2021 Kubota SVL-97 Engine problems and Kubota's Warranty Response

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New member
Jul 26, 2018
Hey guys, I hope that all is well with the group. In July I purchased a used 2021 Kubota SVL-97 with 798 hours from one of these places where they buy and sell used skid steers. I ran it for about 15 hours just doing dirt work and such and had no issues. I purchased a new forestry mulcher as I am starting a land clearing business. On my first attempt to grind on a stump, it ran for about 30 seconds, lost power and died. Kubota service came out and checked it and found no issues. I tried it one more time and same result, so off to the dealer. When they tore into it, they indicated that the turbo failed and indicated that they would replace it. After looking upstream, they pulled the head and found that the #4 piston was had eroded and failed. There were early signs of failure on the #1 piston as well. Kubota pulled the injectors for testing and had fuel, oil and coolant analyzed. They came back and indicated that there was too much particulate in the fuel and they are blaming the high particulate count on the failure. They have not denied my claim yet, but it appears that they are heading that way. What makes no sense to me is that they are making a judgment call on the fuel without seeing what the fuel looks like after going through the fuel filter. The service manager also indicated that there is a service bulletin out there indicating that they are seeing injector failures in that they are opening and closing too slowly, but he seemed to backtrack on that pretty quickly. From looking at the photos that I posted below, this seems to be nothing more than an injector failure that caused the piston and cylinder to wash out. The turbo failure was likely due to piston debris going through the turbo.

Any input or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. It really sucks that this machine is not even due for its 2nd oil change and the engine is toast. I asked for a quote to replace the engine and I am looking at a $30,000.00 bill to get it back up and running. I was willing to pay alot for this relatively new machine with a warranty only to get screwed by Kubota.




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Last edited:

Jim A

Well-known member
Nov 28, 2022
New age common rail .. Critical for clean good fuel .
Filter should have stopped 10microns or less and water though.
Most small CAT 289 have Kubota .
My 308 Cat excavator 2016 has that motor .
3700 hours and 289 has 3700 hours only DPF filter went bad on 308.
Must be faulty fuel filter system.