John deere 5203 problems

6 Most Common John Deere 5203 Tractor Problems & Their Fixes

The John Deere 5203 tractor was built in India in partnership with L&T and is equipped with a 47 HP John Deere engine.

This utility tractor from the John Deere brand is renowned for its superior performance and reliability but does experience certain problems after a few years of use.

Let’s take a look at 6 common problems with the John Deere tractor and ways to fix the issues.

6 Most Common John Deere 5203 Tractor Problems

1. John Deere 5203 Tractor Not Starting

A John Deere 5203 tractor not starting is a common problem and can be caused by several reasons.

The first thing to check is if the gearshift lever is in the natural. If the gearshift isn’t in neutral, switch it to neutral and try starting the John Deere 5203 tractor.

If the tractor still won’t start, it’s time to take a closer look at a few more components.


  • The engine throttle lever is in an improper position – switch the throttle to half throttle.
  • Next, check the battery to see whether the wire is loose or damaged. If it’s loose, reconnect it and replace the wire if corroded.
  • If the fuel shutoff valve of the John Deere 5203 tractor is open even halfway, the tractor may not start. Disconnect the fuel shutoff valve and reconnect it securely again.
  • Have you used the right engine oil? If you’ve topped up your John Deere tractor with the wrong viscosity engine oil, it probably won’t start or may start and then shut off. Drain the old engine oil completely and refill it with the right engine oil.

2. John Deere 5203 Tractor Fuel System Issues

If the performance of your John Deere 5203 is not up to par, the fuel system could be the culprit. There are two things that can go wrong with the fuel system —a clogged fuel filter and a leaking fuel tank.


  • Remove the fuel filter and clean any dirt and debris. If the fuel filter is damaged, replace it with a new one.
  • Inspect the fuel tank for any leaks that are mostly caused by corrosion. The fuel tank will have to be replaced in case of any damage, which is a task that should ideally be done by a professional.

3. John Deere 5203 Electric System Problem

The John Deere 5203 tractor’s battery typically lasts 3 to 5 years beyond which can fail. A failed battery affects the entire electrical system. It’s a good practice the check the battery of your tractor with a battery tester periodically.


If the battery of your John Deere 5203 tractor will not charge, first disconnect the negative battery terminal. Use extreme caution when handling batteries and make sure you keep any type of sparks and open flames away from the battery.

  • Remove the bolts holding the battery in place.
  • Uninstall the battery from the tractor and replace it with a new battery.
  • Test the new battery with a battery tester to ensure everything is in good working order.

4. John Deere 5203 Transmission Problems

The easiest way to tell if you’re having transmission problems is with a transmission test. With the John Deere 5203 tractor in neutral, the engine running at full speed, and the clutch engaged, step on the clutch and see how long it takes before you can shift into gear.

If it takes more than two seconds and if you feel the clutch is dragging, the transmission is faulty.


  • With regards to a faulty John Deere 5203 transmission, you ideally have two options —rebuilt the transmission or replace it with a new one. Rebuilding the transmission is a cheaper option of the two.
  • You can also call a few junkyards in your area to check whether a working transmission is available for the John Deere 5203 tractor.

5. Bad Spark Plugs

The spark plugs of a John Deere 5203 tractor provide an ignition source to power on the machine. If the tractor won’t start, then great chances are that the spark plugs are bad and should be replaced.


  • Changing the spark plugs is relatively easy and can be done at home.
  • Buy the right spark plugs for the John Deere 5203 tractor from an official John Deere retailer.
  • Open the hood of the tractor, and you should see the spark plugs next to the battery.
  • With gloves on, remove the spark plugs and replace them with new ones.

6. 3-point Hitch System Not Working

The John Deere 5203 tractor is equipped with a 3-point hitch system complete with a PTO output.

When the 3-point hitch system doesn’t operate properly, the common causes for the problem are low fluid, a clogged hydraulic filter, or low or contaminated hydraulic fluid.

Most of the John Deere 5203 tractor’s functions rely on the hydraulic system to power them, therefore there are several key elements to diagnose.


  • Open the hydraulic fuel reservoir and check if it has the proper hydraulic oil including type and viscosity.
  • Next, check if the filters are clogged and if so clean them thoroughly.
  • Further, check to ensure that the valve is all the way open and that all the linkage between the valve and the handle are attached and moving freely.
  • If the hitch doesn’t drop after performing these steps, then great chances are that a mechanical failure is a cause for the issue.

What is the most reliable John Deere tractor?

The John Deere 5042 D PowerPro is billed as the company’s most reliable tractor and is fitted with a robust engine.

What causes a John Deere not to start?

There are several reasons a John Deere tractor won’t start including a bad battery connection, transmission gearshift lever in the wrong position, closed fuel shutoff valve, and/or stale fuel.

How much can a John Deere 5203 lift?

The John Deere 5203 tractor can lift 3,591 lbs 1628 kgs.

Final Thoughts

The John Deere 5203 tractor is a solid model in the company’s lineup but is prone to certain issues, especially after a long period of use.

I have listed 6 of the most common John Deere 5203 tractor issues and their fixes but get in touch with a John Deere dealer if they don’t resolve the problems.