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Caterpillar 242B3 Troubleshooting

The Cat 242B3 skid steer loader is powered by 207.5 cu.in (3.4L) Caterpillar C3.4 DIT four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine with a rated power of 71 hp (53 kW) at 2500 rpm. The Caterpillar 242B3 is equipped with a two-speed hydrostatic transmission, radial-lift loader boom, 80HS continuous roller chains, and 12x16.5 tires. The hydraulic system has a pump with fluid flow rate of 22 gpm (83 lpm) or 31 gpm (117 lpm). The hydraulic pressure is 3335 psi (230 bar). The skid steer loader has a rated operating capacity of 2150 lbs (975 kg) and tipping load of 4300 lbs (1950 kg). The boom lifting force is 4305 lbs (1953 kg), and bucket breakout force is 4507 lbs (2044 kg).

Engine Troubleshooting

Engine starts up hard or doesn't start
There is air in the fuel system - Bleed the system.
Fuel filter element is dirty - Service the filter.
Defective or clogged injection nozzle - Inspect nozzles and replace if necessary.
Water in the fuel system - Change fuel and repair fuel system.
Valve clearance is not correct - Adjust to proper valve clearance.
Faulty fuel injection pump - Install a new pump or rebuild.

Diesel starts and stalls immediately
Dirty air filter - Clean or change filter.
Fuel filter element clogging - Change or clean the filter element.
Fuel injection pump is leaking - Repair any leaks.
Defective or clogged fuel injectors - Clean fuel injectors or change it.
Fuel injection pump is faulty - Install a new pump or rebuild.

Engine shuts off while running
Engine is not warmed up to required temperature - Warm up the engine as required.
Dirty fuel filter - Install new filter element.
There is air in the fuel system - Bleed the system.
Faulty fuel injection nozzles - Change fuel injection nozzles.
Timing of fuel injection pump is incorrect - Adjust according to specifications.

Engine stalls while idling
Incorrect low idle setting - Normalize low idle speed.
Fuel injection pump is faulty - Install a new pump or rebuild.
Clogged or defective injectors - Change or clean fuel injectors.
Incorrect valve clearance - Need to adjust valve clearance.

Engine lacks power
Air filter is plugged - Install new air filter element.
Fuel injection nozzles are faulty or clogged - Change fuel injection nozzles.
Fuel injection pressure is wrong - Adjust pressure to proper level.
The valve clearance is incorrect - Have it adjusted.
Incorrect low idle setting - Test and adjust.
Dirt in the fuel hoses or lines - Service fuel hoses and lines.
Damaged cylinder-head gasket - Change cylinder head gasket.
Piston rings are damaged or leaking - Piston rings replacement required.

Engine overheating
Engine coolant is insufficient - Refill to the correct level and inspect system for leaks.
Engine oil level is low - Fill the crankcase with engine oil.
Radiator core is dirty or radiator cap is damaged - Clean radiator or replace cap.
Fan belt is broken or worn - Install new fan belt.
Diesel engine overloaded - Reduce engine load.

Oil pressure too low
Engine oil level low - Add oil to the engine crankcase.
Oil filter element clogged - Service or change engine oil filter element.
Incorrect engine oil Drain crankcase and refill with correct oil.
Excessive oil clearance of crankshaft bearing - Replace bearings.
Oil pump is defective - Inspect and change as required.

Engine noises or knocks
Insufficient engine oil - Fill the crankcase with engine oil.
Engine not warmed up - Warm up to required temperature.
Wrong setting of fuel injection pump timing - Set up as recommended.
Incorrectly adjusted low idle speed - Correct low idle adjustment.
Dirty or defective injectors - Inspect fuel injectors and change as required.
Connecting rod is defective or not aligned - Align or replace connecting rod.
Pistons are scored or worn - Pistons replacement required.

Drive System Troubleshooting

Drive system does not work in either direction
Hydraulic oil is insufficient - Need to add oil.
Damaged drive chain - Check drive chain and change faulty components.
Worn input drive shaft - Drive shaft need to be replaced or repair.
Relief valve is stuck - Repair or change.
Dirty hydraulic filter or suction line - Check, clean, or replace if required.
Worn or defective hand or foot controls - Change or repair.
Damaged drive pump or motor - Inspect and change as required.

