How to Fix John Deere Fuel Shut-Off Solenoid Problems in 5 Easy Steps

What if you kick off the engine of your John Deere and find it taking hiccups and then shuts down unexpectedly, and you are in want of a solution? This sudden stoppage pings toward many reasons, such as electrical issues, gas filter drainage, or an issue with the solenoid. An unsteady idling and cold start in most cases are due to the solenoid.

The fuel shut-off solenoid is one of the few issues you could experience with your John Deere tractors or riding mowers. Fuel shut-off valves are a crucial safety feature that stops the fuel before it gets to the burner and blocks it. Therefore, you must move quickly to fix it if it starts acting oddly. The good news is that the problems with the fuel shut-off solenoid can be resolved conveniently.

In this piece, we will walk you through the simple procedures on how to fix the John Deere fuel shut-off solenoid issues. Are you prepared for the workaround now? Let’s continue with the post.

Also Read: John Deere Lawn Tractor Series and Individual Models

What Exactly is a Fuel Shut-Off Solenoid?

What Exactly is a Fuel Shut-Off Solenoid

Fuel shut-off solenoids are essential components of a device. It is an electromagnetically-operated valve, and its main job is to remotely cut off and restrict the fuel flow to the engine to stop an explosion.

Since it stops your engine from backfiring when the engine is turned off, usually referred to as the “anti-backfire device.” Additionally, it prevents the engine from flooding in the event of a leaky needle jet. Moreover, among the most widely utilized remote fluid flow devices are solenoid valves.

When an appropriate electric current is applied, a strong magnetic field is generated around the solenoid coil. The solenoid plunger is drawn to this magnetic field and is pulled quickly in the direction of the coil. Thus, causing the valve poppet to rise from its position and allowing fuel to flow through it.

On the other hand, when the solenoid is turned off, the valve piston pulls the poppet back on its seat, closing the valve and halting the fuel supply.

The force that engages the fuel shut-off solenoid can be managed manually, automatically, or by combining the two.

How Does a Fuel Shut-Off Solenoid Function?

For a solenoid to work, power is required. After receiving power or an electric current, it produces a magnetic field. The valves are triggered to open or close by the current. Therefore, the solenoid is connected to the machine’s primary electrical system in a diesel engine.

The solenoid valve is triggered after getting the electric current, allowing diesel fuel to flow from the fuel tank to the engine. Diesel is transported from the fuel line to the solenoid through an input pipe if the shut-off solenoid operates properly.

The magnetic field produced by the valve causes the metal pin (placed near the solenoid coil) to retract, causing the stopper to be pulled from the inlet pipe. When the stopper is removed, fuel can flow freely from the fuel line to the engine.

There is an “off” switch that, when activated, stops the engine and closes the fuel shut-off solenoid valve.

Fuel Shut-Off Solenoid Problems in John Deere Tractors

The FSS is activated by moving the tractor’s switch back when it is in the “run” or “start” position. This is how it ought to operate.

On the other hand, you must take a stick and push it back until it engages to start a John Deere tractor or riding lawn mower when it is in running mode. You should now be able to tell that the fuel shut-off solenoid has to be replaced since it is broken.

Important to keep in mind in this situation is that fuel shutdown solenoids frequently lose their two-way functionality after extended use. For example, they might not “pop open” when the key is switched on. Thus, the solenoid will eventually need to be replaced. This is a typical occurrence.

After an extended operation, the fuel shut-off solenoid issue in John Deere tractors can be a typical problem. After pulling the solenoid, the tractor may not start nor retract to allow gasoline to flow. Even if the solenoid receives electricity, it may behave strangely and incorrectly. However, replacing the broken solenoid with a newer one is always possible. And you can easily acquire it online from major e-commerce sites.

However, you can still operate it by hand before replacing the damaged or broken solenoid on older models. They can be manually turned on and off to keep the machine functioning. However, the solenoid contained in newer machines makes hand operation impractical. Thus, they must be changed as soon as possible after being broken.

How Can You Tell if The Fuel Shut-Off Solenoid isn’t Working?

A bad fuel solenoid can present itself in many ways. In other words, there are more than one symptoms that, if checked properly, will tell you that your tractor has a bad fuel shut-off solenoid. So, knowing the right signs will save you time and direct you straight to the fuel solenoid.

So, here are the right signals to look out for when using your tractor and suspicious of having a bad fuel shut-off solenoid.

