John Deere 333d Problems (The 360 Guidelines)

Major John Deere 333D skid steer problems include engine derating and not throttling up or shutting down. The hydraulic problems include oil leaks, hydraulic system overheating, and hydrostatic cavitation. Other electrical control system issues include an unresponsive joystick and loader control.

John Deere 333d
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Let’s dive into the detailed diagnosis and fixes to all the problems.

John Deere 333D Engine Problems

Problems Reasons How to Fix
Engine is derating Clogged fuel filter, and faulty fuel pressure sensor Clean the fuel line: fuel filter, and fuel tank, and replace the fuel pressure sensor and fuel filter
Engine is overheating Insufficient coolant amount or the radiator fins are clogged with dirt Clean the radiator fins, add sufficient coolants
Engine won’t throttle up Clogged fuel pump or filter, low oil pressure, or bad MAF sensor  Clean the fuel pump or filter, check the oil pressure, or replace the faulty MAF sensor
Engine won’t shut off Faulty fuel relay solenoid Identify and replace the faulty solenoid

Problem 1: Engine Is Derating

The engine derating problem is one of the most common problems of the John Deere 333D. There are several reasons behind a derating engine.

The main reasons include a clogged fuel filter with dirt and impurities and a faulty fuel pressure sensor.

How to Fix?

First, diagnose the fuel filter on your John Deere 333D. The fuel filter is likely clogged by dirt or impurities.

Although it may sound exaggerated, a simple rice grain can cause the engine’s fuel flow to be clogged. Hence, inspect the fuel filter and clean it thoroughly.

Secondly, check and replace the fuel pressure sensor. If the fuel pressure sensor is faulty, the engine will fail to receive the proper oil pressure to generate energy.

A faulty fuel pressure sensor also means an air-fuel pressure ratio imbalance.

Problem 2: Engine Is Overheating

The engine of your John Deere 333D can generate excess heat due to insufficient coolant amount in the radiator.

Also, another reason is clogged radiator fins. The radiator fins collect dust and other dirt that can block airflow to the engine. 

How to Fix?

Check the amount of coolant in the radiator and fill it with enough to keep the engine running smoothly.

John Deere has their own Cool-Gard II PG pre-mix antifreeze/coolant. This coolant consists of 60/40 propylene glycol (PG) and deionized water.

If the engine has sufficient coolant in the radiator, the radiator fins might be clogged. Check the radiator fins for dirt and clean them properly for better airflow.

Don’t forget that the radiator fins are delicate, and you may damage them during cleaning. 

In John Deere’s maintenance guide, it is recommended to blow compressed air through the radiator fins to clean them.

Hence, you should use an air blower dust cleaner to properly clean the radiator from dirt without damaging the fins.

Problem 3: Engine Won’t Throttle Up

Some John Deere 333D users have reported that the engine won’t throttle up while running idle.

There are several reasons why an engine stays idle but won’t throttle. Such as a clogged oil filter, low oil pressure, or a faulty mass air flow sensor.

How to Fix?

Start the diagnosis with the fuel filter; if it’s clogged, clean the entire filter or replace it if necessary.

You can use any solvent carb cleaner spray to clean the fuel filter. If the fuel filter is working just fine, inspect the oil pressure. 

Low oil pressure means the engine won’t get enough fuel to burn off and generate energy. Consider watching this video on how to perform an oil pressure test.

If oil pressure is not the culprit, that means you might have a faulty mass air flow sensor. If necessary, consult a technician to check and troubleshoot the sensor.

Problem 4: Engine Won’t Shut Off 

Some users have reported that their JD 333D engine won’t shut off even if the key is removed. Well, the problem may sound weird, but the reason is simply a faulty solenoid.

How to Fix?

Diagnose the fuel cut-off solenoid for defects; it must be malfunctioning. You can check the solenoid with a multimeter by yourself.

Your solenoid might have two or three pins; on three-pin solenoids, one pin is used for grounding purposes. 

Diagnosing the Solenoid

To diagnose the solenoid with a multimeter, follow the steps:

  • Set the multimeter to 2k ohms if you’re not using an automatic one.
  • Connect the multimeter probes to the solenoid terminals. (don’t worry about the positive-negative order here).
  • Read the value on the multimeter; the value may vary depending on the manufacturer. Whatever the value is, it shouldn’t be zero (0). Zero value means the solenoid coil is short and needs to be replaced.

Hence, replacing the faulty solenoid would fix the engine won’t shut-off issue.

John Deere 333D Hydraulic Problems

Problems Reasons How to Fix
Hydraulic oil leaking Temperature issue, Faulty hydraulic seal hose Control the temperature, Replace the hydraulic seal or hoses accordingly 
Loud cranking sound Hydraulic belt is damaged Replace the worn-out hydraulic belt
Hydraulic system overheating Improper oil type, aeration, or fluid contamination Use recommended oil type, fix air leakage, or change contaminated fuel
Hydrostatic transmission cavitation Bubbles in the oil or voids within the system, high oil viscosity  Ensure proper plumbing and use high-quality low viscosity hydraulic fluids

Problem 1: Hydraulic Oil Leaking

Hydraulic oil is prone to leaks when there is a temperature issue. For instance, if the temperature is high, the oil will leak out of the system and cause a chain of problems.

The reason behind this is when the oil gets heated, and it becomes thin, hence the leak.

Another reason for oil leaking on your John Deere 333D is faulty hydraulic seal hoses. Oil can leak through the broken seals during high-pressure flow. 

How to Fix?

You can reduce the hydraulic oil temperature in two ways: by decreasing the heat load and by increasing the heat dissipation.

Hydraulic systems use the reservoir to dissipate the heat. If the reservoir fluid is low, fill it up to the required amount.

