8 Common Bobcat S185 Problems (Complete Solutions)

8 Common Bobcat S185 Problems (Complete Solutions)

Skid steer loaders are multipurpose and productive equipment utilized in a range of agricultural, landscaping, and construction settings. The compact design and outstanding performance of the Bobcat S185 Skid Steer Loader make it stand out among these loaders. Like any large piece of equipment, the Bobcat S185 could experience some issues that limit its functionality and output.

The Bobcat S185 distinguishes itself from the tough competition with its higher weight lifting capacity than typical and an abundance of other features designed to provide optimal performance and dependability. Even though this model’s production run was limited to 2008, it is still widely used in many different applications, especially in the construction and farming industries.

When it comes to finishing a variety of construction and landscaping tasks, the Bobcat S185 Skid Steer Loader is a reliable partner. The S185 is a workhorse that gets the job done whether you’re moving dirt, hauling materials, or clearing debris. It may experience some hiccups along the road, though, just like any mechanical device.

Although this product was certainly good when it was released, given its age, there’s a good chance you’ll run into some of the issues that its operators have long since encountered.

This post will examine eight typical concerns with the Bobcat S185 Skid Steer Loader and offer workable fixes to address these problems. This guide will give you the skills you need to overcome these obstacles and maintain the smooth and effective operation of your Bobcat S185, regardless of whether you are the machine’s owner, operator, or technician.

Bobcat S185 Skid Steer Loader’s Common Issues

It’s a fact that even the most dependable devices can malfunction occasionally. It’s the same with the Bobcat S185 Skid Steer Loader. Despite being designed to withstand harsh circumstances, there are a few typical issues that could occur. These problems can be anything from hydraulic system failures to glitches in engine performance. We will address some common issues in the upcoming sections and provide you with the skills to solve them on your own.

To help you get your Bobcat S185 back up and running, let’s examine some typical issues that it may encounter and offer workable fixes.

Problem 1: Engine Performance Issues

Ah, the heart and soul of any machine—the engine. We are here to support you if your Bobcat S185 skid steer loader is having trouble in this area. The engine not starting, misfiring, overheating, and losing power are a few typical engine performance problems you might run into.

  • Engine Not Starting
  • Engine Misfires
  • Engine Overheating
  • Loss of power

It’s worthwhile to examine the fuel system, battery, and spark plugs when dealing with an engine that is obstinate about starting. Clogged fuel filters or dirty injectors can be the cause of misfires and power outages. Conversely, clogged radiators or coolant leaks may be the cause of overheating. Are you still experiencing headaches from the issue? Don’t worry; we’ll provide you with more detailed solutions for each issue.

Problem 2: Failed Hydraulic Systems

They transform the Bobcat S185 Skid Steer Loader into an incredible machine. But just like any hydraulic system, it may experience some glitches that prevent you from being as productive as you would like. Hydraulic fluid leaks, erratic hydraulic power, and the dreaded hydraulic cylinder failure are a few typical hydraulic system issues you may encounter.

  • Hydraulic fluid leaks
  • Inconsistent hydraulic power
  • Hydraulic Cylinder Failure

Fluid leaks in the hydraulic system are visible in black or red puddles under your machine. Unreliable hydraulic power could be coming from hydraulic filters that are past their best. Deteriorated seals or worn-out parts may be the cause of a hydraulic cylinder breakdown. We’ll provide you with all the information you need to address each problem head-on.

Problem 3: Electrical System Failures

Battery Issues

A dead battery is an annoyance that we have all encountered. Now, battery problems may also arise with your Bobcat S185 skid steer loader. A dead battery should be checked to see if your machine isn’t starting or if the lights aren’t working. If required, charge or replace the battery, and confirm that all connections are tight and clean.

Electrical component failure

Your Bobcat S185’s electrical parts may occasionally go crazy. Perhaps the controls are not responding or the gauges are malfunctioning. It could be as simple as a blown fuse, so don’t panic. Examine the fuses and change any that are broken.

Wiring Problems

The wiring in your Bobcat S185 can give you headaches, just like your headphone cords do. It is worthwhile to inspect the wiring harness to see if your machine is acting strangely or if you are experiencing intermittent electrical problems. Check for any frayed or loose wires, and confirm that all connections are tight. It’s advisable to hire an expert to complete the wiring if you’re not sure you can handle the task.

Problem 4: Cooling System Problems

Engine Overheating

Are you experiencing some heat exhaustion with your Bobcat S185? With skid steer loaders, engine overheating is a frequent issue, but do not panic! Verifying the coolant level and looking for leaks could be the easiest way to solve the problem. Furthermore, make sure there is adequate airflow by keeping the radiator fins clean and clear of debris. It could be worthwhile to have a professional look at it if the issue continues.

Coolant Leaks

Leaks are annoying, especially when they involve your precious Bobcat’s coolant leaking out. If there are any puddles or stains under your machine, it’s likely a coolant leak. It’s time to investigate! Look for any indications of damage or loose connections on the radiator, water pump, and hoses. Make sure the coolant is at the proper level and tighten or replace it as necessary. Those annoying leaks are over!

Radiator Blockages

Radiator blockages can be extremely uncomfortable, much like teen skin with clogged pores. A blocked radiator could be the cause of your Bobcat S185’s continuous hot running. Look for any obstructions that might be obstructing proper airflow, such as dirt, debris, or other objects. Effective cleaning can be achieved with water or compressed air. It’s time to get a pro to perform some deep cleaning magic if the obstruction continues.

