6 Most Common Bobcat E42 Problems And How to Fix Them

The Bobcat E42 is a versatile, high-performance machinery designed to tackle bulk excavation, demolition, and landscaping tasks. It’s prized for its ability to minimize ground disturbance while excelling at demanding projects. However, like other compact excavators, the E42 is prone to several issues. The most common Bobcat E42 problems are roller failure, slow hydraulics, main bearing failure, hydraulic leak, electrical issues, and problematic starts. 

Do you own a troublesome Bobcat E42? Learn how to fix your excavator with this detailed Bobcat E42 troubleshooting guide.

Roller Failure

Premature failure of rollers is a common problem in Bobcat E42 compact excavators. Roller failure can lead to poor performance and increased maintenance time/cost. Below are the leading causes of premature rollers failure in your excavator.

  • Uneven load of the excavator.
  • Mechanics not replacing dysfunctional rollers during the repair. These rollers tend to deteriorate as you continue using the excavator and eventually fail.
  • Driving your excavator at high speed for prolonged periods.
  • Oil leakage that causes incorrect lubrication of bearings. With time, insufficient oil cause the bearings to get stuck and fail to rotate inside the rollers.

Working with bad rollers can cause more severe damage to the components, such as the link chain. If you want to keep your excavator’s rollers in good condition, inspect them regularly and improve your maintenance strategy.

But if the rollers run into problems, you can fix them in the following ways:

  • Inspect the rollers and replace the dysfunctional ones.
  • Check for oil leakage and replace any rollers with signs of leakage.
  • Inspect the bearings and replace any that are stuck. Add more oil to prevent the new bearings from getting stuck. You can check the owner’s manual to know the correct oil type for your excavator.

Slow Hydraulics

This is one of the most common Bobcat E42 problems. In most cases, slow hydraulics can slow down the bucket curl. If you’re handling complex residential or commercial projects, getting the job done will take longer. This problem may result from low pressure on the pumps or the whole system.


  • Adjust the pressure on the pumps. If your excavator has low pressure on the pumps, adjusting the pressure will fix the problem.
  • If adjusting pressure on pumps won’t work, adjust the pressure of the whole system. Unfortunately, a complete pressure adjustment can be challenging. If this task is beyond your abilities, seek the help of a Bobcat dealer.

Main Bearing Failure

With time, the Bobcat E42 main bearing succumbs to wear and eventually fails. When the main bearing fails, it causes stress on the excavator’s final drive motor. If you continue using the excavator, this stress may damage the final drive parts or the motor.

There are several signs of a damaged or failed main bearing. For example, you may spot some metal flakes in the existing oil. These metal flakes come from wear and tear of the bearing.

You can also notice a reduction in the drive oil level when performing maintenance. This usually results from a leaking main seal. When the main seal leaks, it reduces the amount of lubricant to the bearing, causing friction and wear.

How to Fix:

  • If the main bearing is damaged, replace it.
  • Check the level of drive oil. Add fresh oil if it’s below the recommended manufacturer’s level. You can change the drive oil if the existing oil has metal flakes and other debris. Some people recommend changing the excavator’s drive oil every 300 hours.
  • Inspect the main seal to see if it has leaking areas. Replace the leaking main seal. Note that replacing the main seal involves high labor costs.
  • If the failed bearing caused damage to the motor and final drive parts, replace them.

Hydraulic Leak Problems

Most Bobcat E42 users have encountered hydraulic leak problems with their excavators. When this happens, the hydraulic fluid may contaminate the engine and other components. Your machine will start to show poor performance and may eventually succumb to severe damage.

Hydraulic fluid leak problems may arise from defective seals or hoses. The leak may also come from the excavator’s auxiliary hydraulic couplers.

How to Fix:

  • Inspect the seals and hoses for signs of damage. Worn and old seals and hoses can cause the hydraulic fluid to leak. Replace them if they appear worn or old.
  • Check if the leak is coming from the auxiliary hydraulic couplers. Replace them if necessary.

When fixing the hydraulic leaks in your excavator, consider the following:

  • Don’t inspect the leaking parts with your hands.
  • Don’t reuse the O-rings.
  • Depressurize the system before disconnecting the couplers.
  • Hydraulic fluid is highly flammable, so keep welding torches, lighters, and cigarettes away.

Error Code 4622

Some Bobcat E42 problems arise in the electrical system. If your excavator has faulty sensors or malfunctioned fuses, you may see the error code 4622. This usually happens when you try to start the excavator.

If one of the sensors is faulty, it won’t recognize any voltage, thus producing this error code. Sometimes, it might be a problem with the wiring that causes the sensor to fail.


  • Test the testers to identify the faulty one. If the sensor is damaged, replace it.
  • Check if there are damaged or loose connections. If you find damaged wires, replace them. If loose connections are the culprits, secure them tightly.
  • Check for damaged fuses and replace them.

Starting Problems

This is another Bobcat E42 problem associated with the electrical system. The major culprit if your excavator doesn’t start is the starter. A starting problem can be frustrating, especially when you have new projects.

Some users think this is a battery problem. However, even after cleaning the terminals or replacing the battery, this problem persists. The engine won’t start even after jump-starting it.

If you crank the engine, it may take longer to start and may eventually fail to start at all. This problem occurs when the starter is shorted. It may also be an issue with the wiring.

One common sign of a shorted starter is a burnt smell from the starter motor. If the wires connected to the starter develop a problem, they can cause a short and create a burnt smell. When this happens, your starter will develop starting problems or fail to start.

How to Fix:

  • If the problem results from the starter, remove it for testing. The nearest parts store can offer free testing. Replace the starter if it’s shorted.
  • Check the wiring for signs of breakage. Remove the broken wires and replace them with new ones.

Closing Thoughts

The Bobcat E42 is a reliable compact excavator for complex residential and commercial projects. However, like other heavy equipment, your excavator can suffer from wear and tear and face various problems.

Thankfully, you can use the above tips to fix the most common Bobcat E42 problems. Remember to care for and maintain your excavator to keep it in tip-top condition and prolong its lifespan.