Decoding LT Tractor Problems: Troubleshooting, Error Codes & Fixes

If you think of reliable, quality-built tractors, LS Tractors probably comes to mind. This brand’s tractors are known for being dependable and come highly recommended.

But, like all tractors, an issue is bound to crop up at some point. If you’re having an LS tractor problem, don’t worry.

Our thorough guide will walk you through the top eight common problems and error codes, along with their respective fixes. From the engine stopping at a low speed revolution to electrical issues and nonfunctioning brakes, we’ll cover the issues you’re most worried about to put your mind at ease.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the top eight common LS tractor problems and their troubleshooting options.

Troubleshooting LS Tractor (Problems, Error Codes & Fixes)

If you’re having LS tractor problems, try not to worry. We’ll walk through the eight most common problems and error codes and troubleshoot the solutions for you.

Let’s dive in.

Problem #1: The engine stops at low speed revolution.

If your LS tractor’s engine is stopping at a low speed revolution, there are only a few potential reasons for this (source).

First, it could be an issue with the injection pump, the part that pumps fuel into an engine. If you’re dealing with a faulty injection pump, the best thing to do would be to repair it and, at the very worst, you would need to buy a new one to replace it.

The engine could be stopping at a low speed revolution because the valve gap isn’t correct. If that’s the case, simply adjust the gap and the revolution speed should go back to normal.

On the other hand, poor nozzle pressure can be a sure catalyst for low speed revolution. This is also a pretty easy fix and only requires a repair for the nozzle.

If none of these troubleshooting options solve your low speed revolution issue, you may need to take your tractor to a local, licensed professional for servicing.

Problem #2: Your LS tractor is having electrical issues.

Because LS tractors involve so many electrical systems — from LEDs to electrical switches — having an electrical issue isn’t exactly unheard of.

Luckily, of all the problems on our list, this is one of the simplest and easiest to fix. Although you can visit a professional for repairs, you probably won’t need to.

Electrical issues involving LED lights or electrical switches can usually be solved by restoring the connection at fault. How straight-forward is that?

Worse comes to worst, a licensed professional can have your LS tractor’s electrical issues nipped in the bud without any trouble.


Problem #3: The color of the exhaust smoke is black.

Black smoke is never good. Still, it can be more of a warning than an ominous sign of a serious problem.

If you’re seeing black smoke, what you’re really seeing is extra oil being burned off. This gives us a clue as to what’s going on.

Black smoke can be caused by a few things. First, check the air filter. If the air filter is blocked, that means the airflow will be restricted, leading to a mix of mostly fuel with some air. To mitigate this, simply clean out the air filter. You could also replace it with a new one.

The smoke could also be from the muffler. Really, it’s oil that’s leaked onto the muffler, which is now burning off and causing the big plume of black smoke you might be seeing. Start by checking for leaks. The prime suspect would be the fuel system, but be sure to take a look at the oil level as well. Depending on what’s going on, you can address the leak and repair or replace any faulty parts.

In arguably the best case scenario, the cause might stem from what kind of fuel you’re using. For example, if the gas is very old or low-quality, it can burn (hence, the smoke). The solution for this issue would be to use high-quality, fresh fuel.

Lastly, you might want to consider your driving conditions. If you’re operating the tractor at high speeds during the wrong conditions, it can cause thick, black smoke.

Problem #4: The LS tractor’s engine power is low.

If your LS tractor engine has low power, there are a good number of culprits that could be at fault here.

First, the tractor’s injection nozzle could be clogged or blocked. This repair is easy enough; clean out the nozzle and remove the blockage. If this was the issue, cleaning it should fix the low-power problem.

It’s possible that bad injection timing could be the culprit. If that’s the case, you can repair it in a few various ways, including:

  • Replacing the camshaft
  • Adjusting the fuel injection pump
  • Or replacing the gaskets

In a similar vein, an improper adjustment of the valve gap could be at fault for low engine power. This, like bad injection timing, can be repaired by adjusting the gap.

However, the problem could also be related to carbon piled to the valve seat. This can and should be repaired.

A professional can also help you with these specific issues if they become too complex. Sometimes, a rather straight-forward issue can transform into something much more complicated.

