Bobcat 953 Problems: Quick Solution in Details

The Bobcat 953 compact track loader is a versatile workhorse in the construction and landscaping industry. Known for its robust performance and durability, it’s a machine that’s relied upon for a wide range of tasks, from excavation to material handling. However, like any heavy equipment, the Bobcat 953 is not immune to issues that can disrupt operations. In this blog post, we’ll delve into some common problems that Bobcat 953 owners and operators may encounter.

Importance of Identifying and Addressing Common Problems

Understanding and addressing common problems is crucial for Bobcat 953 owners. Recognizing issues early on not only minimizes downtime but also extends the machine’s lifespan and ensures safe operation. Neglecting these issues can lead to more significant problems and costly repairs down the road.

Overview of What Readers Can Expect from the Blog Post

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the most prevalent problems faced by Bobcat 953 owners. Each problem will be broken down into its symptoms, root causes, and detailed solutions. Whether you’re a seasoned operator or a novice, you’ll find practical information on how to troubleshoot and resolve these issues efficiently. We’ll also discuss preventive maintenance, offer tips on when to seek professional help, and share insights on finding a reputable Bobcat service center. By the end of this post, you’ll be better equipped to keep your Bobcat 953 running smoothly.

Common Problems with the Bobcat 953

Problem 1: Hydraulic System Issues

1. Symptoms

  • Sluggish Operation: The loader responds slowly to commands, and movements feel less responsive.
  • Fluid Leaks: Noticeable puddles or stains of hydraulic fluid under the machine.
  • Unusual Noises: Unusual banging, whining, or groaning noises during operation.

2. Causes

  • Hydraulic Fluid Contamination: Dirt or debris in the hydraulic fluid can damage components.
  • Damaged Hoses: Leaky or cracked hydraulic hoses can lead to low fluid levels and reduced performance.
  • Clogged Filters: Dirty filters restrict fluid flow and can cause the system to overheat.

3. Solutions

  • Replace Damaged Hoses: Inspect hoses for cracks or leaks and replace them if necessary.
  • Check and Top Up Hydraulic Fluid: Maintain the recommended fluid level and change the fluid at the specified intervals.
  • Regular Filter Maintenance: Replace or clean hydraulic filters as recommended in your machine’s manual.

Problem 2: Engine Troubles

1. Symptoms

  • Reduced Power: The engine lacks the usual power, and the loader struggles with its load.
  • Excessive Smoke: Unusual smoke emissions, which may be black, blue, or white.
  • Stalling: The engine dies unexpectedly during operation.

2. Causes

  • Fuel System Issues: Contaminated or low-quality fuel can harm the engine.
  • Air Filters: Dirty air filters restrict airflow to the engine.
  • Ignition Problems: Issues with spark plugs, wires, or the ignition system.

3. Solutions

  • Fuel System Inspection: Ensure you’re using clean and quality fuel, and consider using additives if necessary.
  • Regular Maintenance: Change air filters as recommended in your machine’s manual.
  • Inspect Ignition Components: Check spark plugs, wires, and the entire ignition system for any issues.

Problem 3: Electrical Malfunctions

1. Symptoms

  • Inoperative Components: Certain electrical components, like lights or gauges, don’t function.
  • Dead Battery: The loader’s battery frequently discharges.
  • Frequent Blown Fuses: Electrical circuits blow fuses frequently.

2. Causes

  • Corroded Connections: Exposure to moisture or harsh conditions can lead to corroded electrical connections.
  • Faulty Wiring: Damaged or frayed wires can disrupt the electrical system.
  • Battery Issues: A dying or damaged battery can cause electrical malfunctions.

3. Solutions

  • Battery and Wiring Inspection: Regularly inspect the battery and wiring for signs of wear or damage.
  • Troubleshoot Electrical Circuits: Test circuits and use a multimeter to identify electrical issues.
  • Regularly Clean and Protect Connections: Prevent corrosion by cleaning and applying dielectric grease to electrical connections.

