John Deere Regen Problems (Causes and Solutions)

John Deere is a brand that stood the test of time in the world of agriculture. For more than 180 years, the company has been manufacturing equipment primarily aimed at agricultural use. 

Despite the company’s excellent reputation, its products are not 100% flawless. John Deere regen problems are one of the most popular topics you would find in forums.

John Deere Regeneration Process

Regeneration is not a John Deere-exclusive feature; you will see this in all modern diesel engines.

The regeneration, also known as the DPF regeneration process, is a way of cleaning or burning off the accumulated soot particles that get trapped in the diesel particulate filter.

This helps to reduce emissions and maximize engine functionality.

The DPF gets dirty over time as it captures and stores the soot and other particulate matter that generates during the engine’s combustion.

So, it gets dirty over time, and it needs to go through regeneration so that it can function properly. The regen can happen in three different ways. 

Active Regeneration

In the active regeneration process, the engine’s computer injects more fuel into the combustion chamber. As a result, the exhaust gas temperature rises so much that it burns off the particulate matter deposit inside the DPF.

The John Deere engine control module should go into active regeneration when it detects a blocked DPF.

Passive Regeneration

Passive regeneration comes into play when the engine is operational and the exhaust temperature is already high.

Unlike active regeneration, the engine control module does not inject any extra fuel into the chamber. For this reason, it is more efficient than active regeneration.

Forced Regeneration

When the John Deere engine control module fails to start an active or passive regeneration process, you will have to manually execute a forced/parked regeneration when the “parked regen” lights go on.

Park your tractor, truck, baler, or other equipment in an open space and keep the engine on at low idle. 

Put on the parking brake and move all the shift levers to neutral. Also, remember to switch off the engine power takeoff (PTO).

When you are attempting a parked regeneration, you cannot use the machine. Make sure to have adequate fuel on the tank before starting the regen, otherwise, the machine can run out of fuel before the procedure completes.

It’s recommended to keep the engine running during a forced regeneration, but if the engine temperature gets too high, you can switch it off.

Press the exhaust filter cleaning switch for five seconds to enter parked regen mode. The blinking LED above the exhaust filter cleaning switch is the John Deere regen light that indicates an ongoing regeneration process. 

John Deere Regen Time

How long does it take for a John Deere machine to complete the DEF regeneration process? A complete regeneration process should take anywhere from 25 to 50 minutes.

Keep an eye on the LED above the exhaust filter cleaning switch to know about the regen status. Once the process is complete, the light will stop blinking. 

John Deere Regen Symbol

John Deere Regen Symbol
John Deere DPF Symbol Chart (Courtesy: TriGreen Equipment)

The first two indicators mean that the engine control module has detected soot buildup in the DPF and is initiating a regeneration process.

Don’t shut off the engine until the lights clear. The third symbol shows a failed regeneration attempt, and the fourth asks for immediate intervention. In both cases, you would need to do parked regens.

John Deere Regen Problems: Causes & Solutions

John Deere regen problems can happen because of faulty after-treatment temperature sensors, fuel injectors or low fuel levels. 

Here is a brief breakdown of the potential issues that are causing regeneration problems in your John Deere machine alongside possible solutions. 

Cause of the Problem Solution
Malfunctioning Temperature Sensors Repair or damage the temperature sensor.
Malfunctioning Fuel Injector Clean the injector. If it’s damaged, replace it.
Low Fuel Fill up the tank.

Malfunctioning Temperature Sensors

The after-treatment temperature sensors could be responsible if your machine fails to regenerate repeatedly.

You can find one of these sensors in the Diesel Oxidation Catalyst (DOC) and the other one in the Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) system.

These sensors monitor the temperature of exhaust gases and ask the engine control module to act accordingly. 

If these sensors malfunction, they will misread the temperature and inaccurately initiate or prevent regeneration processes.

Therefore, the DPF does not get regenerated properly, and the emission quality worsens. If this goes on unsupervised, the engine might get damaged significantly.

Enter diagnostic mode and check for trouble codes that indicate a problem in the aftermarket temperature sensors.

Make sure to go through your usual manual to interpret the codes you find from the scan. If you do discover some problems in the aftermarket temperature sensors, you need to take a look at them.

In most cases, replacement is the only option. 

Malfunctioning Fuel Injector

The fuel injector injects a minimal amount of diesel into the exhaust system when the engine enters active regeneration mode.

The extra dose of fuel is necessary to increase the temperature in the exhaust system and clear out the soot buildup. If the injector is clogged, it won’t get to supply enough fuel during active regeneration.

Blocked fuel injectors are one of the first suspicions that come into our minds while dealing with regeneration problems.

Take out the injector and clean up the debris, then put it back in. Your regeneration problems should go away. If you see leaks on the injector, fix it or replace it altogether.

Don’t forget to clean the injector every once in a while. 

Low Fuel Levels

The simplest explanation for regeneration issues in your John Deere machine is insufficient fuel level in the tanks.

If the machine drains out the fuel tank during an ongoing regeneration, the process will be left incomplete. So, if you don’t have enough fuel, the regeneration process will fail.

It’s best to attempt a regeneration when you have a near-full tank. 

Final Words

In summary, John Deere regen problems are a common challenge for many farming equipment owners and operators. Sometimes the problems occur because of something as simple as low fuel levels. 

In other cases, however, you might be dealing with a more complex situation that requires more technical know-how to solve.

Latest posts by TAYLOR GALLA (see all)

1 thought on “John Deere Regen Problems (Causes and Solutions)”

  1. My Regen lights will not go off and I have been in Regen for over four hours.
    I have a John Deere 5065E with 322.2 miles on it.
    It has never been put through a Regen process.
    What can I do to correct this?
    I am head of maintenance add the Grand Gulf Militaty Park in Port Gibson, Mississippi.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *