6 Solutions to Resolve the Tractor Hard to Start Issue


A calm afternoon. You have a lot to do on your farm. You sit on your tractor, but unfortunately, it seems pretty hard to start, and you hear a clicking noise from somewhere. This scenario means a common problem with your tractor: the tractor is hard to start.

Many causes can play a prominent role if you find it challenging to start your tractor. A dead battery is possibly the most common of them. Furthermore, issues like faulty fuel injection pump, empty fuel tank, defective fuel filter, and faulty glow plug. In most cases, engine overheating in your tractor can also cause problems.

There’s nothing to worry about! You can solve the causes and run your tractor smoothly. But, before that, we must keep reading the blog until the end, as you cover the possible causes in detail and quickly fix them.

What Causes Tractors Hard to Start? 

What Causes Tractors Hard to Start 

No matter what issue you want to fix, you should first know its causes. In the case of a tractor, it makes no difference what type you own; the fact will remain the same.

However, the possible causes behind the problem of tractors seem hard to start are:

  1. Dead Battery.
  2. Faulty Fuel Injection Pump.
  3. Defective Glow Plug.
  4. Engine overheating.
  5. Damage Fuel filter
  6. Empty fuel tank.

6 Solutions for Tractor Hard to Start

So you know the possible causes of the problem. Now, you have to check the causes if there are issues; you need to fix them without thinking twice. So let’s find out the solutions below. 

1. Dead Battery: Replace 

Dead Battery Replace 

The issue of a dead battery is a frequent problem for the tractor. However, you may discover different issues with your tractor’s battery. Among them, a dead battery is one of the extreme electrical issues which can’t allow your tractor to run smoothly. 

If your tractor’s battery becomes damaged or dead, it can’t handle the electrical power and signals. So, checking the battery in your tractor is mandatory in most cases. 

Clicking sound from your tractor is a core symptom of a dead battery. Besides, notice whether there is any leaking or swelling with the battery.  Moreover, if you find additional damage to the battery, you should replace it as soon as possible.

You can also take the battery to the mechanic to ensure it becomes dead. 

The replacement cost of the dead battery of your tractor depends on what type of tractor you have. But, on average, it may cost you $150-$300.

2. Faulty Fuel Injection Pump: Repair or Replace

Faulty Fuel Injection Pump Repair or Replace

If you don’t find any issue with the battery, the fuel injection pump on your tractor may become faulty. However, problems with the fuel injection pump can’t allow the fuel pump to deliver fuel to the engine. 

When the engine can’t find enough fuel, how can it run properly? 

Nevertheless, the solution to fix the issue of fuel injection pump may seem complex. That’s why experts suggest calling a mechanic to take your tractor to the repair shop. 

However, if you want to fix the issue on your own, it may cost too much money and take a long time.

If you need to place the fuel injection pump on your tractor, you need to spend around $1300-$1700 on parts. Besides, the labor cost will be approximately $400-$500.  

3. Defective Glow Plugs: Replace

Defective Glow Plugs Replace

In most cases, the glow plugs of your tractor may also become defective. However, if this happens, it will be the most significant cause of the problem of the tractor hard to start. One or more can become bad or damaged at a time.

However, if there is an issue with the glow plugs, they won’t heat up properly and can’t let the diesel engine reach a high enough temperature. Moreover, if the combustion chamfer can’t heat up correctly, you will find it challenging to start your tractor. 

So, first, check the glow plugs on your tractor. Make sure you check all of them. It will be better to use Innova Circuit Tester to check the glow plugs. 

However, connect the test light to the end of the glow plugs. If the test light stays dark, the glow plug becomes defective. You need to replace it immediately. 

It may cost you between $90-$120. However, the cost depends on how many glow plugs become defective. 

4. Engine Overheating: Check Coolant, Radiator Fins, and Hoses

Engine Overheating Check Coolant, Radiator Fins, and Hoses

You will never find any engine that runs properly despite being overheated. Nevertheless, if your tractor’s engine is overheated, it won’t allow the tractor to start correctly. However, there are many causes of engine overheating; you need to check them. 

If there is a lack of coolant, it is more likely to cause engine overheating of your tractor. Furthermore, dirty radiator fins can also be a reason for the problem. If the radiator fins become contaminated, it won’t allow smooth airflow through the engine. In some cases, the damaged radiator hoses also cause the tractor engine overheating issue. 

To solve the engine overheating problem, you must check all the above causes. You should add coolant if the coolant level is low. Furthermore, cleaning the radiator fan can help eliminate the engine’s overheating issue. 

If the radiator fins become dirty, you should clean them. However, if you notice the damage, you must replace the radiator hoses. 

The replacement cost of the radiator hoses on your tractor is approximately $4000-$500, including labor costs. 

5. Faulty Fuel Filter: Clean or Replace

Faulty Fuel Filter Clean or Replace

You can expect to start your tractor comprehensively with a damaged fuel filter. However, if the fuel filter of your tractor becomes damaged or faulty, it can’t ensure proper fuel flow to the engine. Sometimes, the fuel filter may become dirty as well. 

So, to fix the issue with the fuel filter, you should check it properly. Then, clean the fuel filter’s additional dirt, dust, and vents. However, if the fuel filter is plugged in and cleaning it doesn’t work, you must replace it. 

The fuel filter’s cost depends on the tractor you use. However, on average, it will cost you somewhat between $50-$180 to replace the fuel filter of your tractor. 

6. Empty Fuel Tank: Refill the Fuel Tank

Empty Fuel Tank Refill the Fuel Tank

You need to make sure there’s enough fuel in the fuel tank of your tractor. In some cases, people don’t check the fuel tank and feel worried about the issue of the tractor hard to start. So, it will be better if you always check the fuel level of your tractor. 

Refill the fuel tank to ensure smooth driving whenever your tractor runs out of fuel. However, during winter, you must be careful about this fact. 

Due to cold, the fuel can become thicker or weight-heavy. For this, the fuel pump finds it challenging to transfer the fuel to the engine. 

So, changing fuel at regular intervals can solve this problem better. 

FAQs About Tractor Hard Starting

Here, we have picked up some relevant and most asked questions regarding Tractor hard starting. You may have a quick look to have a better idea.

Why does my tractor take so long to start?

If there are issues with your tractor’s battery, it will likely take a long time to start. Furthermore, defective glow plugs, a  faulty fuel injector, engine overheating, etc., can often cause issues. 

How do you start a tractor when it’s cold?

You must ensure that the glow plugs on your tractor function properly. Besides, refilling the fuel and checking the corroded battery connection is an effective way to start your tractor if you find any difficulties.

How do I know if my tractor’s fuel pump is bad?

The most common symptom of this problem is you will find difficulties while starting your tractor. Besides, poor fuel mileage and weird noise can also be the reason for a bad fuel pump. 

How long do tractor glow plugs last?

Tractor’s glow plugs often come with impressive longevity. However, on average, the tractor’s glow plugs can last around 1,00,000 miles if there is no additional damage. Furthermore, with greater longevity, glow plugs are cost-effective as well. 


Tractor hard to start is a common issue of any tractor. But, there is nothing to worry about, and if you have read this article carefully until now, you know what to do. 

However, before taking any troubleshooting steps, make sure you check the causes first. In addition, it is better to check the battery issue before you move to other causes. 

In some cases, checking the causes of engine hard starting issues needs some tools and expertise. If you don’t have these, it will be better to hire a professional or take your tractor to repair the cost. Furthermore, be careful with your tractor during winter. 

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