In many machines and devices there are hydraulic drives. They should operate well in various weather conditions, also in low ambient temperatures. Some malfunctions may occur during operation of hydraulic system in a so called “thermal shock condition”, which happens when frozen hydraulic component (e.g. hydraulic pump, motor or directional spool valve) is suddenly supplied with hot oil. Transient thermal state emerges in these conditions. Particular elements of component warm up differently. This results in different thermal expansion of components during warm up, which is changing the size of clearance between cooperating elements. Experimental tests of hydraulic components in low ambient temperatures were conducted in the hydraulic laboratory of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of Gdansk University of Technology. They concerned: orbital motors, satellite motors, gear pumps, spool valves (also proportional), piston pumps, and hydraulic cylinders. It was proved, that in thermal shock conditions some malfunctions may occur, especially with large temperature differences between oil and component. Based on results of the tests of hydraulic components and systems start-up in low ambient temperatures, one can perform a change in components design, change the type of material of components elements, and even prepare a proper procedure to be followed during start-up of cold hydraulic components and systems. In the article discusses some designs of hydraulic components resistant to thermal shock, and how to prepare components to work in low temperatures, e.g. by providing system with an additional heater to ensure uniform heating of elements in components. Change in design of hydraulic components resistant to thermal shock conditions can be obtained through computer simulation method. Analytic and computer simulation methods can be used by engineers who design machines and devices that work in low ambient temperatures.