Mahindra 2538 Check Engine Light and Other Questions

   / Mahindra 2538 Check Engine Light and Other Questions #1  


New member
Jul 2, 2024
Mahindra 2538
I just bought a Mahindra 2538 hst in an online auction recently, and it was just delivered yesterday. I noticed the Check Engine light is on.

I thought it might be because I found the plugs for the air intake indicator were unplugged. I also wondered if maybe the Check Engine light could be on because I bought it from Oklahoma, and the tractor is now at elevation at my house near Steamboat, CO (8500').

I tried plugging the wires back into the air intake indicator, but was unsure which prong the positive & negative wires were supposed to go to. I tried reconnecting them, and the Check light still displayed after turning the tractor back on. I tried swapping them, but still no luck.

Now, I'm trying the same thing, but disconnecting the black ground wire from the battery for ~10mins in an attempt to reset the ECU. If it doesn't work, I'll swap the sensor plugs again, then try disconnecting the ground wire from the battery again.

Additionally, on the left side of the tractor under the cab, it looks like I have a small leak. Anyone know what this is? I'm assuming it's my hydraulic filter & hydraulic system? Could that have anything to due with the Check light?

Other things to note are that the forward and reverse petals seem to be a bit sticky. I have to work the tractor back and forth a little with the pedals to get it from creeping forward or back.

The sub-gear shifted also seems to be extremely difficult to move. I can move it from Neutral to Low, but it's extremely difficult to move it anywhere else. On the dash, I'd expect a "N" light to display when I'm in Neutral, or any gear light to display on the dash to notify what gear I'm in, but it doesn't. I also don't see a light display for having the Parking Brake on, which I think is supposed to display based on the Owners Manual. I've gotten it to shift to High, which was pretty difficult, but never to Medium. Maybe related to the pedals?

The last question is, what does the switch do on the joystick? I can toggle it up or down, but not sure what it's doing.

Looking for some advice & guidance. I'm new to tractors, and live in the middle of nowhere. The closest dealer is 3 hours away, and I'm getting very little help, if any, from calling Mahindra directly, or the only Mahindra dealer in CO.


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   / Mahindra 2538 Check Engine Light and Other Questions #2  
Been there...Go Slow and easy...most issues , except for the leak, are getting used to the hydraulics - Do a Mahindra 2538 search on this site....
   / Mahindra 2538 Check Engine Light and Other Questions #3  
I've had my 2538 for almost 8 years now. Havne't had any issues at all.

The F/R "creep" is inherent on this model. Just tap the other pedal to get it to "neutral" (stand still). I'd also get under the floorboard and lubricate the linkage for the pedals, and check for any rubbing against hydraulic lines. (I recently discovered my linkage rubbing on a line. Just moved and secured the line with a zip tie)

From your pics it appears your hydraulic filter is loose. Might have a bad gasket, maybe just loose. Remove the filter and check the gasket for damage. Or...get a new filter (Wix 51586) and replace it. While you're there, check the lines to see if any of those fittings are loose too.

Changing gear ranges (L-M-H) is always a b!tch. I still have trouble with mine. Check under your cab, where the shifter connects to make sure that bolt & Nut are secure. The looser they are, the harder it is to shift. (if you move the tractor slightly forward/backward to relieve pressure off the tranny, that sometimes helps)

FWIW, medium on the gear range will do almost anything you want. I leave mine there 90%+ of the time. Only use High range for extended road travel, and never use 4WD in high. I use L range only when doing severe loader work.

I don't have a cab version, but normally the button on your (joystick/shifter???) is for a 3rd function hydraulic implement like a grapple on the FEL (front end loader).

I don't have a parking brake light on my dash either. Or a Neutral light.

Pull your oil dipstick and look at the oil on it. Is it "clear" or black? If it's clear, it's been changed recently. There is NO dipstick for the hydraulic oil tank in the rear. If you look at the 3 pt hitch top link on your tractor and down to the left, you'll see a 1" cap. That is where hyd oil gets filled. Down and to the right of your PTO shield, there is a small sight glass. That is to check your hyd oil level. Fluid should be at or above the red dot in the center.

As far as your check engine light. You're already doing what I would have suggested by disconnecting the ground from the battery. Also check your diesel fill cap to make sure it's breathing hole isn't plugged up. See if one of your neighbors have a OBD port reader. That would tell you what the trouble code is, and if it's serious. It might be you need to have the ECM updated. (depending on the year of manufacture) Ask some of your neighbors if they know of a traveling tractor mechanic in your area.

What year is your tractor? How many hours on your machine? Has it had regular service like changing of oil, hydraulic oil, coolant, greased, etc?

