John Deere 4440 Problems (Thorough Troubleshooting)

John Deere 4440 is one of the most successful ones in this series. Farmers love this model. However, some complaints about this tractor model aren’t uncommon. 

So, what are the common John Deere 4440 problems? 

Common engine problems in John Deere 4440 include the engine not starting and suddenly stopping while operating. Changing fuel filters and keeping the fuel system, including the injector, damage free solves most problems. Refilling transmission and hydraulic fluid regularly fix the most transmission and hydraulic-related problems. 

Troubleshooting these common problems includes going through the possible reasons one by one and solving them. Read the article for complete guidelines. 

John Deere 4440 Engine Problems

Problem  Reasons  Solution 
Engine Will Not Start Dirty fuel filters

Stuck fuel petcock

Dirty or air-trapped fuel systems

Broken or filthy fuel injector pumps

Low pressure on cylinder compression

Change the fuel filter

Clean the fuel petcock

Bleed air from the fuel system and clean the system

Replace broken injector pump, clean if it’s filthy

Adjust the pressure on cylinder compression

Engine Suddenly Stops While Driving Low coolant temperature

Trapped air inside the fuel system

Dirty fuel filters

Damaged or misadjusted fuel injector

Adjust the coolant temperature

Bleed out the trapped air from the fuel system

Replace the fuel filter

Replace the fuel injector and install it correctly

Engine Stops Immediately After Starting Incorrect fuel injection timing

Clogged fuel filter Damaged fuel injection nozzle

Adjust the fuel injection timing

Change the fuel filter

Replace the fuel injection nozzle

Engine Gets Overheated Lack of coolant

Faulty cooling system

Lack of engine oil

Worn-out fan belts

Incorrect belt tension

Refill the coolant

Identify faulty coolant system part and replace

Refill the engine oil

Replace the fan belt

Adjust belt tension

Insufficient Engine Power Defective fuel injectors

Abnormal fuel injection pressure

Lack of compression

Clogged air or oil filters

Dirty hoses

Excess load on the tractor

Incorrect valve clearance

Too low idle RPM

Replace the fuel injection

Adjust the fuel injection pressure

Replace the Intake or exhaust valves

Bleed the air from the system and refill oil

Clean hoses and pipes

Don’t put excess load on the tractor

Adjust valve clearance

Increase the idle RPM

Engine Knocks Incorrect fuel injection timing

Clogged or worn-out fuel injection nozzle

Lack of engine oil

Defective piston rings

Low coolant temperature 

Loose flywheel screws

Adjust fuel injection timing

Clean or replace fuel injection nozzle

Refill engine oil

Replace piston rings

Increase coolant temperature

Tighten the flywheel screws

Excess Engine Oil Consumption Incorrect oil

Worn-out piston rings

Damaged valve stems

Scuffed cylinder liners

Use the right oil

Replace piston rings

Replace valve stems

Replace cylinder liners

Problem 1: Engine Will Not Start

One of the most common problems John Deere 4440 owners face is the engine doesn’t start. Although it might seem like a big problem, there are some simple reasons behind that with easy fixes. 


Dirty fuel filters, stuck fuel petcock, and dirty or air-trapped fuel systems are the reasons why John Deere 4440 will not start.

Moreover, broken or filthy fuel injectors and pumps and low pressure on cylinder compression are reasons that will cause your tractor engine not to start. 


Start troubleshooting by checking the fuel filter. Replace it if the filter is dirty. Here’s how to change the fuel filter in a John Deere 4440 tractor. 

  • Let the engine cool down. 
  • Place a pan to catch the oil drop from the filter. 
  • Twist open the filter case and pull out the old filter. 
  • Clean the filter case and seat with a rag. 
  • Push the new filter inside the seat. Install the filter case. 

If the fuel filter is clean but still John Deere 4440 not starting, check whether the fuel petcock is stuck. Remove the fuel valve and clean it properly. 

Set it back after cleaning. Now, the fuel petcock should be open. 

Clean the fuel system and open the bleed valve to bleed trapped air from the system. 

Clean it with a washcloth and corrosion cleaner. If found to be worn out or damaged, replace the injector. 

If nothing works, the cylinder pressure compression must be low. Change the gasket head to avoid low pressure. If the gasket head is not damaged, check the inside of the cylinder.

