Today, it seems that John Deere is directly in the headlights of those who are understandably upset about cracked seats. The thing is, it’s not necessarily a John Deere thing so much as the type of seat and the types of exposure that it endures.
Why Do John Deere Seats Crack?
John Deere seats may crack if the vinyl that goes into the manufacturing process is of low quality. When exposed to temperature changes or long-term exposure to the sun, a low-quality vinyl weakens quickly and becomes more susceptible to cracking, especially if you are up and down in the seat all day, applying stress to the vinyl.
Fortunately, there are both ways to repair and ways to avoid cracking in your John Deere mower seats. Preventative maintenance goes a long way and can help you maintain the durability and longevity of your John Deere seats so you won’t have to deal with sitting on a cracked and pinching seat.
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What Causes Cracking in John Deere Seats?
To better answer the question, you must include the design, elements such as weather and temperature, and how you sit in the seat when you climb up on the mower.
Vinyl is susceptible to changing temperatures, and, like many types of plastic, it gets far more malleable and weak when exposed to direct sunlight for extensive periods.
When it is in a weakened condition, and you sit on the seat, with the bulk of your weight on one end, just before you shift over to the center, the seat may crack.
This is compounded by how John Deere designs their seats, where the seat springs are located. On some of John Deere’s tractors, the seat springs are even longer, which allows for more force and less rounded weight distribution on the seat.
When the majority of the load shifts to either the right or the left of the seat. This is when the spring design, combined with the stressors of temperature and age, come together to create a hairline fault in the vinyl, which your shifting weight opens up like a yellow yawn, resulting in a cracked seat.
How to Avoid Cracked Seats?
You can do several things to protect and maintain your John Deere seats, so they either never crack or last until you upgrade your tractor.
Vinyl is exceptionally susceptible to the extreme heat of prolonged sun exposure and bitterly cold winters, so protecting the vinyl is a must, especially with John Deere’s use of small springs under their seats.
Use Seat Covers
The bright yellow seats on green John Deere tractors are a well-known and well-loved aesthetic combination, so if you want to maintain that traditional look and the seat’s longevity, you can always go for yellow seat covers.
Not only does John Deere sell them, but you can also find a large variety of yellow seat covers on the Amazon online marketplace and several other retailers. Many of these seat covers are designed with extra cushioning, which makes the ride a lot more comfortable, especially for those overly large lawns.
Your search for a seat cover doesn’t have to end there. However, there are many more to select from, and they come in just about any color you could imagine or want.
Vinyl Cover Treatments
Protecting your vinyl seat covers from the damage of temperature and sunlight is paramount, and vinyl cover treatments help to protect the seats from just that. Most vinyl treatments and conditioners will work, too, so even if you find one that claims it is for vehicles, it will still work with your John Deere seat as well.
The 3D Leather Vinyl; Plastic Conditioner is one such item out of many. These conditioners help improve the seat’s ability to handle extended exposure to sunlight and changing temperatures.
When you apply these conditioners, the seat absorbs them for long-term use, bringing out the luster and shine of the seat while acting as a protectant.
Install Upgraded Springs Beneath the Seat
One of the biggest complaints about John Deere lawnmower seats is that the springs underneath them are too long and skinny, allowing for too much strain on the vinyl seat above.
To alleviate the problem, you can always remove the seat which should be held in place by just a series of bolts that run through the fender pans and into the springs above.
Removing the bolts will allow you to lift the seat up and replace the springs with something a little large and shorter.
Alone, replacing the springs might not be enough, so if you decide to go that route, you should use it in combination with the vinyl treatments and/or the addition of a seat cover. Several suggestions are floating around John Deere forums that point to rubber bushings for replacing the springs.
However you go about doing it, it’s still a good idea to do a combination of things to get the best protection possible. For example, replacing the springs isn’t an option on some John Deere tractors because the dipstick over the oil pan sticks out too far.
Can You Replace the Seat Entirely?
Yes, you can. Unfortunately, John Deere is very proud of their seats, and you will pay a premium for them, even if you turn to Amazon or a similar online retailer to purchase one. Just be careful to go over the model numbers for each seat, so you can be sure to pick the right one before you place your order.
You can also find replacement seats by going directly to the John Deere website, where they sell replacement seats for most of their lawnmower models.
Repairing a Cracked John Deere Seat
If you don’t want to pony up the money to replace the seat entirely, it’s possible that you can repair the crack(s) so long as it hasn’t become too extensive.
However, you will need to gather together several things to get started.
- Vinyl repair kit
- Nail polish remover
- Wax paper
- Cotton balls
The vinyl repair kit will have all of the other items you need, including the glue. The first thing you’ll want to do is dip your cotton balls in nail polish remover and thoroughly wipe down the entire seat with a particular focus on the cracked area.
Press the crack together and place a bead of glue across the entirety of the crack. Then allow it to cure for a few minutes. Next, run another bead of glue over that.
Now, place the wax paper over the top of the glue and the crack. Use an iron over the top of the wax paper and work it up and down the crack without staying too long in one spot.
When you’re all done, let it cure for 24 hours, and it is highly advisable to throw a seat cover over the top of the seat for the foreseeable future.
Cracking in your John Deere seats is most likely going to be caused by a combination of factors, such as temperature changes, underperforming springs, and the thin material that they are manufactured with.
Fortunately, there are ways to either avoid them or replace them altogether.