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You might think that almost any hydraulic fluid would be acceptable for use in your John Deere tractor. While your tractor would probably continue to perform without issues, it's very likely that there would be a dropoff in performance, or that a little more wear and tear is introduced to the system. To avoid any negative elements of performance or wear, it's always best to use the type of hydraulic fluid which has been designed for these specific machines.
The information below will help you to find the right kinds of hydraulic fluid for your John Deere tractor and will provide some guidelines for how you go about changing the fluid or topping it off. By using the right type of hydraulic fluid, you can extend the operational life of your machine, and keep it running at its best.
How to check hydraulic fluid levels on John Deere machines
Checking the fluid level on a John Deere tractor is extremely important so that you can ensure full lift cylinder action as well as steering and drive action. You'll also be able to better protect against any kind of damage to the hydro-static pumps, the hydraulic pump motors, the control valve, and the charge pump. When you do get around to checking the fluid level, make sure to do it at a time when the hydraulic oil is cold, and the boom is down.
The bucket cylinders and the boom should both be completely retracted, so the machine is in the ideal position for fluid level checking. When you go about your fluid check, make sure that you don't get any dirt into the oil itself or into the reservoir, and make sure you don't overfill the reservoir. If you do happen to overfill, it's very possible that the oil might get blown out of the dipstick tube, and be introduced into the engine area.
The steps for checking fluid levels on a John Deere tractor include:
#1 Park the machine safely
Retract the bucket cylinders and boom, and wait for the machine to cool down
#2 Open the engine cover
After opening the engine cover, you should remove the panel on the left side
#3 Check the oil level
Check the dipstick to see that the oil is at the maximum level
#4 Add Oil if needed
Add as much oil as is needed to bring it to the maximum level. When you're adding additional fluid, make sure that you use John Deere HY-GARD or low viscosity oil
#5 Make sure everything is sealed
Re-install the side panel, close the cover over the engine, and shut the rear service door.
If Needed Refer to Your Owner's Manual
If you're uncertain about any of the steps involved in this process, it would be a good idea to consult your John Deere owner's manual for detailed instructions on hydraulic hose repair. There are also a number of online forums and communities for John Deere tractors, where you can acquire some very handy tips and best practices for keeping your machine running in tip-top shape. Your John Deere tractor will always run best if you use recommended fluids when it's necessary to refill or top off fluid levels.
What are My Tractor Hydraulic Fluid Options?
Your options for refilling your John Deere tractor with fluid will hinge on one important question – what specific type of machine do you own? It's to your advantage to know as much as possible about your tractor because you will be much better equipped to take good care of it, and to keep it operating at a high level for a long time.
One of the things you need to know is what type of fluid should be used in your tractor. Some of the older tractors have separate reservoirs for transmission and hydraulic fluids, which means you'll need two different types of fluid to keep them running. When you need a hydraulic fluid that will be used for raising and lowering your bucket, you'll probably need a universal tractor hydraulic fluid, or possibly an ISO-specified hydraulic oil.
To be sure which is appropriate, you should consult your owner's manual to find out the one which is recommended for your machine. If you don't have an owner's manual, you can also contact a nearby dealership, or you can look it up online to find out which type of fluid is most appropriate for your tractor. Once you know the particular weight of oil you need, you will have to decide between an ISO oil or an AW oil. Both of these have the same weights, but AW oil includes some elements which provide anti-wear capabilities, and that makes them somewhat superior to ordinary ISO oils. Although in some cases you may have to look to something more extensive like hydraulic cylinder repair.
What Does John Deere Recommend for Hydraulic Fluid?
John Deere engineers have designed some very specific hydraulic oils which are intended to be used in their machines for optimal performance. Hy-Gard fluids have a high viscosity index and are multi-viscosity in nature. By contrast, low viscosity Hy-Gard has an ISO 32 grade of viscosity, as opposed to its cousin which has ISO 46 and 68 grades. Both these types of hydraulic oil were developed exclusively for John Deere equipment, although many other equipment owners make use of them for non-John Deere machines.
The benefit of using one of these types of fluid is that both have been tested in the laboratory and in the field, and have been found to meet standards for performance and protection of hydraulic oil and for transmissions. The viscosity levels of each type of hydraulic oil have been designed for specific equipment, so that increased wear will be avoided, and so that sluggish operation will be discouraged.
Best hydraulic fluids for John Deere tractors
The best hydraulic fluids for John Deere tractors are the ones which have been specifically designed for use in those machines. Whenever you use Hy-Gard or low viscosity Hy-Gard fluids, you can be certain that you're getting the optimal performance from your machine, and that any excessive wear and tear will be prevented. Because these fluid oils have been specifically designed for John Deere machines, they are perfectly in sync with machine operation, and they provide maximum protection for all components they touch.