Problem 5: Drive System Troubles

Loss of Drive Power

Do you feel like you’re moving slowly? It’s time to look into whether the drive power on your Bobcat S185 has stopped working. Start by checking the hydraulic fluid level and making sure it’s at the correct level. Fill it up if it’s low. Check for wear or damage on the drive belt if that doesn’t resolve the problem. Replace it if necessary. And if all else fails, well, it might be time to bring in professional help.

Drive Belt Issues

The drive belt on your Bobcat S185 is probably not pulling its weight if you’re hearing squealing or slipping sounds. Examine it for evidence of deterioration, fractures, or sagging, and replace it if necessary. Don’t forget to check the tension too; it should have just the right amount of give. A loose or overtightened drive belt can cause all sorts of trouble.

Wheel or track problems

Is your Bobcat S185 skipping a beat while maneuvering? It could be due to wheel or track problems. Inspect the wheels or tracks for any signs of damage, such as flat spots or excessive wear. Tighten or replace as necessary. And remember, just like a wobbly shopping cart, uneven tire pressure can throw your machine off balance. Keep those tires properly inflated for smooth sailing (or, should we say, rolling?).

Problem 6: Ineffective Controls

A loose connection between cables or damaged cable insulation are two common causes of unresponsive controls in the S185. Fixing these issues can involve replacing any frayed or worn-out wire insulation and tightening any loose connections. Two more potential issues that require replacement if they’re the cause of the problem are malfunctioning switches or wiring harnesses.

It is common for some parts to fail during identification more often than others. The most prone parts to break are the wiring harness, which connects various electrical components, and the switch, which connects the power train to the steering wheel.

To fix the issue in these cases, these parts must be replaced. If you’re lucky, the only thing their contacts might need is a thorough cleaning.

To determine the cause of non-responsive controls, it’s critical to look for any obvious damage or fraying. Using instruments like a voltmeter and other multimeters might also be required to identify more precise problems with electrical systems.

Problem 7: Starting and Stalling Issues

The Bobcat S185 engine frequently stalls and has trouble starting for a number of reasons, from issues with the fuel system to mechanical or electrical failures. The most common cause of fuel-related issues is a clogged air filter, which can restrict air flow into the engine, lower oxygen levels, and cause poor combustion.

Regular maintenance can usually prevent this because it is easily detectable during routine inspections. A worn-out pump, a clogged filter, or a malfunctioning regulator are just a few more issues that can result in low fuel pressure. The vehicle’s ECU will alert you to problems and indicate which parts require replacement when it detects one.

Problem 8: Issue with the air conditioner

This skid steer has air conditioning to keep you comfortable. It also takes out the excess heat from your bobcat. Even though it’s easy to fix, the air conditioner’s malfunctioning feature can be very annoying.

It can be easily made to work by following a few steps.

  1. Determine whether the thermostat is broken or not! Then, if required, replace it.
  2. Examining the radiator cap and replacing it as necessary.
  3. Tightening any loose hoses that may be present.


The Bobcat S185 is a machine that can experience some issues from time to time, just like any other machine. However, with the topics covered in this guide, we hope to make it simpler for you to identify the common Bobcat S185 problems and locate their solutions.

Remember, if the issues are beyond your DIY expertise, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. Keep your Bobcat running smoothly, and nothing will be able to stop you from conquering your construction and landscaping tasks like a fearless warrior.


How frequently should I service my Bobcat S185 skid steer loader?

It is advised to adhere to the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding the frequency of maintenance. In general, routine maintenance should be carried out at least once every 250 operating hours. It may be necessary to perform more frequent maintenance due to variables like usage intensity and operating conditions.

What should I do in the event that a hydraulic fluid leak occurs on my Bobcat S185?

Determine the source of the leak first, then check the impacted hydraulic components for obvious damage or loose connections. Refill the hydraulic fluid to the proper level, tighten any loose fittings, and replace any damaged hoses or seals.

What is causing the electrical component failures in my Bobcat S185 Skid Steer Loader?

Numerous factors, including damaged components, poor connections, and wiring problems, can lead to electrical component failures. Verify that every electrical connection is safe and corrosion-free. Look for any indications of wear or damage on the wiring harness.

What kind of engine oil is suitable for my Bobcat S185?

No, it’s essential to use the engine oil that the Bobcat S185 Skid Steer Loader manufacturer recommends. To make sure you’re using the right kind and grade of engine oil for your particular model, always check the owner’s manual or speak with a reliable repair shop or technician.

Related Post:

6 Bobcat S590 Problems – Troubleshooting and Solutions

7 Common Bobcat S250 Problems (Complete Solutions)

For more outdoor vehicle problems solutions visit here and for more guides related to mowers visit Mowers Guide

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Urooj Ashfaq
By Urooj Ashfaq

Hey there! I'm Urooj Ashfaq, your friendly lawn care guru at Mowers Guide. With a passion for beautiful lawns, I bring years of experience and expertise to help you master the art of lawn mowing and tractor maintenance. At Mowers Guide, I provide easy-to-understand guides, unbiased reviews, and trustworthy information to ensure a top-notch user experience.

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