How to Handle the Error Code on Your Forklift

April 16, 2021

Two forklift operators in a warehouse trying to figure out how to clear a forklift code.

There are many different things your forklift error code may be trying to tell you. What the exact message is depends on a variety of factors, like which error code on your forklift is being displayed and how specialized the code is. Some error codes on your forklift can be very generic, while other codes are very distinct.

In either case, your vehicle is trying to communicate an issue to you. It is up to you to determine what the issue is, and how to solve it.

With this guide, we will provide you with the information necessary to help your business combat forklift error codes. Let's get started!

How to Prevent an Error Code

The most simple way to solve a forklift error code is to prevent it. Keeping a daily maintenance routine is the most efficient way to do this. Some other precautions you can take include:

  1. Always check the battery and ensure it's connected properly. Inspect for any signs of corrosion on the terminals and casing. Also, ensure the auxiliary stems aren't running when the forklift is turned off.
  2. Maintain properly inflated tires to prevent blowouts, premature tire wear, and fuel economy. When practiced, this step will also prolong forklift runtime. Keep especially up-to-date on your tire pressure if your forklift is using inner tubes.
  3. Always follow the manufacturer's recommendations when it comes to your forklift's fluids and oils. Get an oil change every three months to optimize performance and to get the most out of your vehicle's life. Depending on how often you use your forklift, also replace your fluids every three months.
  4. Brakes are essential to your forklift. If you detect "softness", replace the break pads and calipers to prevent future accidents. For more information on forklift brakes, visit this brake inspections blog.
  5. Always check your coolant levels before operating, as low antifreeze levels can lead to overheating or freezing. To avoid overhearing and, in turn, corrosion, check the radiator for irregularities that could impact the coolant levels. Also remember to use a 50/50 ratio of water and coolant in the reservoir, as an imbalance could negatively impact forklift engine performance.

Reasons You Could Be Getting an Error Code

You might be thinking, "it's great to know how to prevent an error code, but what if I'm currently faced with one?" In that case, it's important to remember most mechanical issues have an associated error code. The most common codes generally refer to:

  • Bad Battery: Whether your voltage is low or your calibration is incorrect, your code might be warning you of a bad battery. Depending on what the issue is, you may need to water or fully charge the batteries. Also check for defects. Look here for more information on best forklift battery practices.
  • Faulty Steering Fluid Levels: An immediate threat will be posed to employee safety if there are low levels of steering fluid transmission. This will also endanger steering operation by not transmitting directional changes fast enough. Check the levels and top it off if needed, but issues like worn gears or faulty brakes will need professional service and repair.
  • Mast Problems: If your forklift is moving erratically, or causing mast problems, then you could be facing a malfunctioning hydraulic system. To solve hydraulic issues, you should repair the leaking cylinder or replace the forklift parts that are defective. A clogged hydraulic system may prevent your forklift from raising or lowering as expected.
  • Overheating: If the engine is overheating, an error code on your forklift will appear or be stored. A broken radiator or blockage is generally the cause of a vehicle's temperature exceeding its set limit. Clean blockage, such as dirt or mud, and try not to damage radiator fins while doing so. If issues persist, your radiator may have corrosion, which will need to be repaired or replaced.
  • Starting Trouble: Depending on your engine type, the problem is fuel or electric based. If the error code is appearing on your internal combustion forklift, either check for oil and fuel leaks or have the carburetor changed. If your electric forklift is displaying the error, see if the battery is connected properly and check the electrolyte level. Should battery issues persist, perform a battery function test or refer to the first bullet on this list.
Warehouse worker operating on his forklift to clear a forklift error code.

What To Do After

Error codes generally have only one underlying reason. However, narrowing down a reason behind the error code on your forklift is hard because of the amount of possibilities. The error code on your forklift can be warning you of defective function, short circuits, disconnections, overheating, or more. That's why you need to gather as much data as possible.

Whether your code appears through red lights or your forklift screen, the more information you collect, the closer to a diagnosis you'll be. Record every detail you can, as even seasoned mechanics can struggle to identify the problem. You can also look for the error code in your forklift owner manual, or check for it on the manufacturer's website.

However, if the time spent fixing error codes exceeds operation time, it may be time for a replacement. Luckily, we can assist you in finding the best deal on equipment in your area!

All you need to do is fill out this short form with the specifications of what you're looking for. We'll get back to you as soon as possible with free quotes on forklifts that fit your needs!

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