hydraulic pump failure symptoms

Symptoms of Hydraulic Pump Failure

Hydraulic pumps are important aspects of hydraulic engineering systems. They can convert mechanical energy supplied by the engine to fluid energy. Proper maintenance of these devices is crucial to maintain continuous operation. Most hydraulic pumps are programmed to operate for many years without showing any defect. However, even with proper maintenance, some hydraulic pumps may become bad. This can lead to a problem with internal pump pressure, which could lead to total system failure. The way to avoid this is by monitoring your pumps and looking for certain hydraulic pump failure symptoms.

If you are not familiar with the symptoms of a bad hydraulic pump, it may be difficult for you to pick any of the signs of a bad or weak hydraulic pump early enough. In this article, we will reveal the 5 major hydraulic pump failure symptoms.

5 Major Symptoms of Hydraulic Pump Failure

Here are 5 major symptoms of hydraulic pump failure to watch out for. This will help you pick out the warning signs and avoid serious damage to your hydraulic engine.

1. Unusual noise

An unusual or abnormal noise that can be heard from the hydraulic pump is an indication that a hydraulic pump is failing. This noise is usually caused by cavitations which are a result of low hydraulic fluid supply or aeration that can happen due to contaminated air moving into the hydraulic pump from the surrounding. This results in degradation of the hydraulic pump, leading to the unusual banging or knocking noise heard. The damage created by cavitations and aeration can be detrimental to the overall health of the hydraulic system.

It is important to tighten the clamps and fittings of the pump and ensure they are in good condition. If such noise is continually heard, you may need to get the pump checked repaired, or replaced.

2. High fluid temperature

Another crucial symptom of a weak hydraulic pump is high hydraulic fluid temperatures beyond 80°C. The hydraulic pump maintains fluid temperature within a normal range through the pump reservoir. However, the presence of debris or dirt can cause impaired function of the hydraulic pump reservoir which can lead to high temperature. The presence of air can also generate high hydraulic fluid temperature. If you notice an unusual high hydraulic fluid temperature, contact an engineer to get it checked.

3. Slow operation

One of the biggest symptoms of a failing hydraulic pump is a drop in performance. A hydraulic pump running slower than usual, showing longer cycle times, or a general decrease in the performance of a hydraulic pump is a cardinal sign that such a hydraulic pump is failing or becoming worse. In a hydraulic system, flow is what determines speed and response. Therefore, a loss of flow is directly associated with a loss of efficiency.

5 major symptoms of hydraulic pump failure - Hydraulic Pump Valve
Hydraulic Pump Valve

4. Interior and exterior leaks

Hydraulic leaks could occur either inside or outside the hydraulic pump. Most times leaks occur inside the machine without exterior signs of malfunction. While internal leakage can occur within the hydraulic gear pump, actuators, or any attached valve, exterior leaks can be detected when liquids are noticed outside the hydraulic tubes. This could be as a result of a broken tube or loose seal.

If you discover any liquid outside of the hydraulic pump, this could be as a result of either an external leak or an internal leak that has worsened. Internal and external leaks usually result in decreased volume which leads to reduced pressure in the system. A hydraulic flow tester can be used to determine the occurrence of any leak for immediate repair.

5 major symptoms of hydraulic pump failure – A leaky hydraulic hose pipe
A leaky hydraulic hose pipe

5. Failing seal

Another symptom that can actively present itself is the occurrence of leaking or failing seal. The seal helps to secure the rotating shaft of the hydraulic pump and prevents it from wearing but may sometimes become leaky. This leads to fluid leaving the system or sometimes air entering into the circulation. Usually, a leaky seal could be due to a bent or misaligned rod.

5 major symptoms of hydraulic pump failure - HPV145 HYDRAULIC PUMP SEAL KIT

Read what uniteddieselpower.com had to say about Five Signs That Your Hydraulic Pump Is Bad


Why is hydraulic pump maintenance essential?

The key role of maintenance in hydraulic pumps is that many causes of hydraulic pump problems can easily be tested during routine maintenance and avoided before it becomes a problem to the hydraulic pump. Regular maintenance of the hydraulic pump requires inspecting every part f the pump including the valve, checking fluid level, observing the temperature, and checking for leaks. Constant maintenance and routine check-ups are important to ensure your hydraulic pump is supplying the right amount of fluid pressure to your overall hydraulic system.

What causes hydraulic pump failure?

Several factors may be responsible for hydraulic pump failure. The most common cause of hydraulic pump failure is contamination, with most of such causes being from a particle contamination origin. Although some causes are common to all types of hydraulic pumps, the cause of hydraulic pump failure is associated with the type of hydraulic pump. Other causes of hydraulic pump problems are the use of low-quality hydraulic fluids, poor maintenance, and control.

How to prevent hydraulic pump failure?

The best way to prevent hydraulic pumps from failing is by carrying out proper maintenance. Ensure you are using quality hydraulic fluids that have the correct viscosity. The fluid should be clean, cool, and dry. This can be achieved by filtration, using specific filters. Set up proper cleanliness and dryness targets and develop contamination control procedures in other to eliminate every chance of contamination.


Proactively monitoring and identifying signs of high temperatures, strange noise and abnormally long cycle times are an ideal way for detecting various symptoms that can lead to the cost breakdown of the hydraulic pump. If any of the symptoms discussed are observed, the source of the problem should quickly be located by inspection or by requesting the service of an engineer before they cause further damage.

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