Reduce your operating costs and increase the reliability of your hydraulic cylinder systems by knowing how to correctly change your system’s oil filter.


Reduce your operating costs and increase the reliability of your systems by knowing how to correctly change your system’s oil filter. Good service practices ensure consistent filtration performance.

Particles that are induced into a hydraulic system are ground down into a fine silt that gets caught in filters and in between moving parts, this causes inefficiencies and can lead to system failure if unchecked. Because of this silting process, it is important that hydraulics systems have adequate filtration to keep things running smoothly. Industrial hydraulics systems usually filter in the 10-micron range, well below what is detectable with the naked eye. 

Each system will have its own original equipment manufacturer (OEM) Service Interval.  Adhering to this specified duration of time after which the system must undergo maintenance and when filters must be changed will prevent downtime and prolong the useful life of your machine.   

In this article, we discuss a few standard procedures to change 3 of the most popular types of oil filter installations. 

Basic guidelines

  • Always use a clean cloth and clean oil funnel to avoid the introduction of contaminants. 
  • Follow the service instructions provided by your original equipment manufacturer.
  • Before changing the filter change, verify that the OEM service interval has been reached or if the service indicator shows that a filter change is due.
  • Check the new filter for shipping or handling damage.  Do not install a filter with a weakened cannister or any other damage.
  • Ensure that the system is shut down completely and that there is no pressure present.
  • After installing your new filter, bleed the system and check for leaks.
  • To dispose of an oil filter safely, one should drain the oil into a plastic container and seal the used filter in a plastic Ziploc bag until they can be recycled. 

Standard Oil Filter

  1. Remove the used filter and gasket. 
  2. Dispose of them safely. 
  3. Clean the filter mounting head.
  4. Lubricate the filter gasket.
  5. Twist on the new replacement filter until contact is made, then follow the guidance of the icons which appear on the filter housing. Do not overtighten.

Cartridge Type Filters

  1. Unscrew the housing and remove the cartridge.
  2. Dispose of the cartridge safely.
  3. Clean out the filter housing with warm soapy water and a soft-bristle brush. 
  4. Insert the new filter cartridge. 
  5. Lubricate O-rings, gaskets and housing seals with clean oil.
  6. Fit the housing to the filter head as per the instructions in your operator’s handbook. Do not overtighten.

In-tank Filters

  1. Open the cover and remove the filter carefully, avoiding contamination. 
  2. Dispose of the cartridge, seal and spring safely.
  3. Clean out sediment that may have accumulated on the inside of the housing, seal area and cap.
  4. Clean the cover and lubricate the cover seal.
  5. Lubricate the filter O-ring with clean system oil.
  6. Install the new filter element. 
  7. Refit the cover, following the instructions in the operator’s handbook.

At Kappa Engineering, we recommend regular service and system maintenance, but when it comes to hydraulic cylinder issues or maintenance that are too big to handle in-house, get in touch with us

We will collect and deliver your machine parts using our fleet of bakkies and trucks. Our repairs department will give you a fair price for quality work. We will share our industry knowledge to lower your operational costs and ensure that you experience minimal downtime.



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