How to Troubleshoot a John Deere Gator 6x4 That Won't Start

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Things You'll Need

  • Wrench

  • Wire brush

  • Battery terminal grease

  • Battery charger

  • Fuses

  • Screwdriver

  • Fuel filter

It won't take much time or many tools to troubleshoot your Gator 6x4 engine problems.

The John Deere Gator 6x4 utility vehicle has excellent traction, stability and low impact on sensitive turf. It's just what you need to work in the most rugged terrains. Unfortunately, if the Gator won't start you might find yourself stranded with little hope of driving your 6x4 on stable ground again. Don't despair! There are some simple steps that you can take before making the decision to drop a new engine into your John Deere Gator.


Step 1

Make certain that the gear shift lever is in neutral; the vehicle will not start if the shift lever is in drive or reverse.

Step 2

Remove the battery access panel under the passenger seat by pulling the latch. Inspect the battery terminals for corrosion. Remove the battery cables. Clean the terminals and cables with a wire brush. Spread a thin film of battery terminal grease on the terminals and replace the cables. Replace the access panel and try starting the Gator.

Step 3

Remove the battery access panel. Connect a battery charger to the battery, by clamping the negative (-) charger cable to the negative battery terminal, and the positive (+) charger cable to the positive battery terminal. Plug the charger into an electrical outlet and charge the battery according to the charger instructions. Remove cables. Replace the access panel and try starting the Gator.


Step 4

Check the fuses to see if any are blown. (They are located beneath the instrument panel, behind the brake pedal.) Replace any blown fuses and try starting the Gator.

Step 5

Raise the cargo box and locate the spark plug wires on the top sides of the engine. Wiggle the wires to see if they are loose. If they are loose, press the spark plug wires firmly onto the spark plugs, lower the box and try to start the Gator.

Step 6

Raise the cargo box. Remove the spark plug wires. Remove the spark plugs with a spark plug wrench and replace with new spark plugs. Lower the cargo box and try starting the Gator.


Step 7

Raise the cargo box. Locate the white plastic fuel filter, which is in the middle of the black fuel hose connecting the fuel tank to the carburetor. Unscrew the two hose clamps on either side of the filter. Slide the clamps away from the filter and remove the filter. Replace with a new filter, with the arrow on the filter facing toward the engine. Slide the clamps toward the filter and tighten. Lower the box and try starting the Gator.



James Werning

James Werning has authored books and articles on various websites. His scripts have aired for more than 15 years on radio stations across North America. He is a small business owner and a world traveler with a master's degree in communications from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.