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:
It 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:
Take 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.
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:
Before 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.