6 Common Massey Ferguson 231 Problems and Solutions

Massey Ferguson 231 Problems

During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Massey Ferguson 231 compact utility tractor became very widespread among tractor users. Perkins 3 cylinder diesel engines power the Massey Ferguson 231. The engine contains a 2.5-liter engine and is equipped with a liquid cooling system that requires 10.6 liters of coolant in order to function properly.

There is a requirement of 34.8 liters of hydraulic fluid to ensure that the open hydraulic system on the tractor is fully stocked. MF 231 is also compatible with hundreds of attachments, which increases its versatility even further.

Although there are so many amazing features of Massey Ferguson 231, there are a few drawbacks too that you might face after using it for some time. But do not get worried as the problems can be easily solved.

Common Massey Ferguson 231 Problems

  1. Diesel does not crank
  2. Poor engine output
  3. Transmission shifts hard
  4. Issues with steering
  5. Hydraulic Problems
  6. Lifting problems

Problems and Solutions of Massey Ferguson 231

You need your tractor to run smoothly in order to complete your work. Performance issues can lead to decreased productivity in the long run. You can identify and fix the issue more easily and faster by understanding what causes those issues and what solutions are available. That is why today we are going to talk about the common problems of Massey Ferguson 231 and their solutions so that you can solve the problems easily.

1. Diesel does not crank

If you experience that your tractor’s diesel is not cranking then there might be something wrong with the fuel filter. This is a common problem of many vehicles including tractors. This could be caused by a clogged fuel filter, which prevents fuel from traveling from the tank to the engine.


The first step in troubleshooting a diesel tractor should be to look at the fuel filter. Fuel should be graded according to the recommendations. A fuel pump that produces high pressure can be damaged. So you should be careful about Wrong fuel injection pump timing. Carefully adjust the fuel pump to avoid future diesel cranking problems.

2. Poor engine output

Poor engine output means the tractor will start but would not run smoothly for long. It usually happens when the engine is short on fuel. Burnt nozzles can also lead to this problem.


It is best to replace your fuel filter, blow out your fuel lines, and have the fuel connections checked by a service representative when you encounter a poor engine problem. It is recommended that you repair or replace the moving parts of your tractor’s engine if it is seizing.

3. Transmission shifts hard

Lack of Lubrication can cause the transmission to shift hard. A transmission’s gears can become unresponsive and difficult to shift if they lack adequate lubrication.


It is important to check the transmission fluid level regularly and replace the fluid according to the schedule in the owner’s manual and lubricate your tractor regularly, in order to fix the transmission shifting problem.

4. Issues with steering

For tractor users as well as for your lawn, steering problems can be very dangerous and harmful. If the steering does not work, you will not be able to control your tractor’s speed and when to stop.  When the tires are underinflated, steering can be challenging. It will be difficult to maneuver the tractor correctly if the tires have low pressure.


If your tractor has steering problems then you should check the hydraulic system of your tractor first. The steering problem can happen if there is too much air in your tractor’s hydraulic system. Release the extra air as soon as possible. Check the level of oil in the tank. Add more oil if necessary. Check for problems with the steering cylinder. If it is faulty then you should replace it to solve the issue.

5. Hydraulic Problems

Too much heat can finally cause a hydraulic pump to fail if it runs for too long. When the hydraulic pump malfunctions, the whole system can be damaged because the debris will spread and contaminate the other parts of the tractor.


Filters in hydraulic systems can quickly become clogged by debris in the fluid. Fluid cannot flow through clogged filters, resulting in the pump working harder and overheating. You should clean the debris regularly, then empty the fuel filter if it has debris in it, then refill it. This will solve the hydraulic problem of Massey Ferguson 231.

6. Lifting problems

One of the main tasks of the tractor is lifting. But poor connection or not sufficient fluid level can cause lifting problems. Make sure the fluid levels are in the right ratio and your problem might get solved.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How much does a Massey Ferguson 231 weigh?

The Massey Ferguson 231 tractor weighs about 4,065 lbs or 1843 kg. This is a perfect weight for any tractor that is for residential and commercial use. In general, they make very good tractors since they are reliable, easy to maintain, and durable. They are an impressive addition to any farm inventory, despite some models standing out more than others.

2. When a diesel tractor runs out of fuel, what will happen?

Once you obtain some diesel and put it in the tank of a diesel truck that has run out of fuel, it will not restart. Easily clogged fuel lines prevent diesel engines from pulling fuel from the tank into the engine. In order to restart an engine successfully, you must first prime it with fuel.

3. How do you start a diesel after changing the fuel filter?

Diesel engines may simply require starting the engine, turning off the key, and repeating this procedure up to four times in order to prime the fuel pump. After a few minutes, your MF tractor’s engine can be restarted using this restart procedure, which is often recommended by your manufacturer.

Final Thoughts

It is possible for any tractor to have some issues after a few days of use, but that does not mean they are of poor quality. So, do not have doubts about your Massey Ferguson 231 tractor. You might fear the problems and costs associated with tractors since they are quite expensive. The majority of problems can, however, be easily fixed. You can also prevent your tractor from getting into trouble in the future by performing regular maintenance and troubleshooting. 

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