5 Most Common Bobcat 642 Problems

The Bobcat 642 is a versatile and compact skid-steer loader that has found its place in various construction and landscaping tasks. While this machine offers convenience and efficiency, like any mechanical equipment, it can encounter certain problems during operation.

Understanding these potential issues and their causes is crucial for effective troubleshooting and maintenance.

In this blog post, we will explore common problems that owners and operators might face with the Bobcat 642 skid-steer loader. From engine-related challenges to hydraulic hiccups, we will delve into the possible reasons behind these issues and provide insights into how to address them.

By gaining a better understanding of these problems and their solutions, operators can maximize the performance and longevity of their Bobcat 642, ensuring smooth operations on the job site. Now, let’s dive into the world of Bobcat 642 troubleshooting!

Common Bobcat 642 Problems With Fixes:

Before we dive into the problems, let me give you a brief overview of the Bobcat 642. This versatile skid steer tractor is known for its power and maneuverability. It’s perfect for small to medium-sized agricultural tasks, such as moving hay bales, digging trenches, and loading materials. I’ve used it for years and have found it to be a reliable workhorse most of the time.

However, like any machine, the Bobcat 642 is not without its fair share of issues. Let’s jump right into the problems I’ve faced and how to tackle them!

1. Engine Troubles: Sputtering and Stalling

One of the most frustrating issues I’ve encountered with the Bobcat 642 is engine sputtering and stalling. When the engine isn’t running smoothly, it can hinder your productivity and cause delays during your workday.

DIY Solution: Start by checking the fuel system for clogs or dirt that might be affecting the fuel flow. Clean or replace the fuel filter and check the spark plugs for any signs of wear or fouling. Additionally, inspect the air filter and clean or replace it if needed.

Professional Solution: If you’ve tried the DIY steps and the problem persists, it’s time to call in a professional mechanic. They can perform a thorough inspection of the engine and diagnose any underlying issues. The cost of hiring a professional may vary depending on your location, but it’s essential to ensure a proper fix.

2. Hydraulic Leaks: Loss of Power and Fluid

Hydraulic leaks are another common problem with the Bobcat 642. You might notice a loss of power or fluid puddles under the machine, indicating a leak in the hydraulic system.

DIY Solution: Carefully inspect the hydraulic hoses and connections for visible leaks. Tighten any loose fittings and replace damaged hoses or seals. Keep a close eye on the hydraulic fluid level and top it up as needed.

Professional Solution: If the leak persists or is hard to locate, it’s time to seek professional help. An experienced technician can use specialized tools and knowledge to pinpoint the source of the leak and repair it correctly. The cost of such repairs may vary depending on the extent of the damage.

3. Steering Issues: Difficulty in Maneuvering

Troubles with steering can be a real headache, especially when you need precise control over the tractor’s movement.

DIY Solution: Check the tires for proper inflation and any signs of wear. Uneven tire pressure can affect the steering. Also, examine the power steering fluid level and top it up if needed.

Professional Solution: If the problem persists, it’s best to call a professional mechanic. They can inspect the steering system thoroughly and make any necessary adjustments or repairs. Steering issues are crucial for safety, so don’t delay in seeking expert help.

4. Electrical Problems: Malfunctioning Controls

Electrical issues can lead to malfunctions in the tractor’s controls, making it challenging to operate effectively.

DIY Solution: Start by checking the battery for proper voltage and clean any corrosion from the terminals. Inspect the wiring and connections for any visible damage or loose connections. Sometimes, a simple reset of the electronic controls can resolve minor issues.

Professional Solution: If the electrical problems persist or are more complex, don’t hesitate to contact a professional electrician or mechanic. They have the knowledge and equipment to diagnose and fix electrical gremlins effectively.

5. Overheating: Engine Temperature Rising

Overheating can be a major concern, especially during long hours of continuous work on hot days.

DIY Solution: Check the coolant level and ensure it’s at the right level. Clean the radiator and cooling fins of any debris, as clogs can impede proper cooling. Ensure the engine fan is working correctly, and the belts are properly tensioned.

Professional Solution: If the tractor continues to overheat, despite your DIY efforts, it’s time to get help from a professional. They can diagnose any underlying issues with the cooling system and make necessary repairs.

Costing Section: Hiring Professionals

Hiring professionals can be an additional cost, but it’s crucial for complex issues or when DIY attempts fail. The cost of hiring a mechanic or technician for the Bobcat 642 problems can vary based on your location, the extent of the problem, and the hourly rate of the service provider. On average, expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $150 per hour for professional assistance.


Q: Is the Bobcat 642 a good tractor overall?

A: Yes, the Bobcat 642 is a reliable and versatile tractor for small to medium agricultural tasks. While it has its share of problems, proper maintenance, once, and timely repairs can keep it running smoothly.

Q: Can I use the tractor while waiting for repairs?

A: It’s best to avoid using the tractor if it’s experiencing significant issues. Continuing to operate a malfunctioning machine can worsen the problem and lead to more costly repairs.

Q: How often should I perform maintenance on my Bobcat 642?

A: Regular maintenance is essential for keeping your tractor in top shape. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and perform routine checks on fluid levels, filters, and other critical components.


I hope my experiences with the Bobcat 642 and its problems have been insightful for you. Remember, regular maintenance is the key to minimizing issues and maximizing the lifespan of your tractor.

If you enjoyed reading this article, make sure to check out my other blog posts, where I share more real-life experiences and farming tips.

Goodbye for now, and before I go, I’d love to hear from you!

What common problems do you face regularly with your agricultural machinery? Let me know what kind of blog posts you’d like to see from me in the future. Happy farming!

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