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John Deere Gator Won’t Stay Charged: Troubleshooting Guide


John Deere Gator won't stay charged.

If your John Deere Gator doesn’t seem to hold a charge, there is most likely an issue with the battery and/or your battery charger. So what causes this lack of ability to hold a charge? 

Whether your John Deere Gator fails to hold a charge completely or only holds a charge for a short period of time, look first to the battery system. Issues such as a dead cell, a blown fuse, or a defective charger can cause your Gator UTV to have trouble holding a charge. 

In this article, we’ll be going in-depth into some of the main reasons why your John Deere Gator won’t stay charged and how you can fix these issues. If you’re interested in learning more about these topics, keep on reading. 

Basics of Charging the Battery

Before we dig into the troubleshooting, let’s make sure we understand the basics.

It can take up to 10-14 hours for a battery to fully charge depending on its age and condition. There should be an indicator light on your charger that will tell you what kind of charge your battery currently holds. Generally, if the light is yellow, your battery is still charging, but if the light is green, your battery has successfully fully charged.

With that out of the way, let’s get into the common causes and fixes for a battery not staying charged in a John Deere Gator.

Your Battery Has Dead Cells

One issue you may be facing that’s causing your battery to fail to keep a charge is dead cells. If your battery fails to reach higher than 10.5 volts while being charged, it’s likely your equipment battery has a dead cell. 

How to fix:

Taking a voltage reading is a good way to determine whether you have a battery with a dead cell or not. Your local automotive shop can easily test load your battery for you or you can do it yourself using a battery load tester (link to Amazon).

If your battery has reached this point of having dead cells and not putting out more than 10.5 volts under charge, no amount of maintenance will do the job, and you’ll have to replace your battery. Chrome Battery carries a wide range of outdoor batteries and offers free shipping.

You Have Frayed or Damaged Power Cords 

If the battery on your John Deere Gator doesn’t seem to be holding a charge at all, there may be an issue with your equipment’s power cords.

It’s possible that these cables have aged and begun to wear down, so it’s vital that you inspect your power cords to see if this is the cause of your problems. Your cables can easily become damaged or even melt due to many different factors.

Whether your power cords were installed incorrectly or simply aged and become worn down, it’s ideal to check to see if this is the cause of your equipment failing to keep a charge.

How to fix: You’ll likely have to replace your power cords if they have become damaged. 

If you’ve inspected your cords and have come to the conclusion that they are in need of being replaced, it’s likely this is the cause of your John Deere Gator refusing to charge.

You Have Bad a Fuse 

Another factor that may cause your equipment to be unable to hold down a charge is the fuse. There is a lot of debate over this but a bad fuse can actually cause a parasitic drain on the battery (source). Check the fuses located beneath the instrument panel of your machine to see if any have blown. 

How to fix: If you notice that any of your fuses have blown, replace it. It won’t solve a damaged battery but if the battery is charging but not staying charged, a parasitic drain could be the problem and is worth checking off the list.

Your Batteries Are Old or Loose 

If your battery has begun to age, this may be another factor (source). 

How to fix:

Your old battery may be unable to hold a charge any longer, so it’s ideal to invest in a new one if you’ve been working with the same old battery for quite some time.

There’s also the possibility that your battery is simply loose and has been installed incorrectly. Ensure that your battery is secure and is not loose within the confines of its rightful home. A loose battery can also cause issues with your Gator, so make sure it’s exactly where it needs to be. 

Updating your batteries, as well as making sure they are secure, are both key components to ensuring that your Gator will stay charged and always work correctly. 

You Have a Defective Charger 

If you’ve inspected all of these components that we listed above and can’t seem to find a problem with your equipment, the issue you’re having may lie with a defective charger.

As we stated earlier, your Gator’s charging cable should come with an indicator light that shows you how far along your battery is in terms of the charge it currently holds. If that light doesn’t work, it’s possible that your charger is no longer working.

It’s also likely that your charger is defective if your battery is left unaffected even after a long period of charging. 

How to fix:

It may be time to invest in a new charger. I really like chargers that include an automatic maintenance mode like the Schumacher Fully Automatic Smart Battery Charger Maintainer (link to Amazon). Chargers like these are designed to provide the power needed to get a battery charged and then keep it charged during months of storage.

Conclusion 

Exploring all the factors we listed above is vital to finding the source of your problem and allowing your John Deere Gator to start holding a charge and functioning correctly once again.

Some of the potential issues your machine may be facing are damaged power cords, a loose battery, or even a defective charger. It’s important to inspect each of these areas to understand where your problems lie and how to solve the issue.

If you can’t seem to find the problem yourself, it’s ideal to take your machine to your local automotive shop, as they’ll be sure to help you locate the problem. 

Taking the time to do routine maintenance and inspecting all your Gator’s internal workings, is key to keeping your machinery running and working properly no matter what.

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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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