How to Refill Hydraulic Oil in a Floor Jack?

Vehicles are part and parcel of our daily lives and they are necessary for the day to day activities. However, there are moments when you will have to carry out some repairs and routine checks. In order to get access to the components that are beneath the vehicle, you would need to use a floor jack. There are different types of floor jacks, but most people prefer to use the hydraulic floor jacks, due to their versatile nature and ease of use. When you have a good floor jack, it will serve you for a couple of years without any problems. However, you should always ensure that you perform routine maintenance tasks.

Maintenance of Hydraulic Floor Jacks Step By Step Easy Guide:

The overall maintenance process of floor jacks is simple and takes very little time to complete. The routine checks and maintenance should be carried out about 2 to 3 times in a year. However, as the hydraulic jack continues to wear, the maintenance frequency should be increased. Hydraulic jacks use oil in as the fluid to help them push the pistons to be able to lift heavy objects. When you purchase a new hydraulic jack, the initial oil filled in the hydraulic container may last for about 2 years before changing it. You should inspect your hydraulic jack every time before use so as to ensure that it will function as required. When the time comes and you need to refill the hydraulic oil, here are the steps to follow:

 Locate the Filler Port:

How to Refill Hydraulic OilIt is possible to have used the hydraulic floor jack for quite some time without refilling the hydraulic fluid. As such, it should not come as a surprise to realize that you may not be aware where the filler port is. Ideally, the filler port is located near the top of the jack, but this may be on different places, depending on the model of your hydraulic jack. In most cases, it will be labeled and clearly marked out, making it is to find it. This is the very first step in refilling the oil.

 Uncover it and Place a Funnel:

Once you have identified the filler port, remove the cap on the port and place somewhere safe, so that it does not get lost or misplaced. You would need to use an adjustable wrench to remove the cap. Turn the wrench counterclockwise and this will loosen it and eventually remove it. Take a funnel and place it into the opening of the port, where the cap has been removed. You should find a fitting funnel and ensure that you hold it in place, with your hand, firmly.

 Pour the Hydraulic Fluid:

Refill Hydraulic OilTake the hydraulic oil and start pouring it into the funnel. The funnel is a safety measure as it ensures that the oil does not spill on the jack or on the floor. You should pour to the indicated level. When the oil is too much or too little, it will affect the jack and cause it to malfunction. If you accidentally spill any oil on the jack, you should clean it immediately.

 Replace Cap to the Filler Port:

As soon as you have finished pouring the oil into the filler port, you should replace the cap right away. This is will ensure that the oil does not leak from the jack. Do not move the floor jack until you have replaced the cap and securely tightened it.

These are the steps that you should follow anytime that you need to refill the oil. The hydraulic oil enhances the overall performance of your floor jack. When you realize that raising your vehicle using your floor jack is becoming a daunting task, then this means that the level of the oil has gone below the limit. This is the main indicator that the hydraulic oil needs to be refilled and if this is the case, you will follow the same procedure and get your hydraulic jack to optimum performance.

What Next?

Once you have refilled the hydraulic oil, it should last for about 12 months. You should make it a habit to check the oil level, at least once in a year. As soon as you have refilled the oil, you should bleed the cylinder, which will help in fine tuning the performance of the hydraulic jack. Anytime that your hydraulic jack starts slowing down its lifting capabilities, you should bleed the system and check to see if there will be an improvement in the performance. Besides changing the oil, there are so many other maintenance procedures, which you should perform frequently.

 Inspect the Hydraulic Jack Consistently:

How to Refill Hydraulic OilBefore using the hydraulic floor jack, you should inspect it thoroughly. Check if there are any leaks, loose bolts and nuts and also if there is any part that has been damaged. Inspecting your jack allows you to notice any unusual signs, which will require immediate attention. If there is no visible damage on the hydraulic jack, you should monitor the performance.

It is advisable to lift your vehicle slowly, as you observe the jack. This will help you notice if there lifting ability has reduced or any other erratic behavior. If you notice any unusual problem with the jack, you should stop using it right away and have it fixed. This is a preventive measure, and should not be taken lightly.

