4 Most Reported 743 Bobcat Problems and Expert Fixes

The 743 Bobcat skid-steer loader is reliable for construction, agriculture, and commercial landscaping.

Most of its users love its stability, durability, and versatility, which you will appreciate once you operate it. However, there are several 743 Bobcat problems that you must know about for early preparation should you encounter them. Common hitches with this Bobcat steer loader include a hard start, troublesome steering, overheating, and hydraulic malfunctions.

Herein, I comprehensively examine the issues affecting this Bobcat model and how to overcome them.

Bobcat 743 Won’t Start

A hard start is one of the occasional troubles to expect from the Bobcat 743. When you turn on the ignition, the engine fails to turn over. Sometimes, the engine may start, but it will die immediately.

The starting difficulty primarily originates from the electrical unit, with the blame mainly pointing to a faulty battery or loose connections.

Signs of an electrical failure are dim or flickering lights and clicks when starting the skid steer. A bad starter and ignition switch are other causes of this trouble.

The fault may lie in the fuel system, a possible case of insufficient, poor-quality, or degraded diesel in the tank.

Does the 743 fail to start when it is cold? If affirmative, you might be dealing with gelled fuel, which is hard to flow. Moreover, freezing conditions may affect battery functionality, and it won’t adequately transmit power.


You should take note of the symptoms accompanying the hard start to point out the problem. Dimming, flickering, or no lights hints at electrical faults. You should check your battery, the connections, and associated components like the fuse and ignition switch.

You can revive a dead battery by jumpstarting it. Replace it if it is past its service life. Clean corroded terminals and fix loose connections. Check the fuse and use a tester to pick out a blown one and replace it. You may need an expert to troubleshoot a faulty ignition switch.

Spluttering noises or jerking during ignition signals issues with the fuel system. Refill the tank if it’s empty with high-quality fuel. Get a fuel stabilizer to prevent degradation and gelling, particularly when parking the skid-steer loader for extended periods.

Problematic Steering

The steering system is the genesis of numerous 743 Bobcat problems, such as stiffness and noises when turning the steering. This hitch is a huge dealbreaker, as it affects workflow and may expose the operator to accidents.

The trouble may be due to low hydraulic steering fluid, low tire pressure, a damaged steering pump, or worn-out steering linkage parts.

Regarding hydraulic fluid, you should check for leaks if the levels are abnormally low. Bubbles in the fluid bring about rattling and whining noises during operation.


Troubleshooting steering issues requires you to inspect the entire system. Start by feeling the levers and focus on the stiff or loosely moving one. Abnormal motion may indicate damaged parts that need fixing or replacement.

Leaking hydraulic fluid is a sign of worn-out seals or damaged assembly. Get new seals and replace the assembly in case of excessive wear. Bleed the steering hydraulic unit if you notice weird sounds, which indicate cavitation.

You should adequately inflate and balance the tires for effortless steering and stability during operation.

Lift and Tilt Not Working

The Bobcat 743’s lift and tilt system is crucial to its overall functionality, assuming the role of load handling and adjustments. After extended use, the lift and tilt unit may stop working, rendering the steer loader useless.

The trouble mainly originates from the hydraulic system, primarily damaged cylinders, low hydraulic fluid levels, faulty valves and switches, or cavitation.


Start by examining the hydraulic fluid reservoir to see if you have enough fluid or if there are leaks. Fill up hydraulic fluid and fix minor leaks; larger ones may prompt a reservoir change. Repair damaged cylinders, valves, and switches.

Bleeding is the go-to solution for cavitation. You can prevent cavitation by using high-quality hydraulic fluid and ensuring you have appropriate fittings.


Overheating is among the most reported 743 Bobcat problems. Several culprits may be responsible for the 743 Bobcat’s overheating, mostly a snag with the cooling system. 

You may be dealing with a beat radiator, inadequate coolant, and a malfunctioning fan. A faulty thermostat, low engine oil, or blown gasket may also take the blame.

Overheating wears the Bobcat 743 engine fast and may cause severe damage if not attended to promptly. You should turn off the engine when you notice signs of overheating, such as a smoking or steaming engine compartment, burning odors, and stalling.


If you suspect an overheating engine, turn it off immediately and allow it to cool. Do not rush the cooling process by pouring water over the engine, as you might damage the engine block.

Start by probing the cooling system, as there is a high probability that it is the source of the problem. Fill up the coolant tank if the levels are low using high-grade coolant. Also, check the tank for leaks and address them depending on the damage extent.

Clean a dirty radiator and straighten bent fins. Get a new radiator if the one you have appears to be out of order to avoid recurrent overheating.

You must regularly change engine oil to prevent this problem. Furthermore, replace a blown gasket and a faulty thermostat.

Bobcat 743 Specs

NameBobcat 743
Engine1.73-liter liquid cooled diesel engine
Horsepower36 Hp
Operating weight4720 lbs.
Rated operating capacity1300 lbs.
Tipping load2600 lbs.
Auxiliary standard flow (hydraulic system)11 gallons/minute
Length120.4 inches
Width55.1 inches
Height75.8 inches
Wheelbase35.4 inches
Reach at maximum height21.8 inches
bobcat 743 problems

How Good Is the 743 Bobcat?

The 743 Bobcat is a workhorse and ideal equipment for construction and landscaping work. It has been a mainstay in the scene for over 30 years, with many users swearing about its effectiveness.

The 743 Bobcat problems highlighted in this post are manageable, especially if you know your way around general auto mechanics. With proper maintenance, you won’t experience most of the troubles. Always let an experienced hand handle the complicated issues of this steer loader.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are frequently asked questions about the Bobcat 743.

Is the 743 Bobcat Similar to the 743B Bobcat?

The Bobcat 743 and 743B are the same model, though the latter is an upgrade of the former. The Bobcat 743 debuted in the late 80s, while the 743B debuted in the early 90s. The 743B is heavier, comfier, and costlier than the 743. Operating lights and auxiliary hydraulics are also standard on the 743 but optional on the 743B.

What Engine Does the 743 Bobcat Run On?

The Bobcat 743 runs on a 4-cylinder, 1.73-liter, liquid-cooled diesel engine with a 36-horsepower rating.

Who Makes the 743 Bobcat Engine?

The robust engine under the 743 Bobcat’s hood is a Kubota V1702. It is common in other agricultural and construction equipment such as tractors, sweepers, and other skid-steer loader models.