Anyone who loves a powerful tractor instantly falls in love with the John Deere 3039r. A member of the manufacturer’s powerful 3R series, the diesel-powered machine truly packs a punch.
The 38.2 horsepower engine runs at an amazing 2600 rpm, easing through daily projects. Unfortunately, like all other John Deere tractors, the 3039r isn’t without faults.
Below, we explore the most common John Deere 3039r problems so you’re fully prepared.
About John Deere 3039r
The John Deere 3039r is a nice tractor with a powerful 28.5kW engine and all the bells and whistles of modern farm machinery.
It’s a compact utility tractor with a Power Reverser e-Hydro transmission system. The 1727 mm/68-inch wheelbase with wheel spacers also catches the eye.
This 3-cylinder tractor has a 37.4-litre fuel tank, uses pressurized lubrication, and boasts a lift capacity of 995 kg.
John Deere 3039r tractors easily attach to a mower deck and other attachments thanks to the AutoConnect feature.
In addition, you can choose a cab or open-station configuration, depending on your needs.
7 Most Common Problems with John Deere 3039r Tractors
First off, the John Deere 3039r is a tad overpriced. Although we appreciate its power and efficiency, the manufacturer should be more considerate about the pricing.
But the price is the least of our worries. The following are seven worrying problems that take the fun out of owning a John Deere 3039r.
John Deere 3039r Problems #1: The Engine Does Not Start
Engine problems are the most common complaints among John Deere 3039r owners. Although impressive to the eye, all hell breaks loose once you get to the farm.
First up, the internet is awash with complaints about the engine not working. The following are common reasons the tractor’s engine may fail to start and what to do about the problem.
1. The engine doesn’t crank
If the John Deere 3039r’s engine doesn’t crank, you’re likely using the wrong fuel. So, you need to check your fuel. If it’s the right fuel, check whether the fuel has gone bad.
Alternatively, the failure may result from a defective pressure fuel pump or incorrect fuel injection pump timing. These two issues need professional attention.
2. The engine motor is not starting
Again, check the fuel type and quality if the engine motor refuses to start. If the fuel is good, perhaps the fuel pipes are contaminated, or the fuel filter is filthy.
A dirty fuel filter can contaminate or block fuel from reaching the motor. So, you need to change the filter. Finally, check for damaged piston rings and replace them appropriately.
3. The engine starts hard
Air and water trapped in the engine system are the two most common causes of hard starts.
They interfere with the combustion process and can easily cause engine knocks. So, you need to bleed the system and change the engine oil.
Also, check if the battery is drained and inspect the system for worn piston rings and a cracked injector body.
John Deer 3039r Problems #2: Deficient Engine Output
Besides “engine not starting,” another commonly reported engine issue among the John Deere 3039r users is low engine output.
In this case, the engine works but needs to put out more power to run normal activities. Or it may occasionally stall, impacting productivity and leaving users wondering what’s wrong.
Here’s what you need to know;
1. Low power output
An incorrect valve gap is the most common cause of low engine power in model 3039r.
The valve gap, also known as valve lash or clearance, is the gap between the Rocker Arms and the valve tappet.
Incorrect valve clearance can affect thermal expansion, leading to poor engine output.
Besides fixing the valve gap, ensure the engine fuel is free from air or water, as these two compromise engine performance.
2. The diesel engine occasionally stalls
Stalling is also often attributed to air in the fuel supply system. As a result, the engine may temporarily lose power, causing unexplained idling. So, check the fuel quality and replace it if needed.
If the problem persists, perhaps the piston sizes are wrong, or the piston rings are worn. Both issues impact air compression, directly affecting engine functioning. This is also a common problem with john deere 2025r.
John Deere 3039r Problems #3: Diesel Engine Overheats
The third most common engine system complaint among John Deere 3039r users is an overheating engine. Common causes of engine overheating in the tractor include;
- Lack of coolant in the cooling system: Is there enough coolant in the radiator? If not, you must immediately replenish the coolant levels. But more importantly, take this chance to check for radiator leaks and fix them to avoid future problems.
- Wrong or poor-grade coolant: If there’s no leak, perhaps the coolant oil is bad. First, check whether you’re using the recommended coolant fluid. If not, replace the fluid. Secondly, test the quality of the coolant fluid and replace bad, contaminated, or poor-grade coolant fluid.
- Motor overload: You’re probably wondering how overloading can cause the engine to overheat. It’s simple. The engine works harder when you overload the tractor, generating more heat. Fortunately, you don’t need magic to fix this problem. Avoid overloading, and you won’t experience the problem.
- A broken or misadjusted fan belt: Finally, engine overheating can result from a misadjusted or broken fan belt – or a malfunctioned fan. It’s easy to realign the fan belt. However, you may need to replace the belt if it’s broken. Broken fans are also better to replace than repair.
John Deere 3039r Problems #4: Steering Wheel Not Working Properly
After engine issues, steering wheel complaints are the most common John Deere 3039r concerns.
