Deciding to take on DIY car maintenance means purchasing at least one piece of hydraulic equipment. In most cases, this is a small hydraulic lift that can fit either in your garage or in your driveway. Regardless of your storage location or uses for your hydraulic equipment or lift, you will still have to take on maintenance tasks on a routine basis. Before you get started, consider these tips to make the maintenance a bit easier on you.
Know When to Change the Oil
One of the most common mistakes people make with their hydraulic equipment is changing the oil too often. Keep in mind that the equipment does not work the same as a car or similar device. You will only need to make an oil change if the oil has dehydrated over time or if the additive that is used in the oil is degraded. This means that you don't go by the colour of the oil to determine if it needs changing. You go by the thickness of the oil and whether the additive is no longer helping.
Know the Startup Steps
There is a mistake that can be considered common if you are new to hydraulic maintenance and startup steps. Without taking the right startup steps, you can actually cause costly damage to the hydraulic system that simple maintenance will not repair or reverse. The key to keep in mind with the startup steps is that the hydraulic system does not self-lubricate. You will need to not only have oil in the pump housing, but you will also need to make sure that the isolation valve is open.
If the valve is closed, the oil from the pump housing will not move into the system. It would be like starting your car engine with no oil. As long as you have oil in the pump housing and you remember to open that valve before using the system, then you should avoid some very costly repairs.
Know Where to Place Filters
Though knowing where to place your filters may seem like a simple enough concept, there are some misconceptions when it comes to hydraulic equipment. In fact, if you place a filter at a location where you would find traditional filters, you could cause irreversible damage to the hydraulic equipment. Basically, you need to remember the two spots that you should never put a filter. The first is in the drain lines and the second is the pump inlet.
The reason for this is that the filters can actually cause a blockage to the areas, which causes a higher temperature and in turn can cause severe damage. Make sure that filters are only placed in areas that will not block these lines and will help the flow. Keep in mind that you may want to check your own equipment's manufacturer paperwork and manuals since some come with a filter built in that does not need to be changed, or that rarely needs changing.
By keeping these tips in mind, you can make sure that your hydraulic equipment is maintained properly. If you have any questions, consider having a professional service complete the maintenance, and ask your questions during that time to better understand how your equipment works and any special considerations that should be taken into account.