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Caterpillar 246 Troubleshooting

The Caterpillar 246 skid steer loader is powered by 181 cu.in (3.0L) Caterpillar 3034T 4-cylinder turbocharged liquid-cooled diesel engine with a rated power of 74 hp (55 kW) at 2600 rpm. The Cat 246 is equipped with a single-speed or two-speed hydrostatic transmission, radial-lift loader boom, 100HS drive chains, and 12.00x16.5 standard tires. The hydraulic system has a pump with fluid flow rate of 22 gpm (83 lpm). The hydraulic pressure is 3336 psi (230 bar). The skid steer loader has a rated operating capacity of 2000 lbs (907 kg) and tipping load of 4000 lbs (1815 kg). The boom breakout force is 4330 lbs (1968 kg), and bucket breakout force is 5250 lbs (2385 kg).

Engine Troubleshooting

Engine starts hard or doesn't start
Air in the fuel pipes - Bleed the fuel pipes.
Dirty fuel filter - Replace filter element.
Dirty or damaged injection nozzles - Change fuel injection nozzles.
Water in the fuel system - Change fuel and repair fuel system.
Incorrect valve clearance - Check and adjust.
Fuel injection pump damage - Repair or replace injection pump.

Engine starts and stalls suddenly
Air cleaner is clogged - Clean or replace element.
Fuel filter element clogging - Change filter element.
Fuel injection pump is leaking - Repair any leaks.
Fuel injectors are dirty or defective - Change or clean fuel injectors.
Fuel injection pump is not operating properly - Replace or repair injection pump.

Engine stalls during operation
Engine is not preheated - Warm up engine as required.
Dirty fuel filter - Change filter element.
Air in the fuel pipes - Bleed the fuel pipes.
Fuel injection nozzles fault - Clean or replace injection nozzles.
Incorrect adjustment of fuel injection pump timing - Set up as recommended.

Engine shuts off while idling
Incorrect low idle speed adjustment - Adjustment required.
Fuel injection pump is damaged - Repair or change injection pump.
Defective fuel injectors - Clean or replace fuel injectors.
Improper valve clearance - Adjust valve clearance.

Lack of engine power
Clogged air filter - Change or service air filter element.
Clogged or burnt injection nozzle - Check injection nozzles and replace if required.
Insufficient fuel injection pressure - Adjust to proper pressure.
The valve clearance is not adjusted - Adjust valve clearance.
Too low idle RPM - Adjust as required.
Fuel hoses or lines clogging - Clean fuel lines and hoses.
Damaged cylinder-head gasket - Install a new gasket.
Leaking or defective piston rings - Replace the piston rings as required.

Engine overheating
Insufficient coolant - Add coolant fluid to cooling system and also check it for leaks.
Not enough engine oil - Fill up the oil to required level.
Dirty radiator core or faulty radiator cap - Clean radiator or replace cap.
Fan belt slipping or worn - Replace the fan belt.
Engine overloaded - Load reducing required.

Oil pressure too low
Oil level is insufficient - Fill crankcase to proper oil level.
Oil filter element clogged - Service or change engine oil filter element.
Oil grade or viscosity is wrong - Use proper viscosity oil.
Excessive crankshaft bearing oil clearance - Replace bearings.
Oil pump is damaged - Remove and inspect oil pump.

Abnormal engine knocking or noise
Engine oil level is low - Check and refill engine oil.
Engine has not warmed up to the recommended temperature - Normalize the temperature by warming up the engine.
Fuel injection pump timing is wrong - Set it up as required.
Wrong adjustment of low idle speed - Adjust as required.
Fuel injectors are faulty or clogged - Inspect fuel injectors and change as required.
Connecting rod is misaligned or worn - Align or change connecting rod.
Pistons are broken or worn - Have pistons replaced.

Drive System Troubleshooting

Drive system doesn't function in one direction or either direction
Low hydraulic fluid level - Checking hydraulic fluid level and add if necessary.
Drive chain is damaged - Check drive chain and change faulty components.
Defective relief valve - Service or change relief valve.
Suction line or hydraulic filter is clogged - Check, clean, or replace if required.
Worn or damaged foot or hand controls - Change or repair.
Drive motor or pump is defective - Change or repair faulty component.

