Hydraulic Fluid in a Log Splitter: How Often to Change it for Top Performance

Are you curious about the frequency at which to change hydraulic fluid in a log splitter?

This depends on the frequency of use and the size of the logs being cut.

For frequent use, changing the fluid every 50 hours is recommended.

However, if the machine is used less frequently, the fluid can last up to 150 hours.

The significance of hydraulic fluid in your log splitter cannot be overstated. It plays a crucial role in keeping the system running smoothly.

However, it begs the question of how long hydraulic fluid lasts.

The type of hydraulic fluid you use in your splitter can significantly affect its performance.

Read on to discover when the ideal time to change the fluid is.

Close up of a log splitter showing the need for hydraulic fluid in a log splitter.

Related Reading: What Size of Hydraulic Cylinder Should I Get for Log Splitter?

How Long Does Hydraulic Fluid in a Log Splitter Last?

The frequency of fluid replacement required depends on several factors, including::

  • How often do you use the machine
  • The quality of the fluid that you are using
  • The type of log you are splitting. The more difficult it is to split, the more frequently you should be changing the fluid.

If the machine is not used frequently and high-quality fluid is utilized, it may be possible to change it every 150 hours.

However, it is important to note that this is the maximum time frame.

Typically, the fluid should be changed every 50 hours to ensure optimal performance.

Keeping a record of when you change the fluid can be helpful and prevent unnecessary expenses. Avoid changing the hydraulic fluid in a log splitter too frequently as it can become costly.

Signs It’s Time to Replace the Hydraulic Fluid

If you aren’t sure when to change the hydraulic fluid, there are some signs that you can look for.

The hydraulic fluid in a log splitter plays a crucial role in regulating the system’s heat.

If the fluid levels drop below the recommended limit, there is a high possibility of the machine overheating.

This can result in costly repairs and is a significant issue that must be addressed promptly.

Another sign of a problem is a sudden loud noise from the machine that wasn’t there before.

You should also be vigilant for any changes in the splitter’s performance. If it starts to slow down, it may indicate a more significant issue.

Although low fluid levels could be the cause, there are other potential explanations for these symptoms.

A loose hose or blockage in a hydraulic hose could also be to blame.

Additionally, contamination from dirt in the fluid could be affecting the system.

How to Replace the Hydraulic Fluid in a Log Splitter

Log splitter owners will need to replace the hydraulic fluid regularly, but this is an easy task that can be accomplished by following these simple steps:

  1. Make sure that the engine has cooled completely. You don’t want it to spit hot fluid at you when you unscrew the cap.
  2. Remove the suction hose. This is the one that is connected to the bottom of the reservoir tank. You should be able to find how to do this by looking at the owner’s manual.
  3. Unthread the inlet filter.
  4. Tip the log splitter and allow the fluid to drain into a container. Some splitters come with a support leg to make this process easier. 
  5. While you are draining the splitter, you can clean the inlet filter. You’ll need to use penetrating oil to do this.
  6. Once the fluid is drained, replace the inlet filter and re-attach the hoses.
  7. Add the new hydraulic fluid. Make sure not to overfill the tank. Use the dipstick to gauge the right depth.
  8. Prime and start the engine. Use the control handle to extend and retract the wedge. This will get rid of any air that is trapped in the lines.

It’s important to dispose of hazardous waste properly by taking it to a designated center.

If you try to dispose of it incorrectly, there’s a risk of harming the environment.

When adding fuel to a log splitter, always ensure that you follow the instructions carefully and take necessary precautions.

Related Article: Log Splitter Hydraulic Fluid Maintenance

Adding Fuel to the Log Splitter

It is important to regularly monitor the fuel level in your log splitter. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Fill the tank to three-quarters full
  2. Extend the piston to its full length
  3. Quickly remove the oil plug. This will remove any excess air from the system as the piston returns to the cylinder.

Related Reading: How to Properly Maintain Your Hydraulic Log Splitter

How to Add Hydraulic Fluid to a Log Splitter

Checking for Hydraulic Fluid Leaks

One of the most common problems that you will face is a hydraulic leak.

If you don’t catch it early, you could lose a lot of fluid.

Considering how expensive the fluid is, this is a costly issue. Plus, it can trigger problems with the log splitter.

If you lose too much fluid, it can be quite costly since the fluid is expensive.

Additionally, it may cause issues with the log splitter. However, detecting leaks in the hoses is relatively simple.

You can place a piece of paper or cardboard under any areas where you suspect a leak to be occurring.

Choosing the Right Type of Hydraulic Fluid

Ensuring that you are using the correct hydraulic fluid is crucial.

When selecting the fluid, there are several factors to take into account. The primary consideration is the viscosity of the fluid.

If it is too high, it will not be able to lubricate the equipment properly.

Conversely, if it is too low, it will not be able to withstand the heat generated by the machine during operation.

To ensure proper functioning, AW22 is typically recommended for use.

However, it is important to refer to your owner’s manual to confirm.

In certain circumstances, such as when the temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, automatic transmission fluid may be used.

It is worth noting that the viscosity may not be appropriate in higher temperatures.


Final Thoughts

Caring for your log splitter can be easy.

Remember to change the hydraulic fluid every 50 to 150 hours, depending on your usage frequency.

Look for signs may signal the hydraulic fluid in a log splitter is necessary such as any new or unusual noises.

Also, look for any leaking hydraulic fluid by placing paper or cardboard under the area of the suspected leak.

These simple steps will keep your machine in good condition.

Now get out there and split some logs for a warm nighttime fire.

Enjoy living the outdoor life!!!