Early Signs of Hydraulic System Trouble

Hydraulic power systems operate with a pump, motor, sump, actuators, valves, and hydraulic fluid. With this combination, millions of applications can be configured to create and transfer power while reducing mechanical complexity. The prevalence of hydraulic systems and the applications across industries is supported by parts like the hydraulic fittings San Antonio markets offer. However, the demand for these parts from a power system owner might indicate a need for repair. To reduce expensive repair costs, learn the first signs of trouble from your hydraulic system.

The general signs of trouble include slow or erratic operation, higher operating temperatures, and noise. The most common causes of trouble and poor performance are related the air contamination, heat, and water contamination. As different elements of the pump begin to wear down, it can create additional problems by letting contaminants like debris into the system. The most expensive component to replace, should the damage be severe, is the hydraulic pump.

Heat Degradation

If the system is unable to dissipate heat through the fluid in the reservoir and heat exchanger, the fluid temperatures will rise. This makes the fluid more thin than its usual composition and weakens its ability to properly lubricate the elements in the pump. This can create leaks and reduce efficiency.


If there is excessive noise during operation, it could be related to air that has entered the system. This can lead to cavitation or aeration. The bubbles of air contaminate the fluid and can lead to knocking or banging noises. If the hydraulic fluid is looking cloudy or milky, it is a clear sign that water contamination has occurred. The pump is susceptible to corrosion, which will shorten the life of the system.

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Keeping each component in the best condition is crucial to making sure your hydraulic system operates with the efficiency it was designed to accomplish. Routine maintenance is important, but so is attention to the earliest signs of trouble.