How to Fix Common John Deere 185 Hydro Problems?

John Deere 185 has been in the industry of lawn tractors for a long time. While they are known for their high functionality, they have yet to be flawless in their hydro system. So what are the most common John Deere 185 hydro problems?

Well, for starters, the engine not starting is one of the most commonly reported issues. This is usually caused by dried fuel deposits around the valves, causing no energy to be produced. In addition, faulty spark plugs and dysfunctional sensors are also known to be attributed to hydro problems in the tractor.

So are you interested to know the solutions to these problems? Well, you are in the right place to find out. So scroll down and keep reading. 

What Are The Most Common John Deere 185 Hydro Problems?

What Are The Most Common John Deere 185 Hydro Problems

While engine issues are one of the most common reasons against the standard functioning of the lawn tractor, there are several other reasons. Below, we have listed some of the most common causes of problems in the John Deere 185 Hydro.

  • Battery Issues
  • Engine Overheating or not starting
  • Dysfunctional Components
  • Vibration Issues
  • Unresponsive Keys
  • Leaking Axles
  • External Temperatures

6 Solutions For John Deere 185 Hydro Problems

6 Solutions For John Deere 185 Hydro Problems

We have already mentioned several of the causes of problems that are known to cause hydro problems in John Deere 185 lawn tractor. Well, in this section, we have six of the most useful solutions that you can follow. Do note that they will only work based on certain scenarios. 

1. Battery Issues: Reconnect The Battery

Battery Issues Reconnect The Battery

Sometimes, your battery might not be able to provide the correct amount of energy needed to start the tractor. This inturn causes the John Deere 185 hydro system of your tractor to shut down.

The most obvious reason might be due to corrupted run-time data or even a traction control prevention mechanism. The faulty traction plays a very crucial role in causing John Deere 185  hydro problems. 

To fix such a problem, the best solution is to reset the entire system. Before going on the resetting, make sure to check whether the voltage of the battery is fine or not. 

If no readings are shown, you might need to replace the entire battery. Once you have done the reset, you can choose to reconnect the battery. 

The price of a tractor battery is typically about 70 to 300 USD. However, this is only applicable in the case where you will need to replace the entire battery with a new one. 

2. Engine Overheating Or Not Starting: Change The Oil

Engine Overheating Or Not Starting Change The Oil

Most of the time, your engine overheating or not starting at all can be caused by the usage of slate or the wrong type of oil. While this causes no physical problems with your lawn tractor, in the long run, it will damage your engine. 

There are no fixes for this problem. All you need to do is remove the old batch of oil and refill it with the right oil type. Make sure that the oil you are using is compatible with the engine of your Ventrac and has the right number of carbons.

There are no components or cost of parts involved in this solution. The only cost involved is the usual cost of fuel that you will need to replace the old oil with. 

3. Dysfunctional Components: Tighten Connectors And Replace Sensors

Dysfunctional Components Tighten Connectors And Replace Sensors

Faulty or dysfunctional components usually involve smaller items like sensors, gears, gauges, etc., that can be subjected to damage caused by time. Even if they aren’t damaged, they can also end up loosening up. 

To patch up issues related to your components, you should run regular maintenance at a certain interval. This involves tightening the connectors and replacing the sensors to get rid of John Deere 185 hydro problems.

To fix disconnected or loose components like connectors and pins, you must have power tools like a screwdriver and spanner in your hand. When it comes to sensors, they might not always be fixable. In that case, buying and replacing it with a new one might be the only choice.

While most fixes will not require much money, you might need to replace certain components like gears and sensors. Expect to pay around 5 to 30 USD, depending on how many components you will need to replace. 

4. Vibration Issues: Change Deck Belt

Vibration Issues Change Deck Belt

You might notice your mower constantly producing vibrations or jerking motions. While they aren’t very impactful on your engine, a very bumpy tractor ride can prove to be inconvenient for the hydraulic system. 

Vibrations in your lawn tractor are usually caused by a damaged deck belt. However, there are rare cases where the scenario was caused by imbalanced mower blades, broken drive sheaves, or even accumulating debris. 

