Bobcat S185 Problems

Bobcat S185 is a 56hp, four cylinder oil cooled engine skid steer loader supplied by Bobcat. Mechanical elements are affected by operating conditions through wear and tear making Bobcat S185 loader like any other loader prone to various problems due to failure of its component parts. Some of the failures are man-made due to poor maintenance strategies and poor operator skills or knowledge.

Table of Contents

Starting Problems

Fuel shortages, insufficient oil, engine failure and blocked filters are some of the reasons why Bobcat S185 skid steer loaders experience starting problems. These should be treated as first line inspection points when facing starting up problems.

Engine Failure

Engines failure is mainly caused by malfunctioning mechanical components that need proper service to keep them efficient and functional. Poor engine service and use of wrong fuel and oil are the most likely causes of failures. Bobcat S185 engine should only be used with prescribed oil and fuel. Use of incorrect fuel and engine oil leads to starting problems.

Different engine oil have different properties and hence their application is also limited to specific engine. Use of wrong type oil may affect engine cooling and lubrication abilities causing wear and tear of engine components and high temperatures which weakens metal components causing fractures. High temperatures also affect seals resulting in leakages, crankshaft, bearings and pistons are also damaged by operating at higher temperatures than normal. Use supplier manual to ensure correct oil type is used to avoid problems in Bobcat S186 skid steer loader.

Spark plugs and ignition coils are also responsible for poor loader starting performance. These units should be checked for any faulty when experiencing loader starting problem. The spark plug may be burnt or corroded which requires replacement in either case. The ignition coil also may be broken or burnt and should be replaced. It is recommended always engage competent person in carrying out these replacements and always make reference to supplier manual.

Battery System Failure

The battery supplies voltage required for the starting process. It is also the power source for all the electrical functions of the loader. The battery system components including the battery, connecting cables and fuses also fail due to wear and tear. Failure of these components leads to starting problems in Bobcat S185 skid steer loader. Batteries failure is mainly caused by worn out or broken terminals and insufficient battery electrolyte which may be caused by leakages and excessive battery discharge leading to starting problems with Bobcat S185 loaders. Electrolyte should be checked and refilling done when levels are low as recommended by supplier. Also check the battery voltage using voltage test meter, recharge the battery or replace if the battery won’t accept charge. You may need to consult competent person to ensure any replacements are done correctly. Connecting cables also need to be inspected for broken or worn out sections. These all require replacements or rejoining and proper insulation to avoid short circuits. Broken cables do not allow current flow and therefore no power is availed to start the ignition process. Loose cable connections should be tightened.

Hydraulic Problems

Hydraulics uses incompressible fluid as energy medium. The main parts include hydraulic pump, filters and valves and cylinders or motors. Hydraulics is very important in loader function. Bobcat S185 uses a high flow engine that is capable of producing extra power enabling the loader to deliver excellent loading and stock piling abilities. Hydraulic components experience failure due to many factors including poor maintenance, harsh operating conditions and human factor. This cause Bobcat S185 loader to experience hydraulic related problems mainly power loss to perform stock piling and loading.

Loss of Hydraulic Power

The problem is caused by either failure of the hydraulic pump failure or leakage of hydraulic fluid. The pump supplies hydraulic fluid to all hydraulic actuators through pipes creating pressure which is transmitted equally to execute loader functions like loading and stock piling. If the pump unit fails, the pressure will not be enough to execute any function. Pumps require recommended service to keep them functional. If the pump is not working it should be taken for repairs or be replaced with a new unit if repairs do not guarantee a better life. Additionally, power loss is due to hydraulic fluid leakages. Leakages are caused by loose connections, broken or torn pipes and pump, seals and gaskets failure. Pipes and other hydraulic components should be checked for signs of leakages and necessary repairs or replacements done.

Cylinders Failure

Hydraulic cylinders including Bobcat S185 loader cylinders get stuck sometimes. The problem is caused by hydraulic valves failure operating in one direction. The valves will get stuck in opposite direction and thus will cause cylinders either to remain in their extended or retracted position. Hydraulic valves are affected by wear and tear and contamination. Valves should be periodically serviced as per supplier recommendation to avoid these problems. Additionally, hydraulic cylinders should be inspected for dents and deformations as these also cause piston movement difficult. Use of supplier manual is recommended to avoid Bobcat S185 cylinder problems.

Slow Piston Movement

The piston should move at its design speed so that work is done efficiently. If you notice a very slow piston movement, this may be a signal that one of the hydraulic system components has failed. Bobcat S185 loader encounters this problem when either the pump which supplies hydraulic fluid is faulty and thus fails to pump fluid efficiently or there is serious fluid leakages. As discussed earlier, pumps should be serviced as per recommendation. Malfunctioning pumps should be taken for repairs and or replaced to solve this problem with Bobcat S185 skid steer loader. All pipes and fittings should be inspected for leakages which also slows down piston movement.

Control Problem

This problem occurs when joystick controls for Bobcat loader are not responding to their directions. This may be a result of loose or disconnected steering or loader connections which should be reconnected or tightened. Also check the wires that connect the actuators and the hydraulic pump to the joystick. Make sure these are attached properly. If these measures do not work, replacement of the whole joystick is recommended.

Always remember that all loaders like other equipment requires service and proper operator skills to avoid the problems highlighted and as such operator training should be taken seriously.