John Deere Tractor Dashboard Symbols And Meanings

As a John Deere tractor operator, it’s essential to understand what each of the dashboard indicators means.

In this piece, we will explore John Deere tractor dashboard symbols and meanings, so that you don’t have to compromise safety and maximize the efficiency of your tractor.

John Deere Tractor Dashboard Symbols And Meanings

John Deere tractor dashboard symbols provide vital information regarding the condition, performance, and maintenance requirements of the equipment. 

Therefore, every John Deere operator should familiarize themselves with these symbols. First, let’s talk about some warning John Deere indicator light codes before moving on to more standard indicators.

john deere tractor dashboard symbols and meanings
John Deere tractor gauges and indicator lights (Courtesy: Riesterer & Schnell)

John Deere Tractor Warning Lights Meaning

Service Alert Indicator

A service alert indicator (number 6 on the diagram) is a dashboard feature that provides tractor operators with real-time notifications about servicing issues.

It will come on as soon as the tractor’s Engine Control Module (ECM) detects a problem that requires prompt attention. 

Hydraulic Oil Temperature Indicator

The hydraulic oil temperature indicator (number 7) is a dashboard feature that informs tractor operators of the temperature of the hydraulic fluid in use.

This tool is critical for monitoring the performance of hydraulic systems and preventing equipment failure. It usually comes on when the hydraulic oil temperature reaches 140°F.

You should turn off the tractor as soon as the alert pops up. The tractor engine can suffer considerable damage if the hydraulic oil temperature continues to rise and reaches the ballpark of 180°F.

Low fluid levels can make the oil heat up faster, or there could be obstructions in the hydraulic system that are causing the issue.

Electrohydraulic Hitch Indicator

The electrohydraulic hitch indicator (number 8) goes off when there is a problem in the electrohydraulic system that controls the movement of the tractor implements. 

Neutral Indicator

If the transmission reverser (if present) is in neutral, the neutral indicator (number 9) will light up. If the indicator light flickers, it implies that the operator has not shifted into neutral in the right manner. 

High Exhaust Temperature Indicator

When the temperature of the tractor engine exhaust gases becomes too high, the high exhaust temperature indicator (number 10) goes off. 

Exhaust Filter Indicator

The exhaust filter indicator (number 11) in a tractor is usually triggered when the exhaust system malfunctions or when the diesel particulate filter (DPF) becomes obstructed with soot and other debris.

Engine Air Cleaner Restriction Indicator

The engine air cleaner restriction indicator (number 13) will go off when the air filter gets clogged to a significant degree and substantially restricts airflow to the engine. 

Engine Information Indicator

The engine information indicator (number 14) may go off if the tractor’s ECM detects a problem with the engine, such as overheating, low oil pressure, or a fault in the emissions control system.

Transmission Information Indicator

Problems with the transmission and related components can set off the transmission information indicator (number 15). 

Charging System Indicator

A lit-up charging system indicator (number 18) can probably mean that the alternator or the battery is faulty.

The alternator is the tractor component that generates electricity when the operator drives the tractor. It does so by converting mechanical energy into electrical energy.

An alternator failure results in a catastrophe in the tractor’s electric ecosystem.

The alternator is responsible for recharging the tractor battery. So, when the alternator fails to do that, the battery loses charge, and the electronic components of the tractor lose power supply.

Therefore, you should not sit on a likely battery or alternator problem and act as early as possible when you see the charging system indicator light go off.

STOP Indicator

This is the most ominous warning sign that would flash up on your dashboard. When the STOP indicator (number 26) activates, you must switch off the tractor immediately and investigate what went wrong.

A handful of variables can lead to this situation, including dangerously low engine oil pressure, fuel injection system failure, etc. 

Other John Deere Indicators

Fuel Level Gauge

Similar to conventional vehicles, the fuel level gauge (number 1) in a tractor indicates the amount of fuel remaining in the fuel tank, allowing the driver to monitor fuel consumption and estimate how much ground they can cover before running out of fuel.

The fuel level gauge measures the fuel level with the help of a variable resistor inside the fuel tank.

Left Turn Indicator

The left turn indicator light (number 2) on the dashboard is a bright and tiny symbol that points out whether the left turn signal is currently activated or not.

When the operator engages the left turn signal, the left turn indicator light will start flashing, providing a visual cue to the operator that the signal is working correctly.


The tachometer (number 3) is the gauge that sits on the instrument cluster to give real-time feedback on the engine’s RPM.

It allows the operator to keep track of the machine’s speed and make sure it is not going faster or slower than the ideal range. 

Other than delivering speed updates, the tachometer can also help to identify irregularities in the engine RPM. 

Right Turn Indicator

As soon as the operator moves the turn signal switch to the right, the right turn indicator (number 4) light starts blinking to indicate a turn to the right.

Engine Coolant Temperature Gauge

As the name implies, the engine coolant temperature gauge (number 5) keeps tabs on the engine coolant temperature.

If the fuel temperature falls below or goes above the 195 °F-220 °F range, the fuel economy will get compromised and damage the engine over time.

So, the operator should regularly keep an eye on the engine coolant temperature gauge. 

Exhaust Filter Disabled Indicator

The exhaust filter disabled indicator (number 12) light turns on when the operator turns off the exhaust filter cleaning switch.

Information Display

The information display (number 16) shows various information, including the speedometer, hour meter, transmission speed selection (if applicable), PTO speed, diagnostic trouble codes, and onboard diagnostics.

Trailer 2 Indicator

The Trailer 2 indicator (number 17) starts to blink after the trailer turn-signal or the hazard warning lights turn on. 

MFWD Engaged Indicator

The MFWD (Mechanical Front Wheel Drive) engaged indicator goes off in a tractor (number 19) when the front wheel drive is disengaged.

PTO Engaged Indicator

The PTO (Power Take-Off) Engaged Indicator (number 20) is a light or signal that lets the operator know when the tractor’s PTO is in use.

High Beam Indicator

The high beam indicator (number 21) turns on to let the operator know that the tractor headlights are in high beam mode. 

Differential Lock Indicator

The different lock indicator (number 22) indicates the activation of the differential lock. 

Park Brake Indicator

The park brake indicator (number 23) confirms the engagement or disengagement of the park brake. 

Vehicle Indicator

The vehicle indicator (number 24) goes off when the operator activates the turn signal or hazard warning lights.

Trailer 1 Indicator

The Trailer 1 indicator (number 25) starts to blink after the trailer turn-signal or the hazard warning lights go off.

Vehicle Information Display

The vehicle information display (number 27) shows which controller is malfunctioning during diagnostic scans. 

PTO Icon

The PTO icon (number 28) lights up when the operator chooses PTO speed. 

Hour Meter Icon

The hour meter icon (number 29) turns on when the vehicle information display shows the amount of engine hours the tractor clocked. 

Vehicle Information Display

This particular vehicle information display (number 30) provides engine data, speed numbers, and diagnostic information. 

Final Words

We put together this guide on John Deere tractor dashboard symbols and meanings.

So that new operators can get easily up-to-speed with the indicators and gauges on the instrument cluster of any John Deere tractor.

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