The John Deere Gator 4-by-2 is a maintenance cart with 500 lbs. of cargo capacity and eight 6-volt batteries for hours of power before a recharge is needed. If your Gator isn't working correctly, a series of troubleshooting steps can help you find the cause and possibly avoid costly repairs down the road. Basic repairs can be handled without a service technician, but if you can't find the problem, a John Deere retail outlet should be equipped to help you.
Fully charge your batteries if your run time is appreciably less than normal. Unplug your charging mechanism when your power monitor shows a full charge. Inspect your batteries for corrosion if you're still short of a full charge. Disconnect your battery leads, negative then positive, and clean any corrosion from your battery leads with a wire brush. Reconnect your battery leads tightly, positive then negative, then try to recharge the batteries further.
Inspect all cabling running to and from your batteries and charger if you're still not getting a full recharge. Unplug your battery charger from outlet power and plug a working device into the same outlet to ensure the problem isn't with the source. Contact John Deere for a load test on your batteries if the outlet isn't the problem and you still can't get a full charge. You may need new wiring or have dead cells in your batteries.
Inspect your running lights for needed replacements. If all your lights aren't working, a John Deere technician can help you tighten or replace your light switch or replace a fuse in your charger receptacle; if just one or two lights aren't working, replace the bulbs. Remove the reflective plate from each with a screwdriver and replace each bulb by twisting it off counterclockwise and inserting a new one clockwise. Replace the covers with your screwdriver and accompanying screws.
Check your motor for problems. Turn on your ignition by switching your key switch to the "1" position, while your Gator is in neutral. Shift it into gear -- first forward, then reverse -- to test the transmission. If your motor or transmission isn't running, make sure the parking brake isn't on, the batteries aren't corroded (see Step 1) and that your charger isn't plugged into the vehicle. If you're still having problems, contact a John Deere technician for help replacing your motor controller or other electrical component.
Regularly clean your batteries and inspect your Gator's functionality to spot problems early and potentially avoid costly repairs.