The Most Common Kubota Bx1880 Problems & How to Fix Them

One of the most versatile subcompact utility tractors around, the Kubota BX1880 is great for a wide range of different jobs: mowing lawns, landscaping, and clearing snow are just a few. Besides, it’s small enough to be helpful where space is tight but still large enough to get a lot done.

However, like any machine, it has its quirks. Sometimes you have hard times starting the engine, the steering jams without warning, the engine overheats at random, and other issues crop up.

That’s why we put together this list of common Kubota bx1880 problems you may encounter, along with the symptoms, causes, and of course, solutions to get you back up and running quickly once you have them.

Quick Table for Kubota BX1880 Problems, and Solutions

The chart below is an overview of the top five Kubota BX1880 problems, their causes, symptoms, and solutions.

1. Engine hard to start or won’t start? Allow for warm-up
? Fill the fuel tank with clean diesel
? Replace Faulty Fuel Filter
2. Engine Overheats? Seal/Replace the Radiator Cap
? Replace the Damaged Thermostat
? Ensure There’s Sufficient Coolant
? Evacuate the Reservoir
3. Insufficient Hydraulic Oil Pressure? Repair or Replace the Pump
? Fill Up the Hydraulics Tank
? Replace the Leaked Tubing Component
4. Steering Wheel is Difficult to Turn? Tighten the Pivot Bolt
? Use a High-Quality Power Steering Fluid
? Remove Air Bubbles from the Steering System
5. Battery Cannot Be Charged? Remove Rust and Corrosion
? Retighten or Replace the Alternator Belt
? Replace the Voltage Regulator

Kubota BX1880 Problems, Symptoms, and Solutions:

Let’s now learn about the most common Kubota bx1880 issues in-depth and how to resolve them.

Problem-1: Engine Won’t Start or Hard to Start

During cold weather or after storing for long periods, some Kubota BX machines may be hard to start. If a Kubota BX1880 engine has started with no problems in warm weather but won’t start in cold weather (or vice versa), consider checking these essential items.


Some of the common symptoms of a Kubota BX machine with trouble starting include the engine turning over slowly or not at all, the engine being sluggish when starting, and the engine not cranking over.


Several factors can cause a Kubota BX machine engine hard to start in cold weather or after being stored for a long time. One of the most common causes is a low fuel level in the tank. If there is not enough fuel in the tank, the engine may not have enough power to turn over.

Another common cause is a blockage in the fuel system. If there is a blockage in the tank, lines, filters, or injectors, the engine may not get the proper amount of fuel it needs to start. A lack of compression can also be a problem. If one or more cylinders do not have enough compression, the engine may not start at all.

Solution-1: Allow for Warm-Up

This is the immediate solution you’ll want to try before taking further steps. During cold weather, it’s common for these machines not to start immediately after sitting overnight. Allow up to ten minutes for warm-up before attempting starting procedures.

Solution-2: Fill the Fuel Tank with Clean Diesel

If the warming up doesn’t solve your problem, you should do a clean diesel refill to get your Kubota bx1880 up and running. Check the air filter and make sure it’s clean. Use a scope or camera to check for blockages in the fuel system. If found, clean it with a soft brush.

Next, perform a compression test to see adequate pressure in each cylinder. Then finally, fill the fuel tank with clean diesel fuel. Avoid overfilling. After the refill, replace and tighten the fuel tank cap securely.

Solution-3: Replace Faulty Fuel Filter

If the refill, too, fails to solve your problem, you probably have a faulty fuel filter with a flawed compression system. In that case, you may need to replace your fuel filter entirely; this will cost about $7 for a single unit and take just minutes to complete. You can find replacement units at most large hardware stores.

Problem-2: Engine Overheats

Because of Kubota bx1880’s compact design and lack of adequate cooling mechanisms, these engines can overheat at any time. For example, if you use your equipment on a scorching day or when you are constantly idling your engine (when cutting hay or other crops), you will experience overheating.


There are a few different symptoms of an overheating engine. The first and most apparent is steam coming from the engine. This usually means that your radiator hose has burst and the coolant inside is leaking.

Another symptom is a hot temperature gauge in the dashboard of your car. And if you notice the coolant reservoir or radiator is leaking or empty, this is another sign that your engine is overheating.


