The Best John Deere STX38 Reviews: Get Ready for Spring 2023 in Time

As the weather gets warmer and we start to prepare our farms for spring 2023, you’re considering upgrading your current equipment or finally buying that new John Deere STX38 tractor or lawnmower you’ve been eyeing.

You want to ensure that whatever new machine you get is of good quality and will help make your work easier. To help narrow down the dozens of options available, look at this review of the best John Deere STX38 reviews.

We’ll go over the features, specs, performance capability, and more so that you can be sure that your purchase is an investment in time-saving labor come next season!

Take Away Key Points:

  • The John Deere STX38 is a powerful and reliable lawn tractor that offers an impressive range of features.
  • It has a powerful engine with 12 HP and a hydrostatic transmission system, making it easy to maneuver and control on any terrain.
  • It also has a 38-inch cutting width, allowing you to quickly mow large areas or get into tight spaces.
  • Additionally, the STX38 offers a range of attachments for different tasks, like aerating and tilling.
  • The garden tractor is one of the most budget-friendly options, so you can get a powerful machine without spending too much.

Overview of John Deere STX38

John Deere STX38 first came into the scene as an upgraded version of the STX30 tractor. This incredible machine offered a variety of features, attachments, and reliable performance. However, it was STX38‘s job to outshine it!

The John Deere STX38 was built from 1988 to 1997 and was one of the most popular lawn tractors by John Deere. In 1994, Black Deck STX’s replaced the yellow deck models. The black deck lawn mower was eco-friendly compared to the yellow deck version.

The John Deere lawn tractor is powered by a Kohler CV12.5-1215 gasoline engine which delivers reliable performance and a power output of 12.5 HP.

Additionally, the upgraded black deck version can be used with numerous attachments, including a bagger attachment that collects all the grass clippings. With the discharge chute, you can also mulch and give back the nutrients to your lawn.

The John Deere lawn mower is designed with comfort in mind. The operator’s area is roomy, which helps reduce fatigue while mowing or working on other tasks.

how much oil does a john deere stx38 take

John Deere STX38 Serial Numbers

  • 1994: 210001 (black deck)
  • 1995: 240001 (black deck)
  • 1996: 270001 ( black deck)
  • 1997: 290001 (black deck)
  • 1996: 270001 ( Motorsport)
  • 1997: 290001 ( Motorsport)

John Deere STX38 Engine

The John Deere STX38 is powered by a powerful Kohler CV12.5-1215 gasoline engine which delivers reliable performance and a power output of 12.5 HP. This single-cylinder engine features a displacement of 398cc, a bore/stroke size of 3.425×2.638 inches, and a compression ratio of 8.5:1.

Compared to the previous JD STX30 lawn tractor, this one offers a more powerful engine and an overall excellent performance. The engine requires little maintenance and service.

Engine Specs

EngineKohler CV13S gasoline, air-cooled vertical-shaft
Number of cylinders1-cylinder
Displacement398 cc
Bore/Stroke3.425×2.638 inches
Power12.5 HP
Rated RPM3600
Starter volts12
Oil Capacity1.9 L
john deere stx38 specs

John Deere STX38: Transmission

The John Deere STX38 lawn tractor is equipped with a Dana 4360 belt-driven gear transmission, a reliable and durable system that allows for 5 forward and 1 reverse speed options.

The transmission helps to ensure smooth shifts from one speed to the next, allowing you to complete tasks quickly and efficiently. It also features an oil-sealed unit, so service is not recommended.

Additionally, the lawn tractor has an optional hydrostatic transmission that allows you to switch infinite gears!

Transmission specs: 

Transmission modelDana 4360
TypeBelt-driven gear
Number of gears5 forward and 1 reverse
Oil changesealed unit; service is not recommended.
what size belt does a john deere stx38 take

John Deere STX38: Mower Deck

The mower deck of the lawn tractor has a cutting width of 38 inches. However, due to the discharge chute on the side, the size is significantly smaller and measures only 10 inches.

The mower deck can also mulch so that you can turn all the grass clippings into nutritious fertilizer for the ground.

John Deere STX38: Attachments

The John Deere STX38 lawn tractor is a versatile machine that can be used with several attachments, such as a grass bagger, snow throwers, a dethatcher, and a sprayer.

