Proper, consistent maintenance is the first step in getting the most life out of your John Deere equipment. Additionally, taking great care of your equipment ensures that it will be ready to work when you are.
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After the off-season, it's good practice to review your operator's manual thoroughly. Cover all of your basic maintenance checks including electrical, engine, transmission, fuel, fuel line and fuel tank. Your operator's manual also includes a "miscellaneous" category - don't miss this, as thorough maintenance will result in a higher resale value if you're ever ready to get rid of your machine.
If your tractor has been out of use for a while, don't forget to double-check the engine compartment to make sure no rodents, birds or other varmints have made a home there.
Be sure to continuously clean your radiator screen. This can easily be done by clearing it out with compressed air. If your screens are too dirty or clogged, your engine heat won't be able to dissipate and will eventually overheat.
Never operate your machine without radiator screens.
It may surprise you how quickly your wheel's lug nuts can loosen. To easily avoid a detrimental mistake, routinely check that your wheels are secured tightly.
Before the temperature drops below 32°F, be sure to add a winterizer product to your fuel tank, as this will avoid the thickening and freezing of your fuel. Below freezing temperatures, untreated fuel will begin to freeze, making it difficult or impossible to start your engine.
Thoroughly clean your tractor prior to storage. Ideally, this should be done with a pressure washer. Cleaning your tractor before storing it away will help to prevent rust and decay.
Lubricate all grease points by attaching a grease gun to the zerk (the small, metal nipple) and injecting grease. This will keep all joints in proper working condition and increase the longevity of your machine.
During storage, you still want your tractor sitting properly on its tires. It's important to inflate your tires to their desired psi and, again, double-check your lug nuts.
Long periods of no use can drain a battery's charge. Consider using a battery maintainer to keep your battery alive through the off-season. If you don't do this, it may be smart to disconnect your battery cables.
Follow the above steps to ensure that your grease points are properly maintained before putting your tractor back to use.
Whether you used a battery maintainer or simply disconnected your battery cables, clean the cables and posts with battery cleaner. Tightly reattach the cables and check that your battery is still in working condition. If the engine doesn't turn, refer to your operator's manual.
Double-check that your engine oil, front axle oil, air and oil filters are good. If you haven't kept up with the recommended oil and filter changes, be sure to change them prior to starting work up for the season.
Again, a clean radiator screen is highly important in maintaining the safety of your machine and very easy to clean. Be sure not to miss this step.
Not all customers are comfortable with self-maintenance. That's why we've got a team of over 100 service technicians with factory training, ready to work on your equipment. Call or request service online to get a quote. If you're looking for more self-maintenance tips, visit the John Deere Tips Notebook.
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