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Learn how to refill the hydraulic oil in your floor jack

Sudipta Kar

Learn how to refill the hydraulic oil in your floor jack

Taking care of your car hydraulic jack is crucial as it plays an important role while replacing a wheel. Heavy duty pallet jacks help you in lifting heavy vehicles for changing the wheels, which is why timely servicing and oiling is vital. Oil is very important as the pistons in the jack require fluid to be pushed, so you can learn how to refill the oil in the jacks easily by going through the procedure. There are two types of jacks, bottle jack, and floor jack and you can learn how to refill oil in them with great ease.

No one appreciates the role a hydraulic jack plays more than a car owner that has been faced with the need to replace a wheel. With a car jack, you get the ability to lift heavy loads with minimal effort. Have you ever imagined the size of the equipment you’ll require to support your car while you do a wheel change were it not for the availability of the hydraulic jacks? For you to realize the full potential of your hydraulic jack, the floor jack to be specific, you need to service it well, with fresh oil. It’s important to note that all hydraulic jacks have pistons that require fluids (oil) to push them up. This fluid can be purchased from an auto parts shop/store. There are currently two common types of hydraulic jacks that are widely used, the floor jack and the bottle jack. In this article, we’ll focus on refilling the oil in your hydraulic floor jack.

A car’s maintenance is no joke. Apart from the cleaning and other aspects, there are some technical issues that should never be ignored. One of them is handling your oil filter related issues and refilling hydraulic oil in the floor jack. Though a tough task if handled carefully the same helps to ensure that your car keeps working smoothly and ensuring an increase in its life as well. The moment your floor jack shows problems in lifting up your car wheels it is time that you refill its hydraulic oil. It is advisable to take external help if you feel that your work has not generated the kind of results you were expecting.

Here is what you need to know about refilling your hydraulic floor jack oil

Understand the structure of your floor jack

To differentiate between a bottle jack and a floor jack, just have their shape in mind. In terms of their way of operation, a floor jack operates horizontally, whereas a bottle jack works vertically – its piston makes vertical movements.

Adding hydraulic oil to your floor jack

Preparing your floor jack

Preparing the jack entails lowering it completely. To achieve this, you need to turn the jack’s relief valve in an anticlockwise direction. By lowering the jack completely, you are able to remove air from the jack cylinder. As such, any air that may remain in the jack cylinder after lowering this jack can be eliminated when you add oil into the jack.

Finding the oil filler hole/port

This is the opening that’s used to introduce oil into the jack cylinder. In most hydraulic floor jacks, the filler hole/port is found on the floor of the jack’s reservoir. Remember, this reservoir is cylindrical in shape and has a vertical mounting on the jack’s flat base. Look at the bottom part of the reservoir, close to the jack’s flat base, to locate this oil filler port. Point to note, all filler ports are well labeled/marked for what they are.

Uncapping the filler port and installing a funnel onto the port

After locating the filler port, you need to uncap it and place the cap in a safe place to avoid misplacing it. To uncap the port, you need to turn the cap in an anticlockwise direction, otherwise, will end up tightening the cap. After getting the cap off the port, you need to install a funnel into this hole to facilitate ease of hydraulic oil refill into the jack. Always choose a funnel whose size is right for the port. Without a funnel, you are likely to experience oil spillage in the process. The funnel needs to be held tightly once installed into the filler port. This will help reduce any possibility of spilling this oil while in the process of the re-filling the jack.

Refilling the jack with hydraulic oil

Hoping you’d already acquired the right hydraulic oil; grab it in readiness for the refill exercise. Uncap the oil container and direct the oil into the funnel attached to the oil filler port. Before you pour the oil into the oil filler through the funnel, ensure the oil container’s nozzle rests on the funnel or is slightly into the funnel. Then, slowly but steadily pour the oil into the funnel. As you pour the oil into the funnel, you need to keep monitoring its level inside the jack cylinder. Once you notice that the oil starts to leak out of the oil filler port, you need to stop pouring the oil. Take caution not to spill the oil on either the floor or jack. However, should you spill it on either the jack or the floor/working table, make an effort to clean it.

Placing back the oil filler port cap

After filling the jack with hydraulic oil to your satisfaction, you need to secure the filler hole with its cap. This move will ensure the jack stays oil leakage-free. If this cap is of screw type, avoid over-screwing it. Applying unnecessarily huge force when placing back the cap can lead to its damage or screw threads.

Reader’s note:

It’s important to remember this:

After refilling your jack oil, you need to test and ascertain that the jack is working to your expectations. In some instances, a number of jack users complain that their jack never extends fully while carrying a huge load after refilling it. This condition has been attributed to air bubbles in the hydraulic system. To cure this problem, you need to try and depress the jack. You can open its relief valve and pump it for about 10-15 stokes, before closing the relief valve. Then check its operation. This operation seeks to eliminate any air that may be trapped in the jack’s cylinder. Should the performance (full extension of the jack) of the jack still remain unsatisfactory, you can repeat this procedure.

Always ensure the piston remains fully down as you refill you jack.

When faced with difficulties on matters oil refill for your jack, it’s important to consult the jack manufacturer’s user manual. The jack brand you currently use may be different from what someone else is using, and therefore, that unique feature of your jack on matters oil refill can be ironed out through the use of a user manual from the manufacturer. Where possible, use the manufacturer’s recommended procedure to refill your hydraulic floor jack with oil.

Timely change of hydraulic jack oil increases the jack efficiency, extends its life and makes it less prone to causing accidents. Over the lifetime of the jack oil, moisture may likely find its way onto the jack’s cylinder. This will most likely compromise the oil’s compression characteristics. As such, if the condition remains unattended to, the jack becomes less efficient and unsafe to use.

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