Vehicle Start Hours:
Vehicle Stop Hours:
Does the vehicle have any noticeable damage?
Power steering fluid:
Check for leaks:
- Topped off
- Was Full at time of inspection
- Needs Attention
Check fluid levels. Add oil (if needed) via portable filtration (if available). DO NOT MIX OILS! Use the same oil brand and viscosity grade that is being used in the system.
Inspect breather caps, breather filters and fill screens — DO NOT punch holes in screens in order to expedite adding oil.
Check filter indicators and/or pressure differential gages.
Visually inspect all system hoses, pipes, pipe connections for leaks and frays. Hydraulic fluid leakage is a common problem for industrial systems. Excessive leakage is an environmental and safety hazard, increases waste streams and oil consumption, and, if ignored, can reduce the system capacity enough to overheat the system.
Check system temperature via built-in thermometers or hand-held infrared detectors. Normal temperature range for most systems is 110-140ºF. If temperatures are high, check cooler operation and relief valve settings.
Visually inspect the inside of the reservoir for signs of aeration (via the fill hole using a flashlight). Aeration is a condition in which discrete bubbles of air are carried along in the stream of oil as it enters the pump. Visual signs of aeration in the reservoir are generally foaming and/or little whirlpools taking small gulps of air into the suction strainer. Causes of aeration include: low fluid levels; air leaks in the suction line; low fluid temperature; fluid is too viscous to release air or maintain suction at the pump; or faulty shaft seals. When air leaks are suspected on the suction line, smothering these points with oil will usually pinpoint the leaks by creating a marked change in pump noise. A pump ingesting air sounds as if it were gargling marbles.
Listen to the pump for the signs of cavitation. Cavitation is slightly more complicated than aeration, but bares some similarities. Cavitation occurs when air is released from the hydraulic oil during momentary depressurization at the pump suction and then imploded onto metal surfaces upon discharge. These implosions are extremely destructive to pump surfaces. A cavitating pump will emit a high-pitched whine or scream. Causes of cavitation are the same as those of aeration with the exception of suction side air leaks. How do you discern aeration from cavitation? One way is to install a vacuum gage on the suction side and make sure the pressure is equal too or greater than that prescribed by the pump manufacturer. Foaming in the reservoir is usually the telltale sign of aeration.
Inspect a small sample of fluid for color, signs of contamination and odor. Keep in mind that visual inspection is limited in that it will only detect signs of excess contamination.
Operator's Manual on the Equipment?
Engine air filter:
Cabin air filter:
Windshield wipers and windshield:
Operation of horn, interior lights, exterior lamps, hazard and brake lights:
Air conditioning and heating:
Battery and terminals:
Brake pads and/or shoes:
Front brake linings:
Rear brake linings:
Brake lines, master cylinder, basic operation:
Check for looseness:
Debris in tires:
Front left tire air pressure:
Front right tire air pressure:
Left rear tire air pressure:
Right rear tire air pressure:
Repairs request needed: