How Do I Troubleshoot John Deere Hydraulic Systems?

Hunker may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.
Troubleshoot John Deere hydraulic systems.

John Deere is the premier name in all things to do with tractors. Its distinctive green tractors are sturdy and dependable. John Deere manufactures many models, such as utility, four-wheel drive and row-crop tractors. These are all top of the line machines. However, as with most heavy-duty farm equipment that has multiple moving parts, breakdowns with the hydraulic systems inevitably occur. There are a number of steps you can troubleshoot before calling in your local John Deere mechanic for what could be a costly visit.

Step 1

Check the oil level if the system pump is noisy. Fill as necessary. Replace the oil and the filter if the oil viscosity is not correct. Check to see if the reservoir air vent cap is plugged.

Step 2

Check for air leaks in the air pump inlet line and fittings if there is low system-pump oil flow. Replace if necessary. Check to see if the relief valve is partially left open. Close the valve if open.

Step 3

Check to see if the boom arms are binding at the pivots if the arms do rise and lower correctly. Lubricate the linkage if necessary. See if the cylinder shafts are bent. Make sure that the boom and bucket are not overloaded. Check the inlet to see if there is low oil flow coming from the pump.

Step 4

Check the axillary hydraulic handle if the bucket will not tilt or tilts backwards and forwards too slowly. See if the handle is locked in the "detent" position. Place the handle into "neutral."

Step 5

Open the "preselector" valve if the hydraulic oil overheats. The oil passage to the engine could be closed.


If the hydrostatic charge pressure is low, the oil level in the reservoir could also be low. The charge lines may also be plugged, relating to the same problem.

For a noisy system-pump, the pumps may not be neutrally centered. The park brake could also be engaged. Check that the suction line is not clogged.

If there is no hydraulic system pressure, the hydraulic pump could be worn. The relief valve could also be damaged. For this problem, consult your John Deere dealer.

For problems with the boom arms not rising or lowering correctly, it could mean that the gear pump is damaged. Consult your John Deere dealer for this problem.

If the hydrostatic charge pressure is low, it could mean that there is a malfunction of the charge pressure relief. The "relief" will need to be replaced by a John Deere technician.


Ross Glyn

Ross Glyn began writing for film and television in 1986. He wrote and directed the film “After The Rain” as well as the play “Soweto's Burning.” He is a member of the Writers Guild Of America, the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. Ross holds a performer's degree from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.