This study presents a possibility of detecting wear of a valve plate in multi-piston axial pump based on time-frequency analysis of measured signals. Short-time Fourier transform STFT and the generalized Wigner-Ville algorithm WVD were used for this purpose. The tests were carried out on a multi-piston axial pump with swinging plate, in which the worn valve plates were mounted. Valve plate wear was related with the formation of flow micro-channels between the pump suction hole and its pumping hole on the plate transition zone surface. The developed channels initiate flow of the operational fluid, the results of which is lack of leak-tightness between suction and pumping zones, associated with a decrease in operational pressure and drop in general efficiency.