Purchasing a used tractor for your property or farm is only half the battle – proper maintenance is crucial for ongoing performance and longevity. Investing in regular service helps your used tractor hold value for future resale as well. Refer to the owner’s manual for prescribed service intervals on hours operated or monthly/yearly bases. This outlines when to change fluids, filters, spark plugs, and other worn parts prone to gradual failure. Following recommended intervals minimizes the risk of premature breakdowns.
Keep records of all maintenance
Document every maintenance task completed, including dates, parts installed, fluids changed, and associated costs. Keep all work orders if the dealer needs service. Detailed records prove you’ve cared for the tractor properly, a big selling point down the road. Lack of service records signals potential neglect. Check engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant, and hydraulic oil levels regularly before operation. Top off any low fluids meeting manufacturer specifications. Low fluid levels indicate potential leaks requiring repair. Proper fill levels reduce friction and heat which accelerates system wear when operating.
Address leaks quickly
Oil, fuel, or coolant leaks left unchecked increase the risk of major damage. Inspect under and around the tractor each time you operate it for any new leaks. Determine the source and fix it promptly. Small leaks tend to worsen rapidly into bigger problems if ignored. Walk around the tractor before each use and look for anything loose, broken, worn, or leaking. Catching minor issues early prevents them from escalating into major failures. Especially inspect loader arms, three-point hitches, tires, and seat belts for excess wear and function.
Clean radiator screens and grills
Prevent engine overheating by cleaning screens, grills, and fins on radiators, oil coolers, and air intakes. Remove built-up debris with compressed air or pressure washing. Allow components to fully dry before reinstalling. Proper airflow over heat exchangers prevents dangerous overheating. Use a grease gun to lubricate all grease fittings per the manual’s schedule. This forces out dirt and maintains smooth pivot operation. Key pivot points like loader joints, pedals, hitches, and steering linkage need regular fresh grease. Skipping greasing leads to binding and accelerated wear.
Check and replace air/fuel filters
Replace air, oil, and fuel filters regularly to maintain engine performance. Clogged filters restrict airflow and fuel delivery resulting in poor starting, idle, and power. Use OEM filters that properly trap contaminants without impeding flow. Check belts and hoses for glazing, cracking, looseness, or bulging indicating wear. Replace deteriorated belts and hoses to avoid a reduction in drive function or engine overheating. Belt slippage reduces alternator charging. Tighten loose belts to proper tension.
Check tire pressure and treads
Under-inflated tires wear unevenly, reduce traction, and make steering difficult. Over-inflated tires reduce stability and ride comfort. Use a gauge to maintain pressures to specification. Also, used tractors for sale check the cuts, bulges, and adequate tread depth for safe operation. Address paint chips, scratches, and rust spots on the body. Wire brush areas to bare metal, spot prime and repaint matching the original color. It protects the underlying metal and prevents further rust damage. Fix dents and straighten metal as needed.