Problem 4: Track and Undercarriage Problems

1. Symptoms

  • Uneven Track Wear: Tracks show uneven wear, which can lead to poor traction.
  • Excessive Vibrations: Unusual vibrations during operation.
  • Noisy Undercarriage: Squeaking, grinding, or clunking noises from the undercarriage.

2. Causes

  • Improper Tension: Tracks that are too loose or too tight can cause uneven wear and noise.
  • Contamination: Mud, rocks, and debris can damage undercarriage components.
  • Worn Components: Rollers, idlers, and sprockets may wear out over time.

3. Solutions

  • Inspect Tracks for Wear and Tear: Regularly check tracks for signs of damage and uneven wear.
  • Maintain Undercarriage Components: Keep rollers, idlers, and sprockets in good condition, replacing them as needed.
  • Clean and Remove Contaminants: Periodically clean out mud, rocks, and debris from the undercarriage.

By addressing these common problems with the Bobcat 953, you can ensure your compact track loader operates at its best. Stay tuned for the next sections, where we’ll dive into quick solutions, preventive maintenance, and professional assistance.

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Quick Solutions in Detail

Hydraulic System Issues

1. Replacing Damaged Hoses

Damaged hydraulic hoses can lead to leaks, sluggish performance, and reduced lifting capacity. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to replace them:

  1. Safety First: Turn off the machine, and engage the hydraulic lockout. Ensure the system is depressurized.

  2. Identify the Damaged Hose: Locate the damaged hose by following the leak or crack. Be cautious as hydraulic fluid is under high pressure.

  3. Drain the Fluid: Position a container under the hose and slowly remove it, allowing the hydraulic fluid to drain.

  4. Remove the Old Hose: Loosen the fittings at both ends of the damaged hose and remove it.

  5. Install the New Hose: Attach the new hose and secure the fittings at both ends. Be sure to use the correct type of hose and proper fittings.

  6. Tighten Connections: Carefully tighten the fittings, ensuring they are secure but not over-tightened, which can cause damage.

  7. Check for Leaks: Start the machine and test for any leaks. If everything appears fine, proceed with topping up the hydraulic fluid.

2. Checking and Topping Up Hydraulic Fluid

Maintaining the right hydraulic fluid level is essential for optimal performance. Here’s how to check and top up the hydraulic fluid:

  1. Safety Precautions: Ensure the machine is turned off and the hydraulic system is depressurized.

  2. Locate the Hydraulic Reservoir: Find the hydraulic fluid reservoir, typically located near the engine or in the rear of the loader.

  3. Check the Fluid Level: Look at the sight glass or dipstick to check the fluid level. It should be within the recommended range.

  4. Add Fluid if Necessary: If the fluid level is low, add the recommended hydraulic fluid slowly to avoid overfilling.

  5. Check for Leaks: After topping up the fluid, run the machine briefly and inspect for any new leaks. Address any issues promptly.

Engine Troubles

1. Fuel System Inspection

Inspecting the fuel system is crucial to prevent engine troubles. Here’s a checklist for a thorough inspection:

  1. Check Fuel Quality: Ensure you’re using clean, quality fuel. Contaminated fuel can clog filters and damage the engine.

  2. Inspect Fuel Filters: Replace fuel filters as recommended by your machine’s manual. A clogged filter can disrupt fuel flow.

  3. Fuel Additives: Consider using fuel additives or stabilizers to prevent fuel degradation, especially during periods of inactivity.

2. Regular Maintenance Tips

Regular maintenance can prevent engine troubles and extend its lifespan:

  1. Change Oil and Filters: Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for oil and filter changes.

  2. Air Filter Maintenance: Clean or replace air filters regularly to ensure proper airflow to the engine.

  3. Cooling System: Check the cooling system for leaks, and ensure the coolant level is appropriate.

Electrical Malfunctions

1. Battery and Wiring Inspection

Maintaining the electrical system is vital for reliable performance:

  1. Battery Inspection: Regularly check the battery for signs of corrosion, loose terminals, or a low charge.

  2. Wiring Check: Inspect wiring for damage, fraying, or loose connections. Address any issues promptly.

2. Troubleshooting Electrical Circuits

If you encounter electrical malfunctions, follow these troubleshooting steps:

