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I Need to Test My Tractor Steering System

We want to help you test your tractor steering system.

If you do not feel that you understand these steps, or can perform them safely, consult your tractor dealer or local mechanic. Also always consult your tractor owner’s manual for model-specific information.

To complete this task you will need to purchase a torque wrench and plugs (hydraulic lines).

Time to get started.

Why do we test the steering system? It is to check three things (internal leakage, steering cylinder operation, and the PST valve assembly).


For the steering hydraulics to operate normally:

- The oil pressure must be within the specifications.

- The hydraulic oil must flow normally from the pumps.

  • Before testing the steering components, make sure that there are no defective pumps.

  • Make sure that the hydraulic pump assembly is operating normally.


1. Start and run the engine until the hydraulic oil is at operating temperature.

2. Fully rotate the steering wheel in the clockwise direction.

3. Using a torque wrench (A, Fig. 1) rotate the steering wheel by the retaining nut (B Fig. 1) fully counterclockwise or counterclockwise.

- Apply the torque per the service manual.

A - Torque wrench

B - Retaining nut (5/8-18 UNF)

4. Do the preceding procedure for the full turn position.

5. Shut down the engine.

Results Interpretation/Remedies

  • If the steering wheel rpm (in either direction) exceeds 5, the steering system has an internal leak.

  • Proceed to the next procedure to determine whether the leak is located in either the steering cylinder and PST valve assembly.

Steering Cylinder Leak Test Procedure

1. Start the engine.

2. Turn the steering wheel all the way to the left.

3. Shut off the engine.

4. Disconnect hydraulic hose fitting (left-hand side of the steering cylinder) (A, Fig. 2) from the steering cylinder (B, Fig. 2).

5. Run the engine at a high idle.

6. Continue turning the steering wheel to the left.

7. Check for any leakage of oil from the steering cylinder.

A – Hydraulic hose fitting (Left-hand side of the steering cylinder)

B – Steering cylinder


If an oil leak is found at the steering cylinder's return side, that cylinder is leaking internally.

In this case, repair or replace the steering cylinder.

If you need any further help or have any questions about steering systems, tractors, or anything else, please contact your dealer, local mechanic, or call us at 602-734-9944. Please ask about our current new and used tractor supply.

Team Tractor and Equipment - #1 Tractor Dealer in Arizona. We sell and service most major brands of tractors including Yanmar, Kubota, John Deere, TYM, Mahindra, Kioti, Case, New Holland, Massey Ferguson, Ford, Deutz, Case IH, Farmall, International Harvester, Branson Tractors, LS, Shibura, Claas Tractor, McCormick Tractors, Valtra, Solis, YTO, Montana, and Nortrac.

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