Tips on How to Fix a Floor Jack that Won’t Lift
Regardless of whether you’re performing a maintenance task or changing a flat tire, we can all agree that a floor jack is a tool that comes in handy. It helps to raise the car so that you can access its under-surface easily. However, as with any mechanical item, a floor jack may start experiencing issues that need repair. For instance, one common problem with floor jacks is having a difficult time when lifting. You place the jack underneath, try to raise the car but your jack doesn’t lift. What should you do in this case?
Rather than rushing to replace it, there are simple tips you can use to fix it and go ahead with your work. Here are guidelines on how to fix a floor jack that won’t lift.
Check Your Load
The first and most important thing you should do is checking your load and comparing it with the jack’s weight capacity. Manufacturers produce jacks with different weight capacities. For instance, there are floor jacks meant specifically for lifting 1-ton loads, others for 2-ton loads, others 3-ton and so on. If your load is of a certain weight, then you can use a jack that supports that weight or one with a capacity that exceeds your load weight, but not the other way round. If your load exceeds the jacks weight capacity, then this may be the problem. Get another jack that can support your vehicle’s weight.
If your vehicle’s weight matches the jack’s weight capacity, then poor maintenance may be the cause. A jack is made up of several moving parts, and these parts are all vital to its working. When you take care of these parts, then your tool will always be in its best condition to function. If it has been a long time since you maintained your jack, get some oil and lubricate the jack’s most vital parts. And if it has been exposed to dirt, be sure to clean all the dirt and dust before applying the lubricating oil. Focus on the hinges and wheels to ensure they’re operating smoothly.
Check the Oil
If you have done all the above and still it doesn’t lift, then it’s time to check the hydraulic oil levels. Low oil levels may be hindering the jack’s lifting capacity. To check the oil levels, remove the oil tank plug and have a look inside. If the levels are below 3/16, then refill it. Also, if the levels are extremely high, then drain some to attain the required level. This way, your jack will be able to build the right pressure for lifting your car.
Check the Release Valve
Tried everything but still, it doesn’t work? Check the release valve. How tight is it? One thing you need to keep in mind is that if the valve is not tight and it’s releasing air, then your jack won’t lift properly. It may lift at once but then after some time, the load comes down all by itself. If air loss was the problem, tightening the release valve will make your jack lift well again.
Remove Any Trapped Air
In the course of using the floor jack, it may trap some air and this can hinder its functioning. What you need to do is release this trapped air. To release it, place the release valve in a retracted position and remove the oil filter’s screw. Then, screw and pump several times to get rid of this air. This process is known as bleeding and if trapped air was the issue, this process will make the jack work well again.
There is nothing as stressful as having a piece of equipment that doesn’t work, especially when it’s needed the most. By making use of the above guidelines, you’ll be able to fix a floor jack that doesn’t lift.