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A Guide on How To Start A John Deere Tractor in 12 Simple Steps

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A John Deere tractor can easily be identified by its brilliant green and yellow paint scheme. The company produces a wide variety of tractors to suit any requirement.

The horsepower of John Deere tractors ranges from 18 to 450. The lowest horsepower tractors have enough muscle to mow a medium-sized or even a large-sized yard.

The process of starting the John Deere is simple, and it’s the same for all ranges of John Deere tractors. The topic of discussion in this article is how to start a John Deere tractor.

Although John Deere lawn tractors and riding mowers are available in a multitude of types, the technique for starting them all is essentially the same.

Keep in mind that your type of mower may have subtle differences in where things are placed, so check your user handbook or look at the instructions on the tractor before trying to start it.

How To Start A John Deere Tractor
John Deere Tractor via Pixabay

A Guide on How To Start A John Deere Tractor

If you are looking to start a John Deere tractor, there are a few things you will need to know. Let’s see how to start a John Deere tractor step-by-step.

  1. Start the tractor outside in a well-ventilated place.
    • Don’t ever turn the engine on in a closed space with no way for the fumes to escape.
    • If you’re planning to start the engine in a garage or other confined space, open any windows and doors to let air in.
    • If you can’t find a suitable location for the mower, you can connect a pipe extension with the exhaust pipe and extend it outside to send the exhaust fumes away.
    • When absorbed in an enclosed place, the fumes coming out of the engine exhaust contain poisonous carbon monoxide, which can cause severe illness or even death.
  2. The first step is to take the engine oil dipstick out of the tractor hood. If necessary, add more oil. Make sure the gas tank is full. If necessary, add more gasoline.
  3. Sit in the seat that faces the tractor’s front. This may appear to be a no-brainer, but it is a “must.” Safety switches are standard on modern John Deere tractors. The tractor will not start if no one is in the driver’s seat.
  4. Locate the ignition switch. It is typically located on the right-hand side of the steering wheel. In the ignition of the tractor, insert the key.
  5. To ensure the transmission is neutral, depress the clutch pedal and verify the gear shift. Use the emergency brake to stop the car. If you don’t set the brake, the John Deere tractor will most likely not start due to another safety element.
  6. Once you have found the ignition switch, turn it to the “on” position. You should then see the words “start” or “run” on the instrument panel. The tractor will not start unless the blades are disengaged. Check to see if the power take-off switch is turned off.
  7. Hold down the clutch and press down on the brake pedal to start the tractor.
    • Then, turn the ignition key to the “start” position for at least 5 seconds.
    • You risk damaging the starter if you keep it there for too long. After 5 seconds, let go of the key.
    • If the engine doesn’t start after 10 seconds, wait another 5 seconds before turning the key to the start position. Carry on in this manner until the engine starts.
  8. The tractor should start running after several attempts. If it doesn’t, you may need to adjust the choke. To do this, turn the choke knob on the instrument panel to the “on” position. Pull the choke all the way out if the engine is cold. Pull the choke out halfway if the engine is heated.
  9. Keep your foot on the brake pedal. Switch the throttle lever to “Start” mode.
    • Turn the key again to start the lawn tractor. Place the throttle in the “Run” position and fully engage the choke. The tractor will then start running.
    • After the engine starts, return the key to the run position by letting go of the key. It will immediately return to the run position when you let go of the key.
  10. Before moving, let the engine idle for 2 minutes at half-speed.
    • Allow approximately 2 minutes of idle time for the engine to warm up. After 2 minutes, start working the mower.
    • Allowing the engine to idle for more than just a few minutes at a time can result in engine damage.
    • If you’re going to be away from the mower for more than 2 minutes, switch it off first and then turn it back on when you’re ready to use it again.
  11. Once the tractor is running, release the clutch and press down on the brake pedal. You can then release the brake pedal and start driving.
  12. Be sure to keep your hands on the wheel at all times. Press down on the brake pedal if you need to stop the tractor. The tractor should then stop running. You can then release the brake pedal and drive away. 
How To Start A John Deere Tractor 2
John Deere Tractor – via Flickr

Turning Off the Engine

  1. The throttle lever must be Idle for 30 seconds while being in a slow position. Reduce the engine’s speed by lowering the throttle lever. Before switching off the mower, Keep the engine idle for at least 30 seconds at this speed. This reduces the amount of unburned fuel entering the engine before switching off.
  2. Toggle the key to the off position. To stop the engine, turn the key to the left. Don’t take the key out just yet. The engine will stop when you have properly turned the key to the stop position.
  3. The parking brake should be locked. Hold the brake pedal down and press it down. To secure the parking brake, pull up on the parking brake lever found under the ignition, then remove the foot from the brake pedal. So when the parking brake is engaged, the brake pedal remains squeezed.
  4. Take the key out of the ignition. Remove the key and preserve it in a secure location. When you’re not using the mower, never leave the key in the ignition. If the key is left in the ignition and unintentionally switched to the headlights on position, the mower’s battery will be swiftly drained. 

Final Remarks

To keep your tractor running smoothly, be sure to follow the proper procedures for starting and stopping it. Also, take care to observe the correct engine idling times. By doing so, you’ll prolong the life of your tractor and avoid any potential damage.

Learning how to start a John Deere tractor is a critical skill for anyone who owns this type of tractor. The steps are straightforward. With a little practice, you should be able to start your tractor in no time.

Be sure to heed all the safety warnings, as they are in place to protect you and those around you. Thanks for reading! Enjoy your John Deere tractor!