login_bg login_button

Troubleshooting: Hydraulic Pump Won’t Turn

SureFire Ag PumpRight hydraulic pump

Help! My hydraulic pump won’t turn. If you find yourself in this situation, the SureFire Ag support team is here to help.

There are two components involved in making the hydraulic pump run—hydraulic and electric. There must be hydraulic oil going through the valve block to turn the hydraulic motor to turn the pump. In normal application mode, the PWM signal from the controller energizes the solenoid on the valve block. This causes the proportional valve that is located inside the solenoid to open, allowing hydraulic oil to flow, which turns the pump. If the pump is not turning, we must determine which part of the system is not functioning as it should. Use this guide to help you troubleshoot and check for issues. Refer to the manuals for each controller at the end of the blog for further help.

Do you have hydraulic flow at the pump? Here’s how to check:

  • Turn the hydraulics off in the cab. Go to the SureFire PWM Valve on the pump and use the manual override (red knob) on top of the electric coil to manually open the valve (Manual Override UP = valve fully open). Push down on the red knob and turn ½ turn CCW. The red knob should pop up slightly. (There may be dirt in here that needs to be cleaned out before you can push and turn the red knob to open the valve). Open the gray recirculation valve knob.
  • In the cab, turn the hydraulics down low. Turn hydraulics on. Pump should turn. Slowly increase hydraulic flow. The pump should speed up. (This would be a good time to have a Pump RPM sensor such as is available on the JDRC 2000.)
  • If the pump does not turn, try the hydraulic lever in the opposite direction.
  • If the pump does not turn, there is a hydraulic issue that must be corrected.
  • If the pump does turn, the hydraulic side is working, and we need to check the electric side.
  • Close the manual override (push the red knob down, turn ½ turn CW to lock). Close the gray recirculation knob.

Please Note: In an emergency you can use this manual over-ride to run the system in a “Limp Home” mode to finish out the day. Pop up the manual override, start driving to apply, and adjust the pump output with the hydraulic control in the cab so it matches your rate fairly well. You may be able to run awhile until you can get the repair parts needed.

Do you have a PWM signal and is it opening the hydraulic valve?

In this step, it is important to know where you can see the PWM Duty Cycle on your display.  You can find it here:

JD—Diagnostics > Readings > Delivery System.
JDRC 2000—Put in on the Run Page in Display Settings > DC%.
Trimble—Field-IQ > Diagnostics > Sensor tab.
Ag Leader—Device Information Button in top right corner > DC Liquid > Diagnostics.

  • Start the system in Manual mode. On a JD Rate Controller, this could be Section Test. On the JDRC 2000, you can run in Manual mode with a Test Speed or run it from the Calibrate PWM Limits test screen. Trimble can be run from the Field-IQ > Diagnostics screen. Press and hold the + button or Increase button for 8-10 seconds to increase the PWM Duty Cycle.
  • Hold a paper clip or other light metal object close to the coil on the hydraulic valve. You should feel a magnetic pull. If magnetism is felt, you can remove the electromagnetic solenoid and proportional valve to see if the valve moves as the PWM Duty Cycle is increased.
  • Unplug the PWM harness at the hydraulic valve. With a voltmeter, check the voltage on this harness as the pump is commanded to speed up. This voltage should be between 4 and 12 volts (12+ volts at 100% Duty Cycle). Verify the PWM Duty Cycle shown on the screen.
  • If voltage is not present, go back to the next connector closer to the controller and check the voltage between the PWM pins there. See the harness drawing for your harness. This process may identify a harness problem. The last PWM voltage check would be at the pins coming out of the control module.

For more specific information regarding your controller, please click on the link below to see the pump troubleshooting section for each:

For complete product information and set-up, please refer to the product manual for your system. Manuals for each SureFire Ag product can be found on the Support Page. If further issues persist, please do not hesitate to contact us, we’re here to help and happy to do so!

Stay tuned! We’ll have more helpful pre-season prep tips and ideas from the SureFire Ag team on the blog and the SureFire Ag Facebook page.