In this article, we would like to talk about hydraulic cylinders failure reasons. Hydraulic cylinders are essential parts of industrial machines and overlooking them would be irresponsible. Regular maintenance is absolutely necessary, because when hydraulic cylinders are ignored, they will ultimately fail, and this is the last thing we want. Here are the 5 main reasons for hydraulic cylinder failure.

Seal Damage

Seals play a very important role in hydraulic cylinders. They prevent leakage between cylinder components. There can be many reasons for seals to break, for example, overheating, pressure spikes, fluid contamination, etc. If your seals are damaged, the hydraulic cylinder’s ability to maintain internal operating pressure will reduce significantly, and the only solution will be to replace them with new ones.

Fluid Contamination

One of the most common reasons for hydraulic cylinder failure is fluid contamination, which can come from unexpected sources such as dirt, debris from the internal breakdown of hoses, etc. Both liquid and airborne contaminants can cause damage to hydraulic cylinders. Foreign particles in fluids often harm the piston rod surface or the seal. The contamination of the hydraulic fluid results in significant degradation of the cylinder’s operational efficiency.

Extreme temperatures

Both cold and heat can affect the work of hydraulic cylinders by reducing the effectiveness of their seals. If it’s too hot, the seals lose their shape. If it’s too cold, they become inelastic. Both extremes can lead to external leakage and system failure.


When your equipment stays outside for a long time with the cylinders extended and doesn’t get used frequently, cylinder rods will be likely to get rusted. Once it happens, the cylinder seals will start to get destroyed. The solution will be to use the equipment daily to prevent this problem.

Chemical attacks

Do your hydraulic seals feel gummy or sticky, or on the contrary, cracked and dry? It can be a sign of chemical contact with some fluids. Depending on what type of seals static or dynamic you have, you would want to consult with both a fluid manufacturer and a seal supplier to see if fluids and seals are compatible.

In this article, we only mentioned the 5 most common issues with hydraulic cylinders, but of course, there can be many more. If you spot your hydraulic cylinder failure signs, contact WEITAI's professional team for a consultation, we will do our best to help!

Alisa Sergienko

WEITAI Marketing Department

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