Common Repairs Needed on Tractors

Anyone who owns a farm must understand the common repairs needed on tractors. If something pops up, you need to know how to diagnose the issue and hopefully resolve it. This not only helps you troubleshoot problems as they arise, but will also develop better preventative maintenance habits. On a farm, every minute matters, so being able to resolve issues quickly will save you a lot of money and headaches.

Common Repairs Needed on Tractors

This article discusses common tractor problems and shows you how to handle them. If you’re unsure about anything specific, then consult the owner’s manual. It contains model-specific information that is too complex to cover in a single article.

Let’s get started!

Common Tractor Engine Problems

There are a lot of potential issues that can crop up with a tractor engine. Most of them are beyond your ability to fix so we’ll just focus on the issues that you’re able to fix.


This is an essential part of the engine because it provides air to the fuel, thus providing oxygen to allow for optimal combustion. Sometimes the carburetor gets clogged and the tractor’s performance suffers. You’ll feel the machine start to run sluggishly and it sounds like it’s gasping for air. If this happens, it’s essential that you check the carburetor right away to prevent other more expensive issues.

Sometimes, you can just clean away the junk from the carburetor’s intake and it fixes the problem. If the carburetor itself is damaged, then a replacement is required.

Spark Plugs

Spark plugs are another essential element of combustion so if they are damaged, then the machine will struggle and feel sluggish. If you use your tractor a lot, then you should check the spark plugs regularly to make sure they are in optimal condition. Damaged spark plugs cause the machine to eat more fuel. It also loses power and will eventually struggle to keep up with everyday activities.

Refer to the owner’s manual to determine how often spark plugs need to be replaced.

Hydraulic Cylinders

If your tractor has an attachment on it, such as a loader, odds are that it has hydraulic cylinders.  These units are subject to excessive wear and tear due to the extreme amount of internal pressure they are subjected to.  It’s a good idea to inspect these often for leaks. The rods of these cylinders are also prone to bending and warping over time.  The good news is that these parts are easy to replace, and there is a wide selection of replacement hydraulic cylinders available to choose from.

Common Tractor Electrical Problems

Electrical problems are a pain to pinpoint since they are woven into every operation of a tractor.

Battery Problems

If the tractor refuses to start, then start by checking the battery and make sure it has a good charge. If the machine has sat idle for a long period of time, then a battery charge might fix the problem.

Inspect the cables and posts to make sure material deposits haven’t built up around them. This should be a part of your preventative maintenance routine.

If the machine still refuses to cooperate, then check the wiring to see if there is visible damage. This is where it gets tricky so you might need to hire a professional to look at the machine.  

Common Tractor Fuel System Problems

Finally, the last element of combustion is fuel. This is the easiest problem to identify. A failing fuel system is quite obvious. You’ll notice a significant drop-off in performance and then the machine will stop working. Do not let fuel system problems go unchecked because it will lead to expensive repairs. 

Low Fuel Pressure

Low fuel pressure significantly hinders the power and effectiveness of the tractor. You’ll notice awful performance and problems performing even the simplest of tasks.

Start by inspecting the fuel control system. If it sticks, then it will not allow fuel to flow through properly. Sometimes you can fix this with lubricant but if that doesn’t work, then take it to a professional immediately to avoid expensive damage.

There are also other causes of low fuel pressure. One example is a clogged filter. Sometimes you can check and replace the filter and fix the problem.  

Final Thoughts

Preventative maintenance is an essential step to owning a tractor so don’t neglect it.  It’s important that you address small issues immediately. A small problem can quickly lead to major, expensive problems.