4 Common John Deere Power Steering Problems And Their Solutions

John Deere has been in the business of making agricultural machinery and equipment for a very long time. There is no doubt, that this is a very trustworthy brand.

But even the most powerful, and well-ranked products face a few issues sometimes. This does not mean that the brand or the product that you have purchased is not of good quality. It just means that you have used it quite a lot, and so some of the parts need a little bit of repair.

One of the most common issues that you can face with a John Deere tractor is problems in the power steering. Today, we will be discussing 4 common John Deere power steering problems and their solutions.

All of the problems that you might face, along with the solutions combined in one place will help prepare you for anything that gets in the way.

Let's take a look at these problems then, shall we?

4 Common John Deere Power Steering Problems And Their Solutions


Power steering problem on our tractor isn’t uncommon. Therefore, it's nothing to be afraid of.

Here, we have tried to cover most of the common power steering problems that you might face if you own a John Deere tractor. Take a look and see if you can find a solution to your problem.

Problem 1: Power Steering Doesn't Work In One Direction

A problem that you might face with a John Deere tractor, especially the 2240 model, is difficulty in turning the steering in a specific direction.

Meaning, you will find that the power steering works one direction only, for example when you're turning right, but does not work at all when you're turning in the other direction, in this case- left.

This can be a very difficult problem to deal with.

The Solution:

In most cases, this is a problem of leakage. There are six large O-rings that are used to seal the outside of a steering valve assembly. One or more of these large O-rings might be leaking.

To fix this you can replace the power steering housing. This requires removing the steering wheel and then removing the nut.

Once you've done that, you will screw on the steering shaft CCW. You have to ensure that both of the valve’s bodies are out of the housing and intact at this point.

This replacement process should fix the problem. But in case it doesn’t, the problem might be deeper. This might mean that one or more of the valves of the construction have failed.

To fix this, it's better if you take your tractor to a mechanic. We are suggesting this because the process requires a lot of tools and skills that someone without experience might not have.

Problem 2: Excessive Friction And Wear In Power Steering

Two of the main steering gears in the John Deere tractor mechanism are held in place using sector plates and bushings.

As you keep on using the tractor, the bushings that hold the gears in place will start to deteriorate. When this happens, the two gears are no longer joined in complete harmony.

Because they don't have a perfect bond between them, they will now collide and cause excessive friction.

You will notice that the teeth will begin to wear. This difficulty takes a toll on the power steering.

The Solution:

To fix this problem you will have to act quickly. If you catch the problem in the early stage, you might be able to fix it by only replacing the bushings.

But usually, by the time a user notices this problem in the power steering, it's already too late. You will probably have to replace both the gears and the bushings.

There are some cases where the problem wasn't identified early, and the entire sector plate had to be replaced.

Hopefully, you haven't reached that stage.

Depending on the nature of the damage, you will have to replace the parts. You can find the replacement charts for all kinds of agricultural machinery and vehicle parts on the John Deere website. Just follow that, and buy the replacement or replacements that you need.

Problem 3: Power Steering Keeps Shutting Down

John Deere Power Steering

For example, you've turned on your tractor and it’s working just fine. But after 15 minutes of use, you notice that the steering isn't working anymore. You decide to restart your tractor, and the steering goes back to being normal.

But even after restarting the tractor, after 15 minutes of use, the power steering stops working again. What does this mean?

The Solution:

The power steering shutting down after a few minutes of use can mean that there's a problem with the fluid level.

So, you should try and check on the fluid level and replace the filter. It's a very quick and affordable solution.

Any leaks in the system can be causing a change in fluid level. So add more fluid, and take care of that leak, and the problem should be solved.

This problem is most commonly seen in John Deere X590 models. In this model, there is a hydraulic output port that starts from the transmission. The port reaches the steering valve and the steering cylinder.

Then the port travels backward, meaning, it goes through the valve again and returns to the transmission. It's how the system works.

Your power steering not working properly, jamming, or becoming stiff can be caused by any of the parts mentioned above. There's no way of being sure.

But just to give it a shot, you can try and check the fluid level, and change the filter.

If you are using a different kind of oil system, this new change can cause a problem as well. Change the oil back to the one you were using before just to be sure. This method has worked for a lot of users.

In case, unfortunately, changing the filter and checking on the fluid level does not work for you, you should surely try and contact a professional.

Problem 4: Steering Making A Popping Noise And Not Making The Wheels Move

When turning the power steering, if you hear a popping noise, there's surely something wrong with the unit. You might also notice that your power steering is not making the wheels move.

