How to Fix Common Bobcat S185 Skid Steer Problems?


Bobcat S185, a skid steer, is generally used to dig construction sites. This simple vehicle can lift a maximum of 1850lbs. Consequently, it starts to show some problems while employed for a long time. Care to know what the common Bobcat S185 problems are?

Some Common bobcat s185 problems include faulty glow plugs, blank displays upon startup, clogged hydraulic fuel filters, steering imbalance issues, troubleshooting fuel solenoids, delayed hydraulic releases, engine problems, and front axle issues.

The Bobcat S185 exhibits many problems when you use it for a period. Knowing where the problem is, helps a bunch to fix these issues faster. So, sit tight to discover the easy fixes to your Bobcat S185 problems.

What Are The Common Bobcat S185 Problems?

What Are The Common Bobcat S185 Problems

The Bobcat S185 is a superb skid steer with some great features. Like most skid steer users, you’ll face various problems with your s185 as time passes.

Some Bobcat S185 issues are simple to identify, but it’ll take some experience to detect the tricky ones.

The list below will help you to know more about the common Bobcat S185 problems.

  • Defective air conditioner 
  • Faulty glow plug 
  • Blank display with Starting issues 
  • Jammed hydraulic fuel filter 
  • Problematic steering 
  • Faulty fuel shut-off solenoid 
  • Late hydraulic release 

7 Easy Fixes For Bobcat S185 Problems

As you can see, a Bobcat S185 gives you some trouble, but there are also remedies for these situations.

Most of these problems with Bobcat S185 problems are elementary to solve. But never try to fix these s185 issues if you lack enough experience and required tools.

Luckily, we’ve sorted out the details of these complications, solutions, and the required cost to fix most Bobcat S185 issues.

1. Fixing The Defective Air Conditioner

Fixing The Defective Air Conditioner

Air conditioning problems occur when the compressor lacks voltage and is used for a long time. A closed compressor clutch due to low pressure is a major reason behind this problem.

Check below to find out the fixes for a defective air conditioner.

Step 1: Make A Bypass Using Jumper

Lift the cab to find the pressure switch in the receiver dryer. Then disconnect the switch and use a jumper as a bypass.

Step 2: Fixing Loose Wirings

Make sure your s185’s wirings are top-notch before closing the compression clutch.

Step 3: Replace the Compressor

The compressor is locked up if you hear any sound while starting your s185. Replacing the compressor and the receiver dryer is the only solution left.

Step 4: Install the Receiver Dryer

You’ll find the receiver dryer after lifting the cab’s arms. Remove the hose nuts and clamps before you install a new receiver dryer.

The price of a compressor is $125, and for a receiver dryer, it is $58.95.

2. Install New Glow Plug

Faulty glow plugs produce white smoke in the Bobcat S185. It leads to slow cranking speed and low compression.

It’s elementary to troubleshoot a faulty glow plug. Replacing a defective glow plug is the only permanent solution.

However, if you can’t afford to replace multiple of these parts, then this temporary fix will help you for the time being.

Step 1: Locate the Relay box

Locate the Relay box

Locate the relay box under the driver’s seat. Next, pull another plug off the relay box to see if it fixes the problem.

Step 2: Inspect rubber Coatings

Check the relay connection behind the relay box. All relays are covered with a rubber seal connected with a wire.

Step 3: Push In The Rubber Sealing

Gently push the rubber sealing to tighten up the connection.

Replace the faulty one with a new relay. Please switch off the light relay before replacing it. You have to pay 8 bucks for each relay. Follow the manual to install new relays by yourself.

3. Troubleshooting And Resolving The Code

Troubleshooting And Resolving The Code

A blank display occurs when you’re checking the codes and going through the countdown, but the display stays black due to insufficient power. Running the codes and starting the display is a complex solution that most can’t do.

Following these simple steps, you can solve the s185 display issue effortlessly.

Step 1: Remove Fuses And Relays

Use a drill to remove fuses and relays under the s185’s panel. Using an air hose, clean the fuse and relay panel before going to the next step.

Step 2: Jump Start Battery

Try to jump-start the solenoid if the display comes off and on. If the jump start fails, use a battery terminal cleaner to clean the sparking spot. It’ll also prevent corrosion.

Step 3: Clean Up Terminal Fuse

Clean Up Terminal Fuse

Follow this step only when step 2 isn’t working. Detach all the fuse and parts in the battery terminal site. Next, check if it’s functional and then clean it. Try starting your S185.

A new relay will cost you around $6, and each fuse costs 15 bucks. So, you’ve to pay a sum of $21.

4. Cleaning Jammed Hydraulic Fuel Filter And Changing Oil

Cleaning Jammed Hydraulic Fuel Filter And Changing Oil

A clogged hydraulic fuel filter affects the Bobcat S185’s overall performance. The loader won’t provide enough power if the hydraulic fuel filter is jammed. Since the fluid can’t travel far enough, the loader won’t have enough impacting power.

