Bobcat is a well-known American company known for high-end skid steers as well as other farming and construction equipment.
The vehicles and machineries are integrated with advanced components and systems to offer smooth tilting and landscaping. However, the issues with auxiliary hydraulics are extremely common but can be challenging to fix.
This is because the hydraulic system consists of multiple components, such as actuators, sump, pump, valves, and motor, which makes it challenging to identify the root cause. However, there are some methods that you can try to optimize the auxiliary hydraulics!
How To Fix Bobcat Auxiliary Hydraulics Not Working
- Bad Control Valve
The hydraulic system is integrated with the control valves that help direct the flow of fluid throughout the hydraulic system. It is important for regulating the flow rate of the hydraulic circuit, particularly in the cylinders and motors. As a result, it helps regulate the speed of these components.
This is why a damaged control valve can shut down the skid steer’s hydraulic system. In the majority of cases, the cold fluid leakage in the valve is the primary culprit, so keep an eye for the leaks. In addition, you need to check for the electric valve systems to make sure they are operating normally.
Secondly, you need to look for the magnetic coil. This is because it is controlled by the direction valve and is responsible for adjusting, opening, or closing the fuel flow.
So, when the magnetic coil is damaged, the fuel flow will be hindered, resulting in operational errors. In case the magnetic coil has worn out, replacing it will optimize the functionality.
The third point is to check the plunger, which is also known as a piston. It is actuated by the hydraulic drive and creates the reciprocating motion along the axis, which builds pressure to force the fuel through the system.
Having said that, the plunger tends to get stuck, which leads to mechanical errors and failure to operate. So, it’s recommended that you fix the plunger and keep it lubricated. It is important to check all these components because they are connected to the control valve.
- Check Alternator
An alternator is an integral part of the Bobcat skid steer since it transforms the chemical energy into electrical energy for powering the electrical components.
However, when the alternator stops working, the coils won’t be powered up, resulting in hydraulic failure. First of all, you need to ensure that the alternator is properly charging, and if it’s charging, you must restart it.
On the other hand, if the alternator is not charging, it’s likely that the alternator or its carbon brushes are damaged. So, it’s recommended that you replace the alternator to use the hydraulics.
- Checking Wires and Power Connections
Wiring and cables are an important part of Bobcat skid steers as they connect the internal components of the skid steer, including the electrical systems and hydraulics. It’s evident that damaged wires and power connections can result in functionality errors in the hydraulics system.
It is suggested that you inspect the wiring system and make sure the cables are not frayed or worn out. However, you can also hire a mechanic to inspect the wiring system to prevent electrocution or further damage.
- Accumulator Valve
The accumulator valves are integrated into the circuit for releasing pressure when it’s needed as it is important for protecting the system. However, when the accumulator valves stop working, excess pressure builds up, which results in the failure of the hydraulic system.
In addition, if the valve is left open, the oil flows through the tank, which generates excess heat.
For this reason, we recommend that you check the case drain and suction lines for excess heat buildup.
It’s best that you change the accumulator valve to make sure it closes down properly; the opening and closure are impacted if the valve is contaminated or worn out. This is because proper closure of the valve normalizes the pressure level.
The cavitation in the skid steer is a serious threat to the hydraulic pump. Cavitation is basically the formation of bubbles in fuel or hydraulic fluid, which causes a detrimental impact on the pump.
When these bubbles are exposed to high pressures, they collapse and produce shockwaves, which damage the hydraulic parts. So, if there is cavitation in the skid steer, you need to check the strainers and clean them.
The suction strainers are designed to remove the bigger contaminants from the fluids, which damage the system components. In addition, they capture the particulates as the fluid passes through.
These strainers are integrated into the suction lines of the hydraulic pump. So, when the strainers are dirty, it negatively impacts the fluid flow, resulting in hydraulic errors. Having said that, you need to clean the strainers.
Secondly, you have to check the inlet line. This is because the inlet line is used to clean the hydraulic fluid in the hydraulic systems. The in-line filters are integrated into the return line of the hydraulic system for cleaning the fluid before it is transmitted to the reservoir.
However, with time, the inlet line and filters can get clogged, so you’ve to clean the clogging to optimize the cleaning – proper cleaning prevents cavitation. Last but not least, you need to clean the breather vent on the reservoir as well.
- Air Bubbles In Fluid
The hydraulic fluid is an important component of the Bobcat hydraulic system, which is important for transferring power from the engine to different components of the hydraulic system.
In addition, it is responsible for lubricating the entire system and works as a heat-transfer medium to prevent corrosion. However, when the fluid is infused with air bubbles, it results in turbulent flow, which stirs up the fluid.
Having said that, you need to check the reservoir tank and make sure it is filled up to a recommended level to eliminate the chances of the buildup of air bubbles.
In addition, you can ask the mechanic to bleed the air bubbles from the system. Moreover, you need to tighten up the inlet connection to make sure the loose connections aren’t causing air bubbles. Lastly, you have to replace the shaft seal as well.
The hydraulic coupling in skid steer is basically a hydrodynamic device that’s essential for transferring the rotational energy from one shaft to another with the help of transmission fluid.
If you recently used the skid steer on a rough patch, there are chances the coupling has become loose, which disturbs the flow of rotational energy, causing functionality errors in the hydraulic system. That being said, we recommend that you call the mechanic to tighten up the coupling.
In addition to tightening the coupling, you must realign the coupling (have the mechanic optimize it). Moreover, you have to check the bearings and seals because they need frequent replacement. You should use high-quality bearings and seals to make sure the openings of hydraulic components are properly sealed.
Bobcat skid steers are integrated with the auxiliary hydraulic system, which means the pressure is an important factor. The pressure should be maximum of 10,000 PSI. However, if the pressure value fluctuates from this level, it will negatively impact the hydraulic performance.
In the majority of cases, it is caused by incorrect settings, so it’s suggested that you select the correct pressure setting; you can check the manual to determine the correct pressure level. In addition, you can install a pressure gauge to collect accurate pressure-related information.
The Bottom Line
Bobcat skid steers are pretty amazing but the hydraulic system can be challenging to handle at times. The hydraulic issues are inevitable but these solutions can optimize the hydraulic functions.
In addition to these solutions, you must conduct regular system checks to improve the hydraulic system’s performance and longevity of the hydraulic components.