In terms of low tractor engine power, not every cause is serious. It could be that you have a lack of fuel supply. In other words, there’s not enough gas. Check the fuel system and make sure you have sufficient fuel.

Lastly, it could turn out that the air cleaner is clogged or has some sort of blockage. The fix? Simply clean out the part or replace it entirely with a new one.

Problem #5: The brake doesn’t work (or only one side works).

This is one of the more serious issues on our list. If the brake doesn’t work on your LS tractor (or only one side works), you should aim to diagnose and fix the problem as soon as you can.

A brake that’s not working properly could point to the wrong brake pedal play or the left or right pedal is different. In both cases, the solution would be pretty straight-foward: simply make the necessary adjustments.

However, a brake that doesn’t work or doesn’t work as it should could also be a sign that the lining is broken or worn down. If that’s the case, replacing the lining with a new part would be best.


Problem #6: The LS tractor’s linkage does not move up.

If your LS tractor is mechanical and uses levers, then there’s a chance an issue could crop up regarding the linkage.

In fact, in order to function, the linkage needs to be able to move up. If the linkage isn’t moving up, you’ve got a problem.

To remedy this issue, start by checking the area between the clutch and the hand lever. If the linkage there is bent, it won’t be able to move up and as a result, you won’t be able to truly engage the clutch. While you’re at it, check the linkage between the driveshaft and the rear gearbox. The shifter is controlled by the rear gearbox’s lever. You won’t have control of the tractor if the linkage here can’t move up. 

In these two locations, make sure the link isn’t broken or bent in any way. This will cause the linkage to not move up and therein lies the problem. To fix it, you can try to repair any bent links or replace them with new ones.

However, the problem could lie elsewhere, as there are a handful of other potential culprits. There could be a lack of transmission oil. Since transmission fluid lubricates the moving parts, the linkage not moving up could be because there isn’t enough lubrication there. To fix it, ensure there’s enough transmission oil.

Be sure to check the hydraulic system as well. If the hydraulic pump is damaged or broken and fails, the linkage won’t be able to move up. Although it can probably be repaired, there’s a chance you’ll have to buy a new part to replace it.

In a similar vein, the hydraulic filter could be clogged or have some sort of blockage. As with the hydraulic pump, this part could be completely replaced. However, you might want to start by cleaning it, as this can sometimes fix this issue.

If the control valve fails, this can negatively affect the linkage as well. To mitigate this, repair the control valve or buy a new one to replace it.

Finally, the last possible cause would involve the tractor’s cylinders. Even if the cylinder as a whole isn’t broken or damaged, even a broken cylinder-related part could be enough to cause the linkage issues. Evaluate the cylinder to see if there’s any damage. Depending on the situation, you can either repair the individual parts or replace the necessary components that can’t be fixed.

Problem #7: It’s hard to operate the steering wheel

On a tractor, the steering wheel is one of the most critical parts. Without it, it’s basically nonfunctional, not to mention dangerous.

If you’re finding the steering wheel hard to turn, this could point to a few different areas.

Start by checking out the hydraulic pump. In order to generate enough power to steer, the hydrostatic drive transmission needs enough pressure. To solve any issues in this area, see that there’s enough hydraulic oil, to start. Make sure the pump itself is working. If the hydraulic system has a large amount of air, it’ll go so far as to affect the steering capabilities.

It could be due to a simple misalignment regarding the column spline and steering unit. To fix this, you’ll have to evaluate the misalignment and realign it. If you’re uncomfortable tackling this issue yourself, visit a licensed, local professional who can realign it for you.


Problem #8: The LS tractor battery does not charge.

If your LS tractor is having trouble charging or holding a charge, you should aim to address it as soon as possible. If the battery isn’t charged or holding a charge, chances are, you won’t be able to start your tractor at all.

The first order of business is to make sure you’ve attempted to charge it, especially if you haven’t used your tractor in a while. If you’re sure you’ve charged the battery and it still doesn’t work, don’t panic.

Start by taking a peek at all the electrical connections. It’s possible that something could be loose, not allowing the power to transfer to the battery. If you find anything loose, tighten it.

If you try this and the battery still won’t hold a charge, it’s probably time to replace it. A brand new battery might be just the TLC your LS tractor needs to continue doing its job.

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