If car repair and maintenance is a hobby or something you do to save on service cost, a hydraulic floor jack is definitely one tool that shouldn't be missing in your kit or your garage. This repair tool makes it easy to crawl underneath the vehicle for inspection or for repair. You won't have to use a lift or drive your car into one just to get access to what's underneath the vehicle, especially when working on the chassis. The jack can simply be positioned underneath to lift the vehicle. It's that easy. But like other tools that use hydraulics, the jack may also fail or break. For some, their option is to buy a new one or send the broken jack to a repair facility. If you do some fixes on your car and have done a couple of DIY projects in the past, repairing the jack on your own is something you can do. Save some money and time. Here are the steps to floor jack repair:
How to fix a broken hydraulic floor jack
Before you go fixing the broken jack, first make sure that you'll be doing the repair in a clean, dry place. Hydraulic fluids are flammable. With this in mind, make sure that there's no open flame anywhere around. You also have to check the jack's weight rating and compare it with that of the vehicle that will be lifted. The rating can be seen on the jack itself or its manual or label. For the vehicle, the weight rating is usually found on the door pillar on the driver's side. Don't lift a vehicle that's too heavy for the floor jack. Also remember that the jack is used only to lift the vehicle or other loads but can't fully support the load. You have to use stands or other similar items for this.
Step 1: Extending the jack is the first step. If possible, you have to pump this up. Just remember that the release valve must be open. You also have to take out the piston by hand. Make sure that the piston is free from dirt or any oil residue. As you pull out the piston, be careful so that it won't catch or bind.
Step 2: You then have to open the cap of the oil reservoir on the floor jack. Use a screwdriver for this. If oil level is low, you'll have to refill it. The oil level should be 1/4 inch below the cap's bottom. Don't use any other oil. Make sure that the hydraulic fluid is the one that's prescribed or recommended by the manufacturer.
Step 3: After this, the jack must be bled. As you open the release valve, the jack must be pumped a couple of times. You then have to close the valve and then pump up the jack until it's extended to its full height. Open the valve in order to lower the jack. You have to wipe the outside clean. If you spot oil on the outside after bleeding the jack, you have to trace the leak. See if it's coming from the seal. If so, then this should be replaced. Replacement of the seal depends on what kind of seal is attached and the kind of jack you're using.
Step 4: Now that it's bled, you have to test the floor jack. Place it underneath a load and try to lift the load using this tool. If the jack can't raise the load, then the problem can be blamed on the pump. An authorized facility can handle the repair of the pump.