Time to change the hydraulic fluid in your log splitter?
Well, even super hero log splitters need a little maintenance from time to time:)
Either way, here is what you need to know about Log Splitter Hydraulic Fluid Change, too keep your machine hummin and your winter wood shed supply full.
If you want your log splitter to keep splitting for many years to come, be sure to check the hydraulic fluid regularly.
How often should you change the hydraulic fluid? Whether it’s gas or electric log splitter, it is recommended to change the hydraulic fluid every 100 hours of work (be sure to check they manual of your exact machine). In addition, just like your car, you need to change the log splitter hydraulic oil filter also.
Maybe your wondering ‘Why?’… Just what does hydraulic fluid do in a log splitter?[amazon box=”B094WX71DT”]
Sure, this is a common question. Hydraulics are a pressurized fluid to power an engine are the main power transfer source in a log splitter. Hydraulic log splitters depend on the power/pressure generated by the hydraulic fluid to push the wedge. This small amount of fluid generates a great deal of power. That power is why you can have a cord of wood with out a sore back!
A motor is used for pumping the hydraulic fluid and the fluid gets pressurized as it is concealed in a hollow fluid pipe and cylinder. This pressure moves your machines piston against your log of choice.
Over time hydraulic fluid will degrade based on exposure to oxygen, excessive temperatures, or various contaminants. This causes the oil to release crud (acids, byproducts ect…) that then corrode hydraulic parts or leave surface deposits on those parts. All which means a shorter life span for your splitter when the fluid is not changed regularly (again typically every 100 hours of use, more frequently if the machine has sat unused for longer periods of time).
Finding a milky gray contaminant in your fluid? Definitely time to change it.
I’ve written an in-depth article reviewing the best log splitters you can get. Check it out if you are thinking for an upgrade.
What Kind of Hydraulic Fluid does a Log Splitter Use:
Short answer: probably mineral hydraulic oil viscosity grade 32 for colder ambient operating temperature and oil viscosity grade 46 for warmer climes. Some recommend synthetic for older machines as it tends to lubricate more efficiently.
Long answer: Log splitters use a number of different hydraulic fluids in their operation. However, you should just use the oil recommended by the manufacturer. This way, you’ll avoid any unnecessary damage to your log splitter. But here’s an overview:
- Non-Flammable: This fluid is considered non-flammable and this comprises some natural chemicals that will not form a foam. An absence of foam in the hydraulic system while operation means no dirt build-up.
- Flammable: This oil-based fluid gives more power to the hydraulic system. This helps to prevent corrosion but leaves sticky build ups behind. But a hydraulic leak with an oil-based fluid around a small hot engine is a recipe for disaster and why most manufacturers will spec non-flammable.
- Synthetic fluid: This type of fluid is man-made chemical compositions. These are completely non-flammable too. However this type of log splitter hydraulic fluid is responsible for corrosion.
Changing Hydraulic Fluid of Log Splitter
- First of all, place a suitable container under the fluid reservoir to collect the fluid. Probably best to put a tarp or some cardboard under that as well. Nothings worse than oil stained concrete… and spilling it over onto mother earth – even worse.
- Then disconnect the suction hose pipe from the bottom of the fluid reservoir tank. See your manual that came with your log splitter.
- Carefully remove the inlet filter and clean it.
- Unscrew the drain plug. Let the fluid to drain into the suitable container. A hydraulic reservoir tank can have a capacity of 3 gallons and the entire hydraulic system can sustain up to 4.7 gallons of fluid. So make sure the container is a big one (imagine a 5 gallon paint bucket).
- Now, the main part. Adding hydraulic fluid to the log splitter. Place a funnel in the fill tube and add the desired amount of the recommended hydraulic fluid in to the reservoir. Check the fluid level using the dipstick. Do not overfill.
- If necessary replace the filter and the dipstick. Re-install the filter, dipstick. Tighten the drain plug and screw of the fill tube.
- To help to remove trapped air from the system, engage the wedge with the control handle and move it back and forth several times.
- If necessary, refill the reservoir up to the mark on the dipstick.
Changing Engine Oil of Hydraulic Log Splitter
- Place an oil pan under the engine drain plug.
- Remember to cool down the engine for your safety. This article covers all those.
- Unscrew the drain plug. Let the oil drain from the engine.
- Remove the dipstick. This will help the oil drain faster.
- Replace the drain plug once the fluid is drained from the reservoir.
- Place a funnel in the dipstick hole and fill the reservoir with 10W-30 motor oil. Do not overfill the reservoir.
- Finally, remove the funnel. Check the level of oil. Lock the dipstick in place.
