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How to Troubleshoot Your Hydraulic System - Rapid Rams

We know that when your hydraulics fail, not only are you losing power from your machine, but you’re also losing valuable time and money!

The longer your hydraulic system is down, the worse it can be for its mechanics, and the worse off your job is going to be executed.

But pinpointing exactly what’s wrong with your system can be tough to recognise. There are numerous areas that could be affected. And that’s why we’re going to walk you through how you can troubleshoot your hydraulics, and figure out where the issue lies. Which means you can get back to business, faster!

Inoperative System

If the hydraulic system overall isn’t functioning, there are a few areas you can check for key problems. Look at the hydraulic fluid levels and see if a leak could be the cause. You should also examine the hydraulic filters, because dirt and other cloggages can severely impact performance.

Slow Operation

If you notice your hydraulic cylinder operating slower than usual, there are a couple of areas that could be affecting this.

Ensure the hydraulic fluid isn’t too thick, cold temperatures or the wrong kind of fluid could be causing a slow down of your system.
Dirty hydraulic filters may be another cause, as it could mean air becomes trapped inside the system.

We also recommend checking all of the hydraulic parts, such as the pumps, motors, cylinders and valves for any issues that could be slowing it down.

Erratic Operation

For any erratic behaviour from your hydraulics, the most common cause would be air trapped inside the filter, hydraulic fluid that is too cold, or the internal parts could be damaged.

Excessive Noise

Strange noises or vibrations emanating from your system could mean certain parts will need examining. Identify where the noise is coming from so you can make the right assessments and adjustments. 

If it appears to be a pump that is noisy, check that the oil level is sufficient and that it’s not foamy. 

For noise that is stemming from both pumps or motors, this could also indicate an internal issue or damage that will need to be looked into further. 

Also ensure that connections of your system are tight and clamped correctly, as vibrations can occur if they’re not secured properly.

Overheating Fluid

Excessive heat can be a big problem for your hydraulic fluid, and can lead to issues in machine performance. The fluid should never reach high temperatures, and if it does you should be looking into if the fluid itself is contaminated or the levels aren’t correct. 

Certain parts may also be worn out, causing the system to overheat. 

Double check that there isn’t any leakage and that fluids are the right temperature and level for your system.


No matter how small a leak may be, it can cause major damage to your hydraulic performance. Worn out seals or damaged cylinders can be the main cause, but trying to find the source of the leak can be challenging. 

We don’t recommend searching for a leak using your hand, as it can be a very dangerous operation and lead to a severe injury. 

Hiring a professional service to assess a leak is the best way to get a clear assessment of the damage.       

Gather as much information as you can when attempting to troubleshoot a hydraulics issue! Go through each area and potential problem, until you can narrow down the cause. 

Once you’ve identified the issue, make sure you contact the experts to get a repair or replacement. At Rapid Rams, we have the largest stock of hydraulic parts in Australia, and our expertise is second to none.

Contact us today for assistance in any of your queries, whether you have a hydraulic problem or are unsure what’s wrong with your system! We can help.