How to Restart a Tractor That Has Been Idle For Years

Tractors are useful equipment on farms when it comes to tasks such as plowing, tilling, harrowing, planting, and operating agricultural machinery. If a tractor is left unused for an extended period, such as a year or more, it can have trouble starting. You may have a sound farm tractor that's been lying idle in a shed for years. How do you get its engine back up and running? Read on to find out.

Check the spark plugs 

First, you will have to pull the spark plugs and assess their physical condition. If they are tanned and not damaged, you are ready to go. However, if they are covered with black goo or crud, it could be an indication of poor maintenance or problems with the combustion chamber. Squirt some oil into the plugs cylinders and let them soak for some time. However, if the spark plugs look damaged and worn out, you should replace them.

Inspect the fuel system

If the tractor has been idle for many years, the fuel in the tank could have evaporated. If this happens, it will leave a kind of varnish in the tank, carburettor, lines, and the entire fuel system. Take apart the carburettor, making sure the needle seat inside isn't stuck and clean it. Make sure to clean the entire fuel system as well and assemble it.

Change the oil and filter

The next step is to change the oil and filter of your tractor. If the tractor has been sitting in outside in the elements and has an exhaust pipe coming out of the top of the engine, you may want to check whether there is water in the exhaust system. Pull the drain plug on the pan to drain any water before changing the oil and filter.

Lubricate the motor

The tractor's motor cylinders may require lubrication after lying idle for an extended period. Take off the distributor cap so that you can be able to see the rotor. Next, put some lubricant on the cylinders and try to turn the motor by hand. If the rotor doesn't move with the motor, add more lube until they both turn with little effort. Replace the distributor cap and put back the spark plugs as well.

Pre-lube the engine

Pre-lube the engine by manually turning the oil pump to push the oil through it. Pre-lubing pumps the oil before the engine begins to move, thus reducing chances of wear. You can buy a pre-lube engine starter kit from a local auto dealer with instructions on how to use it.

Your tractor engine should start with no hitches after following these steps. If it doesn't start, it could be an indication of mechanical problems that should be addressed by a tractor servicing and repair technician.