6 Most Common John Deere Gator 835M Problems (Plus Fixes)

The John Deere Gator 835M is a practicable UTV with impressive features like power steering and a 4000-pound towing capacity. It also has automotive-like controls for effortless operation.

However, owners of this UTV have complained of several issues. The most common John Deere Gator 835M problems are vibrations when driving, loose windows/doors, troubles with the lift mechanism, engine overheating, and problematic starts.  

Is the JD 835M UTV a worthy acquisition? Read on as I detail the problems of this UTV and how to fix them.

The Gator 835M UTV Won’t Start

The Gator 835M may present a hard start or completely fail to start. The root cause of this issue is a faulty electrical system. The battery may be dead, or the terminals may be coated with sulfate, preventing current transmission. Broken wires and connections are other complications that originate from the electrical unit.

Your UTV may also fail to start due to issues with the fuel unit, such as low or poor-quality fuel. A blocked fuel line is another culprit behind the starting issues.

How To Fix

You address starting issues by first probing the state of the battery. Jumpstarting will aid with a dead battery, but if it is worse off, it is better to get a new one. It would be best to clean the terminals to prevent corrosion from affecting current flow. Additionally, inspect the wires and connections, and make the necessary repairs where necessary. 

Check the state of the spark plugs. Old spark plugs bring several issues, including starting difficulties. You must regularly replace spark plugs for the JD 835M UTV to run smoothly. Ensure the gas tank is full and use the right fuel.


Overheating is one of the most common John Deere Gator 835M problems that you may encounter. Signs of this engine hitch include stalling, steam and smoke coming from the engine, and fluid leaks.

This problem’s primary cause is a malfunction in the engine’s cooling unit, such as a damaged or dirty radiator, a spoiled fan, or low coolant levels.

A dirty air filter is another contributor to the hiked engine temperature. It would help if you promptly dealt with overheating, as it may cause extensive engine damage. 

How To Fix

Before attending to an overheating engine, you should first turn it off and allow it to cool. Never pour water on the engine to hasten the cooling process, as you might damage the metallic components. 

When cooled, start by inspecting the radiator, as it is the most likely root of overheating. Clean it if it is dirty to unclog the fins, and straighten them if they are bent. Refill the radiator with the recommended coolant to avoid this snag.

Clean a dirty air filter or replace it if you have had it for more than a year. Finally, work within the Gator 835M’s load limit, as overloading may lead to this engine trouble. 

Problematic Lift Mechanism

An amazing feature of the John Deere Gator 835M is its 45*52*12-inches cargo box, which you can convert into a flatbed. You can lift the cargo box to unload it, though sometimes the lift mechanism may fail. 

You will experience lifting problems if you overload the cargo box or if the motor clutch malfunctions. Loose connections in the lifting mechanism assembly can also bring up this problem.


Always operate within the UTV’s weight handling limits to avert issues with the lift mechanism. If you determine the problem to be the motor clutch, you should replace it or have a professional make the necessary repair. Tighten the connections in the assembly for the lifting mechanism to be fully functional.

Loose Windows and Doors

Similar to most UTVs, the rugged build of the 835M Gator results in loose windows and doors. They become noisy when you drive and may let in some air, which can be pretty uncomfortable. 

While this issue is hard to fix, you can reduce the impact by applying rubber seal cream on the door edges. It will prevent the entry of air and tone down the creaking noises.

Vibrates When Driving

Vibrations and shaking are the other John Deere Gator 835M problems you may encounter. The issue mainly originates from the suspension system. You may have low tire pressure, misaligned wheels, or hiccups such as loose connection and worn-out bearings. 

The UTV may vibrate at idle or running speeds if you have old or dirty spark plugs. If the issue originates from the engine, you will notice minor vibrations, though they can be severe, leading to stalling.

Problems from the suspension system cause shaking, especially at high speeds. Sometimes, the shaking is due to driving on rugged terrain.

How To Fix

You solve the vibrations on the John Deere 835 by focusing on the suspension unit, which is the primary culprit of a rough driving experience. Align the wheels and fix flat tires. Also, tighten the connections, and fix the bearings for a smooth drive. 

For minor vibrations, inspect the engine, as it may be a case of misfiring. Most of the time, you are dealing with dirty or faulty spark plugs. Replace the spark plugs to avoid this issue. Moreover, you should use high-quality fuel. Clean the fuel line if you have used the wrong or contaminated gas.

Issue With the Front Axle

John Deere 835M’s front axle may have leaky seals. The good news is this issue is rare. The leaks may be due to improper installation or seals worn out over time. You should not drive with leaky seals due to the risks involved.

You should replace the axle unit or make the proper repairs immediately after you notice the hitch. Let a professional take charge of the situation to prevent its recurrence. 

Final Thoughts

Highlighted are the regular John Deere Gator 835M problems and how to solve them. Most of these issues are minor, and you can fix them in your garage if you have mechanical experience. Let a professional take charge of complicated problems, such as a burst front axle and issues with the lift mechanism.