Is your floor jack failing to lift? This can be really frustrating especially if you need to fix your car urgently. Like any other mechanical device, floor jacks are prone to damage despite how sturdy they look.
So, what happens when your floor jack won’t lift?
The following guide shows some of the possible reasons why a floor jack won’t lift along with the possible solutions to fix that problem.
Step by step guide to fix a floor jack
Exceeding the Floor Jack Limit
Different floor jacks are designed with different lifting capacity. If your floor jack won’t lift a vehicle or any object, you need to check the lifting capacity of that particular floor jack. Normally floor jacks have a safety overload feature. This feature will stop the floor jack from working when a user is trying to overload it.
To solve this issue, compare the weight of the vehicle or the object that is being lifted against the lifting capacity of the jack.
In most cases, a 2-3 ton floor jack is able to comfortably lift a light-duty truck or even a passenger vehicle. When a floor jack is overloaded, it will not only stop working but also it will be under stress. This reduces the quality of the floor jack and at the same time, it makes the whole lifting process hazardous.
Examine the Hydraulic oil levels
Could it be that your floor jack has higher or even lower oil levels which are hindering it from performing its work? Whenever a floor jack has the wrong oil level, it will be limited in terms of its lifting capacity and also its capability.
To fix this problem, remove the oil fill plug from the floor jack and have a look at the chamber. Use the user manual for your floor jack to check the optimal oil level.
If the oil level is less than the recommended amount, then you need to do a refill. In case the oil level is higher than the recommended amount, then you need to do a bit of draining to reduce the oil to the recommended level. Another thing is to ensure that you use high-quality oil.
Once the correct oil level is attained, the floor jack will achieve enough pressure for lifting heavy objects.
Righttorisesuperpac says there have another issue could be that there is accumulated dirt or debris in the oil chamber that is preventing the floor jack from working. For this, you will need to drain the oil completely and use an air compressor to blow out the unwanted agents from the oil.
Trapped Air in the Jack
This is one of the most common problems which make floor jacks fail to lift heavy objects or cars. If air is trapped within the jack, then it might not be able to lift.
We use a process known as bleeding to get rid of the trapped air. To pull that off, you need to place the jack’s valve in an anti-clockwise position.
This means that the valve should be in a retracted position. After that, you will need to take out the oil filler screw. When this is achieved, only then will you be able to suck out air from the floor jack.
The handle needs to be screwed and pumped severally. That way, the trapped air will be removed. After pumping out the air, put the oil filler screw back to its place and try using the floor jack again.
Examine the Release Valve
If you have tried out all the above three processes and the floor jack is not working, then there is a possibility that there is a problem with the release valve. For instance, if the release valve is loose, then the floor jack might fail to lift.
What you need to do is to examine the valve. If you find that it is loose, adjust it and make sure that it is tight enough. A spanner comes in handy here.
If the loose release valve was what was making the floor jack not to work then after tightening it, it should start working.
Use some lubrication
Like any other mechanical device, the floor jack will require some lubrication from time to time. If the floor jack is not lubricated, then the wheels and the hinges will not be able to run smoothly and effectively.
The best oil to use for lubrication is the premium lubricating oil.
Inspect the entire floor jack
It could be that you have done all of the above check-ups and examinations and the floor jack is still not working. This calls for doing a thorough inspection of the entire floor jack. When doing a full examination, you might notice there are some missing or ruined parts.
The oil barrel could be having some oil leaks which is making it impossible to attain the required oil level.
Another possible cause could be cracked welds which are preventing the floor jack from working. To solve this problem you need to carefully inspect the ram. This will require you to turn the jack on its side and have a look at the ram.
Go further and inspect the jack in an extended as well as a retracted position.
After doing all these check-ups, you will find out that the pistons of the floor jack are either rusted or scarred. This could be a possible underlying issue which is making the floor jack not to work.
Whenever you see that your floor jack is not working, then there must be an underlying issue. It is not always easy to discover what is making your floor jack not to work.
The above possible causes and solutions will sure serve out to guide you to find out what is the issue with your floor jack. If you follow the above steps carefully, then you will be able to discover what is wrong with your floor jack and solve the problem appropriately.
Always have in mind that some of the most common issues that will make a floor jack refuse to work are: trapped air, oil leak, rusted or scarred pistons, loose or even missing parts and overloading the jack.
The good news is that solving all of the above problems is possible with the above step by step guide.
Should there arise a case where you have tried all of the above steps but nothing is working, then you should take your jack to an expert to have it examined.
If by any chance your jack is damaged to the point that it cannot be repaired, then it’s time to get a new one.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the best floor jack on the market?
Try the Liftmaster 3 Ton Heavy Duty Floor Jack. It is made of pure steel which makes it a truly high-quality floor jack. It is also fitted with great safety features. The sharp edges of the jack are covered with bumpers which ensures that no one is harmed.
The jack also has a low profile about three inches. All these features ensure that little effort is applied when using the floor jack.
After how long should I lubricate my floor jack?
This depends on how often you are using the floor jack. If you are using it often, then you will need to lubricate it twice a month.
Otherwise, it is recommended that you lubricate once a month or once in two months. Make sure you use a good lubricating oil. The premium lubricating oil is highly recommended for use on any floor jack.
Can I use the same floor jack for different vehicles?
The normal floor jack can lift any type of vehicle. Caution should be taken to ensure that you do not overload the floor jack. Once you use a floor jack to lift an object above its lifting capacity, it will not work.
Before you do any kind of lifting, ensure you check the weight limit.