8 Typical John Deere 590i Problems (Solved)

There was a buzz that the John Deere 590i has some severe issues, especially those that were sold between 2016 to 2018. Are you having trouble with one? If so, then today, we’re here with an entire article in this regard.

In the John Deere 590i engine, you can find some common problems like- not starting, motor oil leaks, and overheating. Periodically, the transmission may have some problems, such as hard gear shifting and shifts that do not return to their original positions. These issues are mostly self-resolvable.

This is an overview of the whole discussion. For complete guidelines, continue reading. 

John Deere 590i Engine Problems

John Deere 590i is a gator vehicle with a high-performance engine that is known for its durability and reliability. However, like all engines, the 590i may experience some problems over time. 

Overheating, difficulty starting the engine, and reduced performance are some issues that users have reported. 

Problem  Reason Solution
Engine won’t start Faulty Battery Replace battery/ Jumpstart.
Blown solenoid fuse Replace solenoid fuse. 
Motor leaks oil Blown motor gasket Replace the gasket.
Engine overheating Faulty thermostat Replace thermostat.

Problem 1: Engine Won’t Start

One common issue is when the engine won’t start despite the fact that there is fuel in the tank. In addition to being frustrating for the owner, this can also negatively affect the machine’s productivity.

This issue could be caused by a number of factors. However, here we’ll discuss the most reported causes. 

Reason 1: Faulty Battery

When starting an engine of a vehicle or machine, the battery plays a crucial role. A high-voltage electrical current is sent to the starter motor by the battery when the ignition switch is turned on. 

In order to turn over the engine and start it, the starter motor uses this current. In the absence of a functioning battery, the engine cannot receive current to start. Because of this, a faulty battery causes an engine to not start.

Solution: Replace Battery/ Jumpstart

Replacement of a faulty John Deere 590i battery is the only solution. If you have the required tools and knowledge, You may be able to do this on your own or hire a qualified technician. 

On the other hand, if your battery is only out of charge then you don’t need to replace your battery. You just need to jumpstart your John Deere 590i. To perform a jumpstart you need the following tools:

  • A fully charged 12-volt battery
  • Jumper wire

Let’s start the processing now:

Step 1: First, all electrical systems in both vehicles should be turned off, including the ignition.

One end of the red jumper cable needs to be connected to a positive terminal of the drained battery, while the other end needs to be connected to a positive terminal of the working battery.

In the same way, connect the negative terminal of the working battery to the black jumper cable and the other end to the metal surface of the vehicle with the dead battery (for example, a bolt on the engine block).

Step 2: Try to start the John Deere 590i. Make sure that the cables are securely connected and repeat the process if it doesn’t start. Let the John Deere 590i run for a few minutes to charge the battery.

Step 3: Finally, jumper cables should be disconnected in the reverse order they were connected, starting with the black cable.

It is possible that there is a deeper issue with the battery or engine if the John Deere 590i does not start after jumping. You should contact a qualified technician if it doesn’t work. 

Reason 2: Blown Solenoid Fuse

The flow of electricity to the starter motor can be interrupted by a blown solenoid fuse on a John Deere 590i engine. 

Solenoids are electrical switches that engage the starter motor when the ignition is turned on. If the solenoid fuse is blown, the electrical current will not be able to reach the starter motor and the engine will not start.

Solution: Replace the Solenoid Fuse

A blown solenoid fuse can only be fixed by replacing it. For a John Deere 590i solenoid fuse replacement, you’ll need the following tools: 

  • A new fuse 
  • pliers, and 
  • A flat-head screwdriver. 

Afterward, follow these steps:

Step 1: Find the solenoid fuse on the engine. The fuse is usually located near the starter motor and is a small rectangular fuse with two wires.

Step 2: You’ll need a flat-head screwdriver to loosen the screws holding the solenoid fuse in place. Then use the pliers to remove the old fuse from the solenoid fuse holder.

