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Hydraulic Fluid Analysis: What You Need To Know

by Ian Howard

Most heavy construction equipment relies on a hydraulics system to operate. These systems rely on hydraulic fluid to work correctly. When you bring your heavy machinery into a hydraulic shop for routine maintenance or repairs, they may recommend that you have hydraulic fluid analysis performed. If you have never heard of this before, you may not know what it is and why it is important. Here is what you need to know about hydraulic fluid analysis. 

What is Hydraulic Fluid Analysis?

Hydraulic fluid analysis involves taking samples of your hydraulic fluid from the hydraulic compartments from your heavy construction equipment. The fluid is then examined under a microscope. The fluid can reveal many important bits of information about your machinery to a mechanic. 

What Information Can Be Learned From Hydraulic Fluid Analysis?

Hydraulic fluid analysis is done because it can tell a mechanic a lot of key pieces of information about your heavy duty construction equipment. Some of this information includes:

  • The Condition of the Fluid

When a hydraulic fluid analysis is done, the mechanic can tell the condition of the fluid. As hydraulic fluid is used, it can begin to deteriorate or break down. It can also lose some of its viscosity. A fluid analysis can tell whether the fluid is fine or whether it needs to be replaced, helping to prevent premature fluid changes that can be costly. 

  • The Contamination Level

Another important piece of information that can be obtained by doing a hydraulic fluid analysis is the contamination level of the fluid. As the fluid is used, it is exposed to dirt, dust and pollen. All of these things can alter the fluid and affect its ability to glide through your system. Once again, examining the fluid helps to determine when it needs to be replaced. 

  • If Your Components are Wearing

Lastly, a hydraulic fluid analysis tells a mechanic whether internal components are wearing. If parts are wearing, tiny pieces of metal may be found in the fluid. This is a tell-tale sign that a part may be failing and may need to be repaired. 

How Often Should You Have Hydraulic Fluid Analysis Done?

The frequency in which you should have hydraulic fluid analysis done varies based on the type of equipment that you have, its age and its condition. Most mechanics recommend having testing done every time the item is brought in for routine hydraulic maintenance. 

When you bring your heavy construction equipment in for routine hydraulic system maintenance or repair, hydraulic fluid analysis may be recommended to you. Knowing more about this topic will help you to understand why it is recommended and what information a mechanic can learn about your machinery by having this test completed. Visit a site like for more help.