John Deere 855 Problems : Top 6 Issues And Solutions

Most conventional tractors are big, bulky and expensive because they are designed for large scale commercial farmers. Most consumers however would rather have a slightly smaller and compact utility tractor that is powerful enough to perform the required job. That’s where the John Deere 885 shines best. This is so, thanks to its compact build and 2WD or 4WD drive system powered by the 1L Yanmar engine. The tractor is very robust, durable and reliable, hence the tractor of choice of most utility tractor vehicle owners.

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What Is The John Deere 855?

The John Deere 855 is a compact utility tractor from the manufacturer John Deere. The utility tractor uses a 1L 3-cylinder naturally aspirated Yanmar 3TN75RJ diesel engine that produces 24HP or 17.9KW. The tractor is also equipped with a 2WD or 4WD hydrostatic transmission with infinite (2-range) forward and reverse gears for greater power delivery at the wheels. All these features make the utility vehicle a very powerful tractor and a great contender in the market. The tractor is however not perfect and can develop problems, such as the ones discussed in this article.

John Deere 855 Problems

NB: The John Deere 855 is usually sold without any problems or defects. Any problems that may develop on the utility tractor, including those mentioned below in this article are usually caused by abusing or overloading the tractor while in use. Wear and tear can also develop on the tractor leading to its deterioration.

1. Tractor Doesn’t Start

There are several reasons that may cause the John Deere 855 utility tractor engine not to start and hence the tractor’s failure to operate. Reasons for the tractor’s engine failing to start may include;

  • Dirty Fuel filter element.
  • Dirty or defective fuel injection nozzles.
  • Defective injection pump hence fuel failing to reach the engine.

Troubleshooting Failure To Start

When the engine fails to start one can solve the problem by doing the following;

  • Inspecting and replacing the fuel filter when it becomes defective.
  • Inspecting the fuel injection nozzles for proper discharge and replacing them when defective.
  • Using a pressure gauge to check the pressure, if low the fuel injection pump may be defective and needs repairing or replacing.

2. Engine Suddenly Shuts Off

When using the utility tractor, one may realize that the tractor just stops suddenly on its own without warning. This problem may be caused by;

  • The fuel injection pump timing not being adjusted correctly.
  • Clogged fuel filter element.
  • Coolant temperature being too low.

Troubleshooting Engine Sudden Shut Down

When the engine suddenly shuts down during operation the following can be done to try and address the issue;

  • Adjusting the fuel injection pump timing so as to ensure the engine receives the appropriate fuel and air mixture.
  • Replacing the clogged fuel filter element.
  • Letting the engine run idle for longer to get the coolant to the appropriate temperature before using the engine.

3. Engine Knocking Or Noisy

Over time the engine may stop operating normally and start knocking or producing noises. This problem can be observed in older versions and is often caused by;

  • Low coolant temperature or low engine oil level.
  • Pistons being worn or scored and improper setting of the fuel injection pump timing.
  • Connecting rods being not correctly aligned or being worn or defective.

Troubleshooting Knocking Engine

When the engine starts knocking the problem can be addressed by;

  • Normalizing the coolant temperature by warming the engine before use and adding oil to the engine crankcase until it reaches the correct level.
  • Replacing the worn pistons and adjusting the timing of the fuel injection pump.
  • Realigning the connecting rods or replacing them when they are worn or defective.

4. HST Transmission Making Noise

The hydrostatic transmission of the John Deere 855 can over time develop problems or faults that prohibit its proper function and behavior. These problems can include;

  • Speed control linkage being improperly adjusted or defective.
  • Transmission being overloaded. The transmission fluid could also be dirty or the level be too low.
  • Defective relief valve or other worn parts in the hydrostatic transmission.

Troubleshooting HST Transmission Problems

The HST transmission is very important since it is responsible for the smooth and proper transfer of power hence when it starts developing noises the following can be done to try and address the problem;

  • Properly adjusting the speed control linkage or repairing it when damaged.
  • Not overloading the tractor’s transmission and also ensuring that the transmission fluid is not dirty and is topped up to the correct level. When dirty, the transmission fluid may need to be replaced.
  • Changing the relief valve when it becomes defective and repairing or replacing any other worn parts in the HST transmission.

5. Hydraulic System Overheating

The system components can start overheating and this problem can be caused by;

  • Using the wrong hydraulic fluid type.
  • Hydraulic oil having contaminants that affect its properties.
  • Having air in the hydraulic pipes or a faulty main relief valve, hence failing to relieve pressure.

Troubleshooting Hydraulic System Overheating

To ensure the hydraulic system components don’t overheat the following can be done;

  • Using the correct manufacturer recommend hydraulic fluid type.
  • Changing the hydraulic oil when it becomes contaminated.
  • Bleeding the hydraulic pipes to remove air and changing the faulty main relief valve.

6. Excessive Steering Free Play

The steering system is very important in maneuvering the tractor hence when it becomes defective the tractor cannot be steered. Excess free play in the steering can be caused by;

  • Steering column shaft or coupling being worn.
  • Faulty steering pump hence not working.
  • Loosened or worn steering linkage components or a damaged steering control valve.

Troubleshooting Excessive Steering Free Play

When the steering develops excessive free play the following can be done to solve the problem;

  • Changing the worn steering column shaft or coupling.
  • Repairing or replacing the faulty steering pump.
  • Checking the steering linkage components for loose or worn parts and then repairing or replacing these parts. One should also change or repair the steering control valve when it becomes damaged or worn.

How To Avoid John Deere 855 Problems?

The best way to avoid any problems developing with the John Deere 855 is to regularize with the utility tractor’s operator manual and only using the tractor as advised in the manual to avoid breakdowns. It is also advisable not to use the John Deere 855 in environments where it might be prone to being damaged such as on excessively muddy ground where it will struggle to maintain grip.

What Are The Most Common Problems With John Deere Tractors?

The most common problems would include uneven grass cutting, slipping belts, lighting issues, battery problems and other engine related problems, hence ensure these are taken into consideration when using the tractor.

How Many Hours Will a John Deere Tractor Last?

A John Deere tractor is known for its durability and longevity and will last 8,000 to 10,000 hours with proper maintenance.


In conclusion the John Deere 855 is an exceptional utility tractor offering that is very reliable and compact. The tractor is very powerful thanks to the Yanmar 3TN75RJ diesel engine hence is suitable for most operators that are looking for greater functionality from a smaller build. The tractor however can develop problems hence regular maintenance is essential to ensure the tractor functions as intended.