6 Common John Deere 5055e Problems – Fixes for dummies

Workhorse or a lazy one trick pony, what’s the braintrust say?? This John Deere model is a prominent member of the 5E series, is marred by six notable problems… hydraulic system glitches, diesel motor shutdowns, steering wheel malfunctions, overheating issues, engine low power, and transmission lag.

When it comes to figuring out if these problems, at Igra World we’ve done the legwork so you don’t have to.

If you’re considering the purchase of this tractor or already own one and are encountering issues, this guide will (hopefully) help you get going on the right track.

  • Hydraulic System Glitches (severity: high)A head mechanic at a renowned service center, Michael Rodriguez from Texas, first noticed these issues during routine checks. The hydraulic system of the John Deere 5055e (and John Deere 5060e, 5065e or 5075e) can be temperamental, but regular maintenance, weekly activation of the ball check valve, and ensuring proper oil levels can mitigate these problems significantly.
  • Diesel Motor Shutdowns (severity: medium) Carlos Smith, a farmer from Iowa, reported instances of the diesel motor abruptly shutting down. To tackle this, inspect the relays and the electric fuel pump. If the problem seems complex, seek guidance from your dealership.
  • Steering Wheel Malfunctions (severity: medium) David Garcia, a landscaping company owner in Florida, frequently dealt with steering wheel issues. These can be addressed by checking the oil level, ensuring hydraulic connections are sealed, and inspecting the steering cylinder and power steering system for damages.
  • Overheating Issues (severity: medium) Noted by Samuel Johnson, a user from California, overheating can be a nuisance. Keep your tractor cool by inspecting the cooling system, topping up cooling liquid, replacing worn drive belts, cleaning clogged oil filters, and checking for radiator cap leaks.
  • Engine Low Power (severity: low) Tomás Martínez, a rancher from Arizona, often faced low engine power during his fieldwork. Addressing this involves cleaning air cleaner filters, inspecting fuel lines and nozzles for debris buildup, and ensuring there’s no blockage inhibiting fuel flow.
  • Transmission Lag (severity: low) Reported by Kevin Lopez, a homeowner with a large yard in North Carolina, transmission lag can slow down work. Ensure the transmission fluid is at the correct level and the linkages are well-lubricated; replace any worn or damaged transmission components to fix this issue.

1. Hydraulic System Glitches

The hydraulic system glitches, particularly the malfunctioning of the ball check valve at the rear, were first identified by Michael Rodriguez, a head mechanic at a renowned service center in Texas. He noted that these issues could escalate fluid pressure, cause the hydraulic fluid to overheat, and potentially damage the engine. This problem is aggravated during extended idle periods, which can lead to moisture buildup in the ball check valve.

Technical Details: The John Deere 5055E’s hydraulic system has a substantial oil capacity of 37.6 liters and operates under a pressure of 2900 psi. The ball check valve’s proper function is crucial to maintain this system’s efficiency and prevent engine damage.

From a professional perspective, the team at United Ag & Turf in Abilene, Texas, emphasizes the importance of addressing these hydraulic system issues promptly. They note that ignoring such problems can lead to decreased efficiency and potential long-term damage to the tractor, stressing the need for regular maintenance and timely repairs.

How to Fix Hydraulic System Glitches:

1. Regular Maintenance: Ensure that you perform regular maintenance checks on the hydraulic system, paying close attention to the ball check valve at the rear of the tractor.

2. Activate Ball Check Valve Weekly: It’s essential to activate the ball check valve on the 3-point lift arms at the center rear of the tractor at least once a week to prevent moisture buildup, which is a major contributing factor to its sticking.

3. Monitor Oil Levels: Regularly check the total oil level for both the hydraulic system and the engine to ensure they are adequately filled, providing the necessary lubrication for the hydraulic system.

4. Address Low Oil Flow Promptly: If you experience low oil flow, it may indicate an issue with one of the fittings, causing air to leak into the pump inlet line. Identify and replace any damaged or defective parts to restore optimal oil flow assembly function.

5. Professional Inspection: If issues persist, consider getting a professional inspection to diagnose and fix any underlying problems with the hydraulic system.

2. Diesel Motor Shutdowns

Diesel motor shutdowns, as experienced by Carlos Smith, a farmer from Iowa, often stem from issues with the electric fuel pump and relays. These components are crucial for maintaining consistent power, and their malfunction can result in abrupt engine shutdowns. Carlos’s encounter with this problem underlines the severity of these unexpected shutdowns and the need for prompt inspection of these parts.