 How to Store the Jack:

When you have refilled the hydraulic oil and testing the jack, you should store the jack in the right way. Ensure that the jack is in the upright position so as to avoid any leakage of the oil that you have refilled. You should also release the pressure on the hydraulic jack before storing it.

If you can follow these tips religiously, you will not only know how to refill the hydraulic oil, but also be able to prolong its life. A hydraulic floor jack is an essential device for any mechanic or car enthusiast.

How to Properly Maintenance Your Floor Jack Step By Step Guide

When you buy a new floor jack, it should be able to serve your needs for a very long time. However, the lifespan of the floor jack, solely depends on the maintenance. With proper care, you can actually extend the lifetime of your jack, irrespective of the wear and tear issues. Surprisingly, maintaining your jack is very easy and you would need to be an expert to do it. The other advantage is the fact that it is only required to be done 2 to 3 times in a year.

If you are a busy person, you still can manage to maintain the floor jack properly. The basic maintenance procedures will take about 3 minutes and you will be good to go. If you are a new car owner and have just acquired a floor jack, we will share some easy tips that you can floor so as to maintain your floor jack properly.

How to Properly Maintenance Your Floor Jack

Easiest Way to maintain your floor jack

✓ Frequent Inspections:

While we mentioned that the maintenance of a floor jack ought to be carried out 2 to 3 times in a year, you should inspect it, every time when you have a chance to. Before trying to lift your vehicle using the floor jack, you should check to see if everything is in place. Checking there are any cracks on the frame and if all he nuts and bolts are secure and tight.

You should also check if there is any leakage of the hydraulic fluid. If during the inspection, you notice any unusual issue, it is advisable to consult an expert. You should not attempt any repairs, even if it appears to be easy and straightforward. You can only fix it if you are certain about the procedure.

✓ Keep it Clean:

Your floor jack is lubricated using grease due to the fact that grease is solid and does not spill, like oil. Unfortunately, grease seems to attract a lot of dust and dirt and as such, you should make it a habit to clean your jack. You will just need to use a piece of cloth to wipe it down immediately you finish using it. This will prevent dust build up and will make the floor jack ready for use.

✓ Use Grease to Lubricate Moving Parts:

The floor jack depends on the movements to perform its functions. As such, you should ensure that all the moving parts are lubricated. Most people use oil as a lubricant and this is not effective. Oil does not flow and will stagnate in one place, but when you apply grease on the moving parts, it keeps spreading to the other parts and this enhances the overall performance. You should apply grease to all the moving parts, right after washing the floor jack.

✓ Change the Hydraulic Oil:

Another essential tip in making sure that your floor jack is maintained properly is by ensuring that the oil is replaced frequently. When replacing the oil, you should be keen to note that exact level of the oil so as to avoid potential damage to the floor jack.

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✓ Bleed the Cylinder:

Bleeding the cylinder should restore the lifting capabilities of your floor jack. The cylinder should be bled continuously so as to enhance the overall performance of the floor jack. One of the main indicators that the cylinder needs bleeding is when the jack seems to strain in lifting and supporting loads.

✓ Proper Storage:

Storage is a critical element of proper maintenance of the floor jack. You should always ensure that the floor jack is wiped down and clean before storing it. Release all the pressure in the cylinder as this will alleviate the stress on the system. When storing your floor jack, you should always ensure that it is in the upright position. This will prevent the hydraulic oil from leaking.

Essential Considerations for Floor Jack Maintenance:

Proper maintenance of the floor jack will be the main determinant of its longevity and durability. There are a number of critical factors that should be considered in maintaining the floor jack:

Safeguarding the Cylinder from Water:

You should make every effort to ensure that water does not get into the system and mix with oil. In the unfortunate event that the water mixes with oil the floor jack tends to become useless as far as the lifting capacity goes. You should protect the floor jack at all times and ensure that water does not get into the system.

✓ Maintenance Timetable:

Create and stick to a maintenance timetable. This will serve as a reminder of cleaning and lubricating the floor jack. When you have a schedule that you are sticking to, the dust and dirt will not build up and this will help keep your floor jack in the best condition. When you have random cleanup schedules, they do no help very much, since you cannot keep track and you may realize that you have skipped the maintenance when it is too late. Once the floor jack is cleaned, you should store it in a cool dry place.

