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3 Reasons Why Hydraulic System Overheating is Bad ben lee

Hydraulic systems don’t work well with too much heat. Components can degrade and oil can be affected. Together these can prevent the hydraulic system from operating at optimal capacity.


Here are 3 reasons why you want to avoid it as much as possible.


Oil Viscosity

Without the viscosity of hydraulic oil being correct, there’s going to be an issue with both power transmission and lubrication. The higher the maximum operating temperate, the bigger the window is for temperature range, but with a wider window comes difficulty with maintaining the correct oil viscosity for optimal operation.

Oil life

Refer to Arrhenius’s Law and you’ll know that there is a double reaction rate for every 10°C temperature increase. You can expect reactions such as oxidation which is due to air being present in addition to hydrolysis. The hotter the oil is, the faster these reactions occur. For example, oil that is in a glass will take weeks to oxidise and therefore darken in colour. Pour it in a frying pan and you’ll find that same oil going black fast. That is an example of the speed of reaction when heat is involved.

Seal and Hose Life

Although elastics and rubbers are improving every year, when you have oil that is heated to above 82°C then you’ll find that most polymers will degrade. According to manufacturers, taking the operating temperature to 10°C above the limits that are recommended, you can reduce the life of the seal by up to 80%+.



It’s a costly mistake to allow your machine to run hot. Monitor their temperature and take steps to avoid this so that you can keep degradation down and costs lower. 

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