Power is too low
Hydraulic oil filter is clogged - Change hydraulic filter.
Relief valve is defective or opened - Close or change relief valve.
Transmission parts are defective or worn - Inspect and change faulty parts.
Input drive shaft is worn - Rebuild or change the shaft.
There is air in the hydraulic system - Bleed hydraulic system.

Overheated drive system
Insufficient hydraulic oil - Checking hydraulic oil level and add if necessary.
Hydraulic fluid filter is dirty - Replace or clean hydraulic filter.
Worn or damaged relief valve - Repair or replace.
Hydraulic motor or drive pump is defective - Repair or replace faulty component.
Hydraulic oil cooler is dirty - Cooling fins need to be cleaned.
Overloaded drive system - Reduce loading.

Drive system makes excessive noise
Improper oil viscosity - Drain and refill with correct oil.
Hydraulic system is leaking air - Need to bleed air.
Drive pump or hydraulic motor malfunction - Check and repair if required.
Worn or defective mechanical parts of drive system - Inspect drive system and replace faulty components.

Hydraulics Troubleshooting

Hydraulic system has overheating
Hydraulic pressure is incorrect - Set pressure correctly.
Main relief valve failure or improper setting - Replace or set up the relief valve.
Dirty hydraulic oil - The oil must be changed.
Lack of hydraulic oil - Fill up the hydraulic oil.
Hydraulic pump is faulty - Repair or replace pump if necessary.

Lift arm can't drop or lift
Lift controls are faulty - Check and repair as required.
Damaged hydraulic oil pump - Install new pump or repair it.
Damaged hydraulic control valve - Change or repair hydraulic valve.
Hydraulic cylinder failure - Repair or change hydraulic cylinder.
Hydraulic oil level low - Checking hydraulic oil level and add if necessary.

Bucket is not working
Bucket tilt controls are damaged - Check and repair as required.
Hydraulic pump malfunction - Repair or replace pump if necessary.
Defective hydraulic control valve - Repair or change hydraulic valve.
Hydraulic bucket cylinder is broken - Install a new cylinder or repair it.
Low hydraulic oil level - Check and refill the hydraulic oil.

Bucket or lift arm runs slowly
Hydraulic pump is defective - Check the pump capacity and replace pump if required.
Oil leaks from hydraulic cylinder - Repair leak by replacing the seals.
Hydraulic oil is insufficient - Checking hydraulic oil level and add if necessary.
Hydraulic control valve is defective or set improper - Repair or set correctly.
Hydraulic pressure has dropped - Correct setting is required.

Bucket or boom movements are jerky
Air leaks in hydraulic system - Need to bleed air.
Hydraulic oil filter clogging - Service or replace the hydraulic filter.
Contaminated hydraulic oil - Hydraulic oil change required.
Scratched cylinder rod or tube - Change defective component.

Hydraulic pump is excessively noisy
Lack of oil or hydraulic leakage - Remedy hydraulic leakage or refill oil as necessary.
Plugged hydraulic filter - Service or replace hydraulic filter.
Plugged suction line - Need to clean the suction line.
Pump is sucking air - Bleed air from hydraulics.
Pump parts are faulty - Rebuild or replace hydraulic pump.

Electrical Troubleshooting

Battery will not charge
Loose or corroded electrical wiring connections - Tighten or service cable connections.
Electrical terminal connectors are defective - Replace terminal connectors.
Faulty cell in battery - Battery replacement required.
Loose or damaged belt - Belt needs to be adjusted or changed.

Starter cranks slowly
Low battery output voltage - Charge the battery.
Battery drains quickly - Service battery or change it.
Faulty battery terminals or disconnected cables - Check cables and service or change terminals.

Starter will not crank
Battery is discharged or defective - Recharge or replace battery.
Battery wiring is disconnected or improperly connected - Inspect wiring and connect as required.
Low battery output voltage - Battery is drained, recharge it.
Starter motor failure - Change or repair starter.