Feel free to post more questions and updates here. I don't think you can send anyone a private message until you have 5-10 posts (not sure about that) You can try to PM me if you want with additional questions. FYI, there aren't a lot of posts of trouble on the 2538 on this board, because it's rare they have problems. (biggest complaint is the "creep")
   / Mahindra 2538 Check Engine Light and Other Questions
  • Thread Starter
@duffer Big thanks for the in depth reply. All of that makes sense.

I took the grease gun to all the grease points the other day, and I think it may have helped the pedals a little bit. All of the fluids I've checked looked like they were freshly replaced very recently.

I did have a neighbor come by with a filter wrench yesterday, and we tried tightening that hydraulic oil filter. We couldn't get it to move, so my best guess is that it was actually overtightened, and faulted the gasket or o ring or whatever is in there. I'm planning to leave it as is for now, and just keep an eye on the hydraulic oil gauge by the PTO. As of now, it's clean, and filled all the way.

Confirmed that the switch on the joystick is definitely for the extra hydraulic lines for a 3rd function hyd implement.

I bought an OBD II from O'reillys, and it failed. I came on here and found out that people have had luck with the ELM327 OBD II, so I went ahead and ordered that. Planning to get that hooked up as soon as it arrives.

I joined a few Mahindra Facebook groups, and brought up the same question(s) about the Check light. Since there aren't any noticeable performance issues that I can recognize, some folks recommended I continue my last few troubleshooting steps, and if that doesn't get the light to turn off, then to hell with it -- ignore it. 😂

My last lingering thought of reasoning behind the Check light is because the start-up safety precaution steps likely weren't taken when the delivery driver picked it up/dropped it off. I believe he started the tractor up in Low, and not in Neutral. From reading the manual, I believe that has potential to trigger the Check light. However, if that really is the cause, I'm surprised that the disconnect of the battery wouldn't have resolved that (assuming I've been starting the tractor up properly)
   / Mahindra 2538 Check Engine Light and Other Questions #5  
Don't want to rain on your parade, but starting up in L, or M, or H won't trigger the engine light. I NEVER start mine in neutral. I'm not even sure I HAVE a neutral setting on the range lever.
   / Mahindra 2538 Check Engine Light and Other Questions
  • Thread Starter
@duffer lol dang. Another theory out the door.

I just got my ELM327 OBDII scanner and hooked it up. I used the OBD Auto Doctor app (I have an iPhone / iOS, so I can't use Torque, which is the more common one I see online).

It's actually telling me the Check Engine light is not on... Am I misinterpreting the light on my dash? When I turn the key On, before starting the ignition, I do see the MIL light, CHK ENG, and a few others that all disappear after I start the ignition. However, the CHK ENG is the one that stays on, not the red MIL. Here's some diagnostic pics. Any advice, or anything that stands out?
449769996_8614270731921096_4489385661920379865_n (1).jpg
   / Mahindra 2538 Check Engine Light and Other Questions #7  
It looks like on your OBD reader you have the opportunity to "reset" the trouble codes. I read that as an opportunity to clear them. It could be that the code that triggered the Chk Eng lite is no longer valid (kind of says that on your OBD screen).

Try erasing the codes. Shut down the tractor, let it set for a couple of minutes and then restart and see if the Chk Eng lite goes out.
   / Mahindra 2538 Check Engine Light and Other Questions
  • Thread Starter
@duffer I ended up trying a different app. I wasn't believing the one that I provided the first screenshots from. I tried a new one, and it returned a handful of codes. I cleared them, let it sit for a little, and wanted to see what codes would come back after the reset.

The 2 codes I got were:

I found a Mahindra PDF loaded with what all the OBD codes mean for Mahindra, since they apparently don't align with the standard OBD codes.


I called a Mahindra dealership to confirm that the descriptions for those codes match what they saw in their manual.

I'm kinda thinking there must be a bad wire somewhere, and there isn't an actual urgent issue. Any opinions from your end?
   / Mahindra 2538 Check Engine Light and Other Questions #9  
Yeah, I agree. Check your wire(s) from the instrument cluster to the coolant sending unit and see if you have continuity. If not, that could be your problem for the P1751.

Not sure what the P1606 is for. Fuel? Hydraulic pressure? Coolant? Did the dealer give you any hints?
   / Mahindra 2538 Check Engine Light and Other Questions #10  
Found this in the diagnostic manual:

The metering unit is used for compressing the fuel at high pressure and sending
it at pressurized stage towards the rail, which is controlled by ECU.
Possible Causes
• Fuel leaking through PLV
• Rail pressure sensor failure (rail pressure unit failure)
• Pump metering unit failure
• Internal leakage in the high pressure pump
• Injector wear is high
• Injector nozzle plunger is stuck in open position.
DTC Information
DTC Reaction
• The rail pressure line get damaged with warning light in cluster.
Lamp Status
The check engine (CHK ENG) lamp in the instrument cluster glows continuously.