5 Most Common John Deere 2520 Problems

The John Deere 2520 is a compact utility tractor that has earned a reputation for its reliability and versatility. As a popular choice for homeowners, small-scale farmers, and landscaping enthusiasts, the 2520 has undoubtedly made its mark in the agricultural machinery market.

However, like any mechanical equipment, it is not immune to issues that can hinder its performance and longevity.

In this blog post, we will delve into some common problems that users might encounter with the John Deere 2520 and provide practical solutions to address these concerns.

By understanding the potential challenges and knowing how to handle them, owners of this tractor can ensure smooth operation and extended usability.

Most Common John Deere 2520 Problems

Problem #1: Starter Motor Failure

Overview: A common issue reported by some John Deere 2520 owners is starter motor failure. This can manifest as the engine failing to crank, making it impossible to start the tractor. This problem can be frustrating and inconvenient, especially during critical tasks.

Solution: To resolve starter motor failure, first, ensure the battery is in good condition and fully charged. If the battery is functional, but the starter motor still fails to engage, inspect the wiring for any loose connections or signs of damage. If necessary, replace the starter motor with a genuine John Deere part to restore proper functionality.

Problem #2: Transmission Issues

Overview: Transmission problems may arise in the John Deere 2520, leading to issues with gear shifting or loss of power while driving. These issues can significantly impact the tractor’s performance and should be addressed promptly.

Solution: To address transmission issues, check the transmission fluid level and condition regularly. Low or contaminated fluid can contribute to poor performance. If the fluid appears dirty or has a burnt smell, it’s time to replace it. Additionally, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for regular maintenance, including changing filters and transmission fluid, to prevent major transmission problems.

Problem #3: Hydraulic System Leaks

Overview: Some users have reported hydraulic system leaks in the John Deere 2520. Leaks can result from damaged seals, hoses, or connections, leading to reduced hydraulic efficiency and potential environmental hazards.

Solution: When dealing with hydraulic leaks, start by inspecting the system for visible signs of leakage. Tighten loose connections and replace damaged hoses or seals as needed. Regularly inspecting the hydraulic system and promptly addressing any leaks can prevent more severe issues and costly repairs down the road.

Problem #4: PTO (Power Take-Off) Malfunctions

Overview: The Power Take-Off (PTO) mechanism allows the John Deere 2520 to transfer power to various implements and attachments. Malfunctions in the PTO can hinder the tractor’s ability to operate accessories, impacting productivity.

Solution: When encountering PTO malfunctions, begin by checking the engagement switch and related electrical connections. Sometimes, dirt or debris can interfere with proper functioning. Ensure that the PTO shaft is well-greased and properly aligned with the attachment. If problems persist, consult the tractor’s manual or seek professional assistance to diagnose and resolve the issue.

Problem #5: Engine Overheating

Overview: Engine overheating can occur in the John Deere 2520 due to various reasons, such as a malfunctioning cooling fan, clogged radiator, or low coolant levels. Ignoring overheating issues can lead to severe engine damage and costly repairs.

Solution: When the engine temperature rises above the normal range, turn off the tractor immediately and let it cool down. Check the cooling fan for proper operation and clean the radiator to remove any debris or blockages. Ensure the coolant levels are within the recommended range and check for leaks in the cooling system. If the problem persists, consult a professional technician to identify and fix the underlying cause.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: How often should I perform routine maintenance on my John Deere 2520?

A: Regular maintenance is crucial for optimal performance and longevity of your tractor. Follow the maintenance schedule outlined in the owner’s manual, which typically includes tasks such as oil changes, filter replacements, fluid checks, and lubrication. Generally, basic maintenance should be performed every 50-100 operating hours, while more comprehensive maintenance should occur every 200-300 hours.

Q: Can I use aftermarket parts to replace faulty components?

A: While aftermarket parts may be more affordable, it’s recommended to use genuine John Deere parts for replacements. Genuine parts are specifically designed for your tractor and ensure the best fit and performance. Aftermarket parts may not meet the same quality standards, potentially leading to compatibility issues or premature failures.

Q: What type of fuel should I use for my John Deere 2520?

A: Use high-quality diesel fuel with a cetane rating of at least 40. Avoid using biodiesel blends higher than B20 (20% biodiesel content) unless explicitly approved by John Deere. Using the correct fuel and maintaining a clean fuel system will enhance engine performance and efficiency.


The John Deere 2520 is a reliable and versatile compact utility tractor that serves various purposes. However, like any mechanical equipment, it can encounter problems over time.

By being aware of common issues such as starter motor failure, transmission problems, hydraulic system leaks, PTO malfunctions, and engine overheating, and knowing how to address them, owners can maintain their tractor’s performance and prolong its lifespan.

Remember to follow the manufacturer’s maintenance guidelines, use genuine parts when replacing components, and stay proactive in detecting and resolving issues. With proper care and attention, the John Deere 2520 will continue to be a valuable asset for years to come.

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