There are several possible causes of engine overheating. The most fatal one is a damaged thermostat. In contrast, the most commonly observed culprit is a radiator cap not sealing correctly. If the coolant level is low or the coolant is contaminated, this can also lead to an overheating engine.

Another common cause is air in the coolant system. If the radiator is clogged or has a leak, this can also result in an overheating engine. And finally, if the coolant temperature sensor is malfunctioning, this can cause the machine to heat up.

Solution-1: Seal/Replace the Radiator Cap

This is a no-brainer. Check the radiator cap and ensure it’s sealed tight.

Solution-2: Replace the Damaged Thermostat

In many cases, the thermostat remains closed during failures. As the engine overheats, the thermostat housing will leak coolant. The only option to solve this problem is to replace the thermostat altogether.

Solution-3: Ensure There’s Sufficient Coolant

The third option is to ensure enough coolant in the system to effectively cool the engine as it runs. If there isn’t enough coolant, add more and see if this solves the problem.

Solution-4: Evacuate the Reservoir

Air in the cooling system can cause hot spots, which lead to an overheated engine, so you’ll want to make sure that no air is present in your cooling system before using it after an extended period. If you’re going to do this yourself, you can empty and clean it thoroughly, then vacuum it with your home vacuum.

Problem-3: Insufficient Hydraulic Oil Pressure

Insufficient hydraulic oil pressure is a common problem experienced in Kubota mowers, and it typically points to a faulty hydraulic pump or internal leak. This happens when the oil pressure in the system falls below a certain level, usually due to an issue with your gauge or pump.


Insufficient hydraulic oil pressure is typically indicated by symptoms like loss of power to the hydraulic pump, inability to raise lift arms, and loss of power steering.


There can be several causes for insufficient hydraulic oil pressure, but the most common is usually an issue with the gauge or pump. Other causes can include a clogged filter, low oil level, a leak in the hydraulic line, a faulty pressure relief valve, or high temperature.

Solution-1: Repair or Replace the Pump

Firstly, this could be a problem with your actual pump. The suction line between the reservoir and the pump may be blocked. To check for this issue, you will need to remove the pump from your tractor and clean it out thoroughly. If this doesn’t solve the problem, you will have to replace your pump completely.

Solution-2: Fill Up the Hydraulics Tank

First, there could be low oil levels in the tractor. If this is the case, simply add more oil to your hydraulics tank and check if that solves the problem. This can also help solve overheating issues if there have been any.

Solution-3: Replace the Leaked Tubing Component

There could be a leak in the system. To check for this problem, you will have to take apart your hydraulic system and look for leaks throughout the tubing. If you find a leak, replace that section of tubing and check again.

You should also check the valves and cylinders for malfunction or leakage. Check the hoses for cracks or wear and replace them if necessary.

Problem-4: Steering Wheel is Difficult to Turn

A major complaint among the Kubota bx1880’s owners is that its steering wheel often becomes stiff and difficult to turn. This is generally caused by a worn-out steering shaft bushing. If you haven’t experienced this yet, you’re in luck! But if you have, don’t worry. It’s relatively easy to fix.


The symptom of this issue is obvious—you try to turn the steering, only to feel it jammed and slowly responding. If the internal problem is bad enough, you may not even budge it a bit, never mind accelerate.


The most common cause of a jammed steering wheel in Kubota bx1880 is a loosened pivot bolt within the steering shaft bushing.

However, this problem gets more complicated when the tractor encounters a power steering problem. The power steering pump may be low on fluid or leaking, or the filter clogged. In some cases, there could also be the presence of air bubbles, causing the steering system to lose power.

Solution-1: Tighten the Pivot Bolt

First, you should tighten the pivot bolt and see whether it fixes the steering problem. To do this, drive your machine to a solid surface and park it there. Turn off your engine, and then raise and support the front of your tractor with blocking or jack stands. Undo your nut on the pivot bolt and tighten it to 90 pounds-foot torque with an inch-pound torque wrench or torque wrench adapter.

Solution-2: Use a High-Quality Power Steering Fluid

Your second option is to inspect the power steering fluid in your Kubota bx1880 tractor. If there is not enough fluid or the liquid has become old and dense, that could cause problems turning the steering wheel. You will need to refill your power steering fluid with new, high-quality fluid.

