John Deere LA165

The John Deere LA165 lawn mower is the second biggest in the 100 series of lawnmowers that JD produced over a period of 2 years from 2008 until production finished in 2010. The biggest model in the series is the John Deere LA175 garden tractor, while the John Deere LA155 lawnmower is obviously a bit smaller. The JD LA165 gets its power from an 0.724 liter (44 cubic centimeter) Briggs and Stratton engine. This V twin cylinder engine pumps out 24 horsepower that turns the wheels and the blades in the mower deck. The engine is started with a standard 12 volt battery that is recharged using a 16 amp alternator when the engine is running. The engine is designed and built by Briggs and Stratton and is the special Extended Life Series (ELS) engine. This means that many different extras have been built into the engine enabling it to last up to 50% longer than similar engines from other brands.

The John Deere LA165 utilizes the very simple but fantastically functional CargO Mount attachment system. This allows the operator to quickly and effortlessly attach or detach baggers, a sun canopy or other attachments compatible with this lawn mower. As the JD LA165 is a bigger machine that is routinely used by contractors, it usually sees a lot of wear and tears (and some abuse) along with regular use. This is why the team at John Deere have built it with cast iron front axle that will not bend, even under very heavy loading during rougher handling.

The John Deere LA165 has a 15.1 liter (4 US gallon) capacity for the regular models, but for the ‘California’ models, it has a reduced capacity, capable of holding 8.5 liters (2.25 US gallons) of gasoline. The great thing about the fuel tank on the JD LA165 is that it’s translucent so that the operator can easily see how much gas is left in the tank during operation.

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8 Reviews of the “John Deere LA165”

  1. Paul Richardson says:

    Steering gear mechanism is shoddy at best, replaced twice within first 6 years. (I mow a flat yard with very little turning). The paint started peeling before it was two years old, first on the deck and then the tractor itself. Bearings on deck, front wheels are not quality, they will not last. My experience is DON’T BUY JOHN DEERE anymore! If their ag tractors were like this, OLIVER would be the only green tractors….

    Year of Manufacture: 2008
    Pros: I don’t know if there is a Pro to this…
    Cons: Paint peeling first year, steering gear replaced twice, front wheel bearings replaced three times, starts then dies 2-3 seconds later does this 4-5 times before it will stay running. NO MORE John Deere for me! Dealers are absolutely no help and only want to charge 50+ an hour to “find” the problem.
    Attachments: Mower deck
    Modifications: None

  2. mark osterhaus says:


    Year of Manufacture: 9
    Pros: love the engine ..little loud but good power..cuts nicely handles well in tight spaces….good deal made on unit w/only 100 hrs…needed TLC THOUGH….HAVE 16YR OLD LT155 THAT STILL SCORES A 5 STAR RATING….TO BE CONTINUED….
    Cons: READ REVIEWS TOO LATE….STEERING PROBLEM NOTICED RIGHT AWAY..POOR TRACTION..LT155 WOULD WALK @ IT…Added home made sand box …approx. 30lbs..helped some…may buy different tires…..cup holder problem could be fixed by JOHN DEERE ENGINEER ACTUALLY USING TRACTOR TO MOW THEIR OWN LAWN…I.E..REVERSE NON-FUNCTIONING HEIGHT ADJ TO OTHER SIDE….FOUND FIX FOR STEERING PROBLEMS..YOU MAY WANT TO TRY…..READ ON MODIFICATIONS….OR CALL 608-732-1895 AFTER 5:30pm mon-Friday…don’t do well w/these call…
    Modifications: BACK IN LATE 90’S,WORKED AT DODGE DEALERSHIP..RECALL ON CARAVANS FOR LIFTGATE adj…washers fit perfectly over steering pivot bolt..old mopar techs probably have some left…will also need 1/4″ fender washer approx..1 3/8 dia…remove deck..need 15mm socket and a 13mm OPEN end wrench..fender washer should fit just over pivot bolt threads…clean area..tough to get at…lube fender washer w/antisieze or grease will work..slide over steering plate into position..with mopar washer on pivot bolt..lube underside of steering plate and install pivot bolt..use GERMAN engineering to install(goodntite)…do not over lube areas…grease attracts dirt….you will notice improvement in steering stability function right away…YES JOHN DEERE I WILL TAKE CREDIT FOR THIS INEXPENSIVE REPAIR ALTHOUGH TEST RESULTS ARE STILL COMING IN..!!!!!?….

  3. Tony Webb says:

    I was sick for a couple of yrs. Had other people cut my yard during that time.The other mowers did a super job put the JD to shame. I have had craftsman mowers that I payed $100 to $300 for I should have stuck with used. I have never been so disappointed in a mower!! I make sure to let everyone i see looking at mowers know what I know. JD doesn’t make a good mower. Even when i am in the dealership getting parts. They don’t like that. For the price we paid for that mower you would thank it would be better built. With the money we have spent getting it repaired and time working on it. I could have bought something much bigger and that can handle mowing a yard. Don’t believe there will be another JD in this yard. Oh yeah I had a LA 110 mower I believe it did a better job. In my opinion the LA165 is a waste of money. Maybe that is why they only made them for 2 yrs???

