23 Common John Deere 2038r Problems + Troubleshooting

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By Bryan Peters

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The John Deere 2038r has a lot of potentials to do you just right in your lawn mowing and other duties that you’ll require. But then, as with everything else, you can’t always get what you want, and all your desires might not be fulfilled as you’d like.

Some common John Deere 2038r problems include engine problems, hydraulics, electric systems, and even the steering wheel.

Today, we will show you simple troubleshooting tips for the various problems with John Deere 2038r tractors.

Let’s get started!

Troubleshooting John Deere 2038R Problems

1. The engine is hard to start or doesn’t start

Fuel filter jammed – Replace the filter element. 

Air in the fuel lines – Bleed the fuel lines. 

Defective fuel injection nozzles – Repair or change injection nozzles. 

The fuel injection pump is bad – Reinstall or change the fuel pump.

See Also: John Deere 2020 Problems

2. Engine stalls during operation

Wrong setting of fuel injection pump timing – Set it up as needed. 

Fuel filter blocked – Put a new filter element. 

Insufficient coolant temperature – Regulate the temperature by heating up the engine.

3. The engine starts but stops suddenly

Fuel filter element is filthy – Filter cleaning needed. 

Faulty fuel injection pump – Change or repair the injection pump. 

The air filter is filthy – Take out the dirt or change.

4. Engine overheated

Wrecked radiator cap or filthy radiator core – Tidy up the radiator or change the cap. 

Insufficient engine coolant – Refill to the appropriate level and check the system for leaks. 

Broken or old fan belt – Belt change is needed. 

Absence of engine oil – Put some oil on the engine crankcase.

5. Reduced engine power 

Fuel injection nozzles are blocked or faulty – Check injection nozzles and replace them if mandatory.

Blocked fuel hoses or lines – Flush out fuel hoses and lines. 

The air filter is filthy – Fix a new air filter component. 

Cylinder-head gasket is shattered – Change cylinder head gasket.

6. Abnormal engine noise or knocking

The engine is not preheated – Heat up the engine as needed. 

Engine oil level insufficient – Fill up the oil to the mandated level. 

Fuel injection pump timing is incorrect – Fix it according to specifications. 

Old or shattered pistons – Change the pistons. 

The connecting rod is misaligned or inadequate – An alignment process or substitute is needed.

7. Engine stalls while idling

Wrongly adjusted low idle speed – Fix meager idling as recommended. 

Valve clearance is incorrect – Fix valve clearance according to specifications. 

The fuel injection pump is cracked – Change or fix the injection pump.

8. Insufficient oil pressure

Engine oil low – Assess oil level and put the required amount of oil. 

The oil pump is inadequate – Change as needed. 

Oil filter element is filthy – Change or service engine oil filter.

John Deere 2038R Hydrostatic Transmission Troubleshooting

9. Hydrostatic transmission noises 

Old or out-of-adjustment speed control linkage – Fix or put in a new linkage. 

Transmission is under excessive load – Lessen loading. 

Filthy transmission fluid or inadequate fluid level – Pour fresh fluid or put some transmission fluid to the appropriate level. 

The relief valve is destroyed – Change the valve. 

Old or inadequate transmission elements – Assess hydrostatic transmission elements for deficiency or damage and replace them if needed.

10. Transmission oil overheated

Transmission filled too full – The load should be lessened. 

Wrecked or choked cooling components – Assess all cooling components and replace or clean them if needed. 

Inadequate fluid level – Inspect and refill the transmission fluid. 

Transmission fluid filter element jamming – Change or service transmission fluid filter.

11. Low power

Inadequate fluid level – Need to add some more transmission fluid. 

The relief valve is wrecked – Put a new relief valve. 

Wriggled or unadjusted speed control pedal linkage – Fix or change linkage.

12. External oil leaks

Oil return tube is clogged – Tidy up or change the tube. 

Shattered gaskets or seals – Put some new gaskets or seals. 

High interior transmission case pressure – Assess transmission parts for harm or wear and replace them if needed.

John Deere 2038R Hydraulics Troubleshooting

13. Hydraulics overheating

The wrong kind of hydraulic fluid is being used – Utilize the correct type of fluid. 

Hydraulic oil is filthy – Hydraulic oil change needed.

Air caught up in the hydraulic system – Bleed air from the system. 

Defective main relief valve – Relief valve replacement needed.

14. Insufficient hydraulic oil pressure

Hydraulic oil level meager – Assess and refill the hydraulic oil. 

Hydraulic oil filter element is plugged up – Tidy or replace the hydraulic filter. 

Leaks in hydraulic lines – Locate leaks in the system and repair them. 

The hydraulic control valve is out of adjustment – Readjustment required. 

Hydraulic pump is bad – Replace or repair hydraulic oil pump. 

The hydraulic cylinder is damaged – Fix a new hydraulic cylinder or rectify it.

