How to Fix Common Bobcat S250 Skid-Steer Loader Problems?


Having some problems with your Bobcat S250 skid steer? Well, let us try to help you fix your Bobcat S250 problems for free before a mechanic takes a few hundred bucks from you! Usually, you can fix these problems yourself!

Although Bobcat makes pretty decent skid steer loaders, they often face malfunctions. The most common problems of Bobcat S250 models include but are not limited to faulty main bearings, malfunctioning buckets, issues with case drain, etc.

However, the problem your vehicle is facing might not be on our list. But our solutions to the problems above might help you with basic troubleshooting ideas. So, read the complete guide first before making any haste decisions!

What Are The Common Bobcat S250 Problems?

What Are The Common Bobcat S250 Problems

Bobcat is an amazing brand for heavy but compact machinery. The S250 skid steer loader is one of their most loved models! Although all this love can’t neglect the fact that these machines often face issues that need troubleshooting.

Below we will discuss a few of the most common Bobcat S250 problems. We will give easy-to-follow solution guides for each problem so that you can at least try to fix the problems before you have to call for professional help.

  • Faulty main bearings 
  • Nonfunctional Lift and Tilt 
  • Issues with case drain 
  • Low hydraulic charge pressure 
  • Engine loses power 
  • Faulty charge pump 
  • Damaged Wirings 

7 Common Bobcat S250 Problems With Complete Solutions

We listed the common problems with Bobcat S250 above. Below we will provide complete guidelines to follow to troubleshoot all those problems and more. Even if your problem is not on the list, still the guideline can help you a ton!

1. Faulty Main Bearings: Check And Replace Hub Bearing Oil

Faulty Main Bearings Check And Replace Hub Bearing Oil

Bearings face a lot of wear and tear, don’t they? So, usually, they work well for a finite time, then you need to change the bearing. However, most Bobcat S250 owners don’t even remember to check the main hub bearing oil!

So, first, you need to look for the visible drainage hole in the bearing. It might get covered in debris or dirt. So, clean the bearing if you can’t find the drainage hole. Now, you will have to check the bearing oil.

If the oil inside the bearing looks glittery, your bearing has already taken a lot of wear and tear. You will have to change the bearing. Also, leakage in the main seal can cause the bearing oil to escape. So, check the main seal for any leaks.

If you don’t find any leaks and the bearing oil doesn’t look glittery, you can just replace the oil. However, if you find leaks or the bearing looks very worn out, change both the bearing and the main seal. This solution may cost you about $50.

2. Nonfunctional Lift and Tilt: Check The Switch Connections

Nonfunctional Lift and Tilt Check The Switch Connections

Lift and Tilt are the functions of the bucket in the skid steer. The main reason behind the lift and tilt problems of the Bobcat S250 bucket is a malfunctioning safety switch. However, this is one of the easiest issues to fix on this list.

The first thing you need to check is the connection points for the safety switches. Usually, debris or dirt gets in the connection point and causes malfunctions. So clean the connection points and start the machine to see if the error message still shows. 

However, if this doesn’t fix the issue, you will have to check if the solenoid wire is connected correctly. The solenoid position is shown in your owner’s manual.

You need to take the cap of the solenoid with a fitting wrench and use a screwdriver or pry bar and push the solenoid outwards.

Change the solenoid if you see any broken wires. This should fix your lift and tilt problems. A solenoid can cost you around $40 to $60. However, if none of these solutions work, you probably have a faulty actuator, and that will cost a ton!

3. Case Drain Problems: Check And Replace Case Drain Filter

Case Drain Problems Check And Replace Case Drain Filter

As Bobcat S250 skid steer loaders usually work in the dirt, this is a pretty common problem for most owners! This problem causes the hydraulic fuel to back up to the final drive motor, which results in very high pressure. This can cause extensive damage.

Case drain problems are mainly caused by a clogged case drain filter. Bobcat advises changing the case drain filter every time you change any other filter. Because this filter can clog up pretty easily. However, we don’t listen till we face problems, do we?

So, if you are facing hydraulic case drain problems, you need to check the case drain filter. Firstly, remove both of the track drive motor case drain hoses. Then you can remove the filter and check for clogging or dirt.

Clean case drain filters are bronze colored. So, if it looks black or dirty, you will have to change the filter. Do not rewash and reuse the filter. You can afford to change! The filters only cost about $30 to $50.

4. Low Hydraulic Charge Pressure: Check Drive Belt Tension

Low Hydraulic Charge Pressure Check Drive Belt Tension

If your Bobcat S250 shows error codes 05-14 or 05-15, your vehicle is having a problem with maintaining charge line pressure. Usually, this is caused by a faulty drive belt.