Step 3: Make sure the new fuse is seated correctly in the solenoid fuse holder. The screws holding the solenoid fuse in place should be tightened with a flat-head screwdriver. Test it with a multimeter to make sure it’s working.

If it still won’t start, have a technician check your solenoid or engine.

Problem 2: Motor Leaks Oil 

We’ve found some cases where oil is leaking from the John Deere 590i motor. It can cause some serious engine damage. Besides that, it causes a loss in the oil economy.

This problem can be caused by several factors. However, here we’ll discuss the most common cause and its solution. 

Reason: Blown Engine Gasket

A blown gasket is one of the common causes of motor oil leakage. A gasket is a seal that is used to prevent oil and other fluids from leaking out of the engine. 

It is typically located between two engine components that are in close contacts, such as the oil pan and the engine block.

If the gasket is blown, it will no longer be able to create a tight seal, allowing oil to escape and leak out of the engine. 

It is important to address this issue as soon as possible in order to prevent further engine damage.

Solution: Replace the Motor Gasket

The only solution for the blown motor gasket is replacing it. It can either be replaced by a technician or by yourself if you have the right tools and understanding.

However, we recommend contacting an expert to do this type of repair work, because of its complexity.  

Problem 3: Engine Overheating

You may often face the issue of engine overheating with your John Deere 590i. This problem can be caused by a number of factors.

But for the John Deere 590i, we’ve mostly found just one cause responsible for overheating. 

We’ll discuss that reason here along with the solution to it. 

Reason: Faulty Thermostat

Overheating can be caused by a faulty thermostat, which prevents coolant from flowing properly. The thermostat is a temperature-sensitive valve that is located in the engine’s cooling system. 

Its job is to regulate the flow of coolant, ensuring that it is warm enough to keep the engine running smoothly, but not so hot that it causes damage. 

If the thermostat is faulty, it may not open or close properly, which can disrupt the flow of coolant and cause the engine to overheat.

To prevent further damage to the engine, immediate action is necessary to prevent further damage.

Solution: Replace the Thermostat

If the thermostat is totally damaged then the only solution for this problem is replacement. You may need to seek assistance to replace the thermostat.

However, dirt in the thermostat can prevent it from functioning properly. So, if the thermostat is dirty then cleaning can solve this issue. 

  • You can clean the thermostat by using a vacuum cleaner. 

John Deere 590i Transmission Problems

Problem Reason Solution
Hard gear shifting Faulty clutch  Sand the clutch plates down.
Gear handle not returning to the position  Broken/ loose shift cable Replace the throttle cable.
Half shaft pop out when accelerating Worn half shaft  Replace half shaft. 
Slipping CVT belt  Insufficient lubrication  Refill lubricate.
The high-pressure power filter is clogged Unclogg the power filter.

Problem 4: Hard-to-Shift Gear

You may find it hard to shift gear in your John Deere 590i gator. There are several reasons behind the hard gear shifting. 

However, in most cases, there is a specific reason responsible for hard gear shifting. Let’s discuss the reason here. 

Reason: Faulty Clutch

The clutch is responsible for engaging and disengaging the transmission in a vehicle, so a faulty clutch can cause hard gear shifting. It can be hard to shift gears smoothly when the clutch isn’t working right.

A clutch that is not properly adjusted may also cause hard gear shifting, as it may not fully engage or disengage the transmission as needed.

Solution: Sand the Clutch Plates Down

The solution for the faulty clutch is sanding the clutch plate down.  There are a few steps involved in sanding the clutch plates down.

Step 1: You’ll need to remove the transmission and disassemble the clutch assembly to get to the clutch plates.

Step 2: Remove any dirt or debris from the clutch plates with a solvent or brake cleaner. The clutch plates need to be sanded with fine-grit sandpaper (around 600 grit).

To make sure the plates are resurfaced evenly, sand in a circular motion.

Step 3: After you’ve sanded the plates, clean them again with a solvent or brake cleaner to get rid of any abrasive residue.

Step 4: Next after cleaning and smoothing the clutch plates, reassemble the clutch assembly and reinstall the transmission.