More: Video On Huskee 22 log splitter Oil and Filter Change
What hydraulic oil do you recommend for log splitters???
This is a common question when it comes to using a log splitters. Should I use this one or that one..? Yes, I know there’s a good number of log splitter hydraulic oilS available on the market. This one comes highly reccomended:
- Industry Leader
- High performance anti-wear hydraulic oils good for your log splitter cylinder
- Extends component life
- Extends filter life
What is AW 32 Oil?
AW hydraulic oil is a premium grade oil that is designed for use in hydraulic systems. Especially, the systems where anti-wear hydraulic oil is recommended. ISO 32 is the viscosity grade (International Standards Organization Viscosity Grade) .
What is the Difference Between AW 32 and AW 46 Hydraulic Oil?
This is all about viscosity and temperature. AW (Anti Wear) 32 is best at ambient temperatures -20° to +50°F (-29° to +10°C). AW46 is best at ambient temperatures+25° to +70°F (-4° to +21°C). You have to make some decisions here. Especially condsidering how expensive an oil change is.
Often AW 32 is preferred in log splitters due to the lower viscosity. It’s thinner, using less energy to pump meaning ideally, the equipment runs cooler and less wear on your machine. If you do occasionally run your splitter in hotter weather, keep it to light duty with frequent cool down breaks.
Our Recommendation For Log Splitter Hydraulic Filter???
A log splitter hydraulic oil filter is used to filter out the sediments. Sediments can settle down and stick with the hydraulic fluid chamber. This sticky build-up is really harmful to the hydraulic system. That’s why a good oil filter is mandatory. Let’s get a good oil filter here!
- Removes harmful contaminants
- Almost perfect fit for many log splitters
- Most noteworthy is its long-lasting feature
Things You Should Know Before Hydraulic Fluid Change
• A good amount of fluid is drawn into the cylinder and hoses. So, always remember to fill the reservoir. A hydraulic pump should be kept with a filled reservoir. An empty hydraulic pump will lead to damage. This may break the warranty condition.
• Never overfill hydraulic or motor oil. These fluids may overflow due to the heat generated by the system according to the law of fluid expansion. This is how the fluid mechanism works. Hence, never operate the machine without a proper amount of fluid level.
- When you check the fluid level remember to properly tighten the dipstick to prevent air leakage.
- Dispose of used hydraulic or engine oils at appropriate facilities. Lets all do our part take care of the planet.
- Avoid contaminating the fluid. Contamination can lead to hydraulic system damage or engine corrosion. Clean fluid is, after all, the whole point of this maintenance.
- In conclusion, flush the reservoir or engine pistons with kerosene while servicing.
Log splitter hydraulic fluid change is crucial for your log splitters life span, so regular maintenance is a must. I have written a guide on the maintenance of log splitter leaking hydraulic fluid.
What does AW stand for?
AW is Anti-wear. Petroleum based hydraulic fluids when containing the Zinc additive dialkyldithiophosphate will be called AW for its anti-wear properties. Essentially, Zinc works to protect your hydraulic pump.
What does ATF stand for?
ATF stands for Automatic Transmission Fluid. ATF is a common substitution for hydraulic oil (basically it is a premium hydraulic fluid) when temperatures are below 32°F.
What is Light Duty Hydraulic Oil?
This is typical of an AW 32 viscosity oil.
What is Medium Duty Hydraulic Oil?
This is typical of an AW 46 viscosity oil.
What is Heavy Duty Hydraulic Oil?
This is typical of an AW 68 viscosity oil ( and not typical for log splitters, think heavy load hydraulics).
What is the Difference Between AW 32 and AW 46 Hydraulic Oil?
This is all about viscosity and temperature. They are closely linked. As temperature increase, viscosity of the oil decreases. If you get it wrong its like running sludge through your machine at low temps or at high temps running an oil so light that it you get no anti friction benefits and your equipment overheats.
AW (Anti Wear) 32 is best at ambient temperatures -20° to +50°F (-29° to +10°C). AW46 is best at ambient temperatures+25° to +70°F (-4° to +21°C). This is where you have to make some decisions. Especially considering how expensive an oil change is.
Often AW 32 is preferred in log splitters due to the lower viscosity. It’s thinner, using less energy to pump, meaning ideally, the equipment runs cooler and less wear on your machine. If you do occasionally run your splitter in hotter weather, keep it to light duty with frequent cool down breaks.[amazon box=”B094WX71DT”]
Can I mix different hydraulic oils?
No. You might get away with it if using the same viscosity. You will have problems if you mix a foaming oil with a non-foaming oil.
I found this forum really helpful.