Maintaining Your Hydraulic Cylinder

Published: Last Updated: August 3, 2022 How To Series ,

Hydraulic cylinders are built to withstand heavy-duty applications, rugged environments, and continuous use. However, no matter your application or equipment, hydraulic cylinders require upkeep and servicing to continue operating at a high level. Regular inspections and preventative maintenance are the best ways to maintain any hydraulic cylinder. Through these processes, you can get to know your equipment and quickly notice when something is wrong. Your inspection could involve:

  • Testing hydraulic fluid and filters for contamination
  • Checking all seals, rods, and other component parts for wear
  • Noting any component parts in need of replacement
  • Ensuring no sideloading occurs during cylinder use.

Tips for Hydraulic Cylinder Upkeep

Before replacing parts or beginning any hydraulic cylinder maintenance, always prepare a clean and orderly workspace. You should also consult your specific equipment’s manual.

Lubricate Hydraulic Cylinder Rods

Lubricating your hydraulic cylinder rods as a part of your upkeep routine can improve your equipment’s efficiency and help avoid rust or pitting. It is a straightforward process that can be completed in a few steps.

  1. Determine which lubricant is best for your equipment.
  2. Clean and remove old or existing lubricant before applying new oil or grease [Link to New “Protect Your Hydraulic Cylinder with Grease” Post].
  3. Flush your hydraulic system.
  4. Apply new lubricant.
  5. Reassemble your hydraulic cylinder.

Change Hydraulic Fluids & Install New Filters

Hydraulic fluid contamination occurs from many sources and is an unavoidable aspect of normal hydraulic cylinder operations. Changing your hydraulic fluid as a part of your hydraulic cylinder maintenance routine will improve the efficiency of your machinery.

  1. Remove the hydraulic hose.
  2. Take the hydraulic cylinder out of your equipment.
  3. Drain old or contaminated hydraulic fluid.
  4. Clean the hydraulic cylinder using a rag or towel to remove any grime or residue.
  5. Reinstall the hydraulic cylinder.
  6. Reconnect the hydraulic hose.
  7. Fill with new hydraulic oil or other fluids.

Another way to stop contamination from entering your system is to ensure new filters are regularly installed. Change hydraulic cylinder filters when they are at approximately 80% capacity as filters cannot perform adequately when they are completely full.

Rotate or Alternate Heavy-Use Hydraulic Cylinders

Downtime dedicated to hydraulic cylinder maintenance may be impossible for some equipment. By keeping a set of spare cylinders, you can continue your operations uninterrupted while performing necessary hydraulic cylinder upkeep. This break from continuous use also allows your cylinders to stay in good shape for longer, even in harsh conditions, creating time and space for necessary testing, inspections, or part replacement.

Replace Worn Component Parts and Service Hydraulic Cylinder Accessories

Hydraulic cylinder component parts and accessories can become worn or damaged during normal use. Replacing these parts is a necessary aspect of any hydraulic cylinder maintenance protocol, and could include:

Your Full-Service Partner for Servicing Hydraulic Cylinders

When it’s time for replacing component parts or servicing your hydraulic cylinder, you need a full-service partner with the industry knowledge and hands-on expertise to complete any job. Hydraulic Cylinders, Inc. is an American-owned company dedicated to demolishing downtime through built-to-last products and unparalleled how-to advice.

Call (866) 817-9253 or contact us today to learn how HCI can support your hydraulic cylinder maintenance.