Following this guideline, you can clean a clogged hydraulic fuel filter yourself.

Step 1: Detach The Hose Connection

Warm up the s185. Next, open the hose connection valve using a 7/8′ wrench to pump out oil. Remove the fill cap for faster draining.

Step 2: Remove O-ring

Now, take out the oil filter O-ring to prevent a double gasket.

Step 3: Install New O-ring

Lubricate the new oil filter O-ring properly with fresh oil before replacing it with the old one. Write down the installation date and time.

Step 4: Start Engine

Start Engine

Close the hose connection and inspect the oil level with a clean stick. Then, start your s185 to check leaks.

The price of a filter kit ranges from 115 bucks to 300 bucks. The price depends on the site you’re buying from.

5. Tighten The Bolt For Problematic Steering

Tighten The Bolt For Problematic Steering

Your s185 will shift its balance to the left or right when the shifting lever has loose connections with left and right joining rods. A lousy motor or pump is a crucial reason behind this issue. These steps will help you to fix faulty steering.

Step 1: Find Shifting Lever

First, locate the rods connected with the shifting lever by moving the cab up. Then, find the bolts securing the rods with shifting levers.

Step 2: Inspect Loose Bolts

Look for loose joints in the bolts. Don’t forget to check if they are rusty or not.

Step 3: Tighten Up Loose Bolts

Now tighten up the loose bolts to balance the connecting rods. You’ll notice the gaps between bolts and the rods have decreased.

Fixing the bolts will hardly cost you any money. However, replacing a new steering wheel costs 64 bucks from .

6. Replace Faulty Fuel Shut-Off Solenoid

Replace Faulty Fuel Shut-Off Solenoid

Faulty fuel solenoids or defective solenoid-piston is the reason behind the delayed start of s185. Bad relays or faulty solenoid is the reason behind the late start.

You can fix the faulty fuel solenoid yourself by following these steps.

Step 1: Locating Fuel Shut-Off Solenoid

Go to the left of the fuel cap to find the shut-off solenoid. Try starting your Bobcat S185 with the key to confirm it’s a solenoid-related problem. The fuel cap won’t go in if the fuel solenoid is defective.

Step 2: Change Relay Combination

Before you buy a new fuel shut-off solenoid:

  1. Look for bad relays.
  2. Try to interchange light relays with fuel relays to fix the problem.
  3. Check the fuse box to change the relay combination.

Step 3: Replace Defective Solenoid

Even after changing the combination doesn’t help fix the solenoid, order a new solenoid to replace the faulty one.

If you order a fuel shut-off solenoid from , it’ll cost you $74.99. eBay charges the same as , but Walmart charges 44 bucks for one fuel shut-off solenoid.

7. Clean And Tighten Up The Poppet For Faster Hydraulic Release

 Clean And Tighten Up The Poppet For Faster Hydraulic Release

The signs of a slow hydraulic release are tracks that feel locked up after you’ve pushed the power button and hydraulic control doesn’t work. Less hydraulic pressure in the brake circuit is a prime reason behind this issue.

The guideline below will help you fix the late hydraulic release problem.

Step 1: Move The Handle

Move the control handle back and forth for a faster hydraulic release. You can also move it up and down to clear the problem temporarily.

Step 2: Detach The Check Valve

Open the tube in the brake circuit to remove the check valve—a spring and a poppet work as a check valve in the tube.

Step 3: Clean The Check Valve

Clean the spring and poppet carefully before joining them. Tighten up the loose poppet joining in fixing it completely.

Replace the check valve if it can’t function anymore. The price ranges from $46 to $86 on online platforms.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

To the best of our knowledge, we have covered every significant error that can occur with the Bobcat S185. Nevertheless, let’s go through some trivial queries you might have about this skid steer.

What is the aftermath of a clogged hydraulic fuel filter?

The aftermath of a clogged hydraulic fuel filter is late engine start and possibly engine failure. Since your fuel filter is jammed, it fails to provide the required fuel to the engine. As a result, the engine struggles to cope with the fuel shortage.

How can I calculate the high flow of my Bobcat S185?

Multiply the flow GPM with pressure in the PSI unit. Then, divide the result by 1714 to find the answer. The number explains hydraulic productivity. Maximum attachment of horsepower gives maximum productivity.

Is fixing Bobcat S185 issues costly?

Well, not all Bobcat S185 problems are costly to fix. Glow plugs, steering problems, and hydraulic fitting are cheaper than solving most s185 issues. However,


A Bobcat S185 eases your work on a construction site. But these complications can give you a hard time. Follow the fixes mentioned above for a particular problem.

Hopefully, you have a proper visual about Bobcat S185 problems and their fixes. Even after following these steps doesn’t solve your s185’s issues, consult an expert skid steer mechanic to find a solution faster.

Remember to keep extra parts nearby in case of an emergency. Always perform regular maintenance to use the Bobcat S185 for a long time.

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