Secondly, diagnose the hydraulic seals and whether they are broken or not. If you find a broken seal, replace it immediately. Take the help of a mechanic to replace the seals.

Problem 2: Loud Cranking Sound

If you hear a loud cranking sound after starting your John Deere 333D, it indicates the hydraulic belt has worn out. Hydraulic belts damaged by friction make weird sounds.

How to Fix?

Locate and diagnose the hydraulic belt with the help of a technician. If the belt is damaged, replace it immediately, and see whether it fixes the sound issue.

Problem 3: Hydraulic System Overheating

Hydraulic systems naturally produce heat while operating. If the input heat load is greater than the heat dissipated, it will cause the hydraulic system to overheat. 

Due to inefficiencies, heat load in hydraulic systems is equivalent to power loss (PL).

For instance, PL total = PL pump + PL valves + PL plumbing + PL actuators

For the hydraulic system to operate normally, the ideal temperature should range between 110 to 130 Fahrenheit or 43 to 54 degrees Celsius.

However, keep in mind that the ideal temperature of the hydraulic system varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.

Now you know how hydraulic systems generate heat, let’s examine what causes them. Incorrect hydraulic oil type, air trapped in the system, or fluid contamination are the possible reasons. Take a look at the possible solutions to this problem.

How to Fix?

First things first, use proper hydraulic oil recommended by John Deere. The company recommends using the CASTROL RX DIESEL 15W-40 CI-4/E7 or the CASTROL RX DIESEL 15W-40 CI-4 PLUS/E7 for optimal hydraulic system performance.

Secondly, ensure there’s no air trapped inside the hydraulic system, and remove the trapped air through the bleed vent valve.

Additionally, ensure there’s no leak in the system. Lastly, check the fluid for contamination, and if necessary, replace the fluid filter.

Problem 4: Hydrostatic Transmission Cavitation

The main reason behind hydrostatic transmission cavitation is bubbles in the hydraulic system’s oil or vacuum. The bubbles created within the fluid produce shock waves when experiencing high pressure, hence the cavitation.

Another reason is using high-viscosity oil in the system. Typically, high-viscosity oil flows slowly compared to low-viscosity oil. Also, high-viscosity oil stresses the pump. 

How to Fix?

Get professional help for proper inlet plumbing of the hydraulic system on your JD 333D.

Also, use the ideal hydraulic oil type and grade for optimal performance. John Deere recommends using their Hy-Gard ISO 36 viscosity grade oil in the equipment.

John Deere 333d Hydrostatic Transmission Cavitation
Image Souce: Iron Search

John Deere 333D Control System Problems

Problems Reasons How to Fix
Joystick control unresponsive Damaged wiring, discharged battery, faulty fuse or relay Fix connection and wirings, replace the fuse or the relay if found faulty
Bucket not lifting or tilting Safety lock is on, Faulty solenoid, pin misalignment, or insufficient hydraulic fluid Replace the solenoid or the turn off safety lock, adjust the pin alignment, or fill the reservoir with sufficient hydraulic fluid 

Problem 1: Joystick Control Unresponsive

Many users have complained about the joystick being unresponsive during operation on the John Deere 333D.

The possible reasons could be a damaged wiring/wiring harness, corroded battery terminals, or a faulty solenoid/relay.

How to Fix?

Start diagnosing the wires first, checking whether the wires are burnt or the harness is damaged.

If the wires seem okay, move to the battery, ensure it’s not discharged, and check the terminals for corrosion. Also, ensure that the connections aren’t loose.

If the battery is perfectly alright, it means the joystick control solenoid or the relay is causing the issue.

If you find out the glow plug controller relay is faulty, consider replacing it with a new one.

Problem 2: Bucket not Lifting or Tilting

If your John Deere 333D bucket is not lifting or tilting, it primarily means either the safety switch has malfunctioned, or the solenoid is damaged.

It could also mean that the bucket pin is incorrectly aligned and the reservoir doesn’t have sufficient hydraulic oil.  

How to Fix?

First, check the safety switch; if it’s on, turn it off to unlock the controls. If the switch has malfunctioned, consider replacing it.

If the hydraulic oil level in the reservoir is low, fill it up. Also, ensure there’s no air and leaks in the reservoir system. 

If the reservoir has enough oil, it means the bucket pin is misaligned. Get the help of a mechanic to adjust or replace the bucket pin for your JD 333D.


What Engine Is In A John Deere 333D?

This John Deere 333D has a turbocharged 2.4L diesel engine with a gross power of 95.4 hp or 71 kW and a net power of 89.5 HP or 66 kW. The engine has 5 cylinders, and the peak torque is 251.6 lbs/ft with a 53 hp hydraulic standard flow.

How Many Hours Will A John Deere Skid Steer Last?

According to many experts, John Deere skid steers typically last up to 5,000 – 6,000 hours. It is important to remember that your skid steer’s reliability depends on several factors, such as maintenance and whether you bought it brand new or used.

How Much Can A John Deere 333D Lift?

The John Deere 333D can lift a maximum load of 1498 kg or 3300lb. Its tipping load is around 4279 kilograms, which is 9425 pounds. The high-powered 2.4L engine and sophisticated hydraulic systems deliver smooth and reliable performance.

The Bottom Line

Thanks for being patient till now. I have tried to cover everything regarding your query on john deere 333d problems.

The problems include engine, hydraulics, and electrical control system problems, reasons, and solutions.

Hopefully, with the above instructions, you can solve the problems on your John Deere 333D skid steer.

One pro tip from me is always to use low-viscosity oil for better oil flow through the equipment. I will see you at the next one, best of luck and goodbye.

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