A floor jack that can not lift a car is likely to bring about unwanted scenarios. For instance, If the device loses control, the car may fall down and crush it. Therefore, learning how to repair a floor jack that won’t hold pressure is pretty much a mandatory thing for car owners.
So, in this article, we will explain the causes of why your floor jack does not stay up and guide you on how to fix them.
What are you waiting for? Shall we start now?
Some Basic Things You Need To Know About Floor Jacks
Before guiding you on how to repair a floor jack that won’t hold pressure, we will first arm you with some basic yet crucial knowledge about the floor jacks themselves. Scroll down to see!
What is a floor jack?
A floor jack is a manually operated hydraulic device applied for lifting heavy vehicles off the ground. The floor jack is commonly used in many engineering or automotive industries to support the technicians in repairing and maintaining the vehicles with ease.
Typically, this device is built with a low-profile design so that it can roll under the cars without any problem.
How do Floor Jacks Work?
For convenience in transporting, the manufacturer often equipped the floor jack with some fixed wheels and a couple of swiveling casters. When you want to bring this jack into operation, simply just roll the device until the saddle gets to the lift position. After that, pump the handle up and down to lift the vehicle. When the car reaches a suitable height, the only thing left to do is to lock the device.
How To Repair A Floor Jack That Won’t Hold Pressure
Now, we will dive directly into the main details. In this section, you will learn how to repair a floor jack that won’t hold pressure in 6 steps. Prepare yourself a notebook and a pen because there are many things worth writing down!
Check out the lifting capacity
The first thing to keep in mind is that each floor jack has its own lifting capacity. If the device has to work beyond that, it can not hold pressure as well as usual. As a result, it will lose control and make the vehicle fall down.
Due to this reason, you should examine the lifting capacity of your floor jack carefully before starting to work. If the load limit remains to be low, you might be better off with another device
In most cases, a floor jack is designed with a safety overload function. This feature will stop the device from operating when it has to hold too much pressure.
To put it simply, when the floor jack can not hold pressure, you should compare the weight of your vehicle and the lifting capacity of the jack. Make sure that the vehicle’s weight is not the same or higher than the capacity.
Inspect the hydraulic oil levels
If there is no problem with the lifting capacity, move on, and start inspecting the hydraulic oil levels. An important thing you need to remember is that the amount of oil should not go higher or fall lower than it’s default set levels. Otherwise, the floor jack’s performance can be hindered
The reason is, the wrong amount of oil can reduce the device’s lifting capacity. And you know what the result will be? Things will go downhill faster than you think.
So, how to check the hydraulic oil levels of a floor jack? To do this, you have to remove the fill plug at first and then have a close look at the chamber to assess the amount of oil.
Now you have to add hydraulic oil to the chamber. For the best result, we recommend that you add the water-powered liquid over a quarter of the oil tank. Also, keep in mind that the minimum amount of oil allowed has to be around 3/16 of the tank.
And of course, don’t forget to use high-quality oil if you want everything to work properly. On the market, there are different types of oils that can have different effects on your floor jack performance. These oils are made by tons of different chemical materials with various acidity levels. Thus, wrong oils can even tear up, degrade, or break down the quality of your device.
Get rid of all trapped air
The next step is to take out all the trapped air inside the floor jack.
Do not underestimate the trapped air because it can leave many bad impacts on the device’s lifting capacity. And the result is your floor jack won’t be able to hold pressure as well as it should.
Luckily, this step is not too hard. Just turn the device’s valve in a counterclockwise direction of the handle. After that, remove the unit fill screw. Wait for the air to get out and then reassemble the unit
Typically, when the oil level in your oil reservoir is not high enough, the air will come in again and get trapped. Therefore, right after the last bit of air getting out, you should check the oil level one more time.
Remember what we have mentioned above? The wrong oil type can degrade your device because it allows the air to get in easily and trapped in your unit. So once again, we advise you to use high-quality oil.
See how tight the release valve is
Yeah. Now you know how a floor jack works, right? They help you lock to lift and keep the vehicle stable in the air. It is easy to lock, but if you do not lock the valve tightly and firmly, the floor jack can be loose and fall off at any time. This is really dangerous for a car mechanic like you!