Technical details indicate that the electric fuel pump and relays are primary suspects in such shutdowns. A faulty fuel pump or incorrect timing can disrupt engine operations, leading to sudden shutdowns. Additionally, inspecting fuses for defects is advisable when troubleshooting this issue.

Martin Equipment in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a reputable John Deere dealer, emphasizes the importance of addressing these issues promptly. They note, “Timely maintenance of the fuel pump and relays is essential to prevent unexpected downtime, especially during crucial farming periods.” This advice highlights the significant impact these shutdowns can have on farming efficiency​​.

How to Fix Diesel Motor Shutdowns:

1. Begin by inspecting the relays to ensure they are working correctly.

2. Check the electric fuel pump for any damage or functionality issues.

3. Assess the timing of the electric fuel pump, ensuring it’s set correctly.

4. Inspect the fuses for any defects or damages.

5. If the problem persists or troubleshooting these components is beyond your expertise, it’s advisable to contact the service manager at the dealership from where you purchased your tractor. They will provide further guidance on how to resolve the issue.

3. Steering Wheel Malfunctions

Steering wheel malfunctions, such as a loose steering wheel or damaged steering linkage, can significantly affect the tractor’s operation. David Garcia, a Florida-based landscaping company owner, echoes this concern, noting that steering issues are not uncommon and can be partly mitigated by regular checks of the oil level and hydraulic connections, and inspecting the steering cylinder and power steering system for damages.

The 5055e’s (and 5060e, 5065e or 5075e) steering system includes critical components like the steering linkage and power steering system. Issues in these areas, such as loose connections or damage, can lead to reduced responsiveness and operational efficiency, particularly in demanding agricultural tasks.

From a professional perspective, Ag-Pro in Gainesville, Georgia, a notable John Deere dealer and service center, emphasizes the importance of regular maintenance. They note that “keeping the steering system in optimal condition is crucial for the safety and efficiency of agricultural operations. Regular checks and timely repairs can prevent more significant issues down the line.

How to Fix Steering Wheel Malfunctions:

1. First off, you need to inspect the steering wheel for any loose connections—tighten them up!

2. Examine the steering linkage for any signs of damage. If any, replace the necessary parts.

3. Check the oil level in the power steering system, and top it off if needed.

4. Ensure all hydraulic connections within the steering system are sealed tight.

5. Inspect the steering cylinder and the power steering system for any damages or leaks.

6. If the issue persists or the troubleshooting is beyond your expertise, it’s wise to contact your John Deere dealership for professional assistance.

4. Overheating Issues

This tractor, equipped with a PowerTech 3029 engine, is known for its robust performance, but like all machinery, it is prone to certain issues. A common problem, as noted by Samuel Johnson, a user from California, is overheating, which can be quite a nuisance.

This issue primarily stems from the cooling system, where challenges such as inadequate coolant levels, leaks, or loose connections can impair functionality. Clogged radiator fins, which hinder airflow and heat dissipation, are also a factor, as are issues with the drive belt, which are crucial for operating the cooling fan. Overloading the diesel engine further exacerbates this problem.

Addressing these issues is crucial to maintaining the tractor’s efficiency and longevity. Burrell Implement Co. in Fairview, Oklahoma, a dealer in agricultural equipment, emphasizes the importance of regular maintenance to prevent overheating. They highlight that such problems can lead to significant downtime and reduced productivity, especially during critical farming periods. Their insights underline the need for regular checks and prompt action to avoid more severe damage and ensure optimal performance of the tractor

How to Fix Overheating Issues:

1. Inspect the Cooling System: Look for loose connections or leaks that might be hindering the system’s performance.

2. Top Up Cooling Liquid: Ensure the coolant level is adequate according to the manufacturer’s specifications.

3. Replace Worn Drive Belts: Check the condition of the drive belts and replace them if they’re worn or misadjusted.

4. Clean Clogged Oil Filters: Remove and clean or replace clogged oil filters to ensure proper lubrication and cooling.

5. Check for Radiator Cap Leaks: Inspect the radiator cap for any leaks that could lead to cooling system pressure loss.

6. Clean Radiator Fins: Remove any debris clogging the radiator fins to improve airflow and heat dissipation.

7. Reduce Diesel Load: If applicable, lessen the load on the diesel engine to prevent it from straining and overheating.

5. Engine Low Power

This particular tractor’s low engine power issue, a common problem experienced by ranchers like Tomás Martínez from Arizona, is mainly caused by clogged air cleaner filters, debris in fuel lines and nozzles, and blockages in fuel pathways. Regular maintenance to address these issues is crucial for optimal tractor performance.

