6 Common Problems with John Deere 5103 (Solutions Added)

John Deere 5103 is a utility tractor from their 5003 Series. It comes with a John Deere 2.9L 3-cylinder diesel engine. The 5103 is a dependable tractor that adheres to the fundamentals.

The most common John Deere 5103 problems are lift arm control lever problems, blown fuses, electrical issues, solenoid failures, switch problems, the 3-point hydro lift valve problems and the engine not starting.

In this article, I have presented my research on common JD 5103 problems. And I have also briefed on the solutions of those problems. You will also find a summary of all these issues here, so read till the end.

Problems and Solutions at a Glance:

Problems with John Deere 5103Solutions
Lift Arm Control Lever ProblemsTroubleshoot.
Blown FusesChange fuses.
Electrical IssuesTroubleshoot and replace parts.
Solenoid FailuresReplace solenoids.
3-Point Hydro Lift Valve ProblemsTroubleshoot.
Battery Alternator and Wiring IssuesReplace the damaged parts.

6 Common Problems with John Deere 5103 and Their Possible Solutions

Frequent issues exist with the John Deere 5103 due to many reasons. Here are some of the reasons and how to solve them.

1. Lift Arm Control Lever Problems

The inside control lever is nearly impossible to move up or down sometimes. You may have to tap on it with your hand to make it move.

Moreover, when you use the lift arm controls to pick up any implement, the outside control may move while the arm remains flat.

The Fix:

The control arms or rods may get bent. If not, they are quite prone to rust and buildup. You should disassemble it, clean it according to your manual’s instructions, and lubricate it before anything else.

If you look at your lift arm controls, you will see a cover that indicates the position and also divides the two controls. Remove the screws so you can work on the problematic area more effectively.

Once you have removed the cover and can see your controls more clearly. You can see where the controls hook up by the body of your tractor.

Remove these from that position. Then wire brush the area and spray lubricant on the parts.

2. Blown Fuses

The John Deere 5103 fuel shut-off solenoid fuse may keep blowing When you turn the ignition key, it can start and run for a few minutes. But other times it might blow a fuse right away as you engage the starter key.

It can be due to the power line feeding the starter relay coil. But the coil itself may be damaged. In that case, it most likely has a short.

The Fix:

Check the wiring for frays or damaged areas before replacing the solenoid. Fuse replacement is fruitless because there may be inherent electrical problems.

Look for a broken or grounded wire on the ignition switch that leads to the fuse. Remove the flywheel if the fuse bursts as soon as you turn the key.

A stator underneath the flywheel recharges the battery while the engine is running. Unfortunately, in most cases, the magnets under it are broken and in contact with the stator. In this situation, both need to be replaced.

3. Electrical Issues

The JD 5103 often won’t start when you try to start it. The battery and fuses may seemingly be alright. However, turning the start key may create no reaction and the dashboard lights may fail briefly.

Additionally, a 10 amp fuse in the fuse box may be blown as soon as the ignition is turned on. The thermistor sensor is the source of this issue.

The Fix:

The “cold start advance” part of the system advances the timing to make cold starts easier. It has a sensor mounted on the thermostat housing that is wired to a two-wire harness. This goes to the injection pump.

This sensor shorts out and blows a fuse when it malfunctions. It needs to be replaced. The part number is RE503242.

Make sure the coolant isn’t hot when you do it. To avoid mopping the coolant, you should place a pan under the tractor to collect it.

Additionally, examine the battery ground. It can get grounded to sheet metal and is frequently rusted. Fix the grounding problem.

4. Solenoid Failures

When there is a problem with the solenoid, the JD 5103 will start but won’t fire. You may see some smoke coming out. You won’t hear any click from the cut-off solenoid.

It is more likely to be a solenoid problem if the fuel pump and the fuses are good in this case.  

The Fix:

Temporarily connect a hot wire to the solenoid from the battery. Then, remove all the return fittings from the top cover until there is an open hole in the top cover. Now, try to start the mower.

If it starts, clean out the check ball connector fitting that you already removed. If it clogs and turns off, you have internal pump issues, which almost certainly call for turning off the pump.

When you are sure it is the solenoid, replace it. This can be done by voltage tests.

5. 3-Point Hydro Lift Valve Problems

The 3-point lift arms at the back get obstructed and locked up.

The Fix:

Make sure the draft lever isn’t up. If it is up, it will prevent the hitch from lowering. A valve regulating the drop rate is also located beneath the seat.

The three points won’t drop if that valve is blocked off. So take the device to the dealer if nothing else works.

6. Battery Alternator and Wiring Issues

The John Deere 5103 won’t turn on often. The lights turn on when the key is turned, but the engine may not.

The starting relay, the starter/solenoid, battery, and alternator may be the issue. Often field mouses would chew up the susceptible wiring behind the dashboard.

The Fix:

Replace the damaged parts. The wiring is a nuance because it can get damaged easily.

What Majority of the Users Feel?

The 5103 is a basic tractor that is essentially bullet-proof, as deemed by users. However, there are some issues. For example, the only problem you might encounter with the front loader is traction.

Although having 4WD with a FEL is preferable, you should be good for occasional and light-duty use. The John Deere 5105 is a similar tractor that comes with 4WD. Some users prefer that one over the 5103.

You will detest the collar shift transmission if you intend to use a loader. You won’t get much work done quickly. Many owners prefer a different transmission for more loader work.

But you can get the response you need for loader work. Once you find the right speed using the hand and foot throttles together, things are smoother.

Although it isn’t the ideal solution, it’s really not that bad. On the contrary, stopping before changing directions is actually safer. So overall, this is a subpar tractor.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most common problem with John Deere 5103?

Engine and Transmission issues.

How much oil does a John Deere 5103 hold?

8.5 L (approx.).

Is the JD 5103 still being produced?

The JD 5103 has been discontinued.

Final Thoughts

According to my research, most users are happy with the JD 5103 tractors. My suggestion is if you get a good deal then go for it. You will rarely be disappointed.

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