Therefore, please carefully check the lock button before starting to lift the car.
Inspect again overall
When all the previous problems have been solved, the next step you have to do is make an overall checkup. Take a look at your entire floor jack to see if anything still goes wrong.
Besides checking the lifting capacity, hydraulic oil level, trapped air, and lock valve tightness, you should also see if your device is in the right working condition and if parts or screws are missing from it.
If everything is already in place, you should try to lift the car and see if the floor jack can hold pressure for more than 15 minutes or not. If yes, that means your device has come back to normal. Hurray!
Maintain the floor jack usually
Of course, you should inspect and maintain your floor jack usually. Don’t wait until it fails to hold pressure then start working on the problem. If you tend to your floor jack regularly, it will definitely be your trustable partner for a long time!
Here are a few basic things you should know about maintaining your device:
- Add lubricating oil to the wheels so that the floor jack can roll smoothly
- Refill the hydraulic oil often. Remember to buy high-quality oil!
- Detach all the unit parts to remove trapped air and then put them back together
- Clean the device to get rid of all dust trapped inside it
- Paint the outside of your floor jack to give it a protection coat
- Tighten the lock valve
- Replace the device parts when they get rusted
You must have a lot of questions about “How to repair a floor jack that won’t hold pressure“?, right To help you prepare well before you start fixing the floor jack, we have collected a few frequently asked questions. Let’s see it!
Where is the release valve on a floor jack?
The release valve is situated on the force unit that you elevated the jack-up with. To discharge the weight from the power unit, you should utilize the opposite side of the handle that you use to lift the car and apply it over the discharge and turn the lock valve in the counterclockwise direction.
How long can a floor jack work for you?
The lifespan of a floor jack will be decided by its quality and the way you make use of it. To keep the device in its prime and away from all that can mark its downfall, you need to maintain it very well.
Of course, you do not need to spend too much time on it, but make sure you get it serviced about 3 to 4 times a year. The maintenance is also very simple and will not take you all day so please take care of your floor jack as much as you can.
Are you able to apply compressor oil in the floor jack?
Definitely no! The compressor oil does not include all the additives that a hydraulic oil has. For example, you need an AW additive (Anti Wear) for the floor jack to work smoothly. And unfortunately, the compressor oil does not have it.
How can you bring a floor jack down?
After getting the work done, you may wonder how to bring the floor jack down, right? It is really simple! All you need to do is just hold the lock valve and turn this knob in the counterclockwise direction. At this time, the jack will slowly move down. When you have finished lowering the height of the device, don’t forget to tighten the valve again!
Can you use motor oil in a hydraulic jack?
Machine oil or lightweight engine oil can be a decent replacement for the hydraulic liquid. Because automatic transmission fluid can operate as water-powered oil, if you fail to find oil, just go for the fluid instead.
On the other hand, some types of vegetable seed oils are also good options to apply into the floor jack.
How much weight can a floor jack lift?
Floor jacks are commonly used because they give a better lifting range than other types can do. Nowadays, this device type is available in two different sizes.
The original model is about 4 feet long, 1 foot wide, and is capable of withstanding up to 10 tons.
On the other side, the smaller floor jack model is about 3 feet long, 1 foot wide, and can hold up to 5.5 tons.
Different types of Jacks other than a floor jack
Besides floor jack, there are some other jack types that you can refer to such as:
However, the floor jack is still the most popular type that every technician or engineer prefers using.
How high can a floor jack lift?
Those who regularly carry cars for maintenance will probably know, the maximum height of a floor jack is about 16 inches. This is the standard size to lift most cars into the air for repairs. However, there may still be some exceptional cases, so you need to check the height of cars to see if your floor jacks work for them or not.
To summarize, we have guided you clearly on how to repair a floor jack that is unable to stay up. From now on, you can inspect and solve all the problems coming up with your device by yourself.
In case you still have trouble with your lifting tool, do not hesitate to get in touch with us. All your questions about the hydraulic jacks will be answered as quickly as possible.
And now, our topic of how to repair a floor jack that won’t hold pressure will come to the end. Goodbye and see you again!.