Can You Jumpstart A John Deere Gator?

John Deere Gators are a lot of fun to drive for the whole family. They are fantastic utility vehicles suited to work around the farm, construction site, golf courses, and even military applications. 

You can jump-start all John Deere Gator gas and diesel models. The battery is accessed directly beneath the front passenger seat in the work and turf models. For the full-sized 835M and R models, a positive battery connector and a ground point are located next to the air cleaner.  

Diesel and gas engine utility vehicles have a battery to start the engine. 

Batteries, however, don’t last forever and sometimes lose power and die. When this happens to your beloved UTV, read on to learn if you can jump-start your John Deere Gator.

Can You Jump Start A John Deere Gator?

John Deere first released the Gator Utility vehicle in 1987 as a five-wheeled vehicle. As the Gators are smaller than a truck and more economical to run, the all-terrain utility vehicles meant that many pack horses could finally retire from active duty.

In 1992 the four-wheel and six-wheel utility vehicles were released and had regularly been updated. 

The current top-of-the-range John Deere offers a wide range of Utility Vehicles, with top of the range model being XUV 835 R.

One thing that all the John Deere utility vehicles have in common is that they all use a battery. Whether an electric TE model utility vehicle, gas-powered or diesel, they won’t get out of the starting blocks without a charged battery.

Jump-starting gasoline and diesel vehicles, including John Deere Gators, is much easier than hauling out the battery, connecting a charger, and then waiting hours for the battery to charge. 

Diesel- and Gas-powered utility vehicles are essentially not much different from jump-starting a car. 

Jump Starting A Gas Or Diesel John Deere Gator

The biggest challenge, however, is to access the battery. We’ll walk you through on how to access the battery below.

Work Series And Turf Gators

The TX (4×2) HPX, TS, TH (6×4) work series Gators and Turf Series, as the name implies, are the workhorses of the Gator family. They’re available in 2WD, 4WD, and 6-wheel designs. 

More often than not, open-topped and open-sided, and should you select the option, they have a roof.  

Jump-starting a vehicle using jumper cables running from the battery of another vehicle is a popular way of boosting a dead battery to start a vehicle’s engine. 

You can jump-start a diesel or gas Gator from another vehicle’s battery if the host vehicle uses a 12-volt battery.

Tips for Jumpstarting A John Deere Gator

The Work Series and Turf Gators batteries are under the front passenger seat. Follow these steps to jump-start your Gator.

You’ll need a running vehicle and jumper lead:

  • Tilt the Gator’s seat all the way forward on its hinge. The battery and the positive and negative battery terminals to which the jumper lead clamps attach will be visible.
  • Tilt the red protective cover away from the positive terminal so the terminal is exposed.
  • Park the donor vehicle close to the Gator so the jumper leads can reach both batteries without tension.
  • Make sure that the Gator and donor vehicles ignition switches are in the off position, and connect the jumper leads.
  • Start by connecting the positive and negative jumper lead clamps to the Gators battery terminals on one side of the leads. Red to positive and black to negative. Ensure the clamps on the other end of the jumper leads don’t touch each other during the process.
  • On the other end of the jumper lead, attach the positive jumper cables terminal to the donor car’s positive battery terminal. 
  • Next, connect the remaining negative jumper lead clamp to the donor vehicle’s grounding point (not the battery’s negative terminal). A suitable grounding point can be an engine bracket, the hood latch, or front shock absorber mounting bolts. 
  • Leave the terminals attached for about three minutes without starting the donor car’s engine.
  • The Gator should now be ready to start. 
  • When the Gator starts, disconnect the jumper leads from the donor car’s battery starting with the negative terminal first, then the positive. Then remove the clamps from the Gators battery.  

Safety Tips

Below are a few safety tips to adhere to when Jump starting your Gator from a car.

  1. The average car battery produces eighty or more amps, while the Gator only produces thirty-five. Therefore, leaving the donor car’s engine turned off while starting the Gator prevents a higher voltage from the donor’s alternator from surging through the Gator’s electrical system.
  2. Secondly, connecting the negative jumper lead to a grounding point on a donor vehicle to avoid the inevitable sparks caused by connecting the cables to the battery, away from the battery.

Lead acid batteries emit flammable gasses as a natural by-product while working. Creating sparks on the battery can, in extreme cases, ignite this gas, causing the battery to explode. 

Connecting the negative lead to the ground (negative) well away from the battery keeps any parks away from the battery.

Lastly, jump-starting a 12-volt Gator using a 24-volt battery, such as those found in dual-battery trucks or tractors, can cause permanent damage. 

When a circuit is overwhelmed by too much current, the wiring and components can overheat, melt, spark and spark or catch fire.

Jumping Starting An Electric John Deere Gator

John Deere, of course, offers the electric TE series Gator which falls into the work and turf Gator category. 

The TE series Gator is powered by a motor that derives its power from eight twelve-volt batteries connected four in series and two banks of four in parallel, delivering forty-eight volts.

When the TE series batteries are drained or dead, the batteries will require charging via the standard charging port. 

Being a forty-eight-volt system in the Gator means that a typical car won’t generate enough voltage or amperage to jump-start the Gator.

Jumping Starting The XUV 835 R John Deere Gator

The John Deere XUV 835 R is the top of the range full sized XUV in the lineup. The 835R offers car-like features such as padded cloth seats and an upholstered beige interior. 

It features a cab with an air-conditioning system offering heating and cooling, power steering, and accessories. 

The 835R series is only available in gas or diesel versions. You can access the XUV’s battery underneath the vehicle. It is accessed by removing the panel on the right-hand side of the vehicle directly beneath the air cleaner. 

This video will walk you through on how to remove the battery on the John Deere XUV 835R.

Eight screws hold the panel in place. Once removed, the battery becomes visible. 

However, the battery terminals are hidden within the battery cage, making it impossible to jump-start the Gator by connecting the jumper leads directly to the battery.

To solve the battery access issue, Jon Deere has placed a positive battery cable connector (which has a red cover) and a grounding pin into the recess below the seat, next to the air cleaner. Behind the cover in the 4 o’clock position from the air cleaner.

When needing to jump-start the Gator, connect the jumper leads to the red positive terminal connector and the negative lead to the provided grounding pin instead of connecting the leads to the battery. 

The jump-starting process remains the same, as explained above. 

The remote charging points save the battery from having to be removed when needing to be re-charged. 

The battery access points also serve as charging points for a battery booster pack and a regular charger should the battery be placed on maintenance charge for long periods. 

Final Word

Knowing how to jump-start a John Deere Gator is essential in case you ever have trouble starting it. For most models, the same process of connecting jumper leads applies; however, for the electric TE series and XUV 835 R Gator, special charging points have been provided for easy access.

When jumpstarting any vehicle, safety should be your primary concern. 

Make sure to observe all safety precautions and never attempt to jump-start the vehicle if you are not experienced in doing so.

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