- Jul 10, 2018 -
How to Maintain Your Floor Jack – You should look at your floor jack as an investment, one you will want to keep in good working order. Maintaining your floor jack is essential if you want to ensure the continued safe use of a device that suspends the weight of a car/bus/truck above you as you perform repairs, change tiers etc.
The good news is, it’s not a big task. It’s still a good idea to ensure your safety by inspecting your Jack for any signs of wear and tear as well as performing some simple maintenance.
How to Maintain Your Floor Jack – Essential Tips
1. Inspect the Jack, have a good look over the Jack, check for any signs of wear or tear. Pay particular attention to the lift arm and handle as these are the points on your jack that will be under the most strain. If ANY cracks are visible, replace your Jack. It may be possible to have the Jack repaired, but for peace of mind replace the Jack, the savings between replacing and repair are insignificant when you take your safety into account.
2. The wheels of your garage jack also take a pounding, so be sure to inspect and Lubricate the wheels and hinge points of your Jack. Keeping these points lubricated will prevent wear and tear which could lead to failure. Use a quality brand of Grease or Jack Oil to do this.
If the wheels are damaged in any way they should be replaced as they are vital in ensuring the stability of your jack when under load.
3. Tighten any loose nuts you may come across during inspection, make sure you use the correct gauge (size) spanner, to avoid stripping the nut.
4. Periodically check the oil level. Hydraulic systems rely heavily on the action of oil under pressure, any leak will lead to a decrease in performance, this can lead to the Jack releasing prematurely (usually slowly, depending on the size of the leak), you DO NOT want this to happen when working on a vehicle. Check for any signs of oil on your Jack, every few months check the hydraulic fluid reservoir by removing the fill plug and using a torch visually check the level of fluid. If it’s low top it up and replace the plug, then bleed the Jack using bleed valve to remove any air pockets or bubbles.
Your Hydraulic Jack should be a closed system, this means you really shouldn’t encounter any leaks. If the level continues to drop consider getting the Jack repaired or replaced.
5. Never use your Jack for unintended purposes. Your Jack is designed to lift and bear the weight of a vehicle, don’t go using it to lift other weights, in particular weights outside of its maximum lift capacity. It’s not safe and you may well damage the Jack or worse, do harm to yourself.
6. Store your Jack well, ensure the Jack is in its rest state, with the hydraulic arm fully retracted. Keep it in a dry area and rub it in with oil from time to time to prevent corrosion.
7. Learn how a hydraulic floor jack works it helps to understand what can go wrong and what to look for. More information here
Maintaining your Jack by performing the simple tips outlined above will ensure you keep your jack in safe, working order for many years. These Jacks are built to take a ton of punishment and last decades, but when it comes to your safety, it pays to be over-cautious.
I can’t emphasis enough, that if you find any problems during your maintenance, in particular if you find any cracks or major leaks, replace your Jack. It’s a small investment when you take into account your safety.
So now you know how to maintain your floor jack, head out into your Garage and perform an inspection asap!