How To Check and Change Hydraulic Oil in Forklift

November 01, 2022 - Last modified: November 3, 2022 @ 6:44 pm

Hydraulic forklifts are useful across many industries. The hydraulics system creates the force required to maneuver the forks of the lift or other attachments when handling large loads. It takes routine maintenance, including the occasional forklift hydraulic oil change, to avoid mistakes that cause malfunctions. Here is a brief guide on how to check forklift hydraulic oil and how to change hydraulic oil in forklift equipment.

How To Change Hydraulic Oil in Forklift Engines

Knowing the components of a hydraulic forklift system will help you understand how to check hydraulic fluid reserves. Hydraulic fluid is stored in the tank before being fed to the pump. Using a control valve, the pump pushes fluid to the lift cylinder through hoses. When the pressure pushes against the cylinder, the forks of the lift are raised.

How To Check Hydraulic Fluid

Most manufacturers recommend changing the oil in your forklift after 1,000 hours of operation. You can occasionally check to see if the fluid level is low before that time to prevent issues. When the forklift is parked on a level surface, lower the forks into the standard position. Consult the operator manual for the machine to determine how to check hydraulic fluid in your specific forklift. You should find instructions for which markings to note on the dipstick. Insert the dipstick into the tank to assess the fluid levels.

How To Change Hydraulic Oil in Forklift Tanks

Once you know how to check forklift hydraulic oil, the next step is learning how to change it. When it is time to change hydraulic in forklift machines, you want the forklift to be parked on a level surface with the forks lowered to the ground. Always engage the parking brake and make sure the ignition is off. You should check the operator’s manual ahead of time to purchase the right replacement hydraulic fluid. You will also need a drain pan and a new vented cap for the reservoir. With these, you can get started on your forklift hydraulic oil change:

  1. Lift the hood and locate the hydraulic oil reservoir in the engine bay.
  2. Check the capacity of the oil reservoir in the operator’s manual before starting to drain to ensure you have a big enough drain container.
  3. Place an appropriately sized drain container underneath the drain plug at the bottom of the reservoir and remove the drain plug.
  4. Inspect the condition of the tank as the oil drains and clean the tank as necessary before reinstalling the drain plug.
  5. Remove the vented cap to add hydraulic oil into the fill tube.
  6. Pump the oil into the reservoir, checking the gauges to prevent overfilling.
  7. Stop pumping when the fluid level reaches the max line and remove the pump nozzle.
  8. Clean up residual oil or spills before installing a new vent cap.
  9. Tighten the cap and close the lid and the engine bay before testing all functions for proper operations.
  10. You now know how to change hydraulic in forklift machines. 

Know How To Change Hydraulic Oil in Forklift Trucks Confidently

Whenever you have questions or concerns about how to check hydraulic fluid or how to change hydraulic oil in forklift reservoirs, you can turn to Forklift Inventory. In addition to getting you the best deals on forklifts, we have other resources on our site to keep you informed about taking care of your equipment. Get quotes for your next forklift today.

Find New & Used Forklift for Sale Today.


Compare Forklift Prices

Forklift Inventory has the largest online selection of forklifts, aerial lifts and construction forklifts. Compare new and used forklifts to get the lowest prices available.


Countries Served

Contact Us


*Savings claims are based on used forklift prices when compared to new inventory prices. Savings is not guaranteed and is subject to change.