Problem 2: Engine Suddenly Stops While Driving

While you are operating the tractor, the engine can suddenly stop. John Deere 4440 often faces this problem. 


Low coolant temperature and trapped air inside the fuel system are the main cause of this problem. Dirty fuel filters and damaged or misadjusted fuel injectors are also responsible. 


  • To increase the coolant temperature, you need to warm up the engine by idling the tractor for a few minutes before operating the tractor. 
  • Open the fuel bleed valve and let the trapped air out of the system. 
  • Change the fuel filter as described above. 
  • Now, check the fuel injector. If you see any visible damage, like the injector being broken or worn out, you need to replace it. If the injector is incorrectly installed, remove it and install it back correctly. 

Problem 3: Engine Stops Immediately After Starting

This issue is slightly different from the previous one. Here, the engine stops immediately after you turn it on. You won’t be able to drive the tractor at all.

Sometimes, the engine can stall at a low idle. Both of these problems happen for the same reasons. 


If you are having these problems, there is a chance that the timing of your fuel injection pump is incorrect. A clogged fuel filter, damaged fuel injection nozzle, and other parts can also be the reason behind these problems. 


  • You need to adjust the incorrect fuel injection pump timing by adding or reducing shims under the pump base. 
  • The clogged filter needs to be changed. 
  • Check the fuel injector nozzle. If it’s damaged, replace the fuel injector. 
  • If the nozzle is fine, check the fuel injection pump. If found broken or damaged, replace the injection system. 

Problem 4: Engine Gets Overheated

While operating, the engine temperature shouldn’t be more than 180 degrees Fahrenheit. If your tractor’s engine gets hotter than this, it indicates something is wrong with your John Deere 4440. 


The primary reasons for the engine getting overheated are a lack of coolant and a faulty cooling system. Lack of engine oil, worn-out fan belts, and incorrect belt tension can cause the engine to overheat. 


Refill the coolant in the following way:

  • Open the lead of the radiator. Check the coolant level. 
  • If the coolant level is low, refill it in a 1:1 water and coolant ratio. The coolant capacity of John Deere 4440 is 36 qts. 

Check the coolant system components thoroughly. If you find any part to be damaged or broken, replace those. 

Check the engine oil level and if necessary, refill the oil. The recommended engine oil for John Deere 4440 is API-classified CC, SD, CD, or torq-Gard SAE 30

Check the engine belt for damages. If found damaged, you need to replace it. Follow the steps:

  • Remove the spark plug and unscrew the belt tensioner protective bolt. 
  • Slide the belt tensioner and pull the belt outside. 
  • Put the new belt in the tensioner and slide it back into its position.
  • Adjust the correct belt tension.
  • Attach the protective bolt and install the spark plug.  

Problem 5: Insufficient Engine Power

Insufficient engine power makes the tractor engine perform poorly.


Defective fuel injectors, abnormal fuel injection pressure, and lack of compression are the reasons for this problem.

Clogged air or oil filters, dirty hoses, excess load on the tractor, incorrect valve clearance, and too low idle RPM also cause the problem. 


Go through the reasons one by one and find the actual problem with your tractor. 

  • First, check the fuel injector and thoroughly clean it. If the injector is leaking, change the o-ring of the injector. Replace the injector if it’s damaged. 
  • Next, check the fuel injection pressure with a fuel pressure gauge. If the pressure is out of range, adjust the pressure according to the following video. 
  • To fix the lack of compression in the engine, check the intake or exhaust valves. If found broken, Replace those valves. 
  • Change the air filter and oil filter if they are dirty. 
  • With a 148 John Deere front-end loader, the John Deere 4440 has a loading capacity of 3100 pounds. And with a 158 John Deere front-end loader, its capacity is 3800 pounds. 
  • Don’t put excess load on the tractor. If you must take a heavy load, keep the gear lower. 
  • Now, check if the idle RPM is too low. If yes, turn to idle screw and increase the RPM.
  • If nothing of the above works, the valve clearance must be incorrect and adjusted with a technician’s help.

Problem 6: Engine Knocks 

Knocking or other unusual noises are common for John Deere 4440 tractors. 


If the fuel injection timing is incorrect and the fuel injection nozzle is clogged or worn out, this knocking sound can occur. 

Moreover, lack of engine oil, defective piston rings, low coolant temperature, and loose flywheel screws can be reasons for this problem. 