    Year of Manufacture: 2009
    Pros: comfortable seat, hydrostatic trans.
    Cons: Where to start? Paint job was good for the sale, but it started flaking around the 2nd yr.. The dealer didn’t seem to care. I have taken it apart and removed the crappy paint job and repainted it properly ! Have had problem after problem with the motor. The motor stilll sounds like its on its last leg, lost count how many times they have worked on it. At 190 hr. the steering gear, sector, bushings need replaced. I had JD service the mower the first 3 or 4 times. the first time i went to grease the front axle there was a crack approx. 1/8th of the way around the zert. How could they miss that with grease coming out of it. Again they could care less. The blades dull so fast,can’t keep a sharp blade under there. Not sure if it is the blades or power but it will not do a good job cutting the grass or weeds if they or higher then the deck. i have to go over the yard 2 times most of the time..Mower has always been hard to start.
    1 more, Why would anyone put a grease fitting where they did on the front axle?
    Attachments: none
    Modifications: none

  4. Lew HUbbert says:

    I was proud to purchase my John Deer lawn tractor. I fell for the hype.
    I have been totally dissatisfied with the machine, and this will be my first and last purchase.

    Year of Manufacture: 2010
    Pros: Sweet sounding engine.
    Cons: I mow several acres of flat/hilly terrain. Mower does ok on flat stuff, poor job on hills. Less than 300 hrs on machine will barely pull me up the slight incline of my driveway. Am told hydrostatic transmission needs to be replaced. The 4 gallon plastic fuel tank started leaking 1 yr ago. It was replaced by my dealer with a 2 gallon plastic tank, and they charged me the same price as a 4 gallon tank. Was told that is how John deere does it.
    Attachments: None
    Modifications: None

  5. Jess Hilton says:

    I purchased this tractor to replace a 1979 Simplicity which I was tired of working on every year. It was used with only 40 hours on it and looked brand new. I have to work on this John Deere LA165 almost every time I mow the lawn. I wash my tractors after every mowing and they are kept in a garage and this tractor has been maintained per JD recommendations with JD Grease & Oil. When I washed this the first time, the Deck Paint began flaking off. The 1st time I mowed with it the mower belt came off. The next time it started making noise when the blades were engaged. This noise gradually got louder. After the 4th mowing I had found that 2 of the 3 blade bearings had gone bad. Before completing the 7th Mowing the engine began to surge, backfire and loose power under load. I haven’t found this problem yet. I wish I had my old Simplicity back.

    Year of Manufacture: 2010
    Pros: Sharp looking machine & comfortable seat.
    Cons: Cheaply built. Mower Deck removal more difficult than others I’ve owned. Unreliable. Poor fuel economy. Mower deck paint is flaking off. Poor location of cup holder, low and on same side as the grass discharge, duh!
    Attachments: None.
    Modifications: None.

  6. Dan Collins says:

    It’s time to see what the competition has to offer!!!

    Year of Manufacture: 2010
    Pros: Comfortable ride.smooth on bumpy sections.
    Cons: Problems from day one.Wouldn’t start.Defective regulator.Two weeks later,wiring harness had to be replaced.jAll summer long of season 2′ I had to boost it to cut my grass when finally they replaced my battery,it now starts when I want it to.Season my steering mechanism is completely warn out.I need to replace the sector & pinion gear now that the warranty is up.If I wanted this much problem with cutting my grass,I would have spent half the money and gone to the local hardware store.You don’t get what you pay for.
    Attachments: 48 inch cutting deck
    Modifications: None

  7. Jeremy says:

    Overall I am very disappointed in the quality of this product. My wife and I work at John Deere, so we wanted to support the business, but I feel we were really let down. I had 2 mowers (a Craftsman I bought used for $300 and the LA165 I bought for $2700) and used the Craftsman for all the rough sections of the yard (without getting off to pick up and rocks or sticks) and the the John Deere for the flat areas that had been precleaned of sticks and rocks. So to have all the issues on an expensive mower and no issues on one I abused is quite discouraging!

    Year of Manufacture: 2009
    Pros: Smooth hydrostatic transmission and great motor
    Cons: Blades needed replaced after first year (metal appears not to have neen properly heat treated), 3 belts for mower deck in under 10 hours of use, since purchased the tire has slowly lost air, steering gear about to need replaced after 150 hours, mower deck wheels have no gusstes so wheels bent and had to be removed after hitting a mole hill, deck height setting is not even close to the inches listed.
    Attachments: 48″ snowblade

  8. Kurt Carpenter says:

    Did not like the cutting performance , and the steering design is simply primative ..

    Year of Manufacture: 2008
    Pros: Dependable Briggs-Stratton 24 hp engine, Hydro trans.
    Cons: Poor fuel consumption , Steering mechanism poorly engineered, at 300 hours needed to completely replace steering gear, steering plate , spindles and bushings.. JD dealer said that they are looking for a replacement steering system app. I pulled apart my 12 year old Sabre steering , model 1842 hydro w/approx 3,000 hrs and found very little wear. this would be the type of steering mechanism I would want on my next machine…

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