Warranty information, normally the type of coverage available depending if manufacturer or dealership warranty, and the length of the warranty as well.
  • PTO problems
  • Loader problems
  • Steering box issues
  • Starting problems
  • How to fix attachments
  • Optional extras as listed below
  • Engine block heater
  • Work lights, front and rear enabling high visibility at night
  • Back buzzer
  • Toolbox
  • Horn
  • Double acting remote hydraulic control valve
  • Three point hitch
  • Drawbar
  • Top and filter kit

John Deere Z540m maintenance and servicing

One of the best ways to prevent a lot of common problems is to make sure that the zero turn mower is regularly serviced, and all the recommended checks are carried out in accordance with the schedule laid out in the sservice manual.

Check the owners service and parts manual for full details

  • Check all the service intervals. These are normally something like daily checks every 50 hours, every 100 hours, every 200 hours, every 400 hours, every 800 hours, every 15:00 hours, every 3000 hours, every one year, every two years and service as required.
  • Maintenance of loader, including daily checks, lubrication and tire inflation.
  • How best to store mower, in terms of inside/outside, draining of fuel, maintenance of battery and electrical systems etc


John Deere Z540m Reviews,

John Deere Z540m Drive Belt,

John Deere Z540m Drive Belt Replacement and Diagram,

John Deere Z540m Manual,

John Deere Z540m Prices and where to buy,

John Deere Z540m Mower Deck Size,

John Deere Z540m Bagger and Installation,

John Deere Z540m Oil capacity,

John Deere Z540m Tire Pressure,

John Deere Z540m Parts,

John Deere Z540m Parts Diagram,

John Deere Z540m Accessories,

John Deere Z540m Attachments,

John Deere Z540m Specs,

John Deere Z540m Cutting Width,

John Deere Z540m Mulching Kit,

John Deere Z540m Dimensions,

John Deere Z540m 48 inch Mid-Mouned Mower Deck,

John Deere Z540m 54 inch Mid-Mouned Mower Deck,

John Deere Z540m 62 inch Mid-Mouned Mower Deck,