How to Maintain Your Boat Steering Systems Hydraulic Steering
For hydraulic Boat steering systems, the most important maintenance is to keep the fluid level and air pressure at the recommended level.
Check for leaks if you have air in the system or the fluid level is reducing.
Common places to check include the hydraulic hoses, jacket, ram seals, and cylinder shaft.
Connections and fittings exposed to saltwater and friction can cause leaks.
If your steering feels bouncy, sloppy, or unresponsive, you have air in the system which needs to be purged.
Bleeding hydraulics takes time and may be more difficult than you expect, but follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and be patient.
Check the hydraulic oil every three years. If it is cloudy, milky, smelly or dirty, the oil is contaminated.
Abrasive dirt can spell doom for your hydraulic system. If the oil is contaminated, flush the system and replace the fluid.