There are a few common ways that a hydraulic cylinder tends to fail. If you look out for these issues, you can often reduce the cost of repairing them by getting in there with repairs early.
The coat on the outside of the rod is critical for dictating how long the cylinder as a whole will actually last. The finish has to be just right in order to maintain perfect operation. If the surface doesn't offer enough resistance, meaning the coarseness is inadequate, then the life of the seal can be reduced.
If the coarseness is too high then the amount of contaminants making it past the seal can get higher than they should be. You end up with too much leakage and the seal becomes largely useless. That's why it's important to make sure you give the rod the right finish and coating and keep it within adequate ranges.
Another issue that can occur to cause hydraulic problems in the cylinder is when the tube deforms or "balloons." This often occurs because the walls aren't thick enough. It could also be made of poor material. If there is this defect inside the cylinder, then you may be able to call in the warranty if it's new enough. If you can't, however, you will need to fix this or greater repairs may become necessary.
If the rod in the cylinder bends, this can be a major problem. This often happens because the rod isn't strong enough across its whole length due to weakening over time. It can also happen if the rod wasn't mounted properly or if the diameter of the rod isn't adequate. The issue is that a bent rod will mean that the deformity puts pressure on the seal around the rod.
As a result, you get leaks, and the seal itself could have a catastrophic failure. That's why it's important to check out the rod seal periodically in order to make sure that leaks aren't happening and that they won't happen in the future.
If the issue with the cylinder is actually in its design, then you may have to take strong measures to fix it up or you'll risk failure. Overall, preemptive repairs based on checking for potential erosion or design flaws are going to save you a considerable amount of money and aggravation in the long run. It will be well worth your consideration.
For more information, contact a local company like Clearwater Hydraulics & Drive Shaft Service.