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How to Start a John Deere Gator

Updated February 21, 2017

"A golf cart on steroids" is a good description of the John Deere Corporation's Gator product line. Gators are off-road utility vehicles designed to assist farmers and ranchers complete their daily activities. The all-terrain vehicle has found favour with hunters because -- unlike a four-wheeler ATV -- it can transport more than one person and has a small pickup type bed to carry supplies and kills. The Gator is powered by gas or electricity depending on the version you buy, and options include two, four or six-wheel drive.

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  1. Sit in the seat and insert the key into the ignition switch on the dashboard.

  2. Unlock the parking brake by depressing the brake pedal, pulling up on the parking brake lever to the right of the seat and pushing the button on the top of the lever. Lower the parking brake lever to complete the brake's release.

  3. Place the vehicle in neutral by moving the gearshift lever to "N."

  4. Turn the key to the "run" position to check the battery discharge, oil pressure, temperature of the coolant and the engine preheat indicator lights. Leave the key in the run position for up to eight seconds to allow the engine to reach operating temperature.

  5. Wait for the coolant and preheat lights to go off and turn the key to the "start" position.

  6. Release the key after the engine starts.

  7. Unplug the charging cord from the vehicle.

  8. Sit in the seat and turn the key to the "1" position. This starts the Gator's engine.

  9. Move the direction lever to the position you want to travel. This lever is between the seats, under the parking brake and has three positions, "Forward," Neutral" and "Reverse." Push the lever down to go forward.

  10. Release the parking brake by pressing the brake pedal all the way down.

  11. Press the accelerator to control movement.

  12. Warning

    Do not attempt to start a Gator until you are in the driver's seat. If the gas engine does not start immediately, wait two minutes before you try to start it again. In very cold weather, try three times -- waiting two minutes after each try -- and wait five minutes before you try again. Always allow the engine to warm up before you run the vehicle at full speed or under a load.

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About the Author

Specializing in business and finance, Lee Nichols began writing in 2002. Nichols holds a Bachelor of Arts in Web and Graphic Design and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Mississippi.

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