When you plan to work on your vehicle, one of the important tools is a floor jack, but what happens if the floor jack is not functioning well?
Working with a floor jack in bad condition is simply too risky, and you do not want to consider that option. This is because there is a high chance of you getting yourself injuries and might end up damaging your vehicle.
The important question is how to repair a floor jack that won’t hold pressure? Well, the solution is simple and understandable.
To find the solution, you will need to:
- Examine The Lifting Capacity
- Checking If The Hydraulic Oil Levels Are Accurate
- Examine The Release Valve
- Release Trapped Air
- Finally Inspect All Over Again For Assurance
- Regular Services And Maintenance
With my thorough research for this article, you will be able to learn a lot more than just repairing your floor jack, so make sure to read it till the end.
What Is A Floor Jack?
For those unfamiliar with this basic handy tool, you have come to the right place as this tool is one of the most important things you should own when working on your vehicle. It is also crucial to know what a jack is and what the functions are before purchasing it and getting into the proper details.
So, the floor jack is a device commonly used to lift your vehicle in place while you can proceed to work under the vehicle. There are various types of floor jacks available in the market, but I will discuss the most commonly used by people; mechanical, hydraulic and pneumatic.
I will be discussing these further so you can have a better idea.
1. Mechanical Jack
This jack is designed in the shape of a diamond, and you can commonly use it to lift your vehicle to work underneath or simply to change a tire, but it can also be used for different purposes when it comes to lifting.
This device does not use pressure, and you will have to work manually to adjust how much you want to lift. This jack is great for holding heavy weights so you can work without any stress.
2. Hydraulic Jack
This jack uses distinctive hydraulic oil so it can lift heavy things. The other name for this device is called jacking oil. Using this oil is to make the device more power to function properly when the pressure is applied to the cylinder chamber. This device is most commonly used and recommended by professionals.
3. Pneumatic Jack
It is stated that this jack is less popular but can be used as it also provides the same services. This device is used to produce power when the air is compressed so it can easily lift heavy material.
It is stated that the pneumatic strength will turn into electric power, which will then turn into mechanical power with the assistance of compressed air. You will need a compressor for this device, and it does not use pressure to lift.
6 Steps To Fix A Floor Jack That Won’t Lift
As I have mentioned earlier, the common things that you must check before you repair your floor jack by examining the lifting capacity, checking if the hydraulic oil levels is accurate, examining the release valve, releasing the trapped air and finally re-checking the same steps again just to be sure that you did not miss a step or performed is wrong.
Even though these jacks are designed with heavy-duty materials that enable them to lift and hold the pressure of different heavy objects, they can still wear out and not function properly. Therefore, learning how to fix a jack that might need a little repairing is crucial.
If you think that the jack is way too damaged or unable to fix it, then it is best to get a replacement or by contacting a mechanic who might fix this issue for you effortlessly.
Anyhow, without delay, let’s get right into it!
1. Examine The Lifting Capacity
Make sure that the lifting capacity of your jack, as well as the object you are lifting, matches the description. This is because sometimes, the issue might not be the jack itself. Suppose your jack is unable to lift an object or even your vehicle.
It might be because it is not designed to hold much weight; so technically, you might end up using your jack mistakenly, which might prevent the device from working if it is being overloaded.
Therefore, check the holding capacity of your jack and your vehicle. Some jacks can hold from 2 up to 3-ton capacity, which means they can only hold light-weighted items. If you are overloading the jack, it can damage and make it lose its strength, which can be risky for your vehicle and you.
2. Checking If The Hydraulic Oil Levels Are Accurate
The wrong fluid levels might make your floor jack fails to work properly or function. Ensure that you are using the accurate level with neither less nor more fluid in the jack, as it can damage the device.
The main reason you should not use a high level of oil is that when you put pressure, there might be a risk of blowing out seals, which can cause internal leaks, which will lead to your jack not holding the pressure at all.
Whereas it is suggested that the fluid levels should not go down and if it is low, that can be due to internal leakage, which is necessary to fix before you use the jack. However, the jack will function fine with the low oil levels, but the highest height limit will be lower.
Make sure that you check the instruction manual of the jack to see how much oil should be used and what is causing it to be too low or too high so you can fix the issue accordingly.
And lastly, it is stated that your jack can get dirt and debris inside, which can affect the performance, so make sure that you clean it every time before using it as well as change the oil.
3. Examine The Release Valve
The purpose of going through this step is to check if the valves are tight and are holding the pressure inside. This is important because when you are lifting your vehicle or any other heavy material and the jack is unable to perform well as the air is being released out of the system. If the valves are loose, then make sure to adjust them accordingly, and this may actually fix the issue.
4. Release Trapped Air
This process is called bleeding the system. If there is any air that is trapped inside the jack, then that can also be the main cause why your jack is not able to lift properly. This is why you will have to remove the air bubbles inside with the help of bleeding the jack.