✓  The Cost of Maintenance Products:

Some of the common items that are required for proper maintenance include grease and hydraulic oil. Once you purchase your floor jack, it would be advisable to find out from the store which oil and grease would serve your needs, without compromising the quality of the performance. Do not use low-quality products since they may end up destroying the overall functionality of the floor jack.

Proper maintenance is not rocket science and everyone can do it. With the tips provided above, you will extend the lifespan of the floor jack. You might have a very expensive floor jack, but the key making it last for a very long time is through maintenance. You should always check to ensure that the floor jack is shielded from the dust and dirt. The maintenance process of floor jacks is pretty easy, but most people do not perform it. If you ignore your floor jack, then you will be forced to buy another one after a short while.

How to Use A Floor Jack Step By Step Easy Guide

A floor jack is quite essential when it comes to lifting vehicles. Without a proper jack; it is almost impossible to be able to lift a vehicle off the ground. Vehicles tend to be quite heavy and if proper precaution is not observed, the process may end causing serious injuries and in some cases, even death. It is one thing to own a floor jack and a totally different thing to use it in the right manner. If you have never operated a floor jack before; you should follow these guide so as to ensure that you are using it in the right way. This will prevent damages to the vehicle and injuries to yourself.

It is advisable to check the vehicle’s manual as well as the floor jacks manual so that you can enhance your safety through proper use. Here are some key elements to bear in mind when using your floor jack.

How to Use A Floor Jack

How To Safely Use a Car Jack?

✓✓Preparation of the Floor Jack:

Preparation of the Floor JackVehicles are quite heavy if you have to work underneath the vehicle, you should make every effort to enhance your safety. Take time to make all the necessary preparations before lifting the vehicle and going underneath. First and foremost, ensure that you have protective clothing like safety goggles, coveralls, gloves and steel-toed footwear whenever you are using your floor jack. Before placing the jack under the vehicle, inspect it and the other accessories like the jack stand to ensure that they are working as required.

Be sure to check that the floor jack has the capacity to lift the weight of the vehicle. All floor jacks will have a maximum weight capacity rating. If your vehicle has items inside, account for the extra weight; if you cannot offload the vehicle. Part of the preparation is to ensure that the vehicle is parked on a flat surface; preferably a concrete surface. This will guarantee the proper stability of the jack and the jack stands when they are supporting the vehicle. You should never make any attempts to jack the vehicle on an uneven surface as this may result into a serious catastrophe.

✓✓Identify the Jack Points on the Vehicle:

Use Specified Jacking Points on Your CarThis is one of the most delicate and tricky bits of using a floor jack. If you place the jack on the wrong points; it will damage your vehicle and you will not achieve the desired performance. If you do not have any idea of the jack points on your vehicle, you should refer to the vehicle’s manual, mostly under the emergency section. You will get all the information that is required including the jack points that should be used. In some cases; you will find the vehicle marked in specific places, which are the optimal lifting points of the vehicle. If you do not have that information; you can use the internet and search for the lifting points of your vehicle.

✓✓Place the Jack and Lift the Vehicle:

Place the Jack and Lift the VehicleOne you have parked the car on a flat surface and have identified the jack points, you can place the floor jack into position. The saddle of the floor jack should make proper contact with the frame of the vehicle at the identified lifting point. You should check to ensure that the valve of the hydraulic floor jack is in the closed position. This is the only way that the jack will be able to hold pressure and lift the saddle when you start pumping. If the jack is not labeled properly, just turn the handle clockwise, up to the point where it stops.

Once all this is done; you can start lifting the saddle slowly and check to ensure that it is in contact with the right place. If the saddle is in the right place, continue pumping slowly, until the vehicle is lifted to the desired height.