Sanding the clutch plates is a delicate process, and it should be done carefully to avoid damaging the plates or causing other problems.

A professional mechanic is recommended if you are not comfortable performing this process yourself.

Problem 5: Shift Handle Not Returning to the Position

It could be a sign that your shifting mechanism is malfunctioning if your shift handle doesn’t return to its original position. 

Several factors can lead to this issue, including worn or damaged transmission components, shift linkage problems, or shift lever or handle problems.

However, in John Deere 590i there is a certain reason behind this issue. We’ll discuss that below.

Reason: Loose/Broken Shift Cable

The shift handle in the John Deere 590i can not return to the proper position if the shift cable is loose or broken. The shift cable connects the shift lever or handles to the transmission as part of the shifting mechanism. 

When the shift cable is loose, it may not be able to transmit enough force to the transmission, which can cause the shift handle to feel “sloppy.” 

On the other hand, a broken shift cable can cause the shift handle to become completely disconnected from the transmission, making shifting difficult or impossible.

Solution: Replace the Throttle Cable

The solution for the broken cable is replacing it. For that, you need to gather the necessary tools and parts: You will need:

  •  A new throttle cable
  • A wrench set, and 
  • A screwdriver set.

Now start the step-by-step procedure below:

Step 1: First, locate the throttle cable, the throttle cable is located near the carburetor on the right side of the John Deere 590i.

Step 2: You’ll have to loosen the bolt that holds the throttle cable to the carburetor with a wrench. To loosen the cable clamp, use a screwdriver.

Once the cable is disconnected, gently pull it out of the engine. Be careful not to damage any other components as you remove the old cable.

Step 3: Finally, install the new throttle cable by reversing the steps:

  • First, route the cable through the engine  
  • Next, attach it to the carburetor with the clamp and bolt 
  • Then, adjust the cable tension as needed to ensure that the throttle is operating smoothly.

Once the new throttle cable has been installed, start the engine and test the throttle to make sure it works properly.

It may be necessary to adjust the cable tension or seek the assistance of a mechanic if the throttle is not responding properly.

Problem 6: Half Shaft Pop Out When Accelerating

Front-wheel-drive vehicles can experience half shaft pop-out when accelerating. The half shaft, a component in the drivetrain that connects the transmission to the wheels, pops out of place while the vehicle accelerates. 

Loss of power while driving can be dangerous. There are several reasons why the John Deere 590i half shaft pops out when accelerating.

But in terms of John Deere 590i, a certain reason works behind it. Here we’ll discuss that. 

Reason: Worn Half Shaft

Over time, half shafts, which connect the transmission to the wheels, are exposed to a lot of wear and tear. 

Wearing them out may cause them to become loose or to fail, causing drivetrain problems.

Wear can cause the half shafts to pop out of place while the John Deere 590i is accelerating because they are unable to transmit sufficient torque to the wheels.

Solution: Replace the Half Shaft

The John Deere 590i is a very complicated part. So it’s better to contact a mechanic rather than try by yourself. Because any type of silly mistake can cause an expensive repair.

Problem 7: Slipping CVT Belt

A slipping CVT (continuously variable transmission) in a John Deere 590i is a problem that can occur when the transmission is not functioning properly.

A CVT is a type of transmission that changes gear ratio continuously using a belt or chain to optimize engine efficiency. 

The CVT may not transmit enough power to the wheels when it slips, resulting in a loss of performance and fuel economy.

Reason 1: Insufficient Lubrication

In the John Deere 590i, inadequate lubrication can cause the CVT (continuously variable transmission) to slip.

It is lubricated to ensure smooth operation of the CVT’s belt or chain, which continuously changes the gear ratio. 

Insufficient lubrication can cause the belt or chain to wear prematurely and slip, causing transmission problems. 

Solution: Refill Lubricant

The slipping CVT belt issue can be resolved by refilling the lubricant. Look at your user manual to know the appropriate type of lubricant for your John Deere 590i gator.

