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10 Signs Your Hydraulic Pump Needs to Be Rebuilt


Hydraulic systems are the lifeblood of countless industrial and mobile applications, powering everything from manufacturing machinery to construction equipment. Central to these systems is the hydraulic pump, responsible for converting mechanical power into hydraulic energy. A well-maintained hydraulic pump ensures the reliability and efficiency of your hydraulic system. However, even the most robust pumps can wear out over time. Below we'll explore the ten tell-tale signs that indicate your hydraulic pump may be in need of a rebuild.

1. Loss of Hydraulic Power

One of the most common signs of a failing hydraulic pump is a noticeable loss of hydraulic power. If your hydraulic system is struggling to perform tasks that were once routine, it's time to investigate further. This loss of power can manifest as slower actuator movements, reduced lifting capacity, or a drop in system pressure.

2. Unusual Noise and Vibration

Hydraulic pumps operate smoothly when they're in good condition. If you start hearing unusual noises, such as grinding, whining, or knocking, it's an indication that something is amiss. Additionally, excessive vibrations in the pump or connected components can signal wear and tear, which may require a rebuild.

3. Increased Heat Generation

Excessive heat in your hydraulic system can be detrimental. It can lead to accelerated wear and compromised performance. If you notice that your hydraulic pump is running hotter than usual, it's crucial to address the issue promptly. Overheating can result from internal wear, damaged seals, or contaminated hydraulic fluid.

4. Fluid Leaks

Hydraulic systems are designed to be sealed and leak-free. Any visible fluid leaks around the pump or its connections should be taken seriously. Leaks can be indicative of damaged seals, gaskets, or worn-out components inside the pump. Ignoring leaks can lead to both environmental concerns and the risk of system failure.

5. Erratic Operation

Inconsistent or erratic operation of your hydraulic system is a red flag. If you experience uncontrolled movements, jerky actuation, or irregular pressure fluctuations, your hydraulic pump might be struggling to maintain proper flow and pressure. This behavior can be a result of internal component wear.

6.Unresponsive Controls

When your hydraulic system's controls become unresponsive, it can be a sign of pump issues. If you notice delays in command execution or the system fails to respond altogether, it's essential to investigate the pump's condition. Poor pump performance can lead to unresponsive controls.

7.Rapid Hydraulic Fluid Contamination

Contaminated hydraulic fluid is a severe concern that can quickly lead to pump damage. If you frequently find yourself changing or filtering hydraulic fluid due to contamination issues, it's a sign that the pump may be allowing contaminants to enter the system, necessitating a rebuild.

8.High Operating Costs

A spike in operating costs, such as increased energy consumption or frequent maintenance, can be attributed to a struggling hydraulic pump. As the pump loses efficiency and effectiveness, it requires more energy to achieve the same output, resulting in higher operating expenses.

9. Reduced Overall System Efficiency

A drop in the overall efficiency of your hydraulic system may indicate pump problems. A well-maintained pump contributes to the system's productivity and energy efficiency. When it starts to fail, you'll notice a decrease in the overall efficiency of your machinery or equipment.

10. Regular Maintenance No Longer Suffices

Hydraulic pumps require regular maintenance to stay in peak condition. However, if you find that despite diligent upkeep, your pump continues to exhibit signs of wear, it may be time for a rebuild. Frequent breakdowns or component replacements can be costlier in the long run than investing in a pump rebuild.



Your hydraulic pump plays a pivotal role in the performance and reliability of your hydraulic system. Recognizing the signs that your pump needs a rebuild is essential for preventing unexpected downtime and costly repairs. If you notice any of these ten indicators, it's wise to consult with a hydraulic expert and consider a pump rebuild to ensure the continued efficiency and longevity of your hydraulic system. Regular maintenance and timely action can help you avoid expensive repairs and keep your operations running smoothly.


Specialists in Hydraulic Service & Repairs

Neilson Hydraulics offers in-house / on-site service and repairs. We provide expert technical, application, service and maintenance support. We offer a variety of services, including fault diagnostics, troubleshooting, testing, installation, commissioning, filter replacement and oil analysis, along with in-house hydraulic system design, manufacture, machining, fabrication, electrical controls and repair capabilities.


For help with all your hydraulic requirements, please contact Neilson Hydraulics on 01709 821 002, email: sales@neilson-hydraulics.co.uk or visit: https://www.neilson-hydraulics.co.uk/