10 Tips for Properly Maintaining Your Floor Jack
When’s the last time you inspected your floor jack? Do you know if all its parts are working properly?
Just like any other piece of equipment, it’s important to maintain your jack so that it will work properly when you need it most. Keep these tips in mind to ensure your floor jack stays in good condition.
Perform Regular Inspections
You should always do is regularly inspect your jack. Ideally, you will take the time to perform an inspection before each use. That way, if there is an issue with the jack, you’ll find out before you try to lift your car up with it.
It might seem like a pain to have to wait until after you’ve inspected your jack to use it, but you’ll be glad you did if you find an issue. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Learn To Recognize Signs Of Wear And Tear
It doesn’t do you any good to inspect your floor jack if you don’t know what you should be looking for. Some common indicators of wear and tear include:
If the dent is on the surface of the frame, it’s usually nothing to worry about. However, if there are any cracks, you should avoid using the jack until you can get it fixed.
If the wheels on the jack don’t work properly, it’s usually a sign of poor lubrication. They may need be replaced, but this usually a fairly simple fix.
Failure to Rise
If your floor jack has difficulty rising, it’s a sign that it is worn out. There may also be a problem with the hydraulic system if you have this kind of jack. H
Handle Kicking Back
If the handle kicks back when you push it down, it may be worn out. Stop using the jack if this happens.
Oil Appears White in Color
If the oil has a milky appearance, it may have been mixed with water. This usually happens when water gets into the master cylinder or the reservoir.
Make Repairs Immediately
If you notice any of the signs discussed above when you’re inspecting your floor jack, be sure to get it repaired or replaced immediately. Don’t wait for the problem to get worse before you do something about it.
Lubricate Wheels And Hinge Joints
As stated above, improperly lubricated wheels can cause unnecessary damage to your floor jack. Lubricate the wheels regularly with a heavy grease, which will remain in place without dripping, unlike oil.
Be sure to grease the hinge joints of your jack as well.
Once a year, be sure to clean off any extra grease that has built up on the hinges or wheels.
Tighten Loose Nuts
Loose nuts can cause serious damage and injury. Be sure to check for these during your inspection and tighten them if necessary. Just make sure you have the correct gauge spanner, otherwise, you could strip the nut in the process.
Hydraulic Jack? Check The Oil Level
Hydraulic jacks rely heavily on oil, and any kind of leak will hinder the floor jack’s performance. It can even cause the jack to release prematurely.
Check for signs of leaks and, every few months, check the reservoir to ensure there is enough fluid.
In addition to monitoring the levels, the oil in your jack should be fully replaced every couple of years. Just make sure you don’t over or under fill the reservoir when you replace the oil. Underfilling can lead to a weak lifting system, and overfilling can cause permanent damage to the jack.
Bleed The Cylinder
After you change the oil in your jack, be sure to bleed the cylinder. Bleeding the cylinder refers to letting out air from the jack’s filler plug. You can also do this anytime you notice your jack if slow lifting is unable to hold weight.
The process of bleeding the cylinder is fairly easy. Just follow the steps listed below:
- Prop up the jack until the ram piston is extended.
- Release the jack’s pressure valve so that it can be lowered.
- Use a screwdriver to open up the filler plug, which is found on the main body.
- When the filler plug has been removed, you’ll hear a short hiss—this means that trapped air has been removed.
- Reattach the filler plug when the hissing stops.
- Repeat until all the air has escaped.
Don’t Use Your Jack For Unintended Purposes
It’s important to only use your floor jack for lifting and bearing the weight of vehicles.
If you use your jack for something other than lifting a vehicle, you’re likely going to damage it or cause it to wear out faster than it normally would. You could also hurt yourself if you use it for anything other than its intended purpose.
Store Your Jack Properly
Follow these steps every time you put your jack away. They don’t take long, and they’ll ensure that your jack lasts as long as possible.
- Make sure the jack is in its rest state with the hydraulic arm fully retracted.
- Release all pressure from the cylinder before storing. This removes stress on the system and also saves you time next time you need to set it up.
- Store your jack in an upright position to avoid leaks.
- Keep your jack in a dry area.
- Rub the jack with oil occasionally to prevent corrosion.
- Cover the jack to avoid dust accumulation.
Keep Your Jack Clean
Because your jack is regularly exposed to grease, it is also a magnet for dust and dirt. Clean the jack regularly with a dry cloth, and then wipe it down with a lightly oiled cloth. Give it a thorough cleaning once a year as well to remove buildup.
Need Help Finding The Best Floor Jack?
Whether you need to replace a damaged jack or are ready to invest in one now that you know how to maintain them, we can help!