If you’re looking for a sturdy, heavy-duty crossover utility vehicle, look no further than the John Deere 835 line of compact utility vehicles.
The John Deere 835M is the middle child of the line, which means it’s not as essential as the 835E, but not as fully equipped as the 835R.
While an excellent machine, some users have reported issues with starting the engine, lifting weights, windows and windshield, throttle, and the front axle.
What are these John Deere Gator 835M problems about, and are they enough to change your mind on this purchase? Let’s find out!
The most common problems with John Deere Gator 835M
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This John Deere Gator XUV is perfect for those looking for a middle ground between the top luxury line and the primary vehicle.
It is highly customizable, so if you’re considering buying one, look into all its features, as you can choose them before you buy it.
It also comes with power steering, different from the 835E, which is a detail many people appreciate enough to be willing to buy the upper model.
Despite its great qualities, users working with this John Deere XUV have reported various issues, from very common ones to more specific ones to this particular model.
Let us go into detail with the most common John Deere Gator 835M problems and (where possible) their solutions.
1. Starting issues
Starting issues reported for this model from John Deere seem to spur from a bad ground wire.
A ground wire is responsible for connecting the electrical system and the source of electricity, closing the circuit.
When you have a bad ground wire, you may experience various issues, including failure in the ignition process.
If you’re unable to start your gator, or it takes multiple attempts on the ignition switch, you might have a bad ground wire, or the primary wire came loose from the connector.
You will need to check the electrical system; however, it would be better to have a professional look at it.
2. Lift mechanism issues
The Gator 835M has a valuable cargo box that can be hoisted occasionally, unlike the typical John Deere tractor.
However, some users reported difficulties in lifting this rear box. The lifting capacity reduces to zero when there’s any weight on the cargo bed.
Sometimes, it’s impossible to lift the rear box even without any heavy load.
This problem could have many causes, but it is often resolved by replacing the motor clutch or fixing a loose connection in the lift mechanism.
If the clutch is the source of the problem, check if your seals are reusable before proceeding with the replacement.
Also, be sure to disassemble correctly. If you’re unsure you can handle this work, refer to a professional to do it for you.
3. Front axle issues
Fortunately, there haven’t been many reports of this problem with particular gator vehicles, but some owners have mentioned leaky seals on the front axle.
Leaking happens for two reasons: either the axle was not installed correctly or re-installed, or it has worn out over time.
When your front axle leaks, ideally, you should fix it immediately, as it becomes dangerous to drive your gator in this condition.
You might notice this leaking issue, especially when parking your gator, however, sometimes the leaking starts when you reach a certain speed, so it may not be noticeable in the driveway/parking spot.
If the leaking is not severe, you may continue driving as long as you maintain the transmission fluid level to a proper one.
However, we recommend replacing or fixing the leaking components as soon as possible.
4. Windows and doors issues
Although there is no permanent repair, this strange problem is widespread enough to have made our list.
Many people have reported that their Gator 835M windows make creaking sounds when running, which is kind of unsettling and may be a sign of a more significant issue in the vehicle’s overall design.
Also, it seems that some people have also encountered problems with the door, which aren’t as sealed as they’re supposed to be.
While running your gator, you could detect a significant volume of air entering via the area where the hinge is situated, which is not what should happen.
A quick fix for the latter issue could be to use rubber seal cream; however, it should be all the same reported to your John Deere dealer, as this is quite a fault on the company’s part.
5. Throttle issues
For new gator users, the first drive might be pretty startling. Indeed, some John Deere buyers have reported that their Gator 835M doesn’t start running until they push the throttle relatively low, between 1700-1800 RPM.
Below that RPM level, there’s no movement from the 835M Gator, not even in reverse.
While it might be unsettling, mainly because any John Deere Gator UTV feels like a car and ought to start right as you push the throttle, this is normal for this type of vehicle.
The 835M Gator from John Deere starts quite “early” compared to many other gas engine vehicles, which usually begin moving at over 2000RPM.
So, this issue is not an issue at all, and it’s just something you need to get used to for the first few rides.
6. Windshield issues
You might be acquainted with this issue if you’ve installed a glass windshield on your gator utility vehicle.
Many users say that when going to latch the windshield closed, the glass won’t close tightly and doesn’t seal against the ROPS.
It’s easy to install the windshield the wrong way because it is pretty hard to engage, and if you have a brand new gator, you don’t want to risk any damage by forcing it.
The secret to proper installation is to open the latch and pull it further while having the tang going over the outer piece.
It is to be placed in the forward position during the warm season so that you can let air through.
John Deere Gator 835M problems: are they a deal-breaker?
The windows/doors issue can be pretty annoying, but overall the John Deere Gator 835M is a good crossover utility vehicle that will give you more than a few satisfactions.
The best thing you can do if you’re yet to buy this model is to address the issues described above with your dealer before proceeding with the purchase.
Also, it’s always better to have a test ride on the specific vehicle you want to purchase before concluding the transaction.
We also recommend getting an extended warranty for this kind of vehicle, as it will prove helpful in the long run.