6 Most Common John Deere 5055e Problems & Troubleshooting

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By Marvin Tucker

Farming Equipment

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John Deere’s 5055E offers some of the best bang-for-your-buck tractors thanks to its low price, low maintenance costs, and good fuel efficiency.

This has made it a popular choice for workers needing easy farming and agricultural tasks thanks to the 55hp engine and range of attachments that make it very versatile.

But as is often the case with any budget-orientated tractor, it’s not without a few flaws and issues.

So today, we’re going to look at the six most common issues users experience with the John Deere 5055e so you can make an informed decision on whether this is the right machine for your needs.

The most common problems with the John Deere 5055e

This particular John Deere tractor boasts a 3-cylinder, turbocharged diesel engine designed and built by John Deere. It uses hydrostatic power steering, which makes user operation a breeze, and it has a holding capacity of up to 3192lbs.

In addition to this raw power, it has many attachments you can purchase for it, including mower decks and backhoes, making it a versatile ‘runaround’ tractor for small farms and plots.

But users have reported experiencing issues with the tractor, from starter failures to steering problems. So let’s take an in-depth look at these problems so you can not only get informed on what kind of issues these experience but also understand how to fix them should any of these issues arise for you.

1. Hydraulic system problems

The hydraulic systems within the 5055e John Deere tractor need to be properly monitored and maintained. 

But a common thing users seem to report is that the ball check valve on the rear of the tractor can become stuck, which is particularly concerning as it can increase the fluid pressure resulting in extreme heating of the hydraulic fluid, which, in turn, can potentially damage the engine.

Fortunately, with some good general maintenance and care, you can easily keep up with this.

On the center rear of the tractor, there is a ball check valve on the 3-point lift arms. At least once a week, this should be activated and used to prevent the buildup of moisture in the ball check valve, which is the main contributing factor in its sticking.

You should be particularly mindful of this if you don’t use the tractor all the time, and it will go through extended periods of being idle.

In addition, you should regularly check on the total oil level for the Hydraulic system (as well as the engine) and ensure it’s adequately filled up so it can provide lubrication to the hydraulic system.

Finally, if you are experiencing a low oil flow, it may suggest there is an issue with one of the fittings, and the air is leaking into the pump inlet line. In this scenario, you should identify the damaged or defective part and replace it so the oil flow assembly can function optimally.

2. Diesel Motor problems

These compact utility tractors have a few issues that can also crop up relating to the engine itself. Occasionally, the engine will experience a sudden loss of power and suddenly shut itself off without apparent reason.

The first thing to check is the relays; if they are deemed to be working okay, then the most probable cause is the electric fuel pump. If it is broken or the timing is off, it will cause issues with the engine.

You can also check the relays and fuses to see if any are defective and any apparent damage to the fuel pump.

Unfortunately, this is not something you can troubleshoot by yourself, and the best option here is to contact the service manager at the dealership you purchased it from, who will advise you on what to do.

Aside from the engine shutting down during use, other times, it won’t start up. The most common cause of this problem is a faulty starter. If it cranks but doesn’t fully start, you may need to purchase a starter kit and solenoid.

However, it may also be caused by low outside temperatures, which causes the Fuel supply to become stuck. In which case you will need to clean the fuel line.

3. Steering wheel problems

A few issues can crop up specifically with the steering wheel on compact utility tractors. It’s important to address this issue as if you are carrying heavy or valuable items, the last thing you want is to lose control of the tractor and have them damaged.

The first thing to look out for is if the wheel turns very easily and without much noticeable resistance, making navigation very difficult. This is most likely caused by the oil level not being high enough or, in some rarer cases, a cylinder malfunction.

To address both of these issues, the obvious first thing to do is to check that the oil level is correct and top it off it isn’t. However, if that doesn’t solve the problem, it may indicate that the pump is damaged and may need to be repaired or replaced.

The opposite of this issue can also occur where you will experience a very high level of resistance when trying to turn the wheel. This can be caused by the hydraulic connections not being adequately sealed.

There are a few more things worth checking if you want to keep your steering in tip-top shape, which include:

  • The steering cylinder can become damaged
  • Air has made its way into the hydraulic system
  • The power steering needs repairing

All of these things should be closely inspected.

4. Overheating problems

This is not exactly a John Deere-specific issue, but as it is something you will need to be mindful of if you decide to purchase this machine, you must be aware of the issue.

The downside is that due to the nature of the issue, there can be a myriad of potential causes, making it hard to pin down. Here’s a quick rundown of all the primary things that will cause overheating engine problems.

  • The cooling system is faulty and needs repairing. 
  • The cooling liquid is insufficient and needs topping up.
  • The drive belt may have become worn and therefore needs replacing.
  • If the oil filter is clogged, then it should be cleaned.
  • Finally, the radiator caps may be leaking.

Providing you check all these elements, you should find that neither the transmission nor the engine will overheat

5. The engine has low power

While this can appear like a catastrophic issue at first glance, sometimes things as simple as dirt and debris buildup can inhibit the engine’s smooth operation.

If you notice that your engine is operating with a lower than usual amount of power, there are some things you can check to restore it.

The first thing to look at is the air cleaner filters and every hose or nozzle related to the fuel line or fuel tank. Any buildup of debris here that inhibits its flow will affect the operating power.

Likewise, you should also check the filters and fuel injection nozzles that need cleaning.

Finally, check the head gasket and change the cylinder if you discover it has blown.

6. The engine doesn’t crank

Like other John Deere tractors, the JD 5055e diesel is a popular choice among users because it is generally more reliable than its gasoline engine counterparts.

However, users have reported that sometimes the engine will not crank. If this is happening to you, the first thing to check is that the fuel filter has not been jammed with dust particles, preventing the smoothing flow to fuel into the tank.

While you are doing this, also be sure to inspect it for damage. It should be replaced immediately if you see any signs of wear and damage.

If this is all okay, the next thing to check is that the fuel injector rods can spray enough fuel into the cylinder. Check them for any signs of damage and replace them accordingly.

The final thing to check is that the fuel pump timing is correct. If this appears to be off, you should seek an expert’s help before trying to fix it yourself.

John Deere 5055e problems: are they a deal-breaker?

There is a good reason why these utility tractors receive such positive feedback from users, and although not without issue, these are not things specific to the JD 5055e. You should be mindful of these potential issues no matter which model you buy.

Between its great price to performance and low barrier to entry, this is a tractor we can recommend.

Most issues that crop up with the 5055e are circumvented with good habits and regular maintenance.

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