In many situations, the root cause of a particular failure may be determined based on the observation of a single part, or perhaps a photograph, taken from the failed system. However, when failure analysis is conducted on the complete component, a different result often emerges. Such is the case described here for a piston pump that was operating on an anhydrous poly(alkylene glycol) - PAG at high pressure. Initial observation suggested the fluid was the root cause of the failure. However, when failure analysis was properly applied, it was learned that the root cause of the failure was due to mechanical failure caused by the motor-to-pump coupling. This analysis procedure is presented as a case history in this report.