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John Deere combines are renowned for their efficiency in the agricultural industry. However, like any complex machinery, they can encounter issues that require troubleshooting and maintenance. In this article, we will explore common troubleshooting issues and provide practical solutions for John Deere combines. We’ll cover problems related to the engine and powertrain, harvesting, electrical and technology, general mechanical issues, and offer preventive maintenance tips to keep your combine running smoothly.

Engine and Power-train Problems

  1. Engine Overheating: One common issue is engine overheating. This can be caused by clogged radiators, malfunctioning thermostats, or low coolant levels. To resolve this, regularly clean radiators, replace thermostats if needed, and maintain proper coolant levels.
  2. Loss of Power: If your combine experiences a loss of power, it could be due to dirty air filters, fuel filters, or a malfunctioning turbocharger. Check and replace filters as necessary, and inspect the turbocharger for any issues.
  3. Transmission Problems: Transmission issues, such as slipping or rough shifting, may occur. Ensure that you’re using the correct transmission fluid, and if problems persist, consult a professional for a thorough diagnosis.

Harvesting-Related Issues

  1. John DeereCrop Flow Blockage: Crop flow blockage can lead to inefficient harvesting. Regularly inspect the combine’s intake and discharge areas, as well as the chopper, for any blockages. Keep them clean and free from debris.
  2. Grain Loss: High grain loss can be caused by incorrect settings or worn components. Adjust settings according to the crop conditions and inspect components like sieves and concaves for wear and tear.
  3. Header Problems: If the header is not feeding properly or cutting unevenly, check for damaged or dull blades. Regularly sharpen blades and ensure the header is properly adjusted.

Electrical and Technology-related Problems

  1. Error Codes: Modern John Deere combines come equipped with advanced technology that can generate error codes. Refer to the operator’s manual to identify the specific issue and follow the recommended steps for resolution.
  2. GPS and Autosteer Issues: GPS and autosteer systems can sometimes malfunction. Check for loose connections, damaged wiring, or software updates. Regularly calibrate GPS systems to ensure accuracy.

General Mechanical Issues

  1. Belt Breakage: Belts in the combine’s drivetrain can break due to wear or misalignment. Regularly inspect and replace worn belts, and ensure proper alignment to prevent breakage.
  2. Hydraulic Leaks: Hydraulic systems are crucial in combine operation. Leaks can occur due to damaged hoses or seals. Regularly inspect hydraulic lines and replace damaged components promptly.
  3. Worn Bearings and Bushings: Over time, bearings and bushings can wear out, leading to increased friction and reduced efficiency. Replace these components as part of routine maintenance to avoid costly breakdowns.

Preventive Maintenance Tips

imagesTo minimize the occurrence of troubleshooting issues, consider the following preventive maintenance tips:

  1. Regular Maintenance Schedule: Follow John Deere’s recommended maintenance schedule diligently. This includes oil changes, filter replacements, and general inspections.
  2. Keep It Clean: Clean your combine regularly, paying attention to the engine, radiators, and moving parts. Dirt and debris can cause overheating and wear.
  3. Proper Lubrication: Ensure all moving parts are well-lubricated according to manufacturer recommendations. This reduces friction and prolongs component life.
  4. Operator Training: Properly train operators to understand the combine’s functions and technology. This can prevent errors and reduce the risk of damage.
  5. Store Properly: When not in use, store your combine in a dry, covered area to protect it from the elements.


John Deere combines are valuable assets for modern farming, and proper troubleshooting and maintenance are essential to keep them running efficiently. Understanding and addressing common issues related to the engine, powertrain, harvesting, electrical and technology, and general mechanics will help ensure a productive harvest season. Implementing preventive maintenance measures further contributes to the longevity and performance of your John Deere combine, ultimately benefiting your farming operation.