Picked up the tractor today

The team at Pape Machinery in Woodland, CA did all of the work, and were great to deal with. JD stood behind their product, replacing the destroyed engine, with the understanding that I would cover the labor costs for the installation. Had I been the original owner of the tractor, I probably would have taken issue with that. But that isn’t the case, and as difficult as it is to spend a few grand on a failure that should have never happened, I agreed to it.

For anyone that goes through this situation, here are the steps you need to follow:

1. Take a lot of photos and make note of the other situations I’ve linked to here on this site, especially the situations that show people like me, who have had their engines replaced due to this failure.

2. Contact John Deere Global Support and give them all of the information about the failure and your tractor’s serial number. They will likely give you a case number and direct you to take the tractor to a JD-licensed repair partner.

3. Find the nearest JD tractor repair facility and reach out to them, giving them the case number you were assigned by Global Support. Be sure to share the situations outlined on this website, as not all repair partners or regional JD reps are aware that JD corporate is still agreeing to replace engines. Making my rep aware that I found someone who just had their engine replaced 6 months ago seemed to help my case. Be good to your rep, as they will be your advocate with JD.

4. Cross your fingers that JD does the right thing.

If you have gone through this situation yourself, please make your situation known on GreenTractorTalk so that others can be more informed about the extent of this failure.


Wait – JD Has Now Agreed to Help? August 16

What a difference a day makes. The Pape Machinery rep (Alfonso) called me late yesterday and said he had a talk with a different JD rep who was in their location that afternoon. He gave him the whole story and the rep said he would check with some other reps to see what they’ve been doing in these situations. Last night, Alfonso received an email from the rep saying that if I was willing to cover the labor costs, JD would replace the engine. And though the labor costs are not exactly cheap (~$2500 or so, not counting the $500 I paid the other mechanic for the original diagnosis), I feel it’s at least a reasonable outcome, seeing as how I’m not the original owner of the tractor.

Just waiting on the formal email from Alfonso to put it in writing. I’ll post a follow up when things are underway.


John Deere Rep Refuses to Help – August 15

Just got a call from Pape Machinery in Woodland, the shop that has been diagnosing the engine failure. Essentially, the engine is seized and beyond repair. Their JD rep, who they wouldn’t share the name of with me, is refusing to do anything to help with the situation. I was told that had it been a situation where the engine could be repaired, they would have covered the cost for the repair, but they will not replace the engine for this sub-200 hour tractor, regardless of the design flaw that has resulted in many other engine failures and replacements. If I was the original owner, I was told, it might have been a different case.

Very expensive lesson learned. Even the most well known brands out there, like John Deere, won’t always stand behind their product when it fails, even in situations where there is a PIP (JD’s Product Improvement Program) for a non-safety related design flaw or mechanical defect.

This is a huge blow. I could understand if this was due to misuse or neglect, or if the tractor had thousands of hours on it. But the fact that it’s a very low usage tractor AND there is a known defect for this model year that has been known to cause this exact type of engine failure… it’s mind blowing that JD would leave their tractor owners high and dry in this situation. We’re talking about John Deere!

Buyer beware. If you are looking to buy a used John Deere 1025R tractor, even with very low hours on it, have a mechanic do a compression test on the engine and be sure it doesn’t have any internal damage due to a cracked valve cover – even if the air cleaner assembly is no longer mounted to the valve cover. It might not be noticeable, but even just a crack can allow debris and dirt to get into the combustion chamber and cause damage. John Deere is fully aware of this problem, and has replaced many engines under warranty because of this problem. Be warned that they will not help everyone who experiences catastrophic engine failure.

It might be worth looking for a Kubota or another manufacturer if you’re looking for a used sub-compact tractor.

Not sure what I’m going to do next. Unless JD changes their position in this case, I’ll have to start shopping for a remanufactured engine.


Dropped the tractor off on August 8th

In John Deere’s communication, they directed me to take the tractor to an authorized dealer/service center. The nearest one is about an hour away. I went to the mechanic’s shop where the tractor has been sitting, paid him $500 for the inspection work and the pickup, and trailered the tractor over to Pape Machinery in Woodland. Aashiyana helped me out and has been my main point of contact – super friendly. They’ll be doing the diagnostic work and will be sending their findings to JD.

The very next day, Aashiyana called me to let me know that JD directed them to do a compression check. I made sure to let them know that there is still material in the combustion chamber. Hopefully the compression test doesn’t do more damage. Nothing I can do at this point but wait to hear back.

Here’s an image of what’s still in the combustion chambers:


I’ll give another update once I have one!


John Deere responded on August 3

I received an email today (8/3/2023) with the case number referenced. They’ve asked that I take the tractor to a local authorized service center/dealer so that the dealer can take a look at it and share their findings. They made a point to say that no promises are being made for any type of compensation, which I can understand. They obviously not going to agree to anything until they have a partner they trust take a good look. That’s understandable.

I contacted the closest location (Pape Machinery) and will be taking the tractor in shortly. Will post an update when that is done and I hear back from the service center. Fingers are crossed.


Contacted John Deere on July 28th

I reached out to John Deere on July 28th with all of the information about what happened with the engine failure. The contact form only allowed a limited number of characters, so I pointed them to this website to give them more information and show them the findings of the mechanic and included photos of the damage. I’m waiting to hear back from them to give them more photos, since I could only attach a couple to their form.

Hope to have more information soon. If I don’t hear back from them by Monday or Tuesday, I’ll give them a call with the ticket number that I was given when I used their contact form.

Once I find out if they’re willing to help or not I’ll have a better picture of what will need to be done next.