  1. Use a Multimeter: Invest in a multimeter to test electrical connections and identify issues.

  2. Check Fuses: Inspect and replace blown fuses with the appropriate amperage rating.

  3. Consult the Manual: Refer to the machine’s manual for a detailed electrical schematic to aid troubleshooting.

Track and Undercarriage Problems

1. Inspecting Tracks for Wear and Tear

Tracks are vital for stability and performance. Regular inspections are key:

  1. Uneven Wear: Look for signs of uneven wear and replace tracks if necessary.

  2. Tension Adjustment: Ensure that tracks have the correct tension. Tracks that are too loose or too tight can lead to issues.

2. Maintaining Undercarriage Components

Maintain undercarriage components to prevent problems:

  1. Lubrication: Regularly lubricate rollers, idlers, and sprockets as recommended in the manual.

  2. Cleaning: Remove mud, rocks, and debris from the undercarriage to prevent damage and reduce vibrations.

Read More: Bobcat S160 Problems: Troubleshooting Guide

Preventive Maintenance

Importance of Regular Maintenance

Preventive maintenance is the backbone of keeping your Bobcat 953 compact track loader in peak working condition. Regular maintenance not only ensures that your machine operates smoothly but also prevents costly breakdowns and extends its overall lifespan. Here’s why it’s crucial:

  • Enhanced Performance: Regular maintenance keeps all components running efficiently, ensuring maximum performance. This means faster work and higher productivity.
  • Safety: A well-maintained machine is a safe machine. It reduces the risk of accidents caused by malfunctioning parts.
  • Cost Savings: Addressing issues early through maintenance is much cheaper than dealing with major breakdowns or component replacements.
  • Resale Value: If you decide to sell your Bobcat 953, a well-maintained machine fetches a better price and is more appealing to potential buyers.

Maintenance Checklist for the Bobcat 953

To ensure your Bobcat 953 is well-maintained, follow this maintenance checklist:

  1. Engine Maintenance:

    • Change engine oil and filters at recommended intervals.
    • Clean or replace the air filter regularly.
    • Inspect the cooling system for leaks and ensure the coolant level is appropriate.
  2. Hydraulic System:

    • Check hydraulic fluid levels and top up as needed.
    • Replace damaged hydraulic hoses promptly.
    • Clean or replace hydraulic filters as specified in the manual.
  3. Electrical System:

    • Inspect the battery for corrosion and loose connections.
    • Regularly check wiring for signs of damage or wear.
    • Ensure that all lights, gauges, and electrical components are functioning properly.
  4. Undercarriage and Tracks:

    • Lubricate rollers, idlers, and sprockets as recommended in the manual.
    • Inspect tracks for wear and tension regularly.
    • Clean the undercarriage to remove debris, mud, and rocks.
  5. Fuel System:

    • Use clean, quality fuel to prevent contamination.
    • Change fuel filters at recommended intervals.
    • Consider using fuel additives to maintain fuel quality.
  6. Tires and Wheels (if applicable):

    • Inspect tires for damage, wear, and proper inflation.
    • Replace or repair damaged tires promptly.
  7. Regular Inspections:

    • Perform daily or pre-operation inspections, checking for loose bolts, leaks, and other visible issues.
    • Keep a log of all maintenance and inspections for reference.

Recommended Maintenance Schedule

Adhering to a recommended maintenance schedule is crucial for the long-term health of your Bobcat 953. While specific intervals may vary based on usage and operating conditions, here’s a general guideline:

  • Daily Inspections: Before each use, perform a quick visual inspection for leaks, loose bolts, and visible issues. Check for proper lubrication and tire pressure if applicable.

