8 Ways to Release a Stuck John Deere Tractor Parking Brake

Founded in 1838, John Deere is one of the leading names in the agricultural machinery and heavy equipment space and manufactures a wide range of mowers and tractors. 

These pieces of equipment are loaded with several safety features, of which the parking brake is perhaps the most important. 

Also known as a handbrake or emergency brake (e-brake), a parking brake is a mechanism that is designed to keep the John Deere tractor or mower securely motionless when parked. 

The parking brake of your John Deere tractor can get jammed at times, which can cause frustration especially if you’re in the middle of a task. 

If your John Deere parking brake is stuck, there is no need to break a sweat just yet because I’ve listed 8 ways to release a stuck John Deere tractor parking brake. 

Why is My John Deere Parking Brake Stuck? 

Before revealing the 8 ways to release a stuck John Deere parking brake, it’s a good to know the reasons a parking brake tends to get stuck on a John Deere tractor. 

The most common reason for a John Deere parking getting stuck is rust or corrosion. Water and dirt over time can cause the parking brake cables to erode and the brake pads to stick to the wheels. 

The damaged parking brake switch is another reason for a stuck John Deere parking brake. If you look closely in the fuel tank, you’ll find a small vent hole, which when clogged with dirt can cause the John Deere parking to malfunction. 

8 Ways to Release a Stuck John Deere Tractor Parking Brake 

1. Release the Parking Brake Properly 

Great chances are that you’re not implying the right techniques when trying to release the John Deere tractor brake, causing it to get stuck. 

The type of parking brake of your respective John Deere model may vary, but there are two types of parking brakes – drum parking brakes and hydraulic disc brakes. 

Parking brakes in older models used a different mechanism, where the parking brake was integrated with the gearbox. 

There was an individual brake pedal for each tire, so releasing the brake entailed depressing the clutch all the way in, and shifting the gear stick in neutral. 

Hydraulic parking brakes are mated with a single brake pedal, so all you have to do is depress the brake pedal, and push the parking brake lever. 

2. John Deere Tractor Brake is Frozen – Unfreeze the Tractor 

If your John Deere tractor has been outside all winter or even for a couple of months of the winter, the parking brake is probably frozen and will be stuck. 

You’ll have to warm up the parking brake to release it, which can do by either waiting for the weather to warm up or bringing the tractor indoors into a shed or large garage. 

3. Run the Tractor at Low RPMs

Try running the John Deere tractor at low RPMs, while moving forward and backward and pulling on the release lever, and depressing the brake. 

This method of releasing the John Deere tractor parking brake may take a bit longer, so you’ll have to be patient until the brake disengages. 

4. Mechanical Linkages are Dirty 

If you follow the mechanical linkages, there are a few things that you can do to resolve the stuck John Deere parking brake issue. 

First, look from the left wheel inwards, there might be debris of all sorts such as grass clippings, rocks, sticks, and stones stuck between the frame and the transaxle body. 

You will have to use a screwdriver or a slim tool to get into this area to free up the debris. After you’re done, generously lube the area with WD-40, and let it dry out before operating the parking brake. 

5. Disengage the John Deere Parking Brake Spring 

Sometimes, no matter how much you try to stomp on the brake pedal, and push the parking brake lever down, the parking brake won’t release. 

This is because there’s a spring-loaded lever that latches the parking brake that is stuck. 

To release this spring-loaded lever, press the brake pedal without pushing the parking brake lever, and wait until the pressure is released. 

Once the pressure is released, you should be able to freely move the parking brake lever. 

6. Adjust the Tie Rod 

There are certain adjustments you can make to the ends of the tie rods connecting to the front axles. Simply, loosen the bolt, make the necessary adjustment and tighten the bolt. 

7. Steel Block on Armature Stuck 

Remove the intake screen on the side panel, and follow the armature down towards the mower deck. At the end of the mower deck, you’ll see that the armature is attached to a small block of steel on a pivot. 

This pivot is located at the end of the block towards the rear of the tractor and is fitted with the brake pedal “stop” which is wedged against the other front end. 

You’ll need another pair of hands for this task, where the first person stands on the brake pedals, and the other holds the end of the steel block near the brake pedal and snaps it up. 

8. Clear Any Rust or Corrosion 

To state the obvious, the parking brake of a John Deere tractor is a mechanical part that’s made out of metal. 

And metals can get corroded and rusted over time, which may stop the smooth disengagement mechanism of the brake. 

Inspect the parking brake to see if there’s any accumulated rust, try dislodging some of it and check if it releases the parking brake. 

Final Thoughts 

A stuck parking brake is a common issue with John Deere tractors, but there are 8 ways to try and fix the issue. 

Most of these methods require some technical expertise, so I recommend getting the safety brake looked at by a professional John Deere technician.