Common Bobcat 873 Problems

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The Bobcat 873 is a classic skid-steer loader that is well-loved by users for its efficiency and superb performance. But like every skid-steer loader, it is not without problems.

This article shares some common Bobcat 873 problems and troubleshooting tips to help you fix the issues.

Ready? Let’s dive right into it:

5 Common Bobcat 873 Problems


Here are the five common problems with your Bobcat 873 skid-steer loader:

1. Starting Problem

This is one of the common problems with the classic skid-steer loader. Some owners have complained about their machine having starting problems. 

Its Deutz engine may develop starting issues for some reasons. These include:

  • Faulty or Blown Head Gaskets

Faulty or blown head gaskets can also cause starting issues. Head gaskets provide a seal that prevents oil and coolant from entering the cylinders. 

The moment the seal is blown, the coolant and oil constantly leak to the cylinders, causing the skid-steer loader not to start.

Fix: Replace blown or faulty head gaskets with a new one.

  • Bad Fuel or Improper Airflow

The machine may not start as a result of two factors- bad fuel and improper airflow. You won’t face this problem if the fuel is in good condition or the airflow is fine. 

Frozen or bad fuel can make things go wrong, causing your machine not to start.

Fix: Check fuel to ensure it is in good condition.

  • Stuck Intake Valve

A stuck intake valve may also cause your machine not to start. 

If it gets stuck, it will stop the flow of air or fuel to the cylinders. In this case, the cylinders will be unable to get fuel and this will stop the engine from starting.

Fix: Check for the stuck intake valve and seek the help of a professional to solve the problem.

2. Faulty Turbo

Some users also complained about turbo issues. To ensure optimal performance, keep the turbocharger in an ideal condition. 

This will also enable you to get more power out of the engine. The major cause for faulty turbo can be linked to oil-related issues such as oil contamination or oil starvation.

Operating with a defective turbo will leave the Bobcat 873 model with problems because it relies greatly on the turbo to provide maximum output. This results in poor acceleration and emission of more exhaust smoke.

Fix: If you notice that the turbo is faulty, you should replace it with a new one. Keep a constant observation on the oil to lengthen the life of the turbocharger.

3. Snapped Timing Belt

Another issue with the skid-steer loader is snapped timing belt. It might look as if it is not a big problem, but it is. 

Timing belts ensure that the opening and closing of the engine valves occur at the proper time to enhance smooth engine operation.

Snapped timing belts expose your engine to potential damage. Oil leak problems can also trigger this issue. It is advisable to fix it to prevent further damage to your engine.

Fix: Always ensure regular diagnosis and changing of timing belts every two thousand hours.

4. Issues with the Loader Arms


Some users also complained about their Bobcat 873 model having issues with their loader arms. These loader arms often get stuck or even go up and down automatically and this could be frustrating.

The loader arms might face a problem because of a defective ACS lift actuator. A problem may also occur in the potentiometer that provides information to the ACS control.

Inner components of the actuator can also get stuck. In some cases, the machine’s actuator may also get contaminated with hydraulic oil. 

If the filter is jammed, the loader arms won’t function freely and its power will be lesser.

Fix: Check the level of hydraulic fluid and make sure that you do not overfill the reservoir. In addition, you can also check the hydraulic filter.

5. Revving Way Too High

This problem is related to starting issues but we decided to discuss it as a separate point for better comprehension. If your machine revs too high, you may find it difficult to turn it off with a key.

This problem happens as a result of an air leak or a bad idle stabilizer. You don’t need to worry because this problem can be easily solved.

Fix:  Check for air leaks. If you observe that the problem is linked with a bad idle stabilizer, it is advisable to replace it.


The Bobcat 873 skid-steer loader is still a great choice for several people because of its great performance but it isn’t without downsides. You do not need to be worried about the problems because they can be easily solved.

We have outlined the common issues of the Bobcat 873 skid-steer loader and its troubleshooting tips to guide you.

If you have tried the above troubleshooting tips and you notice that the problems persist, you can contact a professional to help you out.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Bobcat 873 a good machine?

Yes, the Bobcat 873 model is a good machine. It is well-liked for its great performance.

What engine is in Bobcat 873?

The Bobcat 873 model runs on a 73.5 hp Deutz engine.

How much will a Bobcat 873 lift?

The machine offers 2300 lbs of lift (rated operating capacity) to easily handle big loads like pallets of brick or sod.

Is a Bobcat 873 high flow?

The Bobcat has a high-flow option package that gives your Bobcat 873 skid-steer loader an extra 10 gpm of hydraulic flow for a total of 30 gpm.