14 Apr

Replacing Hydraulic Cylinder Seals Yourself?

Replacing Hydraulic Cylinder Seals Yourself?

When confronted with a leaking hydraulic cylinder, your immediate thought might be to just replace the seals yourself.   Which is totally fine.  However, before jumping in, it's worth weighing up whether resealing the cylinder is the best thing to do.  It may be a short-term fix that leads to more significant issues down the track.   In many cases the leaking seal is caused by scored cylinder rods, bent piston rods or simply fluid degradation.  Often a simple inspection will tell you the best path forward.  Let’s look at why, and we promise we won’t use the phrase “false economy...” 😊

Understanding the Consequences

Truth is that hydraulic seals don't fail in isolation. They're normally a symptom of bigger, underlying system issues.   And so, replacing seals without addressing the root cause, is akin to treating the symptom, while neglecting the illness. The result? Continued seal failures, escalating repair frequency, and machinery downtime.  What may seem like a cost-saving measure initially, can quickly spiral into massive expenses.  Not to mention your machine down-time.

Resolving Underlying Causes

To truly minimize maintenance costs and maximize efficiency, it's imperative to diagnose and rectify the root cause of hydraulic cylinder failures. These issues can range from scored cylinder rods and bent piston rods to fluid degradation and overheating. Merely replacing seals won't address these fundamental problems and may lead to recurrent failures or premature seal wear.

Consider a scenario where a cylinder rod is both bent and scored. While resealing the cylinder might temporarily resolve the leakage issue, the underlying structural deformities can continue to exert undue stress on the new seal, resulting in rapid failure. Similarly, multiple underlying failures, if left unaddressed, can render seal replacements futile.

Opting for Long-Term Solutions

A long-term fix requires a more comprehensive approach, than simply replacing the leaking seals.   Complete disassembly, thorough inspection, and accurate diagnosis are essential steps in identifying and rectifying underlying cylinder issues. While some issues may be apparent, others require specialised expertise and experience to diagnose accurately.

While performing these tasks independently is feasible for some, enlisting the services of trained hydraulic repair technicians is often the best way to go.   Their expertise, honed through years of experience, ensures thorough diagnosis and effective resolution of underlying cylinder issues, leading to long-term efficiency gains and cost savings.


The decision to replace hydraulic cylinder seals independently should be approached with caution. While it may seem like a quick and cost-effective fix, it often masks underlying issues that can lead to more significant problems over time. By getting a diagnosis and addressing root causes, businesses can ensure sustained operational efficiency, reduced downtime, and maintenance costs in the long run.

We’re the Hydraulic System experts - it’s our day job!

If you’re concerned about your hydraulic cylinder seals leaking, you can call us on 9397 0044.   It’s what we do!  We’ll have one of our Technicians to your site within 24 hours anywhere in greater Melbourne to do a full inspection – which may not cost much, but can save you $1000’s. 

Our mission is to keep your production going – it’s all about More Up-Time.



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