  • Check and correct the fuel injector timing. 
  • Inspect the fuel injector nozzle. If it’s clogged, clean it with a fuel injector cleaner. If the nozzle is broken, replace it. 
  • Check the engine oil level and refill it if necessary. 
  • Inspect the piston rings. If the rings are found broken or worn out, change them. 
  • Check the flywheel screws. If they are loose, tighten the screws. 
  • If the coolant temperature is low, idle the tractor to warm up the engine before driving.

Problem 7: Excess Engine Oil Consumption

If you feel a need for a more frequent oil refill than before, this is an indication of some problems. 


Using incorrect oil, oil leakage, worn-out piston rings, damaged valve stems, and scuffed cylinder liners are reasons for high oil consumption. 


  • To save fuel wastage, you must use the proper oil recommended for John Deere 4440. 
  • Inspect the engine for oil leakage. You have to change the seal or gasket if they are broken. Make sure you install the seal properly. 
  • Take out the piston and check if the rings are broken or worn out. Broken piston rings need to be changed. Check the piston and cylinder liners as well. Replace them if necessary. 
  • Next, check the valve stems of your tractor’s tires. If the stems are scruffy, replace them. 

John Deere 4440 Transmission Problems

Problem  Reasons  Solution 
Hard To Shift Gears Misadjusted or broken clutch

Defected gear shifting mechanism

Stuck or faulty gear shift linkage

Defected or torn shift forks

Adjust or replace the clutch

Adjust gear shifting mechanism

Clean or replace the shift linkage

Replace the shift fork

Low Transmission Oil Pressure Low transmission fluid

Dirt transmission oil filter

Defected relief valve

Refill transmission fluid

Replace the transmission oil filter

Replace the relief valve

Abnormal Transmission Noise Damaged bearings

Lack of transmission oil

Spoiled transmission oil 

Incorrect backlash or worn gears

Defected shift forks

Replace the bearings

Refill transmission oil

Change the oil

Install backlash correctly and replace the gears

Change the shift forks

Transmission Oil Leaks Torn seals or gaskets

Cracked transmission housing

Replace with new seals and gasket

Replace the transmission housing

Problem 1: Hard To Shift Gears

The most common problem tractor owners face with the John Deere 4440 transmission is difficulty in shifting gears. 


Defected or misadjusted clutch and gear shift linkage, broken or battered shift forks, and defective gear shift mechanisms are the reasons behind this problem. 


  • Check the gear shift linkage first. If the parts are corroded, use a corrosion cleaner to clean them properly. Moreover, lubricate all the fittings. 
  • Inspect if the shift forks are damaged or worn out. If the shift forks are not in good shape, replace them.
  • Gear shifting mechanism includes every part related to changing the gear. Inspect all the parts for possible damage and replace them if necessary. 
  • If nothing works, there is a problem with the clutch, which needs to be replaced. It is recommended to change the clutch with the help of a professional. 

Problem 2: Low Transmission Oil Pressure

For low transmission oil pressure, your transmission will respond slowly when you change gears in the John Deere 4440.  


Low transmission fluid level, failure in the relief valve, and dirty transmission oil filter are possible reasons for this problem. 


Check and refill the transmission fluid. Follow these steps:

  • Idle your John Deere tractor for 1-2 minutes to warm up the engine oil. Stop the tractor and wait for another 2-3 minutes. Now check the oil temperature. It should be around 45 degrees Celsius. 
  • Now, the oil is set. Check the oil level to see if it’s up to the mark. If the oil level is low, you need to refill this. 
  • Clean the reservoir area with a washcloth and open the cap.
  • Carefully refill the reservoir with transmission oil with the help of a funnel. 

Now check the transmission oil filter, and replace it if found dirty and clogged. 

If the oil level and oil filter are fine, the relief valve must be checked. If the relief valve is worn out, replace it and install the new one correctly. 

Problem 3: Abnormal Transmission Noise

Any abnormal noise from the transmission, including humming, gurgling, or buzzing, indicates a problem with the transmission. 


Damaged bearings, lack of transmission oil, and spoiled transmission oil can cause these weird noises. Furthermore, incorrect backlash, worn gears, and defective shift forks can be the reasons. 