The attachments make the STX38 even more beneficial for yard care. The grass bagger attachment helps keep the lawn tidy by gathering grass clippings while mowing and making disposal much easier.

Snow throwers are ideal attachments since they help expedite the time-consuming work of snow removal during the winter. The garden tractor also features an additional headlight kit, powerful front blades, and utility carts.

Additionally, springtime brings the opportunity to use attachments like dethatchers which promote healthy turf growth by pulling shallow-rooted thatch from the lawn while aerating soil at the same time.

Lastly, sprayers can apply fertilizer or herbicides over larger areas at once. All of these attachments feature different purposes, but all are beneficial for keeping your lawn maintaining its good looks and health.

John Deere STX38: Dimensions

Wheelbase44.69 inches
Length60 inches
Width52 inches
Height38.6 inches
Weight433 lbs

The John Deere STX38 lawn tractor is ideal for lawn and garden owners with medium-sized plots. The compact size of this tractor allows owners to comfortably maneuver their yards while still being able to perform multiple tasks such as mowing, tilling, and snow removal quickly and efficiently.

The ergonomic design of the seat and steering wheel makes operation comfortable for operators, while the various speed settings provide suitability for different types of jobs. In addition, its heavy-duty construction means it can run at higher speeds than its competitors.

This makes it great for efficiently tackling larger projects around your garden or yard. Finally, it also comes with an adequate lighting system kit that enables you to work safely in any light condition. All these features make the John Deere STX38 lawn tractor an excellent choice for medium-sized properties!

The front tires on a ride-on mower are 13 inches wide and 6 inches thick, while the rear ones measure 18×8 inches.

Common Issues With the John Deere STX38

One of the issues that users of the John Deere STX38 lawn tractor should prepare for is a common steering issue. It may become difficult to keep the tractor pointed in a straight path, and this difficulty can increase as the speed of the machine increases. This can easily be attributed to aging parts like worn-out tie rod ends that need to be replaced.

Other issues that users tend to face are belts wearing down or slipping after extended use, issues with keeping the tractor running, and starting issues. While these issues can be fixed relatively easily with some proper maintenance and replacements of parts, they are issues users should be aware of when buying a used John Deere STX38 lawn tractor.


What year was the John Deere STX38 made?

John Deere STX38 was made in 1988 and finished production in 1997.

 What kind of oil does a John Deere STX38 take?

You will need two quarts of high-quality detergent oil rated API service class SG, SH, SJ, and an SAE grade of 10W-30 when temperatures are above freezing (32 degrees Fahrenheit). If the temperature falls below 32 F, you will need a 5W-20 or 5W-30 grade oil.

What is the popularity of the STX38?

The STX38 is a good machine and a powerful garden mower for accomplishing basic gardening tasks. The John Deere STX38 black deck lawn mower can mow and perform mulching, so it’s versatile for the price! The cost of the model is budget-friendly, but you can get the lawn mower tractor for under $2.500 at a local dealer.

How much is a John Deere STX38 worth?

The current price of the John Deere STX38 lawn mower tractor is $2,350.

How much oil does a John Deere STX38 take?

The John Deere STX38 lawn mower tractors take 2 quarts of high-quality detergent oil.

How to change the oil on John Deere STX38?

Here are some steps to help you change the oil on your John Deere STX38 lawn mower tractor:

1. Park the tractor on flat ground and allow it to cool for at least 15 minutes.

2. Drain the oil by removing the drain plug from the sump.

3. Replace the drain plug and fill the sump with two quarts of the oil recommended by the manufacturer.

4. Replace the oil filter and secure it using a new copper washer.

5. Start the tractor engine and let it run for a while to ensure that the oil is circulating throughout the engine.

6. Turn off the engine and add more oil if necessary.

What size battery for John Deere STX38?

The John Deere STX38 requires one SP12-35 NB (12 V 35 AH) battery.


 If you are looking for a versatile, powerful, and reliable garden tractor that is also budget-friendly, then the John Deere STX38 is perfect.

You can get your gardening tasks done quickly and easily with its many features and benefits. So why wait? Get your very own John Deere STX38 today!

Photo of author

Ben Bareja

Ben Bareja, the owner-founder-webmaster of This website was conceptualized primarily to serve as an e-library for reference purposes on the principles and practices in crop science, including basic botany. Read more here

Leave a Comment