  • The Sudden Stoppage of the Engine

The engine shutting off is one of the first signs of a troublesome fuel shut-off solenoid. If an engine suddenly stops while you’re driving, it may lack enough fuel. You can attribute the absence of fuel to a faulty fuel shut-off solenoid that fails to turn on the electromagnetic valve and instead switches back to the off position. As a result, the engine is deprived of fuel and cannot start.

  • Cold Start

In a tractor or riding lawn mower, a cold-starting engine is never a good thing. However, a faulty fuel shut-off solenoid in John Deere tractors may cause this problem.

A broken solenoid could make it difficult for the engine to start, especially when it’s cold. In addition, as mentioned in the previous point, a malfunctioning fuel solenoid cannot produce the electromagnetic field that limits the flow of gasoline to the engine. As a result, it will be challenging to start the engine since it will have trouble getting fuel to the combustion chamber.

Once the engine runs, try turning it off and back on to confirm. If starting it is a challenge, the solenoid is probably to blame.

  • No Proper Acceleration

If you assume that the solenoid only malfunctions in the ON or OFF position, you are only partially correct. This is because a defective solenoid can also become stuck in the “halfway position.”

Idling may be fine, and slow RPMs may be acceptable if the solenoid remains stuck midway. However, the issue will cause the engine to slow down and choke once loaded at its optimum RPMs. This can therefore lead to inappropriate acceleration.

  • Unsteady Idling

If you like to let the engine heat up for a few minutes before starting, you may have problems if the fuel solenoid is damaged. You can discover the engine dies specifically during the idle stage. 

A strange sound could also be heard, which would unquestionably suggest problems. The tractor may experience these problems due to a damaged solenoid that deactivates and turns off.

  • No Start Condition

The tractor will be unable to start if the fuel solenoid is damaged. But what does this mean? It means if the valve is defective, the fuel pump could be permanently disabled, resulting in a no-start situation for the engine.

Even though the engine will always turn on, it won’t be able to start because the fuel pump isn’t powered. The gasoline pump could still be inoperative even after you click the reset button. The only action in this situation is to swap out the broken switch for a more modern and working one.

Note: In addition to a malfunctioning fuel solenoid, additional factors may contribute to a no-start problem. Therefore, a comprehensive device examination is required to ascertain the true cause. Having said that, get the tractor checked out by a qualified mechanic to receive the right diagnosis.

  • Smoke

Smoke flowing out of the engine is another sign that the fuel shut-off solenoid is malfunctioning. This problem can be combined with the previously listed ones of weird noise and slow acceleration. You can be particularly vulnerable to this issue if the diesel engine in your JD tractor is an older model.

5 Ways to Fix the Fuel Shut-Off Solenoid in John Deere

5 Ways to Fix the Fuel Shut-Off Solenoid in John Deere

A solenoid valve is a crucial component that controls the fuel flow in a machine and is powered by electromagnetic energy in a coil. These valves play a crucial role in transforming electric energy into mechanical energy.

We will learn about the typical difficulties with fuel shut-off solenoid valves in the section below, along with how to resolve each concern.

1. The Solenoid Valve Does Not Open or Close

The solenoid valve frequently refuses to open or close for various reasons, such as rust, filth, missing components, inconsistent pressure, insufficient voltage, power outages, etc.

The engine won’t start if the solenoid cannot open because there won’t be any fuel to ignite it. It is usually preferable to seek assistance from a licensed mechanic because there could be other causes for this problem.

  • Verify the power source. Verify that the valve receives the proper voltage, current, and frequency.
  • Examine the links carefully. Install all connections properly if there are any faulty connections.
  • Clean the diaphragm of any debris or rust.
  • Verify that the solenoid’s critical components are all present by checking.

2. Solenoid Coil Problem

There can be a problem with the solenoid coil in your John Deere tractor. The coil may experience various problems, including burns, melting, freezing, etc. In addition, short circuits, sluggish coil armatures, insufficient voltage, or hot fuel frequently bring on issues with solenoid coils.

Follow these methods to resolve coil-related problems:

  • Check the power supply to ensure the coil and valve receive the proper power.
  • Verify that the coil has adequate ventilation to release heat.
  • Ensure the coil’s parameters are compatible with the electrical supply (AC or DC).
  • Replace the damaged or burned coil with a fresh one.
  • Replace the armatures if they are broken.
  • Verify the fuel’s temperature.
  • Avoid powering the soil until the solenoid valve is completely installed.

3. The Valve Closes Partially

The solenoid valve may occasionally just partially close. For example, a manual override, unequal pressure, issues with coil power, a damaged armature tube, etc., could bring on this problem.

Before attempting to resolve the issue, you should examine the wiring, interconnections between the parts, diaphragm settings, and coil operation. Doing so will help you identify the actual cause and act accordingly. That said, refit the diaphragm setting if you discover an inverted one before changing it.