15. 3-point hitch cannot be raised, or raising is too slowly 

Inadequate hydraulic pump – Change or repair the hydraulic oil pump. 

Deficient main relief valve – Relief valve replacement needed. 

The hydraulic spool valve is deficient – Repair or change the hydraulic valve. 

Inadequate hydraulic cylinder -Fix or change the hydraulic cylinder. 

Meager hydraulic oil level – Assess and refill the hydraulic oil. 

Hydraulic oil filter element is jammed – Tidy up or replace the hydraulic filter. 

Massive load on the hitch – Load needs to be lessened.

See Also: 16 Common John Deere 2030 Problems

16. Hitch cannot be dropped, or dropping is too slow

The hydraulic cylinder is bad – Fix a new hydraulic cylinder or repair it. 

Inaccurately adjusted hydraulic spool valve – Fix the spool valve rightly. 

The Hitch rock shaft is old – Fix a new shaft. 

Misadjusted hitch – The three-point hitch must be fixed the right way.

17. Hitch drop or lift is jerky

Spoiled hydraulic fluid – Replace hydraulic fluid. 

Hydraulic pump is inadequate – Fix or change the hydraulic fluid pump. 

Air in the hydraulic structure – Requires air bleeding. 

The hydraulic spool valve is bad – Fix or replace the valve. 

Hydraulic cylinder is shattered – Fix or replace the hydraulic cylinder.

John Deere 2038R Steering System Troubleshooting

18. Steering wheel free play is excessive

Steering column shaft or coupling is old – Change bad component. 

Bad steering pump – Fix a new steering pump. 

Steering linkage parts are loose or old – Assess and replace as needed. 

Power steering control valve is bad or worn – Check and replace as needed.

19. Steering is difficult

Air caught up inside steering system – Air-bleed steering system. 

The steering filter is filthy – Tidy up or replace the steering filter. 

Inadequate steering oil – Assess oil level and put some more steering oil as needed. 

The power steering control valve has worn or is bad – Fix or replace the control valve. 

Steering pump not functioning – Fix or change steering pump. 

Bad or stuck pump flow control valve – Replace or flush the control valve. 

Incorrectly installed or wrong steering column – Fix the steering column as needed or change it.

Tire pressure uneven – Inflate the tires properly. 

Incorrect toe-in – Fix the toe-in wheels correctly. 

Steering cylinder leaks – Change damaged piston seals or old piston rods.

20. Tractor pulls to left or right 

The power steering control valve is old or malfunctioning – Replace or fix the steering control valve if needed. 

The steering cylinder is old – Fix it up or change the steering cylinder. 

Wrongly adjusted tie-in – Adjust toe-in properly. 

Slackened or old steering linkage components – Fix or replace steering linkage.

Front-wheel bearings are inadequate or incorrectly adjusted. 

Change or fix the bearings properly. 

Unequal tire pressure – Inflate the tires appropriately.

John Deere 2038R Electrical Troubleshooting

21. The battery is not charging

Decayed or loose electrical wire connections – Tighten or repair connections. 

Bad electrical terminal connectors – Replace terminal connectors. 

The battery is old – Utilize a new battery. 

Slackened or worn out belt – Replace belt or fix belt tension.

22. Starter cranks slow

Battery power is insufficient – Recharge the battery. 

The battery runs out shortly – The battery needs to be repaired or replaced. 

Faulty terminals or severed battery cables – Connect wires rightly or replace terminals with new ones.

23. The starter is not functioning

The battery is low or bad – The battery needs to be recharged or changed

The wiring harness is disconnected or incorrectly connected.

Assess wiring harness and connect as needed.

Insufficient battery power – Recharge the battery. 

Bad starter motor – The starter should be changed.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much horsepower does a John Deere 2038r have?

A John Deere 2038r has 36.7 horsepower.

How much does a John Deere 2038r with loader weigh?

A John Deere 2038r weighs about 2436lbs with a loader.

How much can a John Deere 2038r lift?

A John Deere 2038r can lift to 615 kg.

How much does a John Deere 2038r cost?

A John Deere 2038r costs around $31,000.

What is the difference between John Deere 2038r and 2032r?

Two things.

  • Horsepower – The 2038R is the strongest of the two tractors, with 5.5 more gross horsepower and 6.2 more PTO power than the John Deere 2032R
  • Size – The 2038R is created with a heavier, more steady frame, having a total of 2910lbs compared to the 2032R’s 2436lb weight

The John Deere 2038r is the better between the two.

See Also: Common Bad Boy Mower Transaxle Problems


You will undoubtedly enjoy your John Deere 2038r, but the enjoyment will certainly have momentary breaks.

But with the simple solutions I have outlined above, you would not have any problems.

Hope this short article on John Deere 2038r problems was helpful. Why not share?