There are three steps that you need to follow through; first, you will need to put the device’s valves into a retracted position by turning them anticlockwise, the second step is to detach the oil fill screw from the area that is lifting the objects and finally place the valve to its actual position again.
One of the common reasons why the air can be trapped inside is due to low hydraulic oil levels or if there is a leakage somewhere. Because of this issue, the air can start to build inside the jack that prevents it from lifting items properly.
Another thing that you should keep in mind is that changing to different oil can also damage the interior of your jack, especially the motor oil or the brake oil so make sure you are only using what is suggested as it will work efficiently for the performance of your jack.
Lastly, if there is any leakage issue in any part of the jack, then you can read and follow through with the previous point I have mentioned.
5. Finally Inspect All Over Again For Assurance
Even after performing all these steps, it does not necessarily mean that the issue is fixed, or you can use the jack normally again as there might be problems somewhere on the jack.
Firstly, make sure to go through each step I have mentioned above over and over again just so you are not missing anything because some people can make simple and small mistakes.
Secondly, you are not supposed to check the previous steps only because sometimes there can be a problem that is not exactly visible or easy to detect. This is why crosscheck these things as well.
If the jack is bent, damaged or has cracked welds somewhere, it is consists of rust, dirt, debris or completely ruined parts and oil leakage etc. and lastly, make sure to turn in on the sides, this way you will be able to check both the extended and the retracted positions which will assure you that everything is under control.
This step will minimize any chances of damages from happening so you can use it again without the risk of injuries to you or destroying your vehicle.
6. Regular Services And Maintenance
Many people forget and ignore how crucial this step really is. Some things cannot be fixed at home with basic tools that you find at home as it is not in your hand if you are not an expert in this matter.
It is important to get your floor jack serviced, just like how important it is for you to maintain your vehicle regularly. If a jack is not working properly, it can actually increase the chances of failure when putting pressure which can easily injure you and your vehicle.
Moreover, it is suggested that you should apply premium lubricating oil on all the parts that are able to move. This is because this lubrication process will help the jack run smoothly and effectively. So apply the oil on the hinges and wheels. This way, it can work with minimum friction.
Safety Tips On Using A Floor Jack
When you are using a floor jack, make sure to follow the proper guidelines in order to get the desired performance as well as for the safety of you and your vehicle.
- Check Your Floor Jack Throughout Regularly: If there are any parts broken, missing, damaged or if there is a leakage so you can fix it immediately before using. Because once you use it with such problems, it might lose pressure which leads to your jack failing.
- Important To Check The Weight Limit: When you are about to use your jack on your vehicle, it is crucial that you check the weight limit of the floor jack as well as your vehicle by reading the instruction manuals.
- Use A Good Quality Jack: This might not seem like a safety tip, but trust me, it is really important because if you use a jack that is either second hand or a poor quality one, then you are practically minimizing the safety of yourself and your vehicle. It might fail during the procedure by not holding the pressure or can easily break etc.
- Vehicle Is In The Parking Mode: When you are going to lift your vehicle, make sure the vehicle is in the park, and the hand brake is on beforehand. This process will prevent the chances of your vehicle moving around during the process.
- Use Wheel Chocks: It is suggested you use wheel chocks on the tires of your vehicle as it will help stabilize it and prevent the tires from rolling, which can be dangerous.
- Make Sure To Use The Jack On The Flat Surface: Make sure to place the jack on the flat surface and always use jack stands when you are lifting anything heavy. Placing it on a flat surface will prevent the jack from slipping, and by using the jack stand, you can easily share a load of heavy vehicles on both the stand and the jack itself.
- Lift The Vehicle At The Correct Point: Do this by reading your instruction manual to analyze where they are located; these are important because they are the toughest points of your vehicle and should only be used when you place a jack.
- Stability Of Your Vehicle: Check the stability of your vehicle before you plan on going underneath the vehicle, so you do not end up hurting yourself. Take your time adjusting everything as there is no need to rush when it comes to these things, and always enjoy the process.
I hope now you have an accurate idea of how to repair a floor jack that won’t hold pressure. Make sure that you follow these steps accordingly without missing out on anything, as it will help you detect the issue. Although these steps are simple and can be done effortlessly, the need for maintenance regularly is also really important.
This is why you should get it serviced and always use it after cleaning it and checking it properly. However, when you are in trouble, you can always consult a mechanic or just read through the instruction manual for better understanding. Take your time and enjoy the process.
Hi there! I am Tahir Azam, and this is my blog. WVDOT Automotive is a website dedicated to creating high-quality content for car enthusiasts. I am also an avid car driver. I own and drive a Porsche for my daily tasks. It is the perfect vehicle for my family. I am a proud father of two boys. I spend my mornings and evenings catering to clients at my very own software hub. After getting home, I dedicate a few hours of my time to create an article every day. Well, this is a short introduction about me and I am also a publisher on Amazon. I hope you enjoy reading through my articles, and I also hope that I may have helped you choose an upgrade for your vehicle.