International 574 — Common Issues and How to Spot Them


The International 574 tractor was initially launched in 1970 and has been a favorite among farmers since then. But despite being reasonably reliable, like all tractors, it isn’t perfect and has some issues.

If you are in the market to buy one, you’ll be happy to hear that we have put together some of the most common problems International 574 owners face. However, while we couldn’t fit every single way to fix them into a single article, we made sure to give you a couple of hints on how to spot them early. For more details regarding what you can do to repair those issues, we highly recommend getting an International 574 tractor manual — you’ll find everything you need in there.

The Engine Fails to Start or Stalls

In some older 574 tractors, the engine may become hard to start or stall right away. Unfortunately, this is a pretty common problem and there might be several underlying causes leading to this anomaly.

The first thing to check in this case is the battery. Aside from the fact that it could just be dead, loose battery terminals could cause a parasitic voltage drain and discharge it overnight. Take out your multimeter and test the battery. If the battery seems fine, the next step would be to test the starter.

Still not the problem? Take a look at the fuse box. A partially-seized starter can easily blow out fuses and relays.

Engine-Related Issues

Any machinery may develop internal complications with time, and the International 574 is no exception. Although most tractor engines are pretty durable and can last for years without any issue, we recommend inspecting them every 20-40 hours of use — keep in mind that we are talking about a tractor that’s more than four decades old by now. Better safe than sorry.

Make sure to inspect the spark plugs, as a defective one can lead to serious misfires and significantly higher fuel consumption. Several faulty spark plugs could also cause the condition described above and cause the engine to stall right after startup. Fortunately, replacing worn-out spark plugs is no rocket science and can be done easily using a trusted International 574 tractor manual and very basic tools. Looking for a repair manual for your tractor? Take a look at eManualOnline — their manuals will not only allow you to repair your own tractor but will also save you a bunch of money in the long run.

Another frequently reported issue is a clogged carburetor. And of course, the carburetor is essential for the proper functioning of the engine as it provides a constant supply of air and fuel mixture to the internal combustion chambers.

Watch out for symptoms such as engine backfires or overheating. Besides, a clogged carburetor can also significantly harm the performance and lead to black smoke coming out of your exhaust pipe.

Fuel System Issues

Fuel system-related issues are perhaps the most overlooked problems in an International 574 tractor. Owners often ignore warning signs such as low performance or stalling while driving, which could get quite serious if ignored for an extended period.

A damaged fuel control level can make it harder for the fuel to reach the engine and cause a delayed response when pressing the accelerator. Once again here, as the saying goes, “prevention is better than cure.”

Stiff Steering

The steering system on old International 574 tractors can also get stiffer with time. Initially, drivers might feel a slight hindrance when turning, quickly growing until the steering wheel becomes impossible to manage safely.

If you feel that the steering wheel becomes harder to turn, chances are that a defective power steering system is causing the trouble. A usual fix would be a simple steering fluid refill; however, a faulty power steering pump can also cause the same issue.

Apart from that, other culprits such as worn-out steering gear, steering racks, or tie rods can jeopardize your tractor’s steering system. A malfunctioning or gradually seizing component can also cause your tractor to pull to the side while driving.

Unfortunately, the 574’s steering system is made of several parts that can come into problems, and explaining how to test each one would make up for a really long article. For more detailed inspection procedures and step-by-step repair instructions, you’ll once again have to rely on a trustworthy International 574 tractor operator’s manual. They provide several tips and tricks to maintain your tractor’s steering system, including how to lubricate the steering linkage and refill the hydraulic fluid level.

Overheating Problem 

Make sure to look for leaking coolant hoses to avoid overheating issues. They are crucial in regulating the engine’s temperature and a leak can cause the coolant to ooze out before it reaches the engine.

Tractors are equipped with a fan to increase the airflow through the radiator and without it, the engine will start to heat up and eventually seize. Thus, make sure to regularly inspect your tractor’s coolant system for leaks and keep an eye on the water pump belt.

Old and Worn-Out Tires

Tractors tires can take a lot of abuse compared to standard car tires. They move over rough and sometimes rocky terrains and can develop cracks over time. Once the tires dry out, crop stalks can puncture them and cause slow leaks and flats. If you’ve ever been stuck with a tractor on a flat in the middle of a field, you know how inconvenient it might be so make sure to inspect your tires every week and adjust the air pressure as often as possible.

Another frequent problem is the tire developing dry rot. When the tractor is left idle for too long, the tires start to lose elasticity and may become brittle. Keep your tractor away from sunlight and store it in a cool dry garage when possible.

Last Words 

Repairing and maintaining a tractor isn’t as challenging as many people may think. In most cases, you can even do it yourself. Just make sure to get your hands on a quality International 574 tractor manual.

From recommended services and maintenance checklists to detailed troubleshooting and replacement procedures, a repair manual covers it all. And if you are like me, and more than ready to do some of the work yourself, a repair manual, a bit of patience and a basic tool set is all you need here to start saving on hefty labor costs and even costlier downtimes.

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