What Causes a Hydraulic Gear Pump to Go Bad?


Mechanical energy from the gear box is converted by the hydraulic pump, which creates hydraulic power. The hydraulic fluid is pressurized through the pump and sent through the hydraulic system. The pressure created by this hydraulic process creates a mechanical force, turning the gears. When the pump goes bad, the motion of the gears stops. Many things can cause a hydraulic pump to go bad.


  • Aeration occurs when there are air pockets within the hydraulic fluid. A loud banging noise is created as the hydraulic pump compresses and decompresses. The air within the hydraulic pump will prematurely degrade the hydraulic fluid. The degraded fluid prevents the proper amount of lubrication from reaching the pump components. The pump will begin to overheat and burn the seals.


  • Hydraulic fluid becomes contaminated over time because of the wear on the gears. These particles can infiltrate the hydraulic pump and create friction between moving parts. The seals and moving surfaces of the pump wear out quickly. The pump will begin to overheat and eventually fail. Changing the lubrication on a periodic basis will prevent this problem.


  • Another cause of a hydraulic gear pump going bad is a rise in the hydraulic fluid temperature. The temperature of hydraulic fluid should never go above 115 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature rises above this temperature and the pump runs for a long time under these conditions, the pump will burn out. The rise in temperature causes the viscosity of the hydraulic fluid to fall. Once the viscosity of the fluid falls, the moving parts of the pump are not being lubricated properly. More friction is created when this occurs. The more friction, the higher the temperature will rise inside the pump.


  • Slow operation of the hydraulic system is a good sign that the pump is going bad. The hydraulic gears begin to turn slower, moving the device at a slower speed. An external or internal leak is the main cause of this hydraulic gear pump problem. The leak prevents the proper amount of pressure to build up within the hydraulic system. Once the pressure decreases, the gears begin to move slower. The amount of hydraulic fluid must always be maintained at the proper level. A pump that is operated without the proper amount of fluid will begin to overheat.

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