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How to Tell if a Tractor Is Diesel or Gas: 5 Simple Tips


Diesel or gas. How to tell which type of fuel a tractor uses.

Tractors are heavy and expensive machines. Purchasing a tractor is a huge financial decision and investment. Before fueling your tractor, it is important to make sure you are using the proper fuel. Putting in the wrong fuel can cause damage to your tractor.

There are five simple steps you can use to properly identify what type of fuel to use in your tractor.

1. Check for a Label near the Fuel Cap

One of the easiest ways to check what fuel your machine requires is by looking for a label near the fuel cap.

The label you are looking for should read something similar to “Unleaded Gasoline Only” or “Diesel Fuel Only”.
*Note that different companies and vehicles may use similar but different wording. For example, on my mother-in-law’s Kubota tractor, the Diesel indicator is simply an outline of a gas pump with a “D” on it:

Diesel fuel is required for this tractor as indicated by the

This label can easily be peeled off or removed, so if you do not see it anywhere near or inside the fuel door, continue reading to learn where else to check.

Bonus Tip: The fuel cap itself may actually indicate the type of fuel that is required.

2. Check on the Display Screen

On most modern tractors, a display screen of sorts is located near the driver so that it can be easily referred to. On this display screen, you should be able to identify what type of fuel to use. If your display screen does show this information, it will be seen when the tractor is in a parked position and turned on. You will then be able to locate and identify which fuel to use.

If you are looking on the display screen and you cannot see where it says what fuel to use on your tractor, you can look around the display screen. Unlike cars, tractors often have multiple screens, buttons, and levers to understand. The correct fuel to use may be displayed somewhere you would not expect. Thoroughly look through all the mechanics on your tractor to ensure did not overlook anything.

If your tractor does not have a display screen or if the fuel information is not displayed here, continue reading to learn where else you can check to ensure you are fueling your tractor properly.

3. Read The Owner’s Manual

Locate the dusty and, most likely, never opened owner’s manual and turn to where it will directly tell you what type of fuel you should be filling your tractor with.

If you are having difficulty finding where in the manual it tells you about the fuel to use, look under “engine” or “vehicle build/model.” Titles similar to this will often tell you what type of engine your tractor is equipped with and what fuel to use for it to run smoothly.

If you have purchased, or have been given a second-hand tractor, the owner’s manual may have been lost. Or maybe you found the owner’s manual but it does not specify what fuel to use. If this is the case, do not stress, there are still other ways for you to identify what engine type you have.

4. Call the Tractor’s Manufacturer

This is a sure way to find the correct answer. If you have access to the owner’s manual, check in the first couple of pages for a “customer support” number to call. If you don’t have access to the owner’s manual or it does not give a number to call, search on the internet the company of your tractor and their customer support phone number.

When calling the manufacturer, make sure that you have the exact model of your tractor. This will help the employee on the phone to give the correct information for your specific tractor.

Do you hate calling companies? Or maybe the wait time is too long for your time crunch? In that case, continue on to the last tip to learn what you can do to quickly find the correct answer without calling the manufacturer.

5. Research Your Specific Tractor

This may be the first step you have chosen to go to because in some cases, this is the quickest and most accurate way to find the information you are looking for. There are a couple of different ways you can research to find this information.

Go to the Manufacturer/ Company Website

If you can find a company website, you should begin by going to the “search bar” and looking up your type of tractor. If they do not have a search bar on their website, you can still find your tractor by locating where they have organized their tractors. Locate the one you own and look for the details or specifics. A manufacturer/company website should have this information.

Search for the Details and Specifics of Your Tractor

Sometimes it can be difficult to navigate through manufacturer/company websites. If this is the case for you, the fastest way for you to find the information you are looking for is by directly searching the internet for your tractor’s details and specifics.

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This may be displayed on different sites aside from the company’s. Often websites and side companies that sell tractors and other vehicles will have this information. You will most likely be able to find what fuel to use either directly written as a detail or you can look at the tractor’s engine type. This should tell you what engine you have and the corresponding fuel to use.

Search For an Online Owner’s Manual

If you were unable to locate your owner’s manual, this is another way to not only find what fuel to use, but other useful information the owner’s manual offers. You need to make sure when you search for the owner’s manual that you use the specific name of your tractor. Owner’s manuals found online will most likely be available to you through a PDF that you can download onto your computer.

eManualOnline provides descriptive, affordable and convenient service and repair manuals for cars, trucks, tractors, motorcycles, and more. Download one today.Opens in a new tab. (link to eManual Online).

Paul Brown

Paul has a two-acre yard on red clay soil in Southeast Texas. He knows exactly what the challenges are to nurturing a thriving yard in difficult soil. He takes a practical approach to yard improvement and enjoys putting best practices and “golden rules of lawn care” to the test. Click here for Paul’s author page

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