4. Leakage

Dust, debris, or sediments may enter the solenoid valves after prolonged use and negatively impact how well they function. Additionally, you can encounter leakage and partial valve closing problems if the contamination level reaches the optimum level.

Leaking valves are a certain sign of contaminants inside the valves impeding a perfect seal. Furthermore, if a valve is entirely blocked by contamination and care is not given to it promptly, the valve will fail.

Follow the two instructions indicated below to resolve this problem:

  • Verify the solenoid valve parts. You must replace any of them if you discover damage to them.
  • The valves must be cleaned. Be careful to thoroughly clean the valves and eliminate any contamination, such as dust, rust, dirt, and sand.

5. Strange Valve Sounds

Smoke and noise are two signs of a damaged gasoline shut-off solenoid that have already been mentioned. Having said that, the solenoid’s buzzing noise is occasionally audible. The major cause of these sounds is typically a change in pressure. Water hammering, though, can occasionally be the culprit as well.

Install a T-piece pipe to slow down the fluid and stop water hammering to resolve the problem. To install the pipe effectively, you may seek professional assistance. But replacing your solenoid is the only way to solve the smoke problem.

How Can You Test the Fuel Shut-off Solenoid?

There are a few simple ways to test your John Deere tractor’s fuel shut-off solenoid. You must follow the steps outlined below to accomplish this.

  • Checking for a prong is the first step in testing the fuel shut-off solenoid. Afterward, join a positive wire to the prong and a negative wire to the base. You must have a source with a minimum voltage of 9 volts to activate your solenoid.
  • You would need an energizer, which is a 9-volt battery with a 9-volt socket, because the solenoid requires a source with a minimum voltage of 9 volts to operate. Connect the negative and positive ends of that to the battery using the ones with two prongs.
  • The battery will then need to be plugged into the solenoid, and the negative and positive lines need to be connected to the small prongs. The solenoid would move as a result because, by now, it is driven by an electromagnet.
  • One end of the battery should be plugged in on the negative, and the other should be on the positive. You should check to see if the solenoid moves afterward. If it operates, your solenoid is in good condition.

Cautions While Using or Maintaining Fuel Shut-Off Solenoid

You must be cautious whether you are reinstalling a fuel solenoid or replacing some of its parts with newer ones. The following are some essential points that, if followed, will keep you on the safer side.

  • Before setup, starting, or repairing, thoroughly read the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Before use, check the product labeling and the technical papers for the operating parameters.
  • Ensure no tension is inside the tube or the valve before detaching or disassembling it.
  • While replacing any damaged part, ensure to use only original spares.
  • Stay within the pressure, temperature, and voltage restrictions.
  • Refrain from removing any labeling from the valve or the coil.
  • The coil’s earth connector should always be grounded.
  • Foreign objects should be kept out of the valves with care.
  • Additionally, you can put in a suitable filter.
  • Use the right sealant on the valve threads.

Also Read: [Fixed] John Deere Riding Mower Won’t Go Forward Or Reverse


It is not uncommon to experience solenoid-related problems after extensive use of JD tractors or riding mowers. So, we hope that our solenoid testing steps will assist you in keeping track of the solenoid’s condition. And just to remind you that we have mentioned the precautions as well. Learning about problems ahead of time makes them much easier to cope with.

If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments section below. We would be delighted to hear from you and respond to your questions.


What are the top 4 symptoms of a bad fuel shut-off solenoid?

Solenoids can work intermittently or not at all. So, if you’re having problems with your tractor’s solenoid, here are the top four symptoms to look out for.

• The engine shuts off abruptly
• Smoke coming out
• Problem cold-starting 
• Problem in acceleration

To learn about them in detail, refer to the above post.

What are the common solenoid valve problems?

Some of the most common problems you may have with solenoid valves are listed below.

• The valve won’t close
• The valve won’t open
• Leakage
• The valve closes partially
• Noise issues like burnt, melted, etc.

What is the location of the fuel solenoid?

On the side of the carburetor, close to the bottom, is where you’ll find the fuel shut-off solenoid.

What is the function of a fuel solenoid?

A fuel solenoid’s primary job is to regulate the flow of gasoline or other fuels using an electric current that produces a magnetic field.

About Jennifer Igra

Growing up in Brooklyn, New York City known for it’s green gardens. Jennifer, a 30 year old gardener and green living fanatic started Igra World to share her gardening journey and increase gardening awareness among masses. Follow Igra World to improve your gardening skills.

Join the discussion