It is better to discover that a hydraulic cylinder is failing and to make the necessary corrections than it is to have your system fail unexpectedly. The good news is that there are some warning signs of a failing hydraulic cylinder you can discover that will allow you to have the necessary repairs made sooner.
If your hydraulic system begins to generate a lot of noise, this is a sign that the system may be suffering from cavitation or aeration. If the problem is with aeration, there might be erratic actuator movements and the fluid may also foam. When there is air in the system, this can lead to the hydraulic fluids breaking down. Check the suction hose through which air enters. If the suction hose looks old, it should be replaced.
When the hydraulic system is experiencing cavitation, this is the result of the erosion of metal components. The metal debris that results from cavitation results in the components wearing down more quickly. This can lead to the mechanical components failing sooner. Cavitation results from the pump not supplying enough fluid. Then, vapor cavities form in the fluid. When these cavities are compressed, they implode and create the knocking noise. When the pump is repaired or replaced, this problem will be resolved.
One of the most common warning signs that a hydraulic cylinder is not functioning properly is a slower operation. When the hydraulic system is operating more slowly, this is the result of there not being enough flow in the system. When there is less flow, this is most often the result of internal or external leaks. It can be very difficult to determine when there is an internal leak. One way to pinpoint it is to locate a failing component, which can be identified by an elevated temperature. The high temperature of the hydraulic system can cause the fluid to experience decreased viscosity. This in turn can cause more leakage, which can cause the hydraulic cylinder to operate even more slowly.
When You Don't Know What Is Wrong
If you are still not sure what is wrong with your hydraulic system, there are two suggested responses. One is to purchase hydraulic diagnostic tools. You will need tools that will inform you about the temperature, pressure and flow of your hydraulic system. Another option is to have your hydraulic system taken into a repair technician.