5 Most Common Bobcat S160 Problems

The Bobcat S160 is a versatile and widely used skid-steer loader designed to tackle various tasks in construction, landscaping, and other industries. While it offers many benefits, like its compact size and maneuverability, it’s important to be aware of potential issues that users might encounter during its operation.

In this discussion, we will explore some common problems that Bobcat S160 owners and operators might face, and provide insights into how to address or prevent these challenges.

Skid-steer loaders like the Bobcat S160 are known for their ability to navigate tight spaces and perform a range of tasks with various attachments. However, like any mechanical equipment, they can experience technical hitches.

These issues can range from hydraulic system malfunctions and engine troubles to electrical glitches. Being familiar with these potential problems and understanding how to troubleshoot them can help users maintain the machine’s efficiency and extend its lifespan.

In the following blog post, we will delve deeper into these common problems, discussing their possible causes, signs to watch out for, and steps that can be taken to rectify or avoid them.

By gaining a better understanding of these issues, operators, and owners of the Bobcat S160 can ensure a smoother and more productive experience with this powerful skid-steer loader. So, let’s explore how to keep the Bobcat S160 running smoothly and effectively in the face of potential challenges.

Bobcat S160 Problem and Solutions:

The Bobcat S160 is a versatile and powerful skid steer loader that has been a trusty companion on my farm for quite some time now.

With its compact design and excellent maneuverability, it’s been a real workhorse in handling various tasks, from lifting and carrying to digging and grading. However, like any machinery, it’s not immune to its fair share of problems.

Today, I’ll walk you through some common issues I’ve faced with the Bobcat S160 and how to address them effectively.

1. Hydraulic System Leaks:

Problem Overview: One of the most common problems I encountered with my Bobcat S160 was hydraulic system leaks. These leaks can cause reduced performance and even lead to system failure if left unaddressed.

DIY Solution: First, carefully inspect the hydraulic hoses and connections for any signs of leakage. Tighten loose connections and replace damaged hoses. Keep an eye out for worn-out seals and gaskets, and replace them promptly.

Professional Solution: If the leak persists or seems complicated, it’s best to hire a professional technician. They have the expertise and tools to diagnose and fix the issue correctly.

Costing: Hiring a professional to fix hydraulic leaks can cost you around $200 to $500, depending on the severity of the problem and your location.

2. Engine Troubles:

Problem Overview: Another issue that both my relative farmer and I faced with the Bobcat S160 was engine troubles. These could range from difficulty starting the engine to poor performance and unusual noises.

DIY Solution: Regular maintenance is key to preventing engine troubles. Change the engine oil and filters according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Keep the air intake and cooling system clean to ensure proper airflow.

Professional Solution: If the engine issues persist despite proper maintenance, it’s time to call in a professional mechanic. They can run diagnostic tests and identify any underlying problems that might need expert attention.

Costing: Engaging a professional mechanic for engine-related problems can cost you anywhere from $300 to $800, depending on the complexity of the issue.

3. Electrical System Malfunctions:

Problem Overview: Electrical system malfunctions can be frustrating as they can cause various components to stop working, leading to downtime and delays in your tasks.

DIY Solution: Check the battery connections and clean any corrosion. Inspect the fuses and replace any blown ones. Look for damaged wires or loose connections and fix them as needed.

Professional Solution: If the electrical issues persist or seem complex, hiring a professional electrician familiar with Bobcat equipment is the way to go.

Costing: Hiring a professional electrician to diagnose and fix electrical problems might cost you around $150 to $400, depending on the extent of the issue.

4. Worn-out Tires and Tracks:

Problem Overview: The tires or tracks on your Bobcat S160 can wear out over time due to regular use and routines.

DIY Solution: Regularly inspect the tires or tracks for signs of wear and tear. Replace them if they are worn down beyond a safe level.

Professional Solution: Changing tires or tracks can be a labor-intensive task, so hiring a professional garage can save you time and effort.

Costing: Hiring a professional garage to replace tires or tracks can cost you around $200 to $600, depending on the type and brand of tires or tracks you choose.

5. Faulty Hydraulic System:

Problem Overview: In addition to leaks, the hydraulic system can sometimes experience other issues, like erratic movements or failure to respond correctly.

DIY Solution: Check the hydraulic fluid levels regularly and top up if necessary. Bleed the system if you notice any air bubbles in the hydraulic lines.

Professional Solution: If the hydraulic system problems persist, it’s best to call in a professional to diagnose and repair any internal malfunctions.

Costing: Repairing hydraulic system issues through a professional can cost you around $400 to $1,000, depending on the complexity of the problem.


Q: How often should I perform maintenance on my Bobcat S160?

A: Regular maintenance should be performed according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Generally, oil and filter changes, as well as routine inspections, should be done every 250 hours of operation.

Q: Can I use aftermarket parts for repairs?

A: While aftermarket parts might be more affordable, it’s recommended to use genuine Bobcat parts for repairs to ensure the best performance and longevity of your tractor.

Q: What’s the average lifespan of a Bobcat S160?

A: With proper maintenance, the Bobcat S160 can last for many years, often reaching up to 5,000 hours of operation or more.


Well, there you have it, my fellow farmers! The Bobcat S160 is a reliable and powerful skid steer loader that can be a valuable asset on your farm.

However, like any machinery, it’s essential to be aware of the potential problems and how to address them.

With a bit of DIY knowledge and the option to hire a professional or a garage when needed, you can keep your Bobcat S160 running smoothly for years to come.

I hope this article has been helpful to you all, and if you have any specific problems you’d like me to address in future blog posts, feel free to let me know in the comments section below.

I’m always here to help my fellow farmers, and together, we can make our farming experiences even more fruitful.

Thank you for joining me today, and until next time, happy farming! Goodbye and take care.

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