Effects of a Failing Hydraulic Cylinder

A hydraulic cylinder converts hydraulic pressure into mechanical force and is used for many industrial applications. From the assembly line to heavy construction equipment, hydraulics power a wide variety of machines and systems. When a hydraulic cylinder begins to fail, it can negatively affect its performance. Heavy machinery and other hydraulic equipment require regular hydraulic cylinder repair and maintenance to reduce the risk of failure. Here are some of the effects of a failing hydraulic cylinder:

Fluid Leakage

Hydraulic fluid helps provide the pressure needed to move the cylinder and the machinery it operates. Seek hydraulic cylinder repair if you notice any leakage on your cylinder. Hydraulic fluid loss can result in inadequate pressure and cause damage to the piece of machinery.

Power Reduction

The cylinder’s piston is in charge of generating the force that drives the machinery. The piston movement relies on hydraulic fluid to push the piston inside the cylinder. A malfunctioning cylinder cannot pump enough hydraulic fluid, leading to decreased force. This reduced power makes it so the equipment or machinery is unable to produce the necessary outcomes.


Hydraulic cylinders rely on a precise balance of pressure and temperature to operate efficiently. When a cylinder begins to fail, friction and resistance within the system can cause it to overheat rapidly. Overheating can damage seals and other components in the hydraulic system, causing premature failure and reducing the cylinder’s lifespan. Overheated hydraulic fluid can also pose a fire hazard if it becomes hot enough.

Safety Risks

A failing hydraulic cylinder can pose safety risks to workers and the surrounding area. If a cylinder fails and the hydraulic fluid gets too hot, it can cause burns to those nearby. Small leaks or other malfunctions can create slip and fall hazards, damage equipment, and cause production delays. If you notice any signs of a failing hydraulic cylinder, address and repair them immediately to minimize the risks of injury or damage.

Vibration and Noise

The hydraulic fluid of a failing cylinder can create air pockets and cause the machine to vibrate more than usual. When the piston operates within the cylinder, it may make excess noise, like knocking or banging. You may also hear metal-on-metal grinding sounds caused by worn-out moving parts. These sounds and vibrations can detract from the worker’s safety and increase wear and tear on machine components.

Lifespan Limitations

Continuous use of a faulty hydraulic cylinder can lead to complete failure and shorten the overall lifespan of the cylinder itself and the machinery it operates. A failing hydraulic cylinder will continue to strain itself to perform, putting additional stress on the cylinder and the associated systems. This strain increases the risk of further damage, forcing you to replace the hydraulic system as a whole.

Environmental Impact

A damaged hydraulic cylinder can cause hydraulic fluids to leak excessively, contaminating adjacent areas and possibly injuring people or animals in the vicinity. Hydraulic fluids are typically mixed with various chemicals, some of which are hazardous to the environment. When hydraulic fluid leaks into the surrounding areas, it can contaminate the soil or groundwater.

Schedule Your Hydraulic Cylinder Repair Today

To minimize the failure of hydraulic cylinders, operators and equipment owners should regularly inspect and maintain their hydraulic cylinders. Regular hydraulic cylinder repair may help prolong the lifespan of your machinery, potentially saving you money and time. A professional can service your hydraulic cylinders to maintain the efficiency and productivity of your business. Schedule regular upkeep for your hydraulic cylinders today.

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