Solution-3: Remove Air Bubbles from the Steering System

If this does not fix the problem, your next option would be to check for any leaks in the system that could be causing you to lose power steering fluid and any air bubbles in the system that could also cause difficulty turning.

To do this, open the bleed valve a bit and attempt to turn the steering wheel lock to lock. Then add fresh power steering fluid until there is no air left. Make one more turn of the steering wheel and check that the liquid is adequate before driving.

Problem-5: Battery Cannot Be Charged

When you’re unable to charge the Kubota bx1880 battery, it indicates there is no charging current flowing into the battery when you plug the charging lead into the tractor battery. The symptoms, causes, and remedies are listed below.


The first symptom of a dead battery or one unable to receive charging is loss of power when using a specific tool. If you notice that using your chainsaw drains too much power, there’s a good chance your battery has lost its ability to hold and store energy. Another sign of a bad battery is slow motor cranking.


The Kubota bx1880 battery won’t charge for several reasons. One may be a defective alternator or a faulty electrical connection. The alternator belt may also slip or fail to turn, leading to a lack of power. Corrosion on the battery terminals can also cause a weak electrical connection.

Lastly, the voltage regulator may not be functioning correctly, which would stop the battery from charging. Another possibility is that the battery is defective and unable to hold a charge.

Solution-1: Remove Rust and Corrosion

If your battery has trouble charging due to rust and corrosion, you should clean the terminals. There should be a red cable and black cable on the battery. You can remove them by loosening the nuts around them with an adjustable wrench. Once you do that, clean the battery terminals with a wire brush and then retighten them. Do not use any type of liquid cleaner.

Solution-2: Retighten or Replace the Alternator Belt

Check the alternator belt for tension and wear. A belt that is too loose, too tightened, or worn will not give the alternator enough power to properly charge the tractor’s battery. Replace the belt if needed. It’s always a good idea to replace the alternator belt after 2 years of use.

Solution-3: Replace the Voltage Regulator

The Kubota bx1880 has a voltage regulator with a built-in high charge rate and low charge rate. The high charge rate is only used to charge up the battery after depleting all power. And the low charge rate is the standard charge mode used when the tractor is not running.

You can test if your voltage regulator is working by charging your battery at the high charge rate using jumper cables from another vehicle. If your battery charges to total capacity, your voltage regulator needs to be replaced.


Below is a list of answers to questions frequently asked about Kubota bx1880 and related problems.

Q: What can I do to make my Kubota BX1880 engine last longer?

A: You can prolong the life of your Kubota BX1880 by doing a few simple things. First, change the oil every 50 hours. Second, make sure you use high-quality diesel fuel in your tractor. Third, keep the parking brake off when you’re not using the tractor.

Q: When I try to start my tractor, I hear a grinding noise, and then nothing happens. What to do?

A: This may be a loose belt or stuck clutch. Remove the belt and pull the clutch to see if it moves freely. If not, replace it with a new one.

Q: What to do when the backhoe loader’s brakes keep squeaking no matter how many times I oil them?

A: To fix this, jack up your vehicle and remove the wheel and wheel bearing on the left side of your tractor. After replacing the wheel bearing, check to ensure that your tires are properly balanced before reinstalling them.

Q: What do I do when the backhoe loader doesn’t start, even after replacing the starter and fuel filter?

A: If you have this problem, the key is likely not connecting to the ignition switch. You can fix this by filing down the key and checking to ensure it fits properly in the switch.

Q: Why is my tractor pulling to right or left?

A: It’s likely because of one of two things: the front axle needs to be adjusted, or maybe you have a puncture in a tire.

Q: Why my tractor hitch won’t drop or drop slowly?

A: It’s likely because you have a problem with the gear pump. If it’s cold, the gear pump can be slow to start. Try letting the tractor warm up a bit before using it. If it’s hot, the gear pump will overheat and need cooling. Let your tractor cool down in the shade for a few minutes. Also, check the oil level.


Hopefully, this article has shed some light on common Kubota BX1880 problems and how to fix them. Most of the issues can be repaired at home with a bit of mechanical knowledge, good tools, and shop equipment.

If not, we hope that you will be able to bring your tractor to a local repair shop that should be able to easily get it going again—without costing you an arm and a leg in the process.

If you have any additional questions, be sure to leave a comment, and we’ll get back to you.

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