How to Bleed a Floor Jack Safely and Correctly
Not many people, especially non-professionals, know how to bleed a floor jack properly. They tend to purchase this tool because they think they can use it correctly when the time comes. Likewise, what people also don’t realize is that this tool needs occasional maintenance for it to continue to work smoothly, safely, and effectively.
We can also say that failure to do so will actually be quite dangerous because there could be a possibility that air could get into the system. If this does happen, it will lead to the jack’s failure. You’re very well aware what would occur if that does happen.
Thankfully, the good news is bleeding your jack regularly is no rocket science. This is an easy process, and we will give you step-by-step instructions on how to do so.
What Is a Floor Jack?
A floor jack is a kind of a jack which will allow a person to lift one part of a vehicle so that the repairs can be performed below it. Floor jacks are used for a variety of repairs. While they are more commonly found in car workshops, this tool is getting popular among amateur car enthusiasts and DIYers.
Floor jacks are simply great as they will allow you to turn any small area into a workshop, and this is regardless of how experienced you are. That being said, knowledge along with a safe working environment is key to making floor jacks work well and to your advantage.
You should also be very careful when you are using a floor jack. It is important to note that every single jack comes with a weight limit. It is then really imperative that you do not use the jack for vehicles that clearly exceed the limitations.
How to Bleed a Floor Jack?
Below, we will give you an easy and effective step-by-step guide which will correctly bleed the floor jack. Make sure you are using a floor jack that clearly qualifies for your vehicle. Additionally, make sure that your floor jack is not too old, or else, get it checked by a professional or just buy a new one.
1. Start off by extending the lift arm (or the ram piston), and then start pumping the jack with no load on it till the point the jack arm, which the saddle gets support from, fully extends all the way to the highest point.
2. Now you will need to let the pressure out on the jack. You can do so by simply opening the valve. This feature on an expensive and a high-quality jack will involve you opening the valve by carefully turning the jack handle in a counterclockwise direction. For cheaper or older models, its placement is under the handle. You will be required to remove this handle and then refit it back onto the release valve, or you can use pliers, then one more time, turn it in a counterclockwise direction. It is vital that you wait until the jack arm goes back to the lowest possible position before you can get on to what you need to do next. There are certain release valves which also come with a fitting of a flat head screwdriver which you can use.
3. The next step involves the removal of the filler plug. For this, you can refer to your owner's manual which came with the jack (if you don’t have one or cannot find it, then do a Google search for the model name and number along with the owner's manual, it is most likely that the manual will be on the main website.)
4. You will need to use your flat head screwdriver one more time. In a counterclockwise direction, you will need to turn the filler plug until it is removed slowly. If there is any air trapped inside until this point, it will now get released.
5. You will be able to hear this release quite audibly. Once you feel that the hissing sound is completely over, you can screw back the filler plug in a clockwise direction until it is hand tight. After this, you need to close the release valve by turning it in a clockwise direction.
6. Now comes the most boring part of this whole process. You will now need to repeat this process multiple times till the point you hear absolutely no air getting release as mentioned earlier. Once that has been achieved, your jack has been bled absolutely right.
We often get asked the question of how often floor jacks should be maintained in order to use the jack safely and effectively. Frankly speaking, it will really differ from person to person and how often the floor jack is used.
For someone who uses the tool professionally, you will possibly need to schedule on the basis of the workload on the jack. Ideally, doing it every six months is advisable.
On the other hand, for someone who uses a jack once in a while, that is for personal use, you can get lucky and get away with not checking the jack even for long periods. That said, it should not be more than 12 months, even if you have used it just a handful of times. This is because not maintaining can also have an adverse effect on the jack.
A floor jack is not something you buy every two or three years. It should last you for decades at least. That is not something that can happen without right maintenance. Other than bleeding the floor jack, there are other ways to maintain it.
As mentioned earlier, the most important way to do that is by ensuring you do not use it for the wrong kind of vehicle, that is using it for a heavier vehicle which the jack cannot support. The other small ways you can prolong the life of your jack include changing the jack’s oil, regularly inspecting the floor jack, keeping the jack free from any debris, cleaning it often, lubricating all the moving parts, and releasing the pressure from the jack every time before you store it.
Knowing how to bleed a floor jack is a knowledge and skill you should have, and with our clear-cut instructions, it is an easy and quick process. Bleeding your jack is important for it to function smoothly, but most importantly, it is also good to do so as it will prolong its life.