  • Open up the transmission oil reservoir and check the color of the oil. The transmission oil is spoiled if the color is brown to dark brown. Change the oil by opening the drain plug. 
  • Close the drain plug and refill the transmission oil reservoir with the right type of oil. 
  • After that, check the transmission bearing and lubricate them. If they are broken, replace the bearing. 
  • Inspect the backlash and make sure they are correctly adjusted. If the gears are worn out or broken, replace them. 
  • Check the shift fork as well and replace them if needed.

Problem 4: Transmission Oil Leaks

Leaking transmission oil will cause oil wastage. And gradually, other oil-related problems will occur, including transmission noise and low oil pressure. 


If the transmission seal is damaged or scurried, it will leak oil. Moreover, cracks in transmission housing can cause this issue. 


Check the transmission seal. If found broken or scurried, replace it. If the seal is fine, check the transmission housing. You need to replace it if the housing is damaged. 

John Deere 4440 Hydraulic Problem

Problem  Reasons  Solution 
Hydraulic System Overheats Spoiled hydraulic oil

Irregular system pressure

Misadjusted or damaged main relief valve

Air- trapped in the hydraulic system

Change the hydraulic oil

Adjust the system pressure

Adjust or replace main relief valve

Bleed air from the hydraulic system

Low Hydraulic Oil Pressure Lack of hydraulic fluid

Clogged hydraulic oil filter 

Damaged or misadjusted hydraulic spool valves

Hydraulic cylinder and pump malfunction

Leaky hydraulic pipes

Refill hydraulic fluid

Change the hydraulic filter

Adjust hydraulic spool valves properly

Replace faulty cylinder parts

Change the Seal of the hydraulic reservoir 

Hitch Dropping Problem Damaged or misadjusted hydraulic spool valve

Defective hutch rock shaft Defective hydraulic cylinder parts 

Replace spool valve

Replace hutch rock shaft

Repair or replace faulty cylinder parts

Problem 1: Hydraulic Systems Overheats

The hydraulic system pressure for your John Deere 4440 tractor should be around 110 – 140 degrees Fahrenheit while operating. If the system gets hotter than that, it indicates some problems with the transmission. 


Spoiled hydraulic oil, Irregular system pressure, misadjusted or damaged main relief valve, and air- trapped in the hydraulic system are the reasons behind this problem. 


If the hydraulic oil is spoiled, change it and refill the reservoir. Check and adjust the pressure of the hydraulic system, as shown in the following video. 

Inspect the main relief valve. If any damage is found, replace the valve. Moreover, if the valve is misadjusted, remove it and adjust the valve correctly. 

If nothing of the above works, air must be trapped in the system. Open the bleed valve and let the trapped air out. 

Furthermore, check if all the seals, suction pipes,s and fittings are in good condition. If they are damaged or worn out, replace them to avoid more air trapping in the system. 

Problem 2: Low Hydraulic Oil Pressure

Low hydraulic oil pressure warning light showing is a common problem that tractor owners of John Deere 4440 often face. 


Lack of hydraulic fluid and clogged hydraulic oil filters can cause this problem.

Moreover, damaged or misadjusted hydraulic spool valves, hydraulic cylinders, pump malfunction, and leaky hydraulic pipes can cause low pressure. 


  • Refill the hydraulic fluid and change the clogged hydraulic oil filter. 
  • Take out the hydraulic spool valve and inspect for any damage. Replace if needed and install correctly. 
  • Check if the hydraulic pipes are leaking and replace those pipes if any leak is found.
  • Inspect all the parts of the hydraulic pump and cylinder. Replace the broken or worn-out parts. 

Problem 3: Hitch-Dropping Problem

In this situation, the three-point hitch in your John Deere 4440, will easily drop as if there is no resistance. 


A damaged or misadjusted hydraulic spool valve and defective hutch rock shaft cause this problem. Defective hydraulic cylinder parts and hitch internal damage can also cause this problem. 


  • Inspect and replace the hydraulic spool valve if found in bad shape. 
  • Check if the hutch rock shaft is damaged. If found broken, replace it with a new one.
  • Now, check all the parts of the hydraulic cylinder. Repair or replace the damaged or worn-out part. 
  • Finally, if nothing works, the problem is internal, and you must change the hitch. 

John Deere 4440 Electrical Problems

Problem  Reasons  Solution 
Battery Won’t Charge or Starter Slowly Cranks Old battery

Damaged working harness

Change the battery

Replace the wiring harness

Starter Motor Doesn’t Work Low battery charge

Defective starter motors

Charge the battery

Replace the starter motor

Problem 1: Battery Won’t Charge

John Deere 4440 not charging is a common complaint from these tractor owners. Another John Deere electrical problem is the start cranks too slowly. Both of these problems happen due to the same reasons. 


