Know the system
No one is born with an innate knowledge of the energy of fluidity. This is a tricky business and sometimes difficult to learn, especially if you don’t have an engineering background. The basics are clouded by misinformation, and even if you don’t know the basics, there are endless combinations of hydraulic components that require a deep understanding of not only each one, but how they all work together And you can check yourself to do solve any critical problems easily.
A good reporter gets complete information from the operator witness. He can tell you how the machine worked, when it started to fail, what was unusual about it. Try to find out if the service was done by hand. You may find that the problem is different, but you need to know if any settings have been changed.
Operate the machine
Get on the car and drive it. Heat it up and try it. Do not completely trust the operator’s story – check it yourself. Are the sensor readings normal? Otherwise it could be a hydraulic problem or faulty sensors. How is the performance? Is it slow, messy, or nil? Do the controls feel hard or spongy? Do they seem to “stick”? Sniff anything? Are there signs of smoke? Do you hear any funny sounds? Where? At what speeds or during what cycles?
Examine the machine
Now get out of the car and carry out a visual inspection. Use your eyes, ears, and nose to look for any signs of a problem. Check the oil in the reservoir first. How is the oil level? Is the oil frothy? Lactic? Does it smell like scorching? Does it seem too thin or too thick? How dirty is it? If the oil is very dirty, also check the filters for clogging.
Feel the reservoir and lines. Are they hotter than usual? Are they covered in dirt and grime? Is the paint peeling off the heat? Check pump inlet piping for restrictions. Check for broken hoses. Follow the diagram and keep checking. Look for oil leaks from the line connectors. Watch for air leaks through loose clips, etc.
List the possible causes
You are now ready to make a list of possible causes. What signs did you find when inspecting the car? And what is the most likely cause? Are there other possibilities? Remember that one setback often leads to another.
Come to conclusion
Review your list of possible causes and decide which ones are most likely and which are easiest to check. Use the troubleshooting tables at the end of this section as a guide. Identify the leading causes and plan to check them first.
Check your conclusion
Now for the last step before you start repairing the system, check yourself findings to make sure they are correct. Some of the items on your list can be tested without further testing. Analyze the information you already have. Were all hydraulic functions bad? Then a component that is common to all parts of the system is probably faulty. Examples: pump, filters, system safety valves. Was only one bad scheme? Then you can remove the components of the system and concentrate on the parts of this chain.