How to Test a Tractor's Transmission

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There is nothing more frustrating then getting ready to do yard work and discovering that your tractor is not running properly. One of the things you will want to test is the transmission. Before you can begin you will need to know if your tractor has an automatic or a standard transmission.

Things You'll Need

  • Wrench
  • Pressure gauge
  • Transmission fluid
  • Gear lube

Automatic Transmission Test

  • Check the level of your transmission fluid, with the tractor in neutral and the engine running, If fluid level is low, add transmission fluid to see if this solves your problem.

  • Shift your tractor into gear. Does the transmission go into gear smoothly or does it slip? If it slips when going into gear, your test has determined that you have worn out clutch plates or seals on your transmission.

  • Test for internal damage to your transmission. Drive the tractor to see if the transmission shifts up and down correctly. If it does not, then your problem is internal. This could indicate worn clutch plates, worn or leaking seals, hydraulic problems or mechanical damage.

Standard Transmission Test

  • Depress the clutch and shift through the gear ranges, with the engine of your tractor turned off. If it does not move freely, then your tractor transmission may have a shift quadrant problem.

  • Start the engine, depress the clutch and shift through the gear ranges. Does the shifter move freely through the gears now? If it does not move freely, then your tractor has a problem with the clutch.

  • Drive the tractor. Can you up shift and down shift? If the shifter jumps out of gear or grinds, then you probably have bad gears.

  • Listen for unusual noises with the engine running and the transmission in neutral. If you hear an unusual noise check the level of the gear lube. If the oil level is adequate the problem is most likely worn out bearings.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always check fluid levels first.
  • Check for any leaks.
  • If you have removed inspection covers to observe while the engine is running, never put your hands near any moving parts.
  • If the vehicle is jacked up off the ground, make sure you always use safety stands.

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