Repair vs Replace that’s the question that always comes up when a hydraulic cylinder needs to be repaired.  Most say wouldn’t you just repair the cylinder vs replacing it because it should cost less? Well, that all depends on what the potential issue is with your cylinder and how you look at it.

Below we’ve outlined some pros of both for you to take into consideration when deciding whether repair or replacing is right for your cylinder issue.

Repairing a cylinder makes sense in most cases if the damage is of the following:

  • Bushings
  • Re-chrome rod
  • Hone Barrel
  • Seals
  • Removable Mounts

Please beware that in more complex assemblies that repairing the above might not be the best solution. Different materials fatigue at different times and can cause failures not caught by standard disassembly procedures resulting in costly downtime

Benefits to repairing a cylinder:

  • Quick solution
  • Possibly more cost-effective to repair

Replacing a cylinder could make the most sense if the following

  • It’s a complex assembly
  • Equipment downtime is an issue
  • Age of the cylinder in question, if within 10-12-year life span then it needs to be replaced with New
  • Too many components require replacing or repairing
  • Application/Purpose, duty cycles
  • Did the OEM put the Best possible Application Specific/Purpose built cylinder on the machine in the beginning? Some Equipment OEMs choose the cheaper alternative to keep machine costs low.

Benefits to replacing a cylinder:

  • Minimizes Downtime
  • Extended Warranty
  • Purpose Built Cylinder – getting the right cylinder for the job
  • Don’t have to wait for parts or repair delays
  • SAVINGS in the long

Remember while it’s impossible to fully avoid hydraulic cylinder replacement or repair, performing annual maintenance can help prevent and even catch small problems before they become big. When choosing a new cylinder provider, choose the one that will provide you the Application-specific/Purpose built option you deserve. You will get the most return on your investment.

All views and opinions above are those of MIM Hydraulics and should be treated as such.  If experiencing any hydraulic cylinder issues please, contact our expert staff to help troubleshoot your specific issue.

For more information on how MIM Hydraulics can assist you with projects similar to this or other hydraulic/pneumatic projects and repairs please contact us at,, or call 843-437-5311.