How to Troubleshoot Kubota Diesel Motors

Written by ross glyn
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How to Troubleshoot Kubota Diesel Motors
You can find Kubota motors in tractors, among other applications. (tractor image by Alison Bowden from

You can find Kubota motors in many applications, from tractors to generators. Though these diesel engines run more efficiently than gas engines, they can still succumb to their share of problems. A diesel motor operates by ignition compression, which makes the engine run hot. Whether a problem occurs with the glow plugs or a motor that has locked up, follow a few basic troubleshooting steps to attempt to diagnose, and possibly remedy, the issue on your own before calling in a mechanic.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Small wire brush
  • Pocketknife

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  1. 1

    Inspect the battery, battery cables and terminals for any corrosion or damage. Remove the negative (-) , or ground, cable first. Move it away from the battery, then remove the positive (+) cable. Clean the battery terminal and cables with a small wire brush or even a pocketknife. Reattach the cables to the battery, connecting the positive cable first. Do not allow the two cables to touch. Replace any damaged cables.

  2. 2

    Drain the fuel tank if you suspect gas might have entered the system. Lean close and sniff the fuel tank opening; usually, the odour of gas in the tank will be readily apparent. Fill the tank with diesel fuel.

  3. 3

    Manually turn the engine over by hand if you suspect water may have entered the system. This can instigate a "hydraulic" lock and cause the engine to lock up. Remove the glow plugs, and turn the engine over manually, which should expel any water from the system. Replace the glow plugs, and change the oil and oil filter. Start the motor. If it runs, change the oil twice again at one-hour intervals.

  4. 4

    Inspect the fuel injection lines for any damage or leakage if the motor has problems starting. Check that all the connections are tight and free of leaks. Wipe clean the fuel nozzle, and have it replaced if necessary.

  5. 5

    Check whether the glow plugs remain in good working order. Remove the glow plugs, and hook the wires to the battery. Place the negative wire on the body and the positive cable on the connection side. They should glow red; if they do not, replace them. Use caution when handling the plugs, as they become hot.

  6. 6

    Clean the radiator if the motor is overheating or if you are working in a dry and dusty area. Blow through the radiator fins with compressed air to clean. Do not flatten the fins when blowing. Check that enough coolant remains in the radiator; fill it if necessary.

  7. 7

    Flush the fuel supply lines if the engine is not revving up. Replace them if necessary.

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