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What to Do When Your John Deere Gator Has No Spark?


Troubleshooting a John Deere Gator that has no spark.

Driving a Gator can be an easy way to get around the large property. So when your vehicle doesn’t work, that can negatively affect your productivity. If you find that your Gator has no spark, you’ll need to figure out what to do to fix it.

When a John Deere Gator has no spark, there are a few steps to take. First, test the spark plug and make sure the connection isn’t faulty. If that doesn’t work, check the battery and then the ignition coil. Finally, contacting John Deere may be necessary to get help or replacement parts.

Whether you have a small farm or a large plot of land, you need a working vehicle. But if you notice your John Deere Gator isn’t working, you will need to check a few things. Keep reading for more info on what to do when your Gator has issues.

Safety First

Before you do any work on your John Deere Gator, you need to be safe. Put on a pair of safety goggles to cover your eyes, and wear the right clothes. You should wear something with long sleeves and long pants.

If you haven’t already, put on some closed-toed shoes or boots. In case the problem is bigger than you expect, your clothing will protect you from any spills or other issues.

You should also make sure you have some decent lighting and a good amount of space around your Gator. Keep kids and animals out of the way so that you can inspect your vehicle thoroughly. If possible, give yourself a lot of time to look at the various parts of the Gator so that you don’t feel in a rush.

If something goes wrong, you should have someone that you can call for help. That way, you can keep the Gator from developing an even bigger problem. If you’re new to working on a vehicle, don’t be afraid to ask for help before you start.

Test the Spark Plug

The first thing you can do when your John Deere Gator has no spark is to check the spark plug itself. Many problems can occur with the spark plug, and they can cause different reactions from your Gator. Consider a few ways the spark plug can cause problems:

  • If your engine doesn’t start at all, the spark plug might be loose. It might also have disconnected from the engine at some point.
  • A bad or faulty spark plug may cause your engine to be hard to start. The same is true if your engine doesn’t run smoothly.

If you do in fact have a bad spark plug, a quick replacement will have your gator back up and running in no time. Let’s hope that’s all that we are dealing with here.

An inexpensive spark plug tester (link to Amazon) can quickly put to rest whether or not the spark plug is the issue.

This YouTube video outlines the process for locating the spark plugs in a Gator. Your specific model may vary so check your owner’s manual if you have issues locating them:

Spark plugs change Gator xuv 550

Inspect the Battery

A faulty or low battery may also cause your John Deere Gator not to have a spark. If the spark plug seems fine, you can look at the Gator’s battery. You may not be able to detect a problem just by looking at the battery, so consider a few things.

Think about when you got your Gator and when you last replaced the battery. If it has been a few years since you got a new battery, your current one may need a replacement. Even if it hasn’t been that long, your battery may wear out sooner if you use your Gator a lot.

If you think the battery is the issue, you can take your Gator in for an inspection or test it yourself with a battery tester (link to Amazon).

If the battery is the problem, it’s a simple matter of replacing it. Chrome Battery carries a wide range of outdoor batteries and offers free shipping.

Check the Coil

Your John Deere Gator’s ignition coil may also be the issue. The coil helps start your engine, so if it’s not working, you might not have a spark. Here are the steps you can take to check your coil:

  1. Take the outer housing off the engine. You’ll need to loosen the screws for this, but make sure you keep the small parts safe for when you finish.
  2. Take the spark plug wire out of the spark plug.
  3. Put an ohm meter into the ignition coil and connect the other end to the spark plug.
  4. Check the coil’s resistance. A rating of 1 means there’s no connection, while 0 means there aren’t any problems.

If you find that the coil isn’t the issue, you can put it and the spark plug back into the Gator. But if the coil doesn’t have a connection, you can replace it. Once you get the new coil, you should be able to get your Gator to work properly.

Contact John Deere

John Deere has a solid reputation for standing behind their products and their customer support. I wouldn’t hesitate to call your local dealer for some guidance if you can’t get this solved yourself. Use their Dealer Locator to find someone near you.

But when you contact John Deere, make sure you have some information. You may need to give them the specific Gator model you have. The dealer may also ask what you have done to find the issue, so you should share that to get the help you need.

Fix It Yourself

Ideally, you would be able to repair the problem no matter what it is. In the case of a loose spark plug, you can connect the plug to the engine. That would then fix your problem, and you can get your Gator working again.

However, if you have a problem with your spark plug, battery, or coil, you will need to order a new one. If you live in California, you’ll have no choice but to go through a John Deere dealer.

If you live outside of California, you can find the parts yourself. However, you should make sure the parts will work with your vehicle so that you don’t have any more issues.

Once you get the gear you need, you can replace the old part that’s keeping your Gator from having a spark. Then, you can get your vehicle to work again.

Maintain It

After you find the problem and get the parts you need to fix it, you may feel pretty good. You managed to get your John Deere Gator to work again, which is great. But you should keep up with your Gator in the future.

Make sure you replace the battery after a few years. Keep the Gator in a safe place when you aren’t using it so that it doesn’t get damaged. When you aren’t using your Gator a lot, don’t be afraid to start it up occasionally to make sure it still works.

Maintaining your Gator does require work, but you can think of it like any other car. If you don’t take your car regularly, the oil might cause problems, or the brake pads might not work well.

Keeping your Gator in good condition now can help you reduce the risk of future issues. If you do have a problem, you’ll know how to address it so that you can get back to work.

Final Thoughts

The John Deere Gator is an excellent vehicle for getting around large plots of land. But if it doesn’t have a spark, your Gator might not work correctly. Keep these things in mind so that you know what to do when your John Deere Gator has no spark.

Related Reading:

How To Fix A John Deere Gator That Turns Over But Won’t Start

Teddy Henderson

Teddy is always fiddling with small engines, picking up thrown-out string trimmers or tearing apart dirt bikes. He shares what he learns along the way. Hopefully, you'll have less headaches than he has had by learning from his mistakes.

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