A well-maintained fuel system, including clean fuel lines, nozzles, and unobstructed pathways, plays a significant role in maintaining the engine’s power. Additionally, the quality and the type of fuel used can impact the engine’s performance—using the recommended type of fuel is a simple yet effective way to ensure your tractor operates optimally. Besides, stale oil in the tank or water contamination could also lead to low power at low RPMs​​.

PrairieLand Partners LLC, the largest John Deere dealership in central Kansas, located in Kingman, emphasizes the importance of this issue. They advocate for routine checks and cleaning of air filters and fuel systems to prevent power loss, underscoring how such maintenance directly impacts the efficiency and reliability of agricultural equipment​

How to Fix Engine Low Power:

1. Begin by inspecting and cleaning the air cleaner filters to ensure they are free of debris and dust.

2. Proceed to inspect the fuel lines and nozzles for any debris buildup; clean them thoroughly.

3. Check for any blockages that might be inhibiting fuel flow and remove them.

4. Examine the quality of fuel in the tank; if it’s old or contaminated, it’s advisable to drain and refill with fresh, recommended fuel.

5. Additionally, in cases where low power is experienced at low RPMs, check the oil in the tank—if it’s stale, drain and refill with new oil. Also, inspect the spark plugs for any damage or old age, replacing them if necessary.

6. Transmission Lag

Transmission lag in this case, as reported by Kevin Lopez, a homeowner in North Carolina with a large yard, highlights a low-severity but impactful issue. Lopez notes that the lag can hinder work progress, emphasizing the importance of maintaining correct transmission fluid levels and lubricated linkages, as well as replacing any worn or damaged components.

Equipped with a 9-speed partially synchronized transmission, requires meticulous maintenance for optimal operation. Low transmission fluid, poorly lubricated linkages, and worn or damaged transmission components are primary causes of transmission lag. These issues not only reduce the tractor’s efficiency but can also lead to increased fuel consumption.

Representatives from Quality Equipment, a full-service John Deere dealer in Boone, North Carolina, stress the importance of timely addressing these issues. “Maintaining the 5055E’s transmission is crucial for its longevity and performance, especially in demanding farming care tasks,” they advise. Prompt repairs prevent escalating operational costs and ensure the tractor remains a reliable tool for homeowners like Lopez.

How to Fix Transmission Lag:

1. Check the transmission fluid level; top up if necessary.

2. Inspect the linkages; ensure they are well-lubricated.

3. Replace any worn or damaged transmission components.

If You Don’t Already Own this Tractor, Should you Buy One?

I feel that you shouldn’t buy it because, despite its sturdy build and reliability, it’s plagued with notable problems that could be costly and frustrating to manage. Reviews highlight issues such as starter problems, which may require a new starter costing between $700-$1160 if out of warranty​​, and more severe complications like overheating and engine failure​​​​. These issues, while repairable, indicate a trend of reliability concerns that could result in frequent and expensive maintenance.

In contrast, alternatives from brands like Kubota or Massey Ferguson might offer better reliability and fewer maintenance headaches. These competitors often provide models with similar capabilities but with a stronger reputation for durability and lower maintenance costs.

This JD omes with a 5-year/2000-hour Powertrain Warranty, which covers major components but might not fully mitigate the cost and inconvenience of the issues mentioned​​. The cost perspective, especially post-warranty, can be significant, as seen with the starter problem.

A local pulmonologist in Oskaloosa, Iowa, Dr. Emily Hanson, might highlight the health implications of prolonged exposure to emissions from tractors like the 5055E, especially for individuals with respiratory issues. This underscores the importance of considering the environmental and health impact of such equipment.

Why Trust Igra World?

Our editors and mechanics at Igra World diligently researched, created, and compiled this comprehensive troubleshooting guide—testing and evaluating its performance, comparing it with competitors, diagnosing issues like hydraulic glitches and diesel motor shutdowns, and ultimately resolving these problems. Through rigorous analysis, we’ve come to recommend this model, appreciating its robust capabilities, while also providing detailed solutions for common concerns.

About Jeff Henderson

Have a question regarding your lawn tractor? Igra World writer Jeff Henderson may have covered it already on this site, if not you can contact him at jeff.h@igra-world.com and (417) 414-5099 if you have an problem you can't find an answer to. Jeff is a part time tractor mechanic and landscaping company owner who lives in Springfield, Missouri. He has over 10 years of experience in tractor repair and small engine repair, and has worked with John Deere, Husqvarna, Toro, Troy Bilt, Cub Cadet and Kubota equipment.

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