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Discussion Starter #1
I am posting this information so that anyone researching a purchase of the 3038E can easily find this information.

My JD 3038e wouldn't start. After no luck trouble shooting I contacted my local JD dealer. They trouble shooted and came to the same conclusion. They had to take it into the shop, where they found that the "thermistor" was not operating. You can't just replace the thermistor and must replace the entire gauge cluster. they did so. Total bill over $600 including trailering, time and part. The part itself was over $300. I spoke to an engineer who designs gauge clusters for one of the suppliers. He told me a thermistor is basically a piece of wire that cost less than $1. he was surprised that they had to replace the entire gauge cluster to make the repair. I contacted JD Customer Service explaining that the tractor only had 73 hours on it. They informed me that in fact, the only way to repair the tractor was to replace the entire gauge cluster. Cost $308 in parts. They are sending me out a coupon for $100 that I can use towards the part. that helps a little bit. To me, it seems ludicrous that you have to buy $300 in parts to replace a $1 part. If you are looking at the JD 3038E or the JD 3032E, or any other JD product that uses this technology, I would recommend you not buy it. Just my .02.
 

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sorry for you troubles. I would guess that someone decided the rate of failure was small enough it made sense to build it that way. You however, have the luck of being on the wrong side of that curve. At least they tried to do something to help you out. I can't help but wonder if there were environmental conditions that attributed to the failure. I've been an electronics technician for 20 years, and I've only come across one thermistor failure. That one failure could be linked to extremely cold and wet weather.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
With only 73 hours on it wouldn't the tractor still be under warranty?
The tractor is 4 years old. I use it mainly to plow the drive in winter, and a bit to plant food plots. I was told it was no longer under warranty. As far as cold, water, etc. I store it in a covered unheated pole barn. In the winter, I install a home made cab that covers the gauge cluster and electronics. In the summer, I don't mess around with it in the rain. the only electronic related activity Is I put a new battery in in the fall. The battery was defective and failed after 1 month. I put another new battery in. I now wonder if the first battery failure is somehow related to this part.
 

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I suppose it's possible the battery had something to do with it. Like I said before, the only thermistor I ever saw fail was in 0 degree weather and slushy snow, with an 11000 btu ac unit blowing in a 10 foot "van", many moons ago in a far away land...
I saw an odd failure today, one I had not seen before, so it shows that even with years of experience new things still come up.
 

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The tractor is 4 years old. I use it mainly to plow the drive in winter, and a bit to plant food plots. I was told it was no longer under warranty. As far as cold, water, etc. I store it in a covered unheated pole barn. In the winter, I install a home made cab that covers the gauge cluster and electronics. In the summer, I don't mess around with it in the rain. the only electronic related activity Is I put a new battery in in the fall. The battery was defective and failed after 1 month. I put another new battery in. I now wonder if the first battery failure is somehow related to this part.
Just 73 hours in 4 years????
Are you taking the battery out during the NON-USE periods and trickle charging it???

Did you see any mice activity in your tractor???
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Just 73 hours in 4 years????
Are you taking the battery out during the NON-USE periods and trickle charging it???

Did you see any mice activity in your tractor???
Yep just 73 hours in 4 years. I use it primarily for snow removal in the winter. Never took it out of the pole barn in 2011-2012 Winter, so it got no hours. Nope, no mice related issues. Yes to the trickle charger. No to disconnecting the battery.
 

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Question: A thermistor measures temperature...what was the failed thermistor measuring the temperature of? Why is there one in the gauge cluster?


Any chance your dealer may have been telling you a story to up the repair bill and thus up their profit?
 

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He has another thread that gives some more detail here:
http://www.mytractorforum.com/showthread.php?t=267958
Apparently it's something more along the lines of a resistor wire that limits the current to the fuel solenoid.
A bypass could probably be rigged using a ballast resistor block and a toggle switch to operate the FSS-
 

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Thanks 4x4, I was unaware of that thread, but it still doesn't answer any questions.

A thermistor is a just a "special" resistor that changes resistance a lot with a small change in temperature. Read the resistance and know the temperature. I don't see how its connected with the fuel solenoid...unless the solenoid can overheat...and needs to be monitored..?

I'm pretty new to tractors, but not to thermistors!

From the other thread, It sounds as if the dealer isn't able to determine the problem, so they just said replace the whole gauge cluster. The route cause of the problem has not been found, so it cannot be attributed to the design of the tractor. In fact, at this point, what limited information we have, one could just as easily point the finger at the dealer for not providing adequate trouble shooting services.

Electrical problems can be a bear to fix in cars, so maybe they just decided it would be more cost effective to replace the gauge cluster than to track down the problem...

Doesn't add up to recommending people don't buy this tractor....at least not yet...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Revisiting my old thread and found Fiziksgeek's response. According to John Deere and the dealer, the thermistor is an integral part of the gauge cluster, therefore the entire gauge cluster has to be replaced when the thermistor fails. No one could give me a reason for the failure other than the part was defective from the factory.