Reason 2: High-Pressure Power Filter is Clogged

When a high-pressure power filter clogs, a CVT belt (continuously variable transmission) can slip. 

High-pressure power filters remove contaminants from transmission fluid as part of the transmission system.

Clogged filters can impair transmission fluid flow, which can lead to CVT (continuously variable transmission) belt slippage.

Solution: Unclog the High-Pressure Power Filter

The only solution for the clogging high-pressure power filter is unclogging it. To unclog a high-pressure power filter, you will need to follow these steps:

You will need the following tools and materials for unclogging it.

  • A new high-pressure power filter
  • A filter wrench 
  • A drain pan
  • A fluid pump

Now, let’s get into the steps:

Step 1: Identify the high-pressure power filter: The high-pressure power filter is typically located near the transmission, usually on the side or underneath the car.

Step 2: Using the drain pan, drain any transmission fluid from the transmission. Use the fluid pump to remove as much fluid as possible.

Step 3: Using the filter wrench, loosen and remove the old filter from its housing. While removing the filter, be careful not to damage the housing.

Step 4: To install the new filter, follow the steps in reverse order. 

  • Make sure the new filter is seated properly in the housing 
  • By using the fluid pump, add new fluid to the transmission through the fill hole.

If you find these steps difficult, it’s recommended to contact an expert.

John Deere 590i Steering Problems

Problem  Reason Solution
Steering heavy at a slow speed.  Contaminated power steering fluid Change the power steering fluid.

Problem 8: Steering Heavy at Slow Speeds

You may find your John Deere 590i steering heavy (hard to move) when driving at a slow speed. Several reasons work behind it. But there is a specific reason we’ve found common for all the John Deere 590i. Let’s what’s why.  

Reason: Contaminated Power Steering Fluid

A contaminated power steering fluid can cause heavy steering at slow speeds due to a reduction in lubrication and hydraulic pressure within the system. 

As a result, the power steering pump may have a harder time providing the necessary assistance for the driver to steer your John  Deere 590i gator.

Solution: Change the Power Steering Fluid

The only solution for the contaminated power steering fluid is changing it. To change the power steering fluid in a John Deere 590i, you will need to follow these steps:

Find the reservoir for the power steering. Typically, it is located near the front of the vehicle, on the left side of the engine compartment.

Step 1: Remove the reservoir cap and clean the area around it to prevent dirt and debris from entering the system.

Check the fluid level in the reservoir by removing the cap. The power steering fluid should be added until it reaches the “FULL” mark on the dipstick if it is low.

Step 2: Use a turkey baster or a power steering fluid pump to remove as much old fluid from the reservoir as possible. Power steering fluid should be refilled into the reservoir without overfilling.

Step 3: Start the engine and turn the steering wheel from lock to lock several times to circulate the new fluid. Add more fluid if necessary after checking the level. Finally, replace the reservoir cap and close the hood.


How Do I Know If My John Deere 590i Needs Maintenance? 

You can know if your John Deere 590i gator needs maintenance from the user guide. To detect potential problems early, it is important to have your vehicle serviced regularly. It may need maintenance if it makes unusual noises, performs poorly, or displays warning lights.

How Fast Does a John Deere 590i Go?

A John Deere 590i can go at a speed of 77 kilometers per hour. Performance and reliability characteristics of the engine are as follows: At 5600 rpm, it produces 23.8 kW (32 hp*). And this is equivalent to running at a speed of 77 kilometers per hour or 48 miles per hour. 

Who Makes the Engine For John Deere Gator?

Chery International of China makes the engine for the John Deere gator. However, the chassis and all other parts are made by John Deere in their own factory in the USA. John Deere is one of the largest and best gator manufacturing companies in the world.


Well, this is all about the John Deere 590i problems. Hopefully, all the discussion and solutions will be greatly helpful for you. 

However,  by proper maintenance, you can prevent many potential problems. So, ensure the proper maintenance and inspection regularly. 

Thanks for your patience.

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