✓✓Use Supporting Accessories:

Floor jack Supporting AccessoriesIrrespective of the type of hydraulic floor jack you are using; there is a very high likelihood that it will fail. You can never fully depend on the floor jack to support the vehicle while working underneath; this taking a huge risk with your life. There are many people who will choose to leave out this section; but I consider it to be the most important. Once the vehicle is raised to the desired height; place jack stands that have adequate capacity to support the weight of the vehicle. When the jack stands are in place, twist the jack handle counter-clockwise until it starts to lower the vehicle on to the jack stands.

You should never work under a vehicle that is not supported as this may cost your life or serious injuries. Besides the jack stands, you should also chock the wheels opposite to the vehicle that you are working on. The wheel chocks will prevent the car from rolling off while being supported by jack stands. When using jack stands; ensure that you have a matching pair and you should use a single pair per vehicle so as to get excellent support and avoid fatalities.

✓✓Parting Shot:

The key to the safe use of a floor jack and the jack stands is the surface that you are working on. When you attempt to lift a vehicle on the surface that is not leveled; you are increasing the risks. You should also ensure that the surface is not soft; since soft surfaces may cause the jack stand to start sinking and this will affect the stability of the vehicle. If you can follow this guide and be able to use your floor jack safely, then you will be able handle a number of maintenance tasks under your car. This saves you the cost of having to go to an auto shop every other time.

You should not attempt to use the floor jack if you are not sure how you should go about it. Consult your mechanic if you are uncertain about a particular issue so as to enhance your personal safety and also avoid potential damage to your car.

How to Choose the Best Floor Jack?

What’s the Best FLOOR JACK for Your Garage?

Having the right tools in your workshop is the key to ensuring that you are able to perform tasks in a relatively easy manner. A floor jack is one of the essential tools that you can have in your garage.

How to Choose the Best Floor Jack?

Definition of a Floor Jack:

Before getting into the details of the best floor jack, it is important to understand what it is. In simple terms; a floor jack is defined as a mechanical device, which is used to lift heavy loads to an advantage position. This is also referred to as a car jack or a garage jack and has a wide range of functions. However; in most cases, this will be used to lift automobiles so as to access the components that are beneath the vehicle.  There are different mechanisms used by floor jacks to facilitate the lifting, with most of them using lead screws and hydraulics.

Using a Floor Jack:

With the understanding of what a floor jack is, it is easier to discuss the various uses. In most cases, some of the repair and maintenance issues will require adequate ground clearance so as to access beneath the vehicle. Some of the common tasks that will require one to use a floor jack include changing oil, changing brake pads, suspension works, transmission works, and exhaust works among others. Besides lifting the car, floor jacks are also used to lift the motor so as to provide additional clearance within the engine bay.

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Different Types of Floor Jacks:

There are 3 main types of floor jacks on the market:

  • Hydraulic Floor Jack
  • Bottle Jack
  • Scissor Jack

✓ Hydraulic Floor Jack:

This is the most common type of floor jack and will be found in most auto shops. Most users gravitate towards this jack as a result of the convenience it uses. The hydraulic jack is commonly referred to as the trolley jack since has a trolley, wheels, and housing for the hydraulic cylinder. The cylinder will lower and the load in small intervals. The hydraulic jack comes with a detachable lever, which is pumped to activate the lifting mechanism.

This jack is easy to use and requires minimal effort to lift your vehicle to your preferred height. Hydraulic jacks have a high lift range and this allows you to lift the vehicle quite high. The wheels on the trolley enhance the stability of jack as it supports the vehicle. The only major drawback with hydraulic jacks is that they are expensive and quite heavy, making them less portable.

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✓ Bottle Jack:

Bottle or Piston best floor JackThe bottle jack is also known as the Piston jack and is operated throwing hydraulic pressure. It has two concentric cylinders which will trigger the lifting mechanism. The bottle jack works pretty much in the same manner as the hydraulic floor jack, with the compact size being a major advantage. The jack has a small footprint, which stabilizes the jack; even when you are working on uneven surfaces. One of the biggest challenges with the bottle jack is the fact that they have a very high free height. As such, you cannot use them on lowered cars and other vehicles with an average height.

As a result, you will commonly find these jacks being used for lifting trucks since there is adequate ground clearance. Bottle jacks are said to have the highest lifting capacity compared to other types of jacks.