To fix your tractor facing the vibrating issues, you must change the deck belt. You can use a screwdriver to detach the old belt and replace it with a new one. For problems pertaking other components, follow the same procedure. 

The typical cost of replacing deck belts is usually around 40 to 80 USD. In addition, if you are going to hire someone to help you out, expect to make a labor payment of around 50 to 100 USD. With the vibrations fixed, you should expect no more hydro problems.

5. Leaking Axle: Reseal The Axle

Leaking Axle Reseal The Axle

The most common act of your tractor’s axle leaking is usually caused by abrasions or punctures. Even if it is the tip of your axle that is the point of damage, it can still prove to be fatal. 

This can cause the seal to turn invalid. Before long, the oil will start leaking out, causing even a miniscule hole to turn abominably bigger. Thuis is by far one of the most common hydro problems in John Deere

If left for a long time, all of the oil can leak out and even dry up to cause blockages on your axle. To fix the issue, your best option would be to reseal the axle.  

Resealing the axle shouldn’t cost you much. If you go to a professional mechanic, the highest you might be charged is around 150 USD. If you are going to do it on your own, costs can vary from 10 to 30 USD. 

6. Unresponsive Keys: Replace With New Keys

Unresponsive Keys Replace With New Keys

Unresponsive keys on the control unit of your lawn tractor isn’t a very common problem. While it is a rare issue, that doesn’t mean that it is ever unheard of. 

If you have unresponsive keys, the buttons in your controller will not work no matter how much you press them. Many John Deere 18 hydro problems can be traced back to be replated to unresponsive keys.

These issues are usually caused by loose connectors or faulty keys. Problems associated with unresponsive keys result in the driver not being able to drive the tractor in the way he normally would.  

To fix the problem, the best scenario is to replace the old keys with new working ones. In addition, you can also tighten the connection between the wires and the individual keys.

Fixing will cost about 80 to 100 USD on labor cost. In addition, you might need to pay an extra 10 to 20 USD depending on the keys being replaced.

7. External Temperatures: Heat Up Your Engine

External Temperatures Heat Up Your Engine

Problems caused by bad outdoor temperatures can range from the engine oil losing viscosity to the engine freezing up. In addition, your tires can also contract or dilate depending on the climatic conditions. 

While not all of these issues can be solved on your own,  If you are having tire issues, we suggest you change up to a new one. If certain components or pipes around the engine freeze, you could use rock salts to unfreeze them.

In addition, you will also need to take certain precautions if you intend to avoid engine problems. We advise you to heat up the engine every morning before using the tractor. 

There are no external costs involved in this solution. However, if you are going to change tires, you will be required to pay an average of 1500 to 2000 USD. 

FAQs About John Deere 185 Hydro Problems

With the end of this article there are clearly several questions that you are dying to ask. While it is impossible to answer all of them, we will try our best to give answers to a few so that you can face any John Deere 185 hydro problems. 

How Do You Check If The Starter Relay Of My John Deere 185 Hydro Is Working?

You can run a resistance test on your relay circuits to determine whether they are working. Connect a multimeter; if the reading is more than 5 Ohms, you will need to replace the replay. If otherwise, there is no problem with the hydro system.

Where In The Lawn Tractor Is The Fuse Located?

You should find a black box under the hood of your lawn tractor. This is where the fuse connected to the motor is located. If it is removed, the circuit will be broken, and the engine will not work anymore.

Can The Sensors In Your Tractor Be Repaired Without Replacing Them?

No, sensors cannot be repaired. In fact, you should never attempt to repair fuses since they are non-serviceable components. Fuses do not cost much and it is a foolish decision to attempt to fix them.


If you have a lawn that needs mowing, heavy duty lawn tractors like the John Deere 185 can be the best choice out there. While they do have some flaws with the hyraulic, you will still get to enjoy all the advantages packed within them.

If you have read through this guide, hopefully, we have been helpful to you in the case where you face John Deere 185 hydro problems. While you can patch up the problems independently, we understand that it is not everyone’s cup of coffee.

In that case, you are more than welcome to hire a professional to help you out with the fix. After all, it is the professional mechanics who know how to get things around fixed in the most efficient manner.

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