How to Check if Your Hydraulic System is Not Working

Published: Last Updated: May 2, 2022 How To Series

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When a hydraulic cylinder system works optimally, pressure, power, and overall productivity work concurrently without issue. Whereas when a system falters and show increased operational issues such as high temperatures or excessive vibration, troubleshooting the problem can often create additional headaches beyond the system failure itself.

Due to the inherent structure of a hydraulic system, troubleshooting is a fundamental step that can help pinpoint the problem and get your hydraulic system back on track. A thorough assessment might take longer than expected, but it can also help find the root of the hydraulic system failure to ensure all parts of the system have been properly evaluated and operationally sound.

Hydraulic System Failure Problems

Having multiple parts within a hydraulic system, finding the cause of the system failure often means assessing all parts that could potentially cause failure. Causes of hydraulic system failure include:

  • Inoperative System. An inoperative system can result from clogged filters, oil line restriction, lack of oil, worn pumps, or excessive load damage.
  • Erratic System Operation. Erratic operation can result from damaged components, restricted oil lines, system leaks, or cold hydraulic fluid.
  • Slow Operation. Common causes of slow operating hydraulic systems include thickened fluids, air trapped in the hydraulic system, and worn out hydraulic components.
  • High Temperatures. Causes can include contaminated fluid, low fluid levels, accelerated engine speed, and worn components.
  • Loud or Vibrating Pumps or Motors. Loud pumps can result from low fluid levels, a plugged suction line, or loose components.
  • Leaks and Fluid Level Issues. Fluid leaks can result from damaged lines or worn seals and valves.
  • Contamination Issues. Fluid contamination can cause temperature issues as well as system malfunction issues where fluid flow is restricted.

Hydraulic System Troubleshooting

One of the easiest ways of troubleshooting an inefficient hydraulic system is to divide the system into 2 categories: volume or pressure. From there, you can identify the problem and fix the issue. Basic troubleshooting procedures can include:

  • Check the fluids.
  • Assess the motor.
  • Check the hydraulic cylinder pump.
  • Inspect the valves.
  • Make the needed adjustments and run the hydraulic system.

Preventing Hydraulic System Failure

Preventing a hydraulic system failure can mean keeping your mobile equipment up and running efficiently. While some system failures are unavoidable, one of the biggest ways to prevent a complete system failure is to implement a maintenance schedule. Taking the time for maintenance can provide peace of mind, in addition, to also potentially helping you detect issues before they spiral out of control.

When to Call the Hydraulic System Experts

Troubleshooting hydraulic system failures can be a time-consuming process. Just when you think you have found the root of the problem, it is entirely possible that another problem presents itself.  Decrease your downtime and contact the hydraulic system experts at Hydraulic Cylinders Inc. today.