Some of the warning light symbols on tractor dashboards are pretty obscure, and that can leave you not knowing what to do. Should you come to a complete stop immediately, or finish your day and check it out when you have time? While dashboards for different models might have fewer indicator lights, the symbols should be consistent for all John Deere tractors.

John Deere Dash Lights and Symbols

John Deere Tractor Dash Schematic

Source: Deere.com

This is the dash of a large tractor with a cab, from the Operator’s Manual. As you can see, it’s loaded with lights and symbols. Here’s what each one means.

  1. If the red “STOP” light flashes, turn off the engine IMMEDIATELY. It indicates a serious malfunction. You should also see lights 7, 8, 9, or 10, which will tell you the specific malfunction.
  2. The yellow “CAUTION” light flashes to warn you when indicator lights 7, 8, 12, 13 or 14 come on. It can also mean that the handbrake is on while the engine is running and the gears are engaged. Indicator light 6 should also be on. Disengage the handbrake and both lights should turn off.
  3. This light flashes when something is wrong with an electrical component associated with the hydraulic system or transmission. You’ll need to bring the tractor in for service immediately.
  4. On tractors with AutoPowr transmission only, this light comes on when the key is turned one position to the right. Wait for the light to go out before starting the engine.
  5. Your hazard lights are on. It’s just like a car hazard light indicator.
  6. The handbrake is engaged and the engine is running. You may also hear a warning sound in some models.
  7. Coolant temperature is too high, which means your engine is in danger of overheating. Shut it down, cool it off, and take it in for service immediately. If the Stop light is also on, shut the engine off IMMEDIATELY. The situation is critical.
  8. 8.Your transmission/hydraulic oil temperature is too high. Take it in for service immediately. If the Stop light is also on, shut the engine off IMMEDIATELY. The situation is critical.
  9. Your transmission/hydraulic oil pressure is too low. Take it in for service immediately. If the Stop light is also on, shut the engine off IMMEDIATELY. The situation is critical.
  10. This is your engine oil pressure warning light. If it comes on while the engine is running, shut it off and use the oil dipstick to check the oil level. You may need to add more oil or get the oil changed. If the Stop light is also on, shut the engine off IMMEDIATELY. The situation is critical.
  11. This tells you when the headlights are on high beam. (just like a car)
  12. This is your alternator indicator light. If it comes on while the engine is running, you have a problem with your alternator. Check the alternator cables, and bring it in for service if necessary.
  13. It’s time to clean or replace your air cleaner element.
  14. This light means your transmission oil filter is clogged or the oil temperature is too low. Bring it in for service.
  15. 15.This light is found only on PowrQuad Plus, AutoQuad II or AutoPowr transmissions and means the transmission requires service.
  16. 16.Your turn-signal or hazard warning lights are on.
  17. The turn signal or hazard warning lights for your trailer are on.

NOTE: all the lights should come on when your start the tractor, and go off in one second. It’s just a bulb test to show you they are working.