This is what you should do in case of popping noise and the inability of the power steering to turn the wheels.

The Solution:

Take a look at the bottom of the tractor. If you look closely, you will see that the pinion is quite worn out.

With Use, the pinion will deteriorate. This will make it unable to turn the sector gear. Therefore, the wheels will not turn anymore with the power steering.

The wearing of the pinion is also the reason why the power steering is making that weird popping noise.

The only solution for this is to replace the pinion. Take a look at the model of tractor or mower that you have, and buy a pinion accordingly. Doing so will get rid of the noise and make the power steering turn the wheels again.

Tips And Precautions You Should Take For Proper John Deere Tractor Maintenance


Fixing problems in a John Deere power steering is not an easy task. It can take a lot of experience and knowledge for you to cater to a problem involving these machineries.

Here are a few tips and precautions that you should take to help make this process a bit easier for you.

1. Make Sure You're Getting The Right John Deere Replacement Parts

A lot of John Deere power steering issues can be fixed by making replacements. It's one of the cheapest solutions. However, when making a replacement, you need to be absolutely sure that you're getting the right replacement part.

John Deere has all the information that you need about the parts that have to be replaced on their website. Match the replacement models according to the model of mower or tractor you have.

Remember, adding a part that does not belong in your tractor model can be a waste and even cause a lot of damage.

2. Use The Correct Tools For John Deere Power Steering Repair/Replacement

When you're working on the tractor, whether it be replacing a part, or tightening a screw, make sure you use the right tool.

Using the wrong tool can put a dent in the mechanism, it can also cause a lot of damage to the parts you’re working on.

If you don't have a tool that the solution to your problem requires you to have, reach out to a friend, and borrow it for a few days. You can also buy the tool if it's cheap.

3. Take John Deere Safety Precautions

When working on your tractor, make sure you maintain safety measures. If you're working on a device that needs electricity to operate, ensure that it is not plugged in.

Try to keep your working area dry. There should be no kids or pets allowed in your working zone either.

4. Go To A Mechanic Before It's Too Late

While working on your power steering mechanism, if you face a problem that does not seem familiar, it’s better if you call in a professional.

You might have a lot of experience with mowers or tractors, but there are things that only a professional can help you with. It's better not to mess around with these agricultural tools if you don’t have the proper knowledge.

Keep in mind that these are not cheap machines. If you cause irreparable damage, you might have to buy another one. It's better to call in for professional help when you feel like you are no longer in control of things.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can Burning Odor Be Caused By Problem In The John Deere Power Steering?

Oftentimes, a burning smell around your vehicle is not caused by a problem in the power steering.

But if you can smell a burning odor and your steering seems a bit off, you can try and reposition the belt. This issue can be caused by the belt slipping out of position.

2. Why Is My Power Steering Weak?

Weakness in power steering might be caused because of old hydraulic fluid. Try and check on the fluid level and if possible replace the filter.

There's a possibility that the fluid has become too old and dirty, and is not working as a lubricant anymore. This will not allow enough pressure to be used to turn the power steering. Hence, the weakness.

3. What’s The Most Common Problem That You Might Face With Power Steering?

One of the most common problems that John Deere power steering or any kind of power steering might face is leakage.

There might be fluid leakage which causes the steering to seize up and act differently.

If it's not leaking but the problem still persists, then check if the oil has become too dirty and the filter needs to be changed.

We recommend changing the oil as recommended by the brand. If you maintain your John Deere agricultural vehicle properly, you won't have to face any serious issues with the power steering.

4. Is It Okay To Still Use A Tractor Or An Agricultural Machine Even Though I Detect Problems In The Power Steering?

No, if you detect any problem, and you are sure that the problem is being caused by an issue in the power steering, you should cater to it as soon as you can.

If you do not take the necessary steps, make the correct replacements, or get things fixed, your tractor or agricultural machinery might become irreparable.

There will be no going back, and you will have to repurchase the tractor or mower. This can be a very costly price to pay for not conducting maintenance accordingly.

Final Verdict

John Deere makes very durable tractors and mowers. However, issues in power steering are one of the most common problems that you have to face with John Deere agricultural machinery, or any other agricultural machinery for that matter.

Usually, the problem in your power steering can be fixed at home, without needing to call for any professional. Go through the four common John Deere power steering problems and solutions, and see if you can find your fix.

But always remember to ask for help if you feel like you need it. Replacing the entire vehicle can be more expensive than paying for a few repairs.

Scroll to Top