My reasons for not recommending have to do with the cost of the repair. The gauge cluster itself was about $300. JD gave me about $100 towards the part. It did not include the labor or towing the tractor to the shop fr the repair. I also don't think a tractor that is kept in a pole barn should be having electronic problems when it only has 72 hours on it.

John Deere is supposed to be a premier product. But obviously, this was not well engineered. According to John Deere and the dealer there is no work around. If JD discontinues production of the part, you are basically screwed. I had two Jubilees. Over 50 years old. Don't think this tractor will be around that long.
 

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Thanks for the follow up...I too had forgotten about this thread.

Thinking more about it again, thermistors are also used to measure flow...so perhaps it's related to the fuel solenoid after all. The thermistor itself is unlikely to have failed (though possible) It's most likely a wiring problem.

I can understand your frustration in having a large repair bill for a what appears to be a trivial part. I'm still not convinced that a $200 (cost to you) repair on a ~$15K tractor....after 4 years, even with low hours equates to a poor quality machine.


Revisiting my old thread and found Fiziksgeek's response. According to John Deere and the dealer, the thermistor is an integral part of the gauge cluster, therefore the entire gauge cluster has to be replaced when the thermistor fails. No one could give me a reason for the failure other than the part was defective from the factory.

My reasons for not recommending have to do with the cost of the repair. The gauge cluster itself was about $300. JD gave me about $100 towards the part. It did not include the labor or towing the tractor to the shop fr the repair. I also don't think a tractor that is kept in a pole barn should be having electronic problems when it only has 72 hours on it.

John Deere is supposed to be a premier product. But obviously, this was not well engineered. According to John Deere and the dealer there is no work around. If JD discontinues production of the part, you are basically screwed. I had two Jubilees. Over 50 years old. Don't think this tractor will be around that long.
 

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Sorry to hear of your problems.
I see both sides and would probably be a bit aggrivated with the situation too.
A 4 year old tractor used that little should not have such and issue IMO. Easy to say we should not compare to older tractors or other makes but we all do. Of course they all will break or fail at some point and most will always be dissapointed. :dunno:

My Brother has a JD3320 with many HARD hours on it (600+). Never, ever garaged, always left outside year round (Cold New Hamshire) and has never failed to start and perform it's duties. He does leave a battery tender on it in cold season, and plug block heater when realy cold. Again has NEVER not started.

Hope the repair fixes it for good and you never have another issue. :fing32:

MU
 

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Are we sure JD makes the gauge cluster or is it outsourced along with the other useless junk on today's tractors?

Ronnie
 

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Are we sure JD makes the gauge cluster or is it outsourced along with the other useless junk on today's tractors?

Ronnie
I really don't know if that is relevant. If JD put the part in that is faulty, whether they made it or not and then DO NOT STAND behind the product, the OP is correct in that this does not reflect well on JD.:hide:

On my JD 2305 the only issues I have had have been improper set up by the dealer and that is why I do my own maintenance.
 

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I searched dtac cases for your tractor and do not see this problem at all, by model, description, or cluster part number. Dealers can ask for special allowance from Deere on certain stuff. All the service manager has to do is call his Deere Territory Service Manager ask talk it over. With the amount of hours on your tractor, I would have helped somehow. Sorry for you back luck with the tractor. We really don't have many of those in the shop.
 

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To say "don't buy a 3038e" based on a single electronic issue on a 4 year old tractor that sits is al ittle harsh don't you think? While it's inconvenient to trailer a tractor to the shop I don't think it's valid too add that in as well. Sorry to hear for your bad luck but certainly not fair to write a bad review. Kudos to Deere for giving you 100.00 on something out of warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
It has been awhile since I've been here. See a few new posts. Sorry, I have no idea where John Deere sources there parts. Am sure there are some Asian parts in there, if not the the whole machine.

As far as being harsh. No, I don't think it was harsh. Am not versed in electronics at all, but according to those I have spoken with, a thermistor is a relative cheap piece of wire. IMHO, to integrate that part into a larger piece of the tractor, the entire gauge cluster is ludicrous. I guess I would relate it to a cigarette lighter going out and having to replace the entire interior of the car. Not well engineered in my book.

I still have the tractor. Am starting to have battery problems again similar to just before the thermistor went out last time. Am hoping it is just a bad battery.
 

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Sorry to hear about your problems! Hope it's all taken care of. I'm surprised that JD didn't stand behind it.:dunno:

I guess this is kind of keeping with the thread. I work for a guy who has told me that Chevy made a car in the 80's or 90's, somewhere in there, can't remember the model either. He owned one of them for a while, and loved it because it never broke down. It had zero problems (well, maybe zero MAJOR problems). He said that they quit making them because they weren't ever in the shop. Who knows if it's true, but I wouldn't doubt it.:dunno:
 
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