Floor jacks are extremely useful tools, but like any tool, prolonged use can lead to some malfunctions. A common problem users have is that their floor jack won’t go down once it’s been elevated. Sometimes this is a sign that handle has become stuck, that the handle has separated from the universal joint, or that you must put pressure on the hydraulic saddle from above.
One possibility is that the pivots are rusted. This can be an issue if you’ve had your floor jack for a while. Another possibility is that something has gotten into the release valve, and the blockage stops the built up pressure from escaping once you’re done using your jack.
Another possibility is that the handle has been pulled out of its socket. If you pull a floor jack around by its handle often, you may accidentally damage the lever. To avoid causing this issue, you should push the floor jack around by its body or using a designated handle whenever you use it.
If this is the reason your floor jack won’t go down, you may need to use a wrench to loosen the bolt, lower the handle back into place, and tighten it back into place.
Rusting And Age
Very often owners find that their floor jack won’t go down without placing pressure on it. This often happens because the valve doesn’t open all the way, because the top layer of the trolley isn’t heavy enough, or for a few other similar reasons.
You may need to place a heavy object such as a pallet on top of the floor jack to force out any remaining pressure. Most floor jacks are designed to lower using the natural pull of gravity over a long enough time, but adding some weight can help. If it still doesn’t lower, the chance that the pressure valve hasn’t opened properly is high, and it is likely a mechanical issue.
Opening The Gauge Or Valve Manually
A final option, though desperate, is to open either the fill plug or the pressure release plug. You open the fill plug to add fluid to the floor jack. This may help if your floor jack won’t go down because it has dried out inside.
If you open the pressure release plug, the hydraulic fluid will pour out from the floor jack. The floor jack will go down, but that fluid is required for a hydraulic floor jack to function. You’ll need to buy new fluid and refill the floor jack before you use it again. That’s why this step is one you should only try as a last resort.
Floor jacks may raise but then refuse to go down for a number of reasons. The cause of this malfunction may be a mechanical issue caused by rusty pivots or dislocated handles. Rust may also cause the handle to stick in place, or stop the pressure valve from opening. Finally, you may need to place pressure on the floor jack in order to force it to lower once more.