How to Add Oil to a Floor Jack: What You Need to Know
Part of owning a piece of car maintenance equipment is to know how to add oil to a floor jack. It might come across as an easy feat to do, but in fact, it is more complicated than it appears. That is because a floor jack has different components in it that when you mess up, the oil will end up leaking.
When this happens, you do not only waste precious oil, but you also risk destroying the floor jack. But why do we have to oil it in the first place? Come to think of it, a floor jack is just used to lift vehicles, so why does it need a good greasing?
We are going to answer those questions as well as enumerate the easy steps on how to properly oil up a floor jack. In addition, we will give you some tips on how to go about it.
Why Is It Important to Oil a Floor Jack?
The reason behind this is simple, and it is to give the floor jack a long life. Oil is essential to prevent any squeaking and rusting. At the same time, it is beneficial for the components to work well since if it is not well oiled, there can be a bit of delay in reaction time.
Also, during our elementary days, we were taught about friction. This principle is about two things rubbing against each other.
Now imagine the steel or aluminum components of a floor jack that are rubbing against each other without oil. It is a bad sight, right? Therefore, oiling it is necessary for the floor jack to function at its best capacity and to maintain it at its best condition for a long.
However, it is a bother because there are a lot of times that the oil will leak out. If this happens, this can cause more harm because slipping might occur and you will be left with a fallen car. Yes, it is that drastic, so you really should know how to add oil to a floor jack properly to minimize damage both on your jack and your car.
How to Add Oil to a Floor Jack?
Here are the easy steps to follow to oil your floor jack properly.
1. Prepare the Floor Jack
You should start by placing the jack on a level and hard surface. Then, you should put it in a down position by way of opening the release valve.
This valve is the one that allows the oil to flow back to the main reservoir once it is opened. It is generally located at the bottom of the jack, and by opening it, it lowers the ram piston.
You should check if any oil leaks are present around this valve. If there are, then you have to wipe them off using a clean rag.
2. Find the Oil Fill Plug
The oil fill plug is usually found behind a cover that is removable and is at the bottom of the jack. In some releases, it can be found at the top of the oil reservoir. Additionally, it has a cylindrical shape when the jack is at the down position.
After locating it, check again for oil leaks and if there are leaks, wipe it with a clean rag. Doing so will prevent any oil contamination when you are finally ready to refill it.
3. Check the Oil Level
Next up, remove the oil plug with the help of an Allen wrench or a screwdriver that is largely slotted. When the oil plug is already removed, take out your flashlight and look into the hole. Make sure that nothing will touch your face as it might be dangerous to the skin.
The level of the oil should at least be 1/8 inches underneath the neck of the hole. If it is higher, then you do not have to refill the oil as the chances of it overfilling are high.
4. Adding the Oil
If the oil level is low, you can then add oil with the use of a small funnel. Make sure to add the oil slowly and add little by little.
Once you are done, you can remove the funnel and let the oil dissipate for at least 30 seconds to a minute. You can then take your flashlight and check the level of the added oil.
5. Closing the Oil Fill Plug
You can then put back the oil fill plug and do not forget to wipe any excess oil that might have spilled during the refilling process. The next step is to raise the jack to a full up position by way of pumping the pump handle. While pumping, check if there are any oil leaks.
While it is in the full up position, you should also check the ram piston for any leaks. If there are some leaks, just wipe them off again. The ram piston is actually the part that can raise an item that is going to be lifted with the floor jack.
6. Finishing Up
Finally, you can now release the jack to a full down position. Again, just to be sure, check the area for oil leaks. Voila! You are done.
Here are other excellent tips to assist you with the refilling process:
- If there is too much oil on different components of the jack, then you might need to replace the oil seal. On the other hand, you can replace the oil more frequently, but too much loss of oil can diminish the holding power of the floor jack.
- Do a fluid level check at least once every 12 months so that you are sure that your floor jack will be working efficiently.
- While raising the jack and you notice a massive oil leak, quickly lower the vehicle and check the integrity of your floor jack.
- Never use a creaking or squeaking floor jack.
Those are the easy steps on how to properly add oil to your floor jack. It can be a little inconvenient, but trust us when we say that it is worth your effort and time. Just think about your car falling from a decent height, and you will be motivated to oil up your floor jack.