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:thThumbsU The machine looks great, glad you're happy with it.
I think they all smoke a little on a cold start. My 345 and SIL's X540 does the same thing. From what I understand, that's excess fuel burning, not oil. I've never had to add oil to the 345.
 

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I definitely agree with your rationale as I would have done the same thing. As for maintenance, if it didn’t come with an owners manual, order one as it has all the maintenance recommendations (and it’s always useful to have the manual - and they’re inexpensive). You may also want to consider picking up the repair manual, but those are like $120.

But as a general guideline, do the Home Maintenance Kit yearly. I’d also replace the hydraulic fluid and filters around 500 hours (I don’t think they mention these in the manual - my GX345 doesn’t, anyway).

Another thing I like to do is pull the fenders/footwell off and clean all the junk out of the frame and off the top of the transaxle at least one a year.
 

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It's completely normal for x540's to smoke a little on cold startup and nothing to worry about. My x540 has been a real joy to mow our yard in the summer and beast blowing snow in the winter. Congrats on your new x540!
 

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FYI, the trick to minimizing the small puff of smoke on start up is, do not touch the choke until you turn the key. Press the choke forward a split second after the engine starts to turn and release when it fires. You may need to bump the choke a couple of times while it is first warming up, so it doesn't die, but it'll smooth out within 30 seconds. Just a weird anomaly that affects all of these motors, but nothing to worry about.
 

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I've bought and sold more than 10 X540's and loved every one of them. For the purpose that they were designed to do they are unbeatable. Many on this forum want all of the bells and whistles on their tractors but for a guy who needs a great mower/blower the X540 is the best.
 

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I'd have to agree, the x540 was the complete package for those with 1 or 2 acres, minor ground engagement, and snow removal needs. That LC motor will last a very long time with regular maintenance and the transaxle is bullet-proof as well. Had the x590 used the same motor and upgraded to EFI, I would have been all over that. However, seeing you now have to jump up to a x700 series to get a LC engine which is just too big and costly, imho, this x540 will probably be my last I buy before giving up mowing myself. Sure it has the lift lever issue, which plagued the entire series, but it's pretty easy to avoid once you learn how to pull it correctly.
 

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Congrats! Don't think about selling that blower if you live in an area that gets a fair amount of snow. It's a beast! I have one on my x534.
 

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Discussion Starter #29 (Edited)
Hi everyone!

Loving the new tractor so far...the power steering is a breeze, my kids and I have had a blast driving it around the property. It mows and cuts well and fires right up every time I start her up!

I had one concern today when I noticed that the coolant level is very low. I did not look at this before purchasing or any other time until now so its possible it has been this low all along. I don't see any signs of leakage but am not the most handy with these things. Does the coolant level drop with time? Should I be concerned about a leak or just change out/add the coolant?

The manual says to change out the coolant every 2 years or 400 hours (i might do this just to be safe), does this mean I should flush it or drain/refill?

Thanks!
 

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garden tractor junkie
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I own a x540. I let my mother in law use it. I was my late dads machine. I take very good care of it it has a little over 100 hours on it. I love it and so did my dad. He loved it so much he never used it hardly. LOL! He used his 318 or older stuff before he used it! Here is when my late dad got it new. I went with him to the old john deere dealer in howe indiana which got bought out by greenmark. and is now in lagrange indiana. Got the 47 inch snow blower and the tiller. the tiller only got used once. she is still good looking. i always keep it indoors. the seat needs replaced now tho. got a big rip in it.
 

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Look on the side of the plastic reservoir to see the "H" and "C" lines. That tells you where the level should be at the temperature of the engine. If it is below the "C" line then add some 50/50 antifreeze to the reservoir until it reaches the "C" line. The upper line is when it is hot.
 

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Hi everyone!

Loving the new tractor so far...the power steering is a breeze, my kids and I have had a blast driving it around the property. It mows and cuts well and fires right up every time I start her up!

I had one concern today when I noticed that the coolant level is very low. I did not look at this before purchasing or any other time until now so its possible it has been this low all along. I don't see any signs of leakage but am not the most handy with these things. Does the coolant level drop with time? Should I be concerned about a leak or just change out/add the coolant?

The manual says to change out the coolant every 2 years or 400 hours (i might do this just to be safe), does this mean I should flush it or drain/refill?

Thanks!
I would highly recommend doing any scheduled service that you cannot verify was done. Regarding the level, once you get it to the correct level, I think you will be fine. You will notice that the return tub is fit through the side of the bottle and tends to weep a little as evidenced by a small amount of accumulation you normally see on the tank below the return tube. Nothing to worry about. Just watch it and you might have to top it off every year or two. I'm guessing the last owner never even looked at it.
 

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My rule of thumb for the coolant TANK is so long as it’s not empty at cold start, then there’s nothing to fret about. I mean that in the context that the coolant has been like that for a while or very, very, very slowly getting lower. If you’re filling it every couple mows then you’ve got actual problems, lol

I’ll echo the sentiments that you should do any maintenance you don’t have proof of (including hydraulic fluid and both filters).
 

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We have an X540. Biggest piece of junk mower I’ve ever used and I’ve had lots.. Only has 340 hrs. Smokes like a freight train on start up. Deck lift lever has broken twice. 54” deck doesn’t cut worth a darn it’s slow,super slow in reverse. . About the only thing I like about it is the hdap tires. I’d look for something a little more heavy duty if your looking for longevity.
You are joking right? I've never heard anyone say an X series was the biggest piece of junk ever..
 

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Im in the same boat as the OP, I have a line on a 218 hour X540, it is a 2010 model though. Anything to look for? Was that the fist year that model was built?
 

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Check under the front of the engine, you'll have to remove the hood, and see if there is any stain around the water pump area. That is a laborious job but not expensive. Also, check in the coolant reservoir for oil. I did have one that had oil in it from a leaking #1 cylinder head gasket where the thermostat is. Look on the inside hub and rim of the wheel area for oil stains. That is a seal replacement, again not expensive but laborious. Make sure the radiator screen is there. Work the RIO switch and make sure it is working and also the seat switch. It's up to you to modify them if you so desire but you should make sure they work when you buy it. As mentioned above, NEVER take the PO's word about any maintenance done. Assume, make an *** of U and me, he is lying or mistaken. I have stopped changing anything on my flips for that reason. I will change the engine oil/filter if it is black though. It is a fine machine and you will love using it.
 
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