✓ Scissor Jack:

Mechanical or Scissor JackThis is the default jack in most vehicles as it is provided by the vehicle manufacturer. These jacks are common with the main advantage being that they are smaller in size and require minimal storage space. In the event of a flat tire, you can use the jack to replace the tire with a lot of ease. They have a lead screw mechanism which will be used to lift the vehicle. The scissor jack has limitations in terms of the height and weight lifting capacity, due to their compact nature.

When using this jack; you will require a whole lot of physical effort to turn the lead screw. This jack is meant to facilitate a simple task like changing a flat tire and cannot be used for serious tasks that require lifting the engine bay and other parts of the vehicle. If you need a jack that you can move around with, then the scissor jack is the best option.

how to Safely Using the Floor Jack?

Personal safety is one of the critical considerations when using a floor jack. Here are some safety principles, which you should adhere to so as to ensure your safety when using a floor jack:

✓ Make use of Jack Stands:

Irrespective of the type of jack that you have, you should not trust it on itself. Always make sure that you have jack stands that will be used with the floor jack. The floor jack is a mechanical device and it is prone to malfunction at any time. Floor jacks that have been used for some time may accidentally fall when in use. The hydraulic jack tends to allow the car to fall slowly, which can be unnoticed and the person underneath may not have the time to escape.

A pair of jack stands will hold the vehicle in place, even if the floor jack fails. You should never go beneath your car until you have supported the car with jack stands. Do not rely on the floor jack since it can fail without notice.

✓ Place the Jack on Level Ground:

Place the Jack on Level GroundUnless there is a serious emergency, you should never use a floor jack on a surface which is not leveled. When you place a jack or jack stands on an uneven surface, there is a very high possibility of the jack slipping and causing damages and injuries. You should never make the mistake of trying to lift your car on a slanted terrain as it poses a serious risk.

✓ Use Slow Intervals to Raise and Lower the Vehicle:

While most modern floor jacks have the capacity to lift your car rapidly, you should make it a habit to lifted the car slowly and also lower, it’s in the same manner. This will allow you to notice any challenges and prevent a serious hazard from happening. Using slow and controlled movements will is advisable so as to ensure your overall safety.

✓ Use Specified Jacking Points on Your Car:

Use Specified Jacking Points on Your CarCars are designed in such a manner that there are specific places on the frame of the car; which can be used to support the car when being raised. When you look at the owner’s manual for the vehicle, you will find these points clearly outlined. There are some vehicle models that have these points clearly marked. You should not make attempts to lift your car unless you are sure of the location to use as the jacking point.

Things Should Be Considerations When Buying a Floor Jack?

There are a number of key considerations that you should bear in mind when shopping for a floor jack. Here are some pointers on what you should consider:

✓ Type of Vehicle to Use the Jack on:

When thinking about the type of the vehicle to use the jack on, the main consideration is ground clearance. Like mentioned earlier, if you have lowered vehicles, the bottle jack may not be ideal since it has a very high resting height. Ground clearance refers to the height the jack point, from the ground. For the sports cars and low cars, the hydraulic jacks are the best option since most of them are low profile jacks.

✓ The Weight of the Car:

Every floor jack has a maximum weight capacity that it can lift. You should be very clear on the weight of the jack that you intend to purchase.  The 2-ton and 3-ton jacks are the most common on the market. They are ideal for small to mid-sized cars. It is important to look at the maximum weight rating that is on your jack so as to avoid any cases of overloading it. Most of the modern jacks have safety levers which will prevent any cases of pushing the jack to lift loads that are beyond its capacity.

✓ Construction Quality:

The other essential consideration is checking the quality of the jack. You need to check the quality of the material that has been used in making the jack. If you buy a floor jack that is of poor build quality, you will have to buy another one after a short while. Worse still, poor quality jacks may break down and cause serious injuries to the person and damages to the car. In most cases, floor jacks will be made of heavy duty steel or aluminum. Hydraulic jacks are made of aircraft-grade aluminum and this makes them durable and long lasting.

With all the information above, we do hope that you can be able to make an informed decision and purchase the right floor jack.

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