Tractor issues happen, but just because they do doesn't mean the fixes have to be expensive or time consuming. Here are eight quick fixes to common tractor problems:
Runs poorly, even after being warmed up.
Your first instinct may be to replace the carburetor, but the solution may not be that drastic. Instead, check the fuel line, sediment bowl and tank outlet. Especially with older tractors, these can often become backed up due to sediment, making it seem like something else is wrong with the engine.
Dies while warming up.
If your tractor suddenly stops while warming up, this is usually caused by a bad condenser. While testing and repairing condensers is possible, it can be difficult and cost prohibitive. Your best bet is to just have it replaced.
Starter issues with a good battery.
If you know your battery is good, but you're still having starter problems, replacing the starter may not fix the issue. A more likely culprit is actually the connections between the two. If your cables are warm, it might indicate they're not the right gauge. Check your tractor's requirements so you purchase the right wire for the job. Also, make sure the connections are solid. Improper connections will cause the same symptoms.
Won't start, but gas tank is full and the starter is working.
If you're tractor won't start, there are usually two main culprits: fuel and the starter. Since it's obvious to see if the starter is working (there will be a spark), there's a good chance the gas is the problem. If gas sits for too long in an engine, it will go bad. Drain the gas tank and fill it up with fresh fuel.
It still won't start.
If it still won't start after the fuel has been replaced, check the distributor cap. Water tends to gather under the cap, especially in inclement weather conditions, which hinders the engine. After drying it out, the tractor should start right away.
There are a number of reasons why your tractor overheats. Before checking the usual suspects, like the water pump, thermostat and radiator cap, check your cooling fan. If the v-belt on the fan is the wrong size, it'll cause the fan not to work properly. Replace it with a properly fitting belt that has the right tension for your tractor.
Radiator fluid boils.
If your tractor is boiling out radiator fluid, the thermostat may be broken. However, before you replace it, check the radiator cap. If the cap is the wrong type or it's old, it may be leaking steam. Make sure your cap is rated correctly for your tractor. Also, check its spring and seal for damage.
Is oil smoke spewing from your exhaust? If it is, first check the cylinder compression. If that's not damaged, you can eliminate potential problems with your valves, pistons and rings. That leaves the oil-bath filter, which could be damaged if you're using the wrong weight of oil. If it's too light, the air filter is likely being pulled into the engine, causing the smoke. Oil that is too heavy may cause other issues, so purchasing the right oil for your tractor is critical.
If you've spent time in the agriculture industry, you know how important it is to maintain your machine. When you find that you need replacement parts, don't waste time and gas driving from dealer to dealer. Instead, rely on our simple digital hub where you can easily and quickly search for what you need. The online database instantaneously searches through millions of records to give you a list of sellers around the country who have the parts you need at highly competitive prices. Best of all, they can ship them straight to you!
While tractor problems can be a headache, fixes don't have to be expensive.