Low power
Hydraulic oil filter is clogged - Replace hydraulic filter.
Damaged or opened relief valve - Close or change relief valve.
Transmission parts are defective or worn - Inspect and replace defective parts.
Input drive shaft is defective - Change or repair faulty drive shaft.
Air in hydraulic system - Bleed hydraulic system.

Drive system overheats
Insufficient hydraulic oil - Check and refill the hydraulic oil.
Plugged hydraulic fluid filter - Change hydraulic filter.
Relief valve is worn or damaged - Repair or install a new relief valve.
Worn hydraulic motor or drive pump - Check and repair if required.
Clogged hydraulic oil cooler - Clean cooling fins as required.
Overloaded drive system - Load should be reduced.

Drive system makes excessive noise
Incorrect oil viscosity - Use oil of correct viscosity.
Hydraulic system is leaking air - Bleed air from system.
Worn hydraulic motor or drive pump - Inspect and change as required.
Worn or damaged mechanical components of drive system - Inspect the parts for defect or damage and repair as required.

Hydraulics Troubleshooting

Hydraulic system is overheated
Hydraulic pressure incorrectly adjusted - Correct adjustment is required.
Main relief valve failure or improper setting - Adjust relief valve or change if required.
Hydraulic oil is dirty - The oil must be changed.
Lack of hydraulic fluid - Need to add fluid.
Hydraulic pump is faulty - Repair or replace pump if necessary.

Boom does not raise or lower
Lift controls are damaged - Inspect and repair if necessary.
Hydraulic pump is broken - Repair or replace pump if necessary.
Hydraulic control valve failure - Change or repair hydraulic valve.
Defective hydraulic cylinder - Repair or replace hydraulic cylinder.
Hydraulic oil level low - Checking hydraulic oil level and add if necessary.

Bucket is not working
Bucket tilt controls are defective - Change or repair.
Defective hydraulic pump - Replace or repair pump if necessary.
Hydraulic control valve is defective - Repair or replace hydraulic valve.
Broken bucket cylinder - Change or repair cylinder.
Hydraulic oil is insufficient - Checking hydraulic oil level and add if necessary.

Bucket or lift arm functions slowly
Defective hydraulic pump - Test pump performance and replace pump if necessary.
Hydraulic cylinder oil leakage - Correct leakage by changing the seals.
Insufficient hydraulic fluid - Fill up the hydraulic fluid.
Hydraulic control valve is not set properly or defective - Set properly or repair.
Hydraulic pressure loss - Adjust it correctly.

Lift arm or bucket is moving jerkily
Air in hydraulic system - Bleed air from hydraulic system.
Hydraulic oil filter clogging - Clean or replace the filter.
Contaminated hydraulic fluid - The fluid must be changed.
Cylinder rod or tube is scuffed - Change worn component.

Excessive hydraulic pump noise
Insufficient oil level or leaking hydraulic system - Add hydraulic oil or correct system leaks.
Plugged hydraulic filter - Service or change hydraulic filter.
Clogged suction line - Need to clean the suction line.
Air in hydraulic pump - Remove air from hydraulics.
Pump parts are faulty - Rebuild or change hydraulic pump.

Electrical Troubleshooting

Battery won’t charge
Electrical wire connections are loose or corroded - Clean or tighten connections.
Defective electrical terminal connectors - Change terminal connectors.
Battery is worn - Battery replacement required.
Damaged or loose belt - Belt needs to be adjusted or replaced.

Starter cranks slowly
Low battery power - Battery is drained, recharge it.
Battery drains quickly - Service or change the battery.
Disconnected battery cables or bad terminals - Connect cables correctly or replace terminals.

Starter is not cranking
Battery is drained or defective - Recharge or replace battery.
Battery wiring is disconnected or improperly connected - Inspect wiring and connect as required.
Low battery output - Recharge the battery.
Starter motor failure - Starter should be replaced.