Since the hydraulic system uses hydraulic fluid to power hydraulic machinery, you should pay extra attention to hydraulic fluid maintenance and care. Hydraulic fluid performs many functions, including minimizing wear and tear, reducing friction, removing heat, protecting the system from rust and deposits, removing debris, and dirt from the system.
The most common problems that cause hydraulic fluid going bad are system overheating, system contamination, and dirty operating environment. Therefore, to take care of the hydraulic fluid, you should take the following actions:
Prevent the hydraulic system from overheating. Hydraulic fluid gets hot while being pushed through the pumps, tubing, and relief valves. If the system’s temperature is too low, the condensation starts in the reservoir, which can cause pump cavitation. On the contrary, if the temperature is too high, oxidation that causes varnish and sludge deposits occurs. Most hydraulic systems run in the 110-150°F range with mobile hydraulic systems running up to 250°F. If you use a water-based hydraulic fluid, don’t let the temperature go below 140°F, so the water does not evaporate from the fluid. Perform regular checks of the oil cooler and outside the reservoir to prevent overheating.
Keep the System Clean. Prevent contamination of the system by dirt, water, metal debris from entering the system by keeping the reservoir cover, drain lines, and breather fill openings always clean.
Keep the Fluid Clean. Test oil regularly for contaminants. Store hydraulic fluid in the designated containers in the clean environment, clean the fill cap before adding hydraulic fluid. Change and check fluid filters on a regular basis. Filter oil added to the system through portable filters to achieve better results.