4 Solutions for Kubota Tractor Runs but Won’t Move Problem


You start the engine, shift gears, and try to move your Kubota forward or even in reverse. Surprisingly enough, the tractor doesn’t move an inch. If this has been your experience in the last couple of minutes, we tell you that we are here to fix this problem.

If the engine on your tractor is up alright but your tractor won’t still move, you have likely run into a clutch failure. If not, the hydraulic filter could also be clogged and might need to be cleaned or replaced. Unfortunately, this is not the end. There could be several other causes. 

But for whatever reason it is that you are facing this problem, we assure you that we are going to guide you through this. So let’s take a look into what exactly is going wrong with your Kubota and fix it right away.

Why Causes Kubota Tractor Runs But Won’t Move?

Kubota Tractor Runs but Won't Move Problem

Let it be a BX, LX, or Standard L series, if your tractor has been manufactured by Kubota, then it is certain that the reason why you have run into this issue is the same despite its model.

For you to look into the suspects, we have listed the most common reasons why your tractor is unable to move even after having its engine running.

  • Lever has been misaligned
  • Clogged Hydraulic Filters
  • Misaligned Brakes and Clutch
  • Low Hydraulic Fluid Level

Now all these might get you in scrambles. But we assure you that this is no big deal. Just get ready as in the next section, we are about to find solutions to the causes that have been listed above.

4 Solutions For Kubota Tractor Runs But Wont Move

Since the tractors manufactured by Kubota have very similar mechanisms, it is safe to say that you can apply the fixes below to any model of tractors made by Kubota. Just, follow the order below as we go from fixing the simpler issues to the more complicated one step by step.

1. Lever has been misaligned: Readjust the Lever

Readjust the Lever

You may have hit a lever with your body while climbing off the tractor and now could be causing the problem. But this can easily be solved.

To ensure that all the levers are in the proper starting position, set the tractor in Neutral, sit down, turn off the PTO (attachment drive), and push down the clutch. When the key is in the “start” position, wiggle the transmission lever (or foot control). The neutral position can be a little off but this should solve the problem.

In case it does not, then it is certain that the lever has been permanently bent and you need to visit the service center which should cost you around $150-$200.

2. Clogged Hydraulic Filters: Clean or Replace the Hydraulic Filters

Clean or Replace the Hydraulic Filters

It is common for Kubota tractors to run into the “no move” issue if the hydraulic filters are clogged. As a result, they need to be cleaned or replaced. 

First, clean off any dirt from the oil filter and filter mount area then using an oil filter wrench loosen the filter. Now that the filter is detached, clean it with petrol and acetone and set it back. 

If that doesn’t do the work, then it is about time for a replacement. Before installing the new filter make sure to clean off the filter mount with a rag or paper towel. Spread a thin film of new hydraulic fluid on the gasket of the filter then thread the new filter on until it contacts the mount.

Now the cost associated with cleaning the Hydraulic filters will be around $10-$15 considering the cost of cleaning agents. However, it is better to go for the replacement as the cost of new filters is only around $25.

3. Misaligned Brakes and Damaged Clutch: Adjust or Replace

Misaligned Brakes and Damaged Clutch

Having a faulty clutch system or having misaligned brakes is the most probable reason why your truck is not moving even after having its engine running. This can also occur if the clutch disk is rusted.

Release the parking brake and lightly press the brake pedal until you feel resistance. Measure the amount of travel. The acceptable range of free travel is 0.6 to 0.8 inches. To adjust the brakes, first release the brake interlock between the pedals. Starting on the left side loosen the locknut so that you can turn the rod to adjust the length. Grip the rod with pliers and tighten the locknut if it’s not in range. Repeat the process for the right brake.

Now, sadly you are out of luck if you have a damaged clutch system. The only solution is to take your tractor to a service center to get the clutch system replaced as this is complicated to carry out on your own. Refrain from using WD-40 on rusted parts as this will only make it worse.

Adjusting the brake system will cost you around $30 while you can follow the steps above and carry out the procedure yourself. However, you require around $1200 to replace the clutch system if it has gone bad.

4. Low Hydraulic Fluid Level: Refill the Fluid

Refill the Fluid

Having low or worn-out hydraulic fluid can also prevent the gears on your Kubota from engaging. This way, you would find your engine active but it will still fail to drive your tractor. As a result, we will need to refill it.

We will start by draining the old hydraulic fluid which might have been worn out. So we would require a 14mm wrench to remove the drain plugs, which are located on either side of the differential. Now place a pan and drain out the old fluid. A small tip is to place a folded cardboard to direct the fluid into the pan to avoid mess.

Now to start refilling, we would require Kubota Super UDT-2 Hydraulic Fluid. If your tractor has a ROPS crosspiece, you will have to remove it to make pouring the fluid easier. Begin pouring the hydraulic fluid. For HSTL-3301 and 3901, you will need 6.2 gallons of fluid. Once the storage is full, stop pouring and let it circulate.

The cost of refilling will be around $52 which is the price of the fluid itself while you can easily carry out the procedure yourself.

How to test the Kubota Tractor after fixing it?

How to test the Kubota Tractor after fixing it

Testing it is quite simple. Turn on the engine and while it is on, check whether your tractor is producing any loud cranking noises and check for leaks and see if any fluid drips.

Now try shifting gears and moving the tractor both forward and backward. See if there is any unusual tremble in the engine. If not, hopefully, your Kubota is fixed.

FAQs About Kubota Tractor Runs But won’t Move

Below we have compiled the most commonly asked questions related to this topic. This will hopefully help you have a better understanding and encourage you to fix the issue with ease.

Is it safe to keep the engine on while the tractor does not move? 

No, it is not safe. This is because there are various reasons why you might have run into this issue. There can be wire shorting, damaged transmission, or even more complicated electrical issues. 
As a result, keeping the engine on might damage other components permanently and result in unfortunate events.

Unable to locate the components? What to do next?

Make use of the User Manual that came in with your tractor. This can also come in use while changing the Hydraulic filters or refilling the fuel. If you can’t find your one at this moment or might have lost it, you can easily get one online.

Tractor runs but doesn’t shift gear. Does not even move. What to do?

This is very much related to the crank problem that has been mentioned above. It might also be due to the transmission. Applying the fixes mentioned above should do the work.


Now that we are at the end of it, there can be several other reasons why you are facing this problem. If your tractor has been in rain,  there can be transmission issues or several other electrical issues for which your tractor is unable to move.

Solving this would require disassembling several components as a whole and repairing or replacing them which would be a complex operation to carry out alone. Hence we advise you to visit the service center if the steps given in this article don’t solve it. 

But hopefully, it is nothing too severe and the job has already been done. If not, why are you stalling? Just grab the tools and get started. Fixing this issue will take you only an hour or two.

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