Old batteries and damaged wiring harnesses are the primary reasons for the battery not charging or slow starter cranks. Moreover, damaged belts, corroded battery terminals, and incorrect belt tension are the reasons for these. 


  • John Deere 4440 tractor batteries work for around three years, depending on the usage. Replace the battery if it’s older than that.
  • Check the wiring harness from the battery to the alternator. If the harness is broken, replace it. Reinstall if the connection is loose. 
  • Check the battery terminals. If corroded, clean them with a corrosion cleaner.
  • Take out the belt, and replace it if found to be worn out. Adjust the belt to proper tension. 

Problem 2: Starter Motor Doesn’t Work

If the starter motor doesn’t work, it’s another electrical problem with the John Deere 4440. 


Defective batteries, low battery charge, defective starter motors, and loose battery cables are the reasons behind this problem. 


  • Recharge the tractor battery. 
  • If the battery can’t hold a charge as long as it should, repair it. Replace it if the battery has been running for over 3 years. 
  • Check the starter motor’s solenoid, pioneer gear, and other components. Replace the damaged parts. 
  • Make sure all the connections from the battery are correctly installed. 

John Deere 4440 Steering Problems

Problem  Reasons  Solution 
Steering Wheel Hard To Turn Flat front tire

Misadjusted steering column

Inflate the front tire

Adjust the steering column properly

Tractor Pulls To Right Or Left Defective front hub bearing

Mismatched inflated tires

Replace the hub bearing

Inflate all the tires uniformly

Problem 1: Steering Wheel Hard To Turn

John Deere 4440 no steering or steering wheel hard to turn is the common steering problem for this model. 


Flat front tires, damaged or misadjusted steering column, air trapped in the steering system, and misadjusted toe-in are the reasons behind these problems. 

Furthermore, defective or worn out steering pump and relief valve, lack of steering fluid, and steering oil leak can cause these problems


  • Check if the front tire is flattened. Change or inflate if needed. 
  • Remove the steering column and check if it is broken or worn out. Replace if required, and adjust correctly.
  • Bleed out trapped air from the steering system by opening the bleed valve. 
  • Adjust the toe-in correctly, and replace it if needed. 
  • Check all the components of the steering pump. Replace the damaged parts. 
  • Check if the relief valve is damaged, and replace the damaged valve. 
  • Check the steering fluid level and refill it if necessary. 
  • If there is an oil leak, check the steering oil reservoir seal. The broken seal needs to be changed. 

Problem 2: Tractor Pulls To Right, Or Left

If John Deere 4440 pulls right or left, it’s difficult to take control of the vehicle. 


Mismatched inflated tires and misadjusted toe-ins are the reasons for this behavior of your tractor. 

Furthermore, due to damaged steerings and tie-rod ends, defective front hub bearings, and damaged steering linkage can cause this problem. 


  • You must inflate all the tires in the way. Don’t over-inflate the tire. 
  • Remove the toe-in wheels and adjust them appropriately.
  • Inspect the steering components for visible damage like breakage. Faulty components need to be replaced. 
  • Check the tie-rod ends. If they are worn out, replace them. 
  • Lubricate the front hub bearing. If found broken, change them. 
  • Finally, check the steering linkage and replace the damaged parts. 

Maintenance for John Deere 4440

Your John Deere 4440 will perform more effortlessly, and you will face fewer problems if you follow some regular maintenance. Let’s discuss some maintenance tips:

  • Check the fuel and oil filters daily. Clogged filters are responsible for most of the tractor problems. Change the filters as required. 
  • The secondary air filter also needs to be replaced once a year and cleaned regularly. 
  • Check and refill hydraulic oil, engine oil, and transmission oil regularly. Change the oil every 200 hours of operation or as required. 
  • Check the tires every 2-3 days and inflate them if needed. 
  • Lubricate all the bearings from time to time. 
  • Don’t ignore any unusual noise from your tractor. 
  • Clean the corroded terminals regularly. 


So, these are the common John Deere 4440 problems. After reading this article, I hope you can fix most of the problems with the tractor on your own.

Maintaining primary tractor care will save some more time and hassle. That’s all for now.

Have a great day.

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