  • Weekly Maintenance:

    • Check hydraulic fluid levels and top up if necessary.
    • Inspect tracks for wear and tension.
    • Clean the undercarriage and remove debris.
  • Monthly Maintenance:

    • Change engine oil and replace oil filters.
    • Clean or replace the air filter.
    • Inspect the cooling system for leaks and check the coolant level.
  • Quarterly Maintenance:

    • Replace hydraulic filters and perform a thorough hydraulic system check.
    • Inspect and clean the battery and electrical connections.
    • Check fuel filters and the fuel system for any issues.
  • Annually Maintenance:

    • Comprehensive inspection of all components, including the undercarriage, electrical systems, and engine.
    • Consider professional servicing for a more detailed assessment.

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Professional Assistance

Knowing When to Seek Professional Help

As capable as you might be in maintaining your Bobcat 953, there are times when professional assistance becomes essential. Knowing when to seek help is key to ensuring the longevity and optimal performance of your compact track loader. Here are some instances where professional assistance is warranted:

  1. Complex Repairs: If you encounter complex issues with the engine, hydraulics, or electrical systems that are beyond your expertise, it’s best to consult a professional technician.

  2. Warranty Work: If your Bobcat 953 is under warranty, it’s advisable to have authorized technicians handle repairs and maintenance to maintain the warranty’s validity.

  3. Safety Concerns: If there are safety concerns or issues that may put operators at risk, professional help is a must to ensure the machine’s safe operation.

  4. Specialized Tools: Some maintenance and repair tasks may require specialized tools and equipment that only certified technicians have access to.

  5. Unresolved Problems: If you’ve attempted to resolve an issue, and it persists or worsens, it’s a sign that a professional technician is needed to diagnose and repair the problem accurately.

Benefits of Hiring a Certified Technician

When you decide to seek professional assistance for your Bobcat 953, it’s advantageous to hire a certified technician from an authorized service center. Here’s why:

  1. Expertise: Certified technicians have specialized training and expertise in working with Bobcat equipment, ensuring a thorough understanding of the machinery.

  2. Access to Genuine Parts: Authorized service centers typically have access to genuine Bobcat replacement parts, ensuring quality and compatibility with your machine.

  3. Warranty Maintenance: If your machine is under warranty, certified technicians are essential for maintaining the warranty’s coverage by following the manufacturer’s guidelines.

  4. Proper Tools and Equipment: Certified technicians have access to the proper tools and equipment necessary for diagnosing and repairing complex issues effectively.

  5. Safety: Certified technicians are well-versed in safety protocols, reducing the risk of accidents during maintenance and repairs.

How to Find a Reputable Bobcat Service Center

When searching for a reputable Bobcat service center, consider the following steps:

  1. Manufacturer’s Website: Start by visiting the official Bobcat website. They often have a locator tool to help you find authorized service centers in your area.

  2. Ask for Recommendations: Seek recommendations from fellow Bobcat 953 owners or operators. They can provide firsthand insights into the service centers they trust.

  3. Check for Certification: Ensure that the service center is certified by Bobcat or has technicians who hold relevant certifications.

  4. Read Reviews: Online reviews and testimonials can provide valuable information about the quality of service provided by a particular center.

  5. Visit the Center: Before committing, visit the service center to get a sense of their facilities and meet with the technicians to discuss your needs.

  6. Compare Prices: While cost isn’t the only factor, it’s important to compare service prices and ensure they align with your budget.

  7. Communication: Choose a service center that values clear communication, provides estimates, and explains the scope of work before beginning any maintenance or repairs.

Read More: Bobcat S450 Problems: Troubleshooting Tips for Smooth Operation


In conclusion, maintaining your Bobcat 953 compact track loader is essential for efficient operation and long-term performance. Regular preventive maintenance and quick solutions for common problems are the first line of defense against costly breakdowns. However, there are times when professional assistance is necessary to address complex issues or ensure the safety and warranty of your machine.

Hiring a certified technician from a reputable Bobcat service center can offer several advantages, including expertise, access to genuine parts, and adherence to manufacturer guidelines. By following the guidelines in this blog post, you’ll be well-prepared to keep your Bobcat 953 in optimal working condition and make informed decisions when seeking professional assistance.

Remember that a well-maintained Bobcat 953 not only saves you money and downtime but also ensures a safe and productive work environment for you and your team.

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