So, first of all, you need to check the hydraulic drive belt in your cat. You probably won’t be able to replace the serpentine belt yourself, but you can at least check the tension of the belt.

Without releasing the parking brake, try to advance the drive sticks and stall the engine. If the engine doesn’t stall when you do this, the drive belt is probably the problem. Also, you may check the tension manually.

However, if you conclude that the drive belt is causing the problems, you will have to replace the belt as soon as possible. The belt itself may cost you about $60 to $70. However, the mechanic might charge more depending on your area.

5. Engine Loses Power: Check Fuel Filter, Air Filter, Replace If Necessary

Engine Loses Power Check Fuel Filter, Air Filter, Replace If Necessary

Bobcat S250 skid steer loader vehicles face this problem a lot. The engine seems very weak and can’t bear load properly. Also, the throttle stick doesn’t respond well, and the machine sometimes stalls all of a sudden.

This problem is mainly caused by a clogged fuel or air filter. So, the first thing you need to check is the fuel filter. You will have to remove the filter and dump the fuel out of the fuel filter. If the fuel looks dirty, replace the fuel filter.

Also, before you put the new filter on, clean the lines and pipes connecting to the fuel filter with high-pressure air. Sometimes the pipes get clogged with dirt too and cause the engine to lose power.

If replacing the fuel filter doesn’t work, you should check the air filter. If the air filter looks dirty, you may need to change that, also. Changing both filters might cost you about $150.

So, this is a pretty cheap solution, considering how big of a problem it is!

6. Faulty Charge Pump: Check And Replace Charge Pump

Faulty Charge Pump Check And Replace Charge Pump

If your Bobcat S250 is steering to one side and the motor seems pretty weak, the mechanic might tell you to replace the final drive motor. However, the main cause might be a faulty charge pump.

The charge pump provides the necessary pressure for preventing freewheeling and releasing the brakes. So, if the charge pump is faulty or weak, it may damage your final drive.

So, firstly check if the charge pump in your Bobcat S250 is working properly. You can find the procedures to check the charge pump pressure in your owner’s manual. Replace the charge pump if it seems weak or worn out.

However, if the charge pump seems fine, you may need to change your final drive motor. A hydraulic pump might cost you about $1000. But if the final drive needs replacement, that can get much costlier very quickly.

7. Damaged Wirings: Check For Damaged Wires, Replace If Found

Damaged Wirings Check For Damaged Wires, Replace If Found

The main problem damaged wires cause is that the grapple sometimes goes fully open or fully closed or behaves strangely. Also, the Bobcat S250 beeps three times and flashes an “!” sign.

This problem occurs because of current leakage to the ground. Ground faults occur because of badly damaged wires or wire insulation. So, you will have to check the electrical wiring in your Bobcat.

First, follow the cable harness to the valves. Look for any damage or overheating signs in the wires. You should look for signs like melting, swelling, or discoloration.

If you find any wire that is damaged, replace the wire. This should solve ground faults. However, if not, you may need to call professional help and get the valve checked.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here you can see some of the most commonly asked questions about common Bobcat S250 problems. If the above-mentioned solutions don’t work for you, look for directions here in the FAQs.

What is the estimated lift capacity of a Bobcat S250?

The Bobcat S250 has an operating capacity of 2500-pounds. Also, you get additional hydraulic power that helps with lifting to the highest possible height, which is 10.5 feet for this model.

How often should I change the fuel filter in my Bobcat S250?

Bobcat suggests that the fuel filter should be replaced after every 12 months or every 500 hours of work time.
However, if you maintain it properly, you can go a little further. But changing the fuel filter will cost you way less than repairing any problems that it may later cause!

How often should bearings be greased in Bobcat S250 skid steers?

Grease in the bearings does only one job, reducing friction. So, if the lube is working properly, you shouldn’t over-grease the bearings.
That’s why most mechanics would suggest you only grease when the friction increases.

How do I reset the maintenance clock in my Bobcat S250?

To reset the maintenance clock, first, turn the key off in your Bobcat. Then, press the light button on the left side panel. Now, press both the high flow and auxiliary pressure release buttons at the same time.
Hold the buttons till the screen says reset.


Bobcat S250 skid steer loaders are very strong machines if you can handle them properly. They work amazingly well and, with proper maintenance, can last you a lifetime.

However, novices find it quite difficult to understand the underlying issues that cause the most problems with Bobcat skid steers. So, we discussed some common problems of the Bobcat S250 along with an easy-to-follow, DIY solution guide.

But before you start working, we recommend that you understand your safety is in your hands when you work with heavy machinery like this. So, always follow safety procedures and work in a controlled environment.

Remember, with drive and a bit of talent; you can move mountains!

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