10 Bad Habits That Can Mess Up Your Tractor

We want to help you avoid messing up your tractor.


Some breakdowns are mechanical and not of our own doing. Others are self-induced “human” mess-ups.

Here are a few common mess ups to be careful of.


Putting gasoline in a diesel engine.


A diesel tractor engine is rough, tough, and rugged --- until you pour gasoline in it.


First, you hear a “pinging” noise. Next, your pistons become a mess. And finally, you are writing a check for a costly engine.


Remember --- the decal on the diesel tank says “Diesel Fuel Only” for good reason.


Failing to tighten the oil drain plug.


Every drop of oil needs to stay in the engine.


This is the job of the oil drain plug.


Many times, people simply finger-tighten the plug. Sometimes, they meant to grab a wrench to tighten it, and got distracted. This is a very costly issue.


If the oil gauge reads “0” or the oil light is red --- take it seriously --- and STOP the engine right away.


If not, the engine will stop for you.


Incorrectly stringing lights, GPS, radio, or a fan into your electrical system.


Many people have done all of these without going through a fuse.


Electrical circuits on tractors are protected by fuses and breakers, with each designed to carry a certain number of amps.


As you know, tractors always need more lights. So many people simply grab the headlight wire, strip the insulation, splice in a new wire, and tape it. Then the fuse blows out and they install a higher amp fuse. When it blows, many people then use tin foil or a piece of wire to close the connection. And that leads to a bad tractor fire.


You do not want to be drawing too many amps from a circuit.


Driving a tractor too fast.


Tractors are designed for slow and controlled operation in rough terrain.


They are not designed to be driven on a 33-degree NASCAR track.


Go too fast over rough ground and you can instantly break the front axle.


If you have a need for speed, drive on the road.


Always keep in mind that tractor rollovers happen so fast, you will have no time to react.


Putting dirty fuel in the tractor.


If you put dirty or contaminated fuel in a tractor, you will have a major problem.


Many people do this every day.


The fuel injector pump is a very complex component and does not allow for any debris or water. If your tank and fuel system are dirty, you will have to remove and clean your tractor's fuel tank.


Also, do not forget to clean your supply tank.


Never servicing the hydraulic and electrical systems.


The hydraulic and electrical systems get ignored far too often.


This is because the tractor will usually start, and the hydraulics will work, even if not perfectly. So, these systems can be deceiving.


Hydraulic pumps are super expensive. You do not want to purchase one unless it is necessary. So, do not tempt fate through neglect. You have been warned.


The battery is the heart of your electrical system. Inspect the wires often. Keep your battery secure so it doesn't move around. Inspect your positive cable. If it shorts, you could have a tractor fire. This happens because typically, there isn’t a fuse or breaker protection for this battery cable.


The bottom line is to always service the hydraulic and electrical systems --- look for leaks and check for bare wires.


Keeping a foot on the clutch pedal.


If you ride the clutch, you will eventually be needing a throw-out bearing, a clutch and pressure plate, or both.


This is a common mistake.


Most clutches require about an inch of "free travel" when they are properly adjusted.


Save the headache and expense, and simply remove your foot from the clutch pedal once the clutch is released.


Failing to keep the radiator clean.


You may be surprised how many engines burn up due to dirt clogging up the radiator’s cooling fins.


If your engine registers hot, blow and wash the dirt from the radiator.


When using high-pressure water or air, be careful.


The pressure can bend the radiator fins.


Not servicing the air filter.


The air filter is super important.


It is considered the engine's lifesaver.


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