One moment the steering wheel is fine and smooth; the next, it’s hard to turn or not work altogether.
Here’s what you need to know;
1. The steering wheel is not working
If the steering wheel doesn’t work, check for air trapped in the hydraulic system. That’s because the steering wheel is a hydraulic system. All hydraulic systems malfunction when air gets into the system.
The compressed air often causes strange noises and makes it difficult to control the wheel. It may also cause permanent steering wheel failure. Drawing out the air fixes the problem.
Alternatively, you may have low hydraulic oil. Unfortunately, low hydraulic fluid can cause poor steering wheel performance and, eventually, complete wheel failure.
So, top up the oil. If both fixes don’t work, the steering is probably broken and requires repairs or replacement.
2. The steering wheel is hard to turn
The same issues that cause a “dead” steering wheel often make the wheel hard to turn. So, remove air from the hydraulic system and top up the fluid levels if necessary.
In addition, diagnose the steering wheel system for low oil index, steering pump malfunction, a broken tie-rod, leaking hydraulic connection, and oil viscosity issues.
John Deere 3039r Problems #5: Loose Steering Wheel
A different but equally serious steering wheel problem on the John Deere 3039r is when the wheel works but feels loose. Loose steering wheels mean you’ve lost control of the tractor.
Additionally, it leaves you at a higher risk of accidents.bThe worst part is that loose steering wheel issues don’t go away on their own. Instead, they only worsen with time.
Here’s what to do about the problem;
- Check the steering wheel oil: Low steering wheel oil can cause poor control. So, replenish the oil levels, diagnose the system for leaks, and replace the oil if it’s contaminated or too old.
- The steering wheel system has malfunctioned: If the oil is good, the steering wheel has likely malfunctioned. For instance, are the tie rods worn? Is there a bad ball joint? Is the control arm damaged? These are just a few issues to diagnose. Additionally, check for a malfunctioned steering hydraulic cylinder and broken steering pump and repair or replace the parts accordingly.
John Deere 3039r Problems #6: Transmission Issues
Transmission issues are fairly common in John Deere 3039r tractors, especially hard-shifting transmission. So, what causes hard shifting, and how can you fix it?
The main cause of a hard-shifting transmission is bad transmission fluid. This often happens when you fail to change the transmission fluid at the recommended intervals.
So, you need to change the fluid right away. Two other common causes of a jerky or hard-shifting transmission are vacuum issues and a faulty sensor.
A bent, blocked, or detached vacuum line can alter transmission pressure, causing a rough shift. Meanwhile, only the dealer or a professional mechanic can diagnose and fix sensor issues.
John Deere 3039r Problems #7: Performance Issues
Finally, let’s round up a few performance-related issues you may experience when using the 3039r.
- PTO shifts poorly: Poor PTO performance is often a sign of failing solenoids. Solenoids are electronic valves that control fluid flow in the transmission system. So, a damaged solenoid can cause low fluid release, resulting in poor power takeoff (PTO). To prevent the issue, ensure regular maintenance and fix all the controls.
- Differential lock assembly out of adjustment: Lock assemblies are critical to controlling wheel speeds. So, an out-of-sync assembly can derail your progress. To fix the issue, check whether the diaphragm is raptured and needs replacement. Alternatively, change worn components.
- Excessive white smoke during idle: In most cases, white smoke from the exhaust pipe is condensed water vapor plus carbon. This is harmless. Unfortunately, sometimes excessive smoke can result from an engine coolant leak or a head gasket failure, both of which require professional intervention. Also, check whether the air filter is blocked and needs replacement.
- Front axle creaks incessantly: If the front axle creaks nonstop during operation, the roller bearings are likely worn and need replacement. In addition, diagnose the gears and repair faulty gears promptly.
John Deere 3039r Tractor Verdict: Hit or Miss?
The John Deere 3039r is certainly not a failure. On the contrary, its attractive styling and comfortable operator station are masterpieces.
We also love the Yanmar engine, which delivers plenty of power under heavy loads. Meanwhile, the common rail system (CRS) optimizes fuel economy, reducing operating costs.
Unfortunately, the long list of performance issues leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Every logical buyer wants some assurance before taking on a machine with so many complaints.
Thankfully it comes with a 3-year full cover warranty and a 6-year powertrain warranty. So, overall, it’s a good buy.
John Deere 3039r Alternatives
Of course, not everyone falls in love with every tractor. The following are excellent alternatives if you’re unimpressed by the John Deere 3039r compact utility tractor;
- John Deere 3038E compact utility tractor
- John Deere 3033r compact utility tractor
- Kubota L3901
The John Deere model 3039r compact utility tractor is an excellent 3-Series agricultural tractor for mid-range applications.
Its 32.8 hp engine is more than sufficient for lawn mowing and other routine uses, and the new accessories make it highly versatile.
However, it isn’t without fault. So, be prepared for regular maintenance and DIY repairs to keep it in top shape.