How to Repair a Floor Jack that Won’t Hold Pressure?
A floor jack is a robust tool that can lift heavy loads incredibly such as cars during tire replacement and maintenance work. Just like any other mechanical systems, this amazing tool is vulnerable to damages despite their sturdy structure. Learning the common problems including how to repair a floor jack that won’t hold pressure is definitely a must!
Read on as we give you a walk-through on the possible issues that you may encounter as well as a step-by-step guide in fixing and troubleshooting a floor jack.
#1 – Are you overloading the floor jack?
The first thing that you have to check if the floor jack fails to lift a vehicle is its lifting capacity. Majority of the floor jacks are built with a safety overload feature. This will stop them from working when the user attempts to overload them. Attempting to exceed its capacity will also stress out its system resulting in reduced quality and danger to its users.
Check the weight of the vehicle and compare it against the floor jack’s lifting capacity. Normally, a 2-3 ton-capacity jack can lift passenger vehicles and light-duty trucks.
Some floor jack units come with an overload or safety valve. This adds protection against accidental use. It stops lifting automatically in the event that the floor jack has already reached its maximum PSI level. However, some users especially newbies get confused between the filler port and the safety valve. When this occurs, it is best to refer to the user's manual to seek help from floor jack experts.
#2 – Is the hydraulic oil level of the floor jack enough?
Wrong oil levels, either higher or lower than recommended, can lead to floor jack problems. This will limit not only its lifting capacity but also its lowering capacity.
Take out the fill plug of the floor jack and have a peep within its chamber to check the oil levels. The optimum oil levels should be around 3/16 to a quarter over the oil reservoir. Check the user manual to know the optimum oil level requirement of your unit.
If the oil level is lower than recommended, then do a refill and make sure that high-quality oil is being used. On the other hand, if the oil level is higher than recommended, then start draining some oil. Once the oil level is correct, the floor jack will start to build up enough pressure that can lift objects.
Examine your floor jack regularly for the presence of dirt and debris on the chamber as this may also cause functioning failure. Drain the oil for proper checking of unwanted agents and blow them out with the use of an air compressor.
Leaks brought about by overused utilization of oils and fluids may cause damages to the rings and seals. External leakage can be easily seen and replaced already. However, internal leakage is hardly noticed and may need more time to repair. Disassembling of the floor jack is essential to replace the damaged or affected parts. If possible, an expert’s assistance is highly recommended during the dismantling of the lift.
#3 – How to repair a floor jack that won’t hold pressure?
Trapped air within the floor jack is most likely the problem why it failed to hold pressure and lift an object. Fortunately, solving how to repair a floor jack that won’t hold pressure is possible.
This is done through a process known as “bleeding.” The process requires the unit’s release valve to be placed in an entirely retracted position–that is, anti-clockwise of the handle. Then the removal of the oil filler screw will follow.
Continuous screwing and pumping of the handle several times will remove the trapped air present in the floor jack. Lastly, be sure to replace your oil fill screw before using the unit again.
Another possible reason why the floor jack’s ram won’t lift is due to lack of enough oil in the reservoir. When this occurs, the air starts to accumulate in the unit preventing it to lift. Be sure to check the levels of the hydraulic fluid regularly.
Never use different types of oil, such as brake oil or motor oil, as it can pretty much damage the interior components of your floor jack. Each of these products has a specific viscosity that fits well with your unit for better and proper functioning. These products also contain certain chemicals and high acidity levels that can tear up, swell, or degrade the quality of the parts of your floor jack.
#4 – Is the release valve properly placed?
Try looking at the release valve if the jack begins to lower or refuse to lift at all despite proper positioning of the saddle and correct pumping of the handle. Examine the valves' tightness and adjust them accordingly.
If the valves' tightness is the cause of the problem, then the floor jack should start working properly once it is adjusted and solved.
Perform an Overall Checkup
If you already solved one of the issues mentioned above, then it doesn’t necessarily mean that the unit is already returned to its normal state. It is still important to do a full checkup. Always check for oil leaks, missing or ruined parts, cracked welds, and others.
Inspect the ram of the floor jack by turning it on the side. Be sure to check it in its extended and retracted positions. The rusted pistons of the jack can cause an underlying issue that needs to be taken care of.
Apply premium lubricating oil regularly to all the movable parts of the floor jack. This is a vital routine that should be done to ensure a smooth and effective functionality, especially on the wheels and the hinges.
When your floor jack is failing to do its job, there is definitely an underlying issue behind it. Knowing the real problem might be challenging and repairing this damage can be exhausting. But with proper knowledge and guidance, troubleshooting your floor jack can be a piece of cake.
For more serious problems, it is best to consult manufacturers and experts to address